Thailand is widely considered a paradise of transgender acceptance. But the realities of life as a so-called "ladyboy" don't always reflect that reputation. We spoke with three members of the transgender community there to get a clearer picture.
Ineptitude and inaccurate results led to widespread confusion and accusations of cheating, two opposing parties claimed victory and as the days go by, Thailand is no closer to knowing who will form a government. Yet in amongst the clamour, it was easy to miss small but significant outcomes of the poll. A celebrated film director in ThailandTanwarin is at the forefront of a new political generation, demonstrating that it is no longer the domain of multi-millionaire businessmen and generals.
No-one looks down on them, and some Thai women are even a little envious of their perfect feminine figures and faces. However, visiting tourists are always concerned about the embarassment of discovering that the girl they end up flirting with wasn't born a girl. To reduce that risk, we've drawn up a simple guide of things to look out for.
Ladyboys are men who choose to have a feminine appearance. Some are transvestites who simply get pleasure from dressing as the opposite sex while others are transitioning to female and identify as transgender. According to a report on being LGBT in AsiaThais started to identify what is now known as transgender as early as the 14th century, but Western influence and ideas, such as the criminalization of homosexuality, made their way into Thailand during the 19th century.
Editorial Board. Contents Historic Paper s. Findings indicated that a participants' gender-trait stereotypes were similar to those of non-transgenders examined in other studies both in their own country and internationallyb their actual and ideal self-concepts each displayed much more consensus about traits not possessed than about those possessed, c their actual and ideal self-concepts were commonly discrepant, and d while they commonly held a stereotypically female view of themselves, they often aspired towards a broad range of traits that were less stereotyped.
Overall, these narratives suggest there are shifting dynamics in the social movement of gender equality. Two interesting trends in Thailand offer further insight to this conversation. These developments suggest Thailand welcomes diversity; however, human rights reports suggest this is a falsely created image.
A Ladyboy or Katoey in Thai is a transgender or a transsexual and most of them are based in tourist neighborhoods. Ladyboys are perceived differently by different kind of tourists. Some want to avoid ladyboys, others are terrified by them, while some purposely seek them.
Estimates on the current number of Thai transsexuals range from 10, to , including a number of pop singers and television and movie stars. On the surface, Thailand appears to live up to its worldwide reputation as a place where transsexuals can experience greater freedom and acceptance than other nations. It would seem curious then that, accreting to Thailand LawyersThai laws are in actuality quite conservative regarding transsexuals and their rights.
What comes to your mind when you think of Thailand? I know what you will say. You will probably tell me about paradise beaches, palm trees, good food, temples, Buddha statues and scooters.