(Transsexual ladyboy Mrs Jim Sara 54, with her legal husband Mr Nop 33)
After Jim Sara had been the first Thai to ever undergo a complete sex-change operation (London’s Kensington Hospital, 1976) she came back to Thailand to start her new life as a woman. Unfortunately though, the Thai law (as it still does today) disallows transsexuals to use the title ‘Nang Sao’ (Miss). Jim feeling really hurt inside, admits that even though she was fitted out in female sexual organs, she didn’t feel like an actual woman.
Fed-up with Thailand’s anti-transsexual diplomatic way of thinking, Jim packed her bags again and this time flew to Melbourne, Australia to start up a Thai restaurant – going into business with her Thai boyfriend of then. Jim stayed there for a total of 5 years, but after her and her boyfriend split up, the restaurant business went to tatters and she got on the airplane home. She next flew on to Switzerland – and as she has traveled to England before, she falsely used her sister’s passport.
Again, in the restaurant business, Jim decided that she really loved Switzerland and wanted to apply for permanent residency. Certainly not too easy though, especially when she was carrying fake identification. But anyway, Jim, through a friend of hers, met a Swiss guy who was willing to marry her if she paid him 500,000 baht. She did and the marriage was signed. Within just a few days though, she was dumbstruck to hear that the Swiss law on automatic residency for married aliens had changed – and her dream of residency wasn’t gonna happen that easy.
Jim waited years before she was applicable for permanent residency and when her time was ready, her ‘husband’ turned around and refused to sign any papers of guarantee unless she paid him a stack of money. Giving into his greed, she paid but once again he demanded more cash. This time she refused and he simply disappeared of the scene. Sadly, Jim never did get her permanent residency for Switzerland.
A couple more years went by and suddenly one day, her ‘husband’ came back and said “Unless you give me the sum of 600,000baht, I’m gonna tell the authorities that I was bluffed into marrying a ladyboy who deceived me with her sister’s passport”. Taking the threat seriously, Jim decided to the right thing and go back to Thailand.
Once safely back in her home country with plenty of savings in her bank account, Jim opened up Thailand’s very first ‘Gay and Transgender’ hotel in Pattaya. It was during her time there that she met her future husband Mr Nop – a successful businessman and former actor. But, with the 1997 Asian Financial Disaster, Jim’s hotel business collapsed and on top of that – lost 28 million baht in currency exchange.
With some money leftover though, Jim came back to Bangkok and opened a Gay Club in Saphan Kwai district. Jim and Nop’s love grew stronger and in 1998, they were the first ever transsexual-straight couple to get married in Thailand. The marriage ceremony, the first of its kind, was heavily publicized and the couple were a household name overnight. What made the story even more amazing, was that Jim’s husband was 21 years her junior! A ceremony it only was though and the couple, as is stated by the law, were unable to have the marriage officially documented.
When being asked what first made her fall in love with Nop, Jim said “He was like no other man I knew; he didn’t smoke, drink, gamble, play around or even go out at night. He was the politest and gentlest guy I had ever known”. So, how did Nop feel about getting publicly married to a transsexual ladyboy, 21 years older than himself? “I didn’t care, love is love and if two people love each other then why should you care about what other people think. Love is in the heart. Until this day, when I walk around in public with my wife, I don’t feel embarrassed – I feel very proud.”. Nop went on to mention that he had had the continued support of his family and friends.
That year, Jim sold off her gay club and moved to New Zealand with her new real husband to start a new life – this time traveling on her original ‘Mr’ passport. On being stopped at immigration, it was only after an interview with the officials on duty that Jim was allowed entry (Jim was later to be refused entry to China because of her male passport and female breasts).
Jim and Nop established a Thai-sweet business in New Zealand – the first of its kind and again Jim was making attractive earnings. In 1999, Jim began to apply for permanent residency. After two years, she got it. As is allowed by New Zealand law, her next step was to legally marry Nop. Jim had to undergo three medical examinations and take her case to three different courts. But somehow along the lines, the authorities manage to find out that she had once completely broken the law by illegally marrying in Switzerland. Back to square one for Jim and it took it her until 2006 before she was finally permitted to legally marry Nop – the first Thai transsexual-straight couple ever to be officially married.
Jim is currently back in Thailand, aiming to break back into show-business. I, on behalf of thai-blogs, wish Jim the very best of luck.
The first part of Jim’s story can be found at: Thailand’s 1st ‘Real’ Ladyboy! (Part One)
Story, courtesy of Khoosangkoosom magazine