Thai Ladyboys

“He fought like a man so he could become a woman” – Still from the Thai movie Beautiful Boxer

Thailand here has many-a glorious site to feast ones eyes on, besides just a million temples, two million taxis and three million noodle soup stalls we have the one and only ‘Thai ladyboy’. I had decided to stay away from such sordid topic til our cute little regular-commenteer friend from Indonesia here put in the query of ‘Can Richard or Steve write a blog on lady boys? – i just wanna know all the ins-and-outs about such a fine species’. Well, since our Webmasting friend Mr Richard is busy blogging to the likes of every Thai custom and superstition under the sun, Koh Changs’s gruesome garbage piles and how to be a respected teacher in Thailand, its me instead who has had to put pen to paper and give yous all a behind the scenes adventure into the goings-on of that…. lusty Thai ladyboy.

Ive certainly had a ride of laughs during my decade here in the ‘Land of Monks and Mangosteen’ but nothing has made me crack-up as much as the site of the Farang man finding out that his future ex-wife wanna-be used to be, in fact, a man.

I can recall the very sad and sorrowful tale of an English guy a few years back who after meeting his darling in Pattaya decided to turn the relationship into a serious one. So, our English buddy here spends the next one and half years sending his loved one wads-a of cash, building for mum-in-law a spanking new house and enjoying quarterly year trips to visit his cherished beauty. Since our English friend here could not cope with the anguish of having to live a life alone in Boring Britain decided to propose marriage to the love of his life and take her back to his home country. That was until….the day of the interview at the British embassy.

After the officials had listened seperately to the backgrounds of the lovers, the officials promptly realised that perhaps our English laddie here was getting more than he bargained for. So they took the guy to the side and said “Mr fellow Englishman and law abiding citizen…..we have decided NOT to afford a fiancee visa to your future ex-wife because her passport in Thai language reads ‘Mr’ and not ‘Miss’, do NOT make a laughing stock of us here at the embassy, asking us to afford a fiancee-visa to a man! you must darned well know that British law hears nothing of such a despicable thing!

All the other visa-hopefuls that day had the more than laughable opportunity of witnessing our English friend here running round the embassy carpark for the next half hour booting his darling up the bum and shouting to the likes of “In the name of the Queen i have never been so humiliated in the whole of me life!”

Once, when living down in Krabi a long long time ago my Dutch buddy asked me to go with him to Patong, Phuket for a few days and since my friend here enjoyed the bar life i was soon following him up and down the main strip stopping at a few bars for a bevvie. Next, whilst sat at one bar at an awful time of the day, something like noon, a ladyboy on standing outside the bar was in a brawling match with this darned big Israeli guy on the other side of the street cursing each other to the likes of “Stop your mouth or i put my high-heel over your head” and from the former Israeli solidier: “Just you go back to your village and ride a buffalo”.

After ten minutes of this verbal abuse the Israeli walks off and my Dutch friend on knowing this ladyboy asks her “What was all that about?” to which the ladyboy replied. “After spending last night with the guy, I just….this morning, decided to tell him that i was a ladyboy”.

Now, our ladyboy friends down there on Phuket are well-known for one thing.. and that is flashing their ‘works of operation-parts’ at a whole host of pedestrains walking by. After a few farang grannies and grandads had almost died of a heart attack on seeing such private parts exposed, the Patong police decided to make such an offence illegal, and posted up a few warnings in Thai lingo to the likes of ‘Any ladyboy caught flashing her watermelons in public will be prosecuted and fined: 500 baht’

Beyond a question of doubt, zillions of Farang have a fascination for Thai Ladyboys and to prove it you only have to look through the viewing statistics and refering search engines of thai-blogs.com. Whilst our dear webmaster friend here Mr Richard scores lots of new readers who have posted ‘Grand Palace Photo’ or ‘Spicy papaya salad recipe’ into a google search engine half the refering searches to my blogs can only be called ‘sizzlingly saucy’

On top of the most common decent ones i get, number one (for sure)are viewers who ask for info to the likes of ‘Thai girlfriends’ and second most popular has to be ‘Thailand + Lady boys’.

Then, it astonishes me the inumerable amount of Farang who are unable to differentiate between an actual girl and a ladyboy! So for all you readers, here is some advice… on ‘spotting a ladyboy':

Be suspicious to the likes of any supposed girl standing at the height of 6 foot 2 with an enormous chest and bulging biceps.

Beware of any husky voice asking to the likes of “Hello honey, where you go?”

And be real darned suspect if she has bigger feet than you and legs that look-like those of David Beckham’s

Even so, many of our ladyboy friends are pretty stunning to say the least and in places like Pattaya, are undoubtedly far better looking than most of the bar girls from Buriram. Talking about the height of them again, I am amazed to the high percentage of Thai men, who on being ridiculously tall, decide to have a ‘sex change’ and become a ladyboy.

On becoming a ladyboy it is essential first, to seek a change in your hormone system and so all the ladyboy wanna-bes can be seen popping into their local pharmacies and purchasing a whole years supply af that ladies’ medicine; ‘the pill’. While the doctors recommend consuming just one-a-day, the ladyboy wanna-bes are scoffing them down at the rate of 5-10 a day. Next, the ladyboys on needing to slim down are terribly reknowned for taking a daily dosage of the world’s most potent ‘slimming pill’ and that is ‘methamphetamine’ (Amazingly, a few crooked doctors in The States have been caught prescribing this drug to ladyboy wanna-bes over there, under its medical name: Desoxyn!)

Tonnes of the ladyboys are addicted to this stuff, and so many a Farang who on in enjoying the bar scene down there in Patpong, Khao Sarn or Phuket are warned to be darned careful on any dealings with a ladyboy, yes stacks of them are suffering from the ‘madness fever’, and im not exaggerating!

Once upon a time i had a decent ladyboy friend of mine over there on Ratchdaphisek who was working as a make-up artist. I asked her one day to the likes of “What do your folks back home think about you?” to which she answered “They don’t know im a ladyboy, in fact every time i go home i wear a big baggy jacket to disguise me chest and tell them ive long hair cause i play for a music band”, and im not joking.

You may have wondered what happens when one of the insane pickpocketing ladyboys is jailed. Well, they get banged up in the girlie section and certainly not the male section. As the randy male inmates would be mouth-watering in delight at the prospect of a big-ballooned ladyboy as a jailmate. As for toilets, of course the ladyboy uses the female one.

Then there is the question of ‘military service’, what an embarrasing sight it would be for the Royal Thai Army to have a lipsticked ladyboy guarding the border with all the Khmer soldiers on the other side staring into their binoculars and having a right darned laugh at such a saucy spectacle. And so, when the army on ordering a Thai male citizen to surrender to their recruiting office, a thorough inspection has to be made to the health of the guy.

Of course, many a recruiter has been not-so-surprised to see the likes of a ladyboy walking through the door. Now, its army policy that the authenticity of the ladyboys’ chest and underparts be analysed and classified ‘real’ by an army doctor before she is exempt from military service. As for any ladyboy wanna-bes who use tennis balls to fool the on-lookers, they are not, and are soon forced to serve the compulsory two years.

Ive been asked on a few occasions to – what happens to a ladyboy when they are past their sell-by-date ie. too darned old to be of any use anymore. Well, the answer is, just the same as any other normal woman and that is selling grilled pork by the side of the street, cutting hair or dealing in lottery tickets. as for the physical attraction of one! i’ll let your imagination get the better of you there!

Then finally, I remember the classic newspaper headlines in the Thai Raj newspaper a couple of years back that read ‘Accountant to sue hospital for the mysterious disappearance of his diggery-doo!’ It seems that the pitiful accountant who on going for a back operation at a darned well-known Bangkok hospital was the victim of a despicable doctor cock-up after his ‘operation details’ got mixed up with those of a ladyboy wanna-be’s! So, for any of you male readers out there wanting to have an operation in Thailand – you have been warned!

NOTES: Since this is a ‘family’ related website it has been decided to postpone the popular VOCAB FOR TODAY section this time round. As for the reasoning behind this, I’ll leave that to your own imagination’

Visit Steve’s main page at Steve’s Weblog

32 responses to “Thai Ladyboys

  1. Arriving on the shores of Patong in 79, there were NO katoeys then! Not ONE!!

    As for female companionship, there were a few, but, most were imported from BKK.

    Not one lady on Patong Beach wore anything other than a sarong in those times.

    Things have changed, but, they have changed worldwide…

    The first “Female Impersonator” bar was the German-run “Mikeler Bar”[probably spelled incorrectly]. They had didn’t get up & running until the early 80’s and the local Police made them pull the curtains on the streetside during their “show”.

    The first Katoeys arrived as cosmetic sellers, everyone for the next decade came onto Patong Beach carrying a shiny silver colored metal suitcase full of lipstick,mascara,etc.

    If we’d see a tourist go off with a Katoey, we’d just make bets on how long it would be before the guy found out…

    Old Patong, even before electricity was there!

  2. The ladyboy phenomenon is quite prevalent in some form or the other in Asia for very long. In India, for sometime, it was once respected in a way.. almost religious… (people with special powers) and has been around for generations, but today rejected to the fringe of society… the way the current society wants it to be… so much for development! In Thailand their life seems far better relatively, it seems?. The fact that they laugh despite it all… is good news. And.., displaying their ‘operating parts’ is very common here too!! Most people just accept it, without connecting or taking it personal. It just seems to be their way to show people that they exist… LOL!!

  3. “Persons of the third order” can be distinguished by even the most naive by looking at their throat. The lump,( or the scar where one was), is a give away. The wearing of a scarf is also an indicater.
    Groups of lady boys should be avoided.
    There used to be a gang of them that operated in the evening on Sukhumvit Rd that mobbed their victims, removing and emptying their wallets in seconds -the empty wallet was always dumped behind the victim, so if the Police turned up there was nothing to connect them with the robbery. I have also seen some seriously mentally disturbed ladyboys who are violent, – with each other – and anyone who stops to watch the “show”, again in Bangkok.

  4. Sure, in regards to the world’s Ladyboys, Thailand ranks second only behind India.

    As you probably know, yours in question here has spent time in the world’s cultural capital, an absolutely fascinating country, and that is India.

    And sure, ive heard and read a lot about India’s ladyboys but – darned, the randy ladyboys of Rajastan cant beat the likes of ‘shemales’ here!

  5. Hmm I almost used that pic you choose for my own blog on the movie ‘Beautiful Boxer’. Interesting to see this topic pop up again since this is, as you mentioned Steve, a family blog 😛

    Today here in Washington, DC there was a Gay Pride parade, something definately not hard to miss if you stroll by a certain part of town. There were several examples of our own brand of ‘ladyboy’ on display called drag queens, or rough translation, old men with wrinkled faces and sagging ‘parts’ some real, some obviously not, wearing too much makeup and too little outfits. Hardly looking anything like royalty!

    Personally I thought it was pretty embarrasing for these people if this is the only way they have to express their identity with such a lack of self respect but then you see that in a lot of ways in many cultures and in all strips of life. I am sure there are genuine, decent lady boys as put on display in the movie ‘Beautiful Boxer’ however. I don’t think a mainstream film of real Kathoeys showing of their wares on street corners would be as much of a box office success now would it?

    When I am in Thailand I don’t think I’ll be wasting much time on Ladyboy shows in Pattaya or on Soi Silom or wherever. I don’t dislike them I just don’t have any interest at all in meeting one, any more than I’d meet a drag queen after the parade today.

    What ever became of simple rules in life, if your gay you are a man who likes men and if your straight you are man who likes women, no ex-boy-now-girl business in the middle to confuse everything or maybe I am just old fashioned…

    Wit

  6. An awesome blog !!! Really enjoy reading it !!! Thanks a bunch :)

  7. Hi Wit,

    Well, as for me… I pretty much enjoy watching the ladyboys shows in Thailand. It’s really an entertaining show. Beside that, I think the ladyboys are an extraordinary people, especially the thai’s one.

    It is not about the “simple rules in life”, but it’s more about the “art”.

  8. Selba –

    Granted my opinions are just that, my opinions. Not everyone has the same likes or interests if they did then EVERYONE would blog about Thailand 😉

    ‘Mai Pen Rai’ here can translate into ‘to each his own’ you might be just as bored and disinterested in watching Muay Thai (which I like) as I would be watching a Ladyboy extravaganza, that is what makes everyone different and ironically interesting :)

    What you see as art I often see Ladyboys, as Thai TV, Movies and Steves blogs show, made into caricatures that only serve for amusement and not to taken seriously.

    That even happens to me among my friends whenever something Thai, or even asian, pops up. My friends go out of their way to point it out to me like I am expected to start salivating like Poniporns (read Pavlovs)dog. 😛

    Eventually I guess we are all perceived by others as how we perceive ourselves and behave accordingly wether your a Ladyboy, Thaiphile or whatever in life in between.

    Wit

  9. Thais certainly like their ladyboys and loads-a popular movies have been made about their goings-on.

    Thais also love their slap-stick style comedy with a few shab ladyboys thrown in and making a fool of themselves to spice the show up.

    Ladyboys are ever where you look and then on TV, we have the county’s most famous Thai language teacher – she’s a ladyboy.

    Then the country’s most famous beautician, she’s a ladyboy.

    Then the country’s most popular man (after the King) the singer P’Bird, he isnt exactly much of a man himself.

  10. Am I going to get booed out of
    Thai-Blogs if I’m the only one here who is okay with Ladyboys and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexuals and Transgendered community?

    My husband thinks I have a mild obsession with drag queens and ladyboys. I probably do. It takes a lot of courage to express who you really are despite social pressure. It’s that kind of courage that I admire.

    I don’t have enough courage to live the life the way I want to without succumbing to social pressure, so I moved. Yes, I ran like a cowardly dog to the US just so I can be myself 100% because I don’t have the guts to do it my way in Thailand.

    In any case, I don’t agree with inappropriate behaviors. Period. It doesn’t matter who commit it.

    As much as you want to live your life and be yourself, at some point you still have to respect the culture of where you’re at.

  11. You have to admit it that Thai Ladyboys are stereotyped in the most riculous of ways for the fun of entertainment.

  12. It takes a lot of courage to express who you really are despite social pressure.

    I agree, Oakley. It’s easy to be mainstream, but people who are different have to have the guts to live their lives that way.

    The problem comes when they go overboard. Heteros don’t make a public display of their life, they just live it. It’d be nice if other groups could just live their lives too. Why do some feel the need to let every single person in the world know about their preferences?

    At the end, it’s the genuine, decent members of these groups that suffer from the extravagant, sometimes outrageous behavior of the minority, much like Thaiphile said. I even recall a protest from such people about the way Thai media presents katoeys. In a similar fashion, they could have protested against their own kind who just don’t know where the limits are, and thus put the whole group to shame.

    I once watched a katoey show in Isaan. Too bad it was on Sunthorn Phu Day, in a combined elementary/high-/techical school! The supposedly conservative Thai folks had no problem about their young children witnessing imitated copulation and other such acts on stage amongst guys dressed in female clothes. However, they would surely be offended by the sight of a guy holding hands with a woman in public… go figure.

  13. The problem comes when they go overboard.

    That part, SiamJai, I totally agree. Like I said, it’s the extreme display beyond the boundary of the culture that makes me uneasy.

    Heteros don’t make a public display of their life, they just live it. It’d be nice if other groups could just live their lives too. Why do some feel the need to let every single person in the world know about their preferences?

    As for that, heteros ARE mainstream. So we can go about living our lives without proving a point. Although, you’ll see the “minority” making the point all the time: goth kids with their pale skin and black clothing, Native Americans wearing their hair long and adorn with other tribal accessories, geeks like me decorating my office with sci-fi items and trying not to conform to corporate world so much.

    GLBT community has their own way of representing their lifestyles as well. Some are more subdued than others. So I guess, occasionally, just like other subculture, they come on too strong. Like those guys with 50 piercings. It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of the subculture.

    And I agree with SteveSuphan on the fact that ladyboys are seen more as entertainment, and that’s probably why they seem to be more “accepted” in the mainstream culture. We Thai are more open to anything that has entertainment value than, god forbid, a boy and a girl holding hand in public because that is just so indecent. Sanuk is always better.

    Writing about this topic is getting me all tangled up in my own thoughts! Sometimes I don’t understand Thai culture either. *sigh*

  14. Good blogs!! สนุก มากๆ ค่ะ

  15. Sometimes those who are called “ladyboys” might just want to live a normal life as a female. I speak of those who have had sex reassignment surgery.

    Sometimes, if they stay in the area they lived in before the surgery, those who know them from their former life will out them to others for reason and purpose which I can not seem to grasp.

    Sometimes those who know of a girl’s past will go to all lengths to make it hard for these girls to lead the normal life which they so desperately crave.

    Something to think about. Science more and more produces research results that show transgenderism is a birth defect and not a choice in that person’s life. Consider the possibility. Correct a birth defect that is driving you mad and live being scorned by those who know your little secret or live with the birth defect and possibly go mad or perhaps even take your own life because of it. The only choice someone transgendered has is the one I just mentioned.

    Pretty cruel hand of cards to be dealt in the game of life. Would you not agree?

    What price would you be willing to pay in order to live a normal life?

  16. Sometimes those who are called “ladyboys” might just want to live a normal life as a female. I speak of those who have had sex reassignment surgery.

    Sometimes, if they stay in the area they lived in before the surgery, those who know them from their former life will out them to others for reason and purpose which I can not seem to grasp.

    Sometimes those who know of a girl’s past will go to all lengths to make it hard for these girls to lead the normal life which they so desperately crave.

    Something to think about. Science more and more produces research results that show transgenderism is a birth defect and not a choice in that person’s life. Consider the possibility. Correct a birth defect that is driving you mad and live being scorned by those who know your little secret or live with the birth defect and possibly go mad or perhaps even take your own life because of it. The only choice someone transgendered has is the one I just mentioned.

    Pretty cruel hand of cards to be dealt in the game of life. Would you not agree?

    What price would you be willing to pay in order to live a normal life?

  17. Interesting what Janis writes (twice) and i agree with what is written.

    After all this time in Thailand and having known so many Ladyboys however, i cant help but feel that a lot of them aren’t what janis said. And that is: they are Ladyboys for commercial reasons only.

    Another example of this; is a lot of the so-called gay guys that work with tourists for money. It’s a known fact that a lot of them have girlfriends at home, married and/or have children. Then, we have a lot of the girls who work the bar who have their Thai husband at home waiting for them.

  18. I’ve found many of your blogs to be informative and entertaining.
    To feel trapped in the wrong body, to experience gender confusion must be a very difficult experience, in a difficult ,possibly hazardous life. Who would willingly want to volunteer their life and body up to fat exploitive loser Wersterners if there were a viable economic alternative.
    Lastly I simply do not believe that any lying farang who spends the night(s) or weeks with a ladyboy is not aware of her anatomical predisposition. They are simply unable to deal with their own same sex leanings andtheir own homophobia.But they’ve gotta know what they are getting into.

    willingly

  19. You will read all over the Internet loadsa stories about foreigners and especially caucasians getting involved with a Thai ladyboy while completely indifferent to their ‘anatomical disposition’

    Quote: “Who would want to volunteer their life and body up to fat exploitive loser westerners if there were a viable economic alternative?”

    Sociological studies in Thailand by the likes of Chulalongkorn and Thammasart universities have found that the majority of ladyboys working with foreign tourists come from healthy financial all right families. You will also find that most of these ladyboys also possess a solid educational background.

  20. Once, at the daily flag-raising/national anthem ceremony at a vocational college, one of the nearby female English teachers asked me out of the blue, “Ajahn, do you notice that your best English students are the lady-boys?”

    I was fairly new in Thailand, and was at first taken aback my her nonchalant attitude. I thought lady-boys were to be seen but not talked about (Did I have a lot to learn! Hadn’t seen Thai TV yet!).

    In nearly every one of my 15 classes I had a pre-op (so I’ll call him a “he”) lady-boy. He was easy to identify by the make-up, painted nails, effiminate mannerisms, identifying with the female students, and the use of the feminine personal pronoun “ka.”
    Oh, yes, and the skirt/blouse combo which was worn occasionally to class.

    “Yes, I’ve noticed that. Why is it?”

    “It’s because they have grown up overcoming many obstacles in life–particularly going against gender norms in their conservative Isan villages. English is just one more obstacle to overcome–which they do with great success.”

    Three years later, and now teaching in a university where we have an entire “lady-boys’ dormitory”, and an English major program with more than its fair share of the third gender, it’s my opinion the generalization still holds true.

  21. I very much like this site and have enjoyed reading quite a few bloggs, but the tone of this one is hurting me. Thank you oakmonster for your comment, and I would add: There are so many posts of farnags wondering if the thai woman they had met is after the money only, whereas they are after ‘real love’!? – If so, why could a man not love and be loved by a ladyboy? Or is it not love after all, but the CORRECT sexy body enabeling to live in a fascinating country? I agree that one should be suspicious if this ladyboy in question loved our englishman, but he had loved her, and I feel it is a shame that this all suddenly turned into ‘the biggest humiliation’ in his life, just because she formely used to be a man? What happend to the love he was feeling?

  22. Dear Steve,

    I know this is a family website and you’re not an agony uncle, but good grief do I need help. Serious help. I’ll keep this clean and brief.
    To the point – I have fallen in love with a ladyboy. There, I’ve said it. It’s out in the open. I feel better already.
    It was a typical romantic introduction. I was in some dingy Thanon Khao San watering hole exploring the local Thai culture. Just as I was pondering why on earth the place was packed with so many young Thai girls (and do they really like Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen (the Dance Remix)?), this gorgeous lady caught my eye. I smiled, she smiled back. She was wearing braces, which for some odd reason endeared me to her. It seems I have a fascination for dentistry. Well, after that she took a real shine to me. She came over “I watch you long time, I like you”. I was puzzled by this – was it my Beer Chang T-shirt or hairy legs that were the appeal? I’m not sure. And by now I didn’t care. She was so sweet and had something ‘different’ about her that I couldn’t place. I began convincing myself something special was in the air. I was spellbound by her beauty and decided the least I could do was take her for a drink elsewhere. Just one more drink, that’s all I thought, what harm can it do?
    So we chatted away sweetly and as I washed down my denial with another overpriced brew, a nagging thought bubbled to the surface. I suddenly asked her ‘Are you ladyboy?” At first she denied it, but after some time she finally admitted she was. All I could think was how brave of her to say this to me. I didn’t care. She smiled. Her braces glinted in the dim light. She asked would I like to go to her apartment. She said she had a beer there, so you know, just one more drink… what harm can it do? So after ending up ‘spending the night’ we went back to Khao San for breakfast. She bought me a meal and ended spoon feeding me fried rice like a baby. She worried about my safety and told me to look after myself. She told me ‘I don’t want to be a ladyboy, I want to be a lady’. My heartstrings went twang. ‘I want boyfriend’. She gave me her number and said she would cry if I didn’t call. She smiled sweetly. Her braces glinted in the morning sun. Sigh. It was too late… I WAS IN LOVE.
    And now I can’t stop thinking about her. I am so confused. This is not how it was supposed to be. I don’t know what to do. I can’t sleep at night. Should I call her again? Arrrrrgh! Someone please help me!

  23. Wit: “What ever became of simple rules in life, if your gay you are a man who likes men and if your straight you are man who likes women, no ex-boy-now-girl business …”

    Simply put, your simple rules of life are a prison to those who look in the mirror and wish they were the opposite gender.

    Gender expression is just as valid as sexual orientation. To anyone who knows anything about the GLBT movement in farangland nations, the T is last for a reason in that it has the least popular support both in and out of the big tent gay rights equality struggle. Your views are thus mainline. My understanding is that sexual orientation is more of a cultural import to Thailand compared to transgenderism which has a longer and more robust cultural history in Central / SE Asia. Genderwise, in my view, Thais idealize and internalize traditional gender roles to a greater degree and are simultaniuosly more free and thus more likely to internally transcend their own gender paradigms rather than swimming in an undharmic fashion, like a salmon upstream.

    Wit: “I don’t think a mainstream film of real Kathoeys showing of their wares on street corners would be as much of a box office success now would it?”

    Don’t be too sure. Brokeback Mountain won a slew of Academy awards from an equally implausable sounding plot summary. Further are the “real Kathoeys” all/mostly street heckling prostitues as you imply? While these folks are doubtlessly difficult to miss, perhaps you don’t notice with such frequency all the other transgendered folks going quietly and privately about their everyday life. It makes me think of the classroom metric in another comment about 1 in 15 students being transgendered. Do most of these folks go onto to unglamorous lives of prostitution. I find such numerically doubtful.

    Wit: “Interesting to see this topic pop up again since this is, as you mentioned Steve, a family blog :P”

    Gays, lesbians and transgendered people are naturally a part of and frequently have their own families. Concealing the human variability in orientation and gender expression from children does not benefit them. Sex, Yes. Reality, No. Doing so creates a disharmonous society where “people have little interest in meeting one”.

    Steve Suphan: “Thais also love their slap-stick style comedy with a few shab ladyboys thrown in and making a fool of themselves to spice the show up.”

    The frequency of this is certainly an order of magnitude higher in Thailand but the same “minstral show” effect of GLBT people is well documented in hollywood film, (See the documentary:The Celluloid Closet). This exposure is a double edged sword. On one hand this means increased visability and with it increased comfort and tolerance and a more harmonous society. On the other it perpetuates inauthentic stereotypes and the null curriculum is that real personalities which are unlike Robin Williams comedy are met with chilling effect.

    SiamJai: “The problem comes when they go overboard. Heteros don’t make a public display of their life, they just live it. It’d be nice if other groups could just live their lives too. Why do some feel the need to let every single person in the world know about their preferences? “

    Hetereosexuals by in large do make a very public display of their sexuality, it’s just that when a GLBT person does it suddenly it’s news and/or objectionable. Pictures on your desk at work of your spouse and family. After the weather topics of conversation among co-workers drift automatically to your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. Wedding rings. Pronouns. Understand what it means to not make public display of your life. That means a meticiously controlled information airlock to the outside world. I and many other GLBT folks are very familiar with concealing one’s every action, joy/sorrow and pronoun from being used against you by unknown discriminatory others. It’s called “The Closet” and it’s an inhuman place to live one’s life. I kept my sexuality secret from my mother and father until I was 30. I told them and they disowned me. End of story. Perhaps you are referring to gay pride parades. All pride parades which happen around this time in June derive from the NYC Stonewall Riots which are themselves an eclectic celebration of not being a willing silent participant in one’s own subjugation. Perhaps you’ve never had the experience of living a hollow sham life of carefully scripted lies with your coworkers where you get to play an unfeeling 9 to 5 Vulcan up until the day you were for fired no greater sin than having a brew in a bar with your friends during a police raid and had your name published in the paper and been summarily let go. I’ve talked with those old timers who have and perhaps if you’d looked into their cold eyes as they narrated the details back to you 30 years later, you’d be less affronted by those folks prancing around and having a good if sometimes lewd time of it all. At any rate I can’t garner much sympathy for your position compared to the monsterous good it does my community to have such high profile celebrations.

    Steve Suphan: “After all this time in Thailand and having known so many Ladyboys however, i cant help but feel that a lot of them aren’t what janis said. And that is: they are Ladyboys for commercial reasons only.”

    Gay for pay is definately real. Lots? Obviously. Percentages however would be enlightening. Sadly as surveys require participant honesty they’re widely be wildly inaccurate on matters such as this.

    Janis: “show transgenderism is a birth defect and not a choice in that person’s life”

    One man’s defect is another man’s asset. Try explaining to the owner of a Dachshund that they’re out walking a genetic mutant. That may be true but it also does nothing to improve your relationship with this person.

  24. Hello Ladyboys!

    I am a german boy, 43/182/89kg and I
    search a slim ladyboy with very long
    hair for my whole life (later marriage
    not impossible)!
    Have you interest on a nice guy (me :-),
    then write me a email with photo now:
    Mr.238@vorsicht-bissig.de

    Ciao
    Christian

  25. i think ladyboys are beautiful, well i know theres a few ugly ones but thats the same with women, live in england for a while and you will see what i mean!! i went to thailand recently and went out with a ladyboy, she/he was beautiful, i knew she/he was a ladyboy when we met, i had a great time and am still in contact with them, my friends were a little shocked as they now know im bi sexual, has anyone else had a positive experience like me?

  26. Very beautiful joung ladyboys band! I’d like to get more photos about them and about thir life style and hobbies

  27. My husband and I (both farang)regularly enjoy the company of kathoey and have a steady girlfriend who we take on trips with us.

  28. Very good post on ladyboys. I just found your site and yet I’ve been talking with Richard B for a couple months. I like your writing – we write in much the same style. It’s easy and fun to read. I’ve written a lot of stuff about ladyboys at http://www.thaipulse.com/thai-people/thai-ladyboys-katoey.htm lately, if you are interested have a look at the site. I’ll read more of your blogs and have a look at your column in the newspaper in a few minutes. Vern (Thaipulse)

  29. i love them,
    im as hetro as the next guy, was married 12 yrs have two beautiful daughters, but have been visiting patong for last six yrs, 12 times in all. over the yrs ive fell in and out of love with thai women and sponsered a few with hope of marraige but they all ended up like my ex farang wife MONEY MONEY MONEY !
    then by chance was chatting to a fellow english bar owner and was introduce to a beautiful lady ? ladyboy, katoy. whatever you like to call them, she doesnt have any surgery and has the most beautiful femamine body you could wish to see. she sounds like a woman and treats me well and does all the woman things you women do, cleaning, cooking etc etc. over the time we met i started to fall for her, but she had allready fell for me, and it wasnt about cash, i think the only cash ive ever given to her was 40baht for a motobike taxi. she finishs her studies soon at uni and as im just purchasing a new home in hau hin she plans on coming to live with me. i know ill be happy, plus i could walk down any rd uk or thailand anywhere. there would be no shame on me. im happy !

  30. I am new to this blog stuff just looking around and I read this. As I understand it Steve you were asked to write about
    “Thai ladyboy” and before
    ” I had decided to stay away from such sordid topic”
    well I suppose that should at least inform everyone of your own viewpoint. How great it must be to write all this twaddle and actually have lots of people read it.

    I find it amazing that the funniest thing for you in 10 years in Thailand is a secondhand story about the English guy taking his ladyboy girlfriend to the British Embassy.Today there could be 3 options open: unmarried partner,civil partnership or for the ladyboy to change gender in the UK and get married.
    “I am amazed to the high percentage of Thai men, who on being ridiculously tall, decide to have a ‘sex change’ and become a ladyboy.”
    It is not a matter of becoming anything, that is how they feel best expresses themselves.
    As for taking the ‘pill’, yes 1 a day is fine for a woman using it as a contraceptive. It is also however a cheap and available source of oestrogen and progesterone however you do need to take a lot more than 1 a day to have a feminising effect. When they go to prison they go to a male prison I don’t know where you get the idea there is a girlie bit. Check out the BBC utube on Bang Kwang prison.If they ever get raped either inside or outside prison, which does happen, the rapist is only charged with assault as they are legally male.As for military service if you hadn’t noticed there are women in many western armies as well as many gays. Only in Thailand you could get “permanent mental disorder” stamped on your Sor Dor 43, which you have to show prospective employers for the rest of your life.
    Stephen Cleary, “i cant help but feel that a lot of them aren’t what janis said. And that is: they are Ladyboys for commercial reasons only.” So Stephen maybe this is what you feel the truth is reality however is less than 5% are. As for your studies by Thamasat and Chulangkorn asserting that most come from “healthy financial alright families” and “most of the ladyboys also possess a solid educational background” This is complete hogwash and less than 5% again would be nearer the truth. The truth is that far from being tolerant the Thai administration have sought to suppress and censor all gay or ladyboy publications or academic study with the the police even confiscating and destroying literature from secondhand shops. In fact the largest library is owned by Professor Peter Jackson of Australian National University who has studied GLBT issues in Thailand for over 8 years.
    I am not saying that all ladyboys are saints there are good and bad and obviously the outrageous are more memorable but your article and most of the comments are neither informative or accurate.

  31. yorkshire_farang

    ha some of the blogs here are spot on.
    they make very good reading.

    heard a few encounters of lads who’ve gone out on three day benders, got a ‘girl’ back to their room then been disgusted when they went down there with their hand for a fumble and were greeted by a meat and two veg. ha ha
    even more funny was the katoeys reply in most cases
    ‘i thought this is what you wanted’
    ha ha

    good article

  32. I’m new to this website and have so far enjoyed the blogs by you (STEVE) and thought that your way of thinking was open and indiscrimitive but with this one I was taken aback by your lack of compasion and generalisation of the ladyboy.
    I,m just glad I’m not a ladyboy having to deal with emotions, that to correct would put me in a minority group and question my worth as a human being.
    Thanks to all the people who had a positive attitude towards transgender people and probably all minority groups.
    My faith in Humanity is restored.
    P.S Steve I think you should have let Richard write this one.
    Grant.