The following essay by our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan is a somewhat different reprise of a topic he posted on a couple of years ago.
A note from the author on the photo below: “Both people are reporting for the draft, but the monk has a much better chance of having to serve (shows in their faces).”
Ladyboys — what you don’t know
by H. Numan
This is a very popular topic among our extremely progressive f(r)iends: there are no genders. Gender is just a concept. You feel you are a woman? Well, that makes you a woman!
Sheer ranting nonsense, of course. There are only two genders: male and female. Mother nature works with just two genders. At least, in mammals. Plants and many non-mammalian species have a few more options. We humans aren’t plants, even if you feel you are. That makes you completely bonkers, but that’s a different topic.
In Thailand there are a lot of ladyboys, which makes me to a very limited extent a bit of an expert. So let’s look at how it works in Thailand, and by extension in most other nations.
Let’s start off with men who feel they are women: transgenders, as they are known in the West. We have a lot of them in Thailand. It was one of the first things that struck me as totally different when I arrived here. Nobody even blinks an eye.
I happen to live next door to the most prestigious mall in Thailand. The perfume and beauty departments employ lots of those kathoeys. That’s the Thai word for ladyboy. If you visit Thailand, consider visiting Alcazar Cabaret in Pattaya, which is world-famous. Almost as good is Calypso in Bangkok. I really recommend both.
All the girls you see — and they are truly stunning — are men. No women participate in these shows. Don’t worry, nothing naughty happens on stage. It’s not suitable for very young children, but if your kids are over 12? Go for it! They will love it.
I met an older ladyboy who is a famous TV star. We even had two of them working in my company. No big deal here. Some schools build special bathrooms for them. In university they wear (when allowed) girl’s uniforms. Sometimes in high schools too. In Thailand all students wear uniforms, from kindergarten up to and including university. I wonder what our progressive college brats think about that one: wearing a uniform in university. Or getting report points for behavior and properly being dressed. Not something that would go down well in Berkeley, I assume.
I’m actually surprised progressive activists never point out Thailand to show how well a society can function with transgenders. Which shows they don’t know anything about it. If there is one country were transgenders are almost fully accepted, it is Thailand. By far the majority of transgenders are men. There are a few girls who dress and behave like boys (we call them toms or tomboys), but not a lot.
But there is a very dark side to being a ladyboy. Something you
almost never hear about. That is the suicide and mortality rate. More than 40% of all ladyboys commit suicide. I’d say from personal experience the suicide rate is far higher than 50%. Nearly all ladyboys I met in the past are long dead. Those who didn’t commit suicide very often died of diseases.