The World of the Kathoey and Ladyboy
The Third Sex
In at least one story of creation there were three children born. There was a boy, a girl and another. The Kathoey should be considered that Third Sex. The Kathoey or Ladyboy occur in all societies under a variety of names. In Mexico they are called Vestidas, in India they are Hirja, in the West they go under a variety of names like Shemale or She-male.
Some countries are more tolerant or accepting than others. Thailand is amongst the best places to be a Kathoey and estimates are that 1% of the population are of the Third Sex. They work in all sectors of society from boxing to bar girls, movie stars to singers.
Today the Australian Society of Human Rights is trying to get recognition of the Third Sex which they propose to call the Intersex.
The Ladyboy goes to extraordinary lengths to 'become' herself. Much of this will be determined by finances available to her.
At its simplest it is taking female hormones to encourage the growth of breasts and electrolysis to remove facial hair. Breasts can be further enhanced by implants. Many will go no further than that...others will.
A sex change today will start at under two thousand US dollars. Cheap for some, but far outside the means of many. The price goes up depending on requirements. The procedure in the hands of a skilled surgeon can produce results that would fool most. There are more than a few stories of a man marrying a Kathoey and not being aware of this for years...or ever.
What does it matter really? If both partners are happy and in love and nobody is being hurt.
The video below shows some very beautiful Kathoey readying themselves for the Miss Tiffany show. There is mention made of Hermaphrodite which I believe to be incorrect when applied to Kathoey. In humans, a hermaphrodite is someone born having both male and female sexual organs. Whereas this is a possibility with Kathoey the odds would be something in the order of six million to one. This is clearly not the case.
Lady Boy at Show
Why Do They Laugh?
I often wonder why some people laugh at Ladyboys. Rarely an open laugh or guffaw but more a conspirital snigger behind a hand. "He's a Kathoey" they may say. Or perhaps "She's a Ladyboy".
There must be something to be learnt from the words used in the recognition. He or She? Whatever, they are not the same as us.
The Kathoey always spend more time on make up, they dress well and walk with pride and heads held high. Kathoey look good. It is not without reason that a Thai girl can be complimented by saying she is as beautiful as a Ladyboy. Get it right though...don't say she looks like a ladyboy or you will get your face slapped.
A Girl Trapped in a Mans Body
You can tell by.....
Everyone seems to have their own little methods of determining whether the person they are talking to or dating is a Kathoey. This may be the size of her feet or her voice or presence of an Adams Apple.
Well I would not rely on any of those three. Some 'real' women have big feet and there are surgeons who can change the length of the vocal chords to affect the voice. The Adams apple is easily reduced by surgery.
Tallness? Well as in feet there are big women out there. I have heard of length of forearm quoted as well as dimples above the buttocks.
It is all rubbish. The only sure way is if she tells you what she is. And if you really want to know and ask and she turns out to be a real girl then I reckon you will have killed any chance of romance by asking.
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A Beautiful Lady Boy
Can you imagine being trapped inside the wrong body? This is the every day world of the Kathoey or Ladyboy. The Kathoey may be physically a man but is really a girl! A girl trapped inside a mans body. A Kathoey is not a gay man. S/He is not interested in gay men. S/He is interested in real men, love, romance and wooing in the same way as a normal girl. So in effect the Kathoey or Ladyboy IS Heterosexual.
And, as a normal girl (inside of a mans body) things can sometimes get really confusing. Sometimes a Kathoey will find that she is a Lesbian. So there is more truth than fiction in the Eddie Izzard joke of "I am a Lesbian trapped inside a man's body."
The confusion may not end there because a Ladyboy may be bi-sexual too though this could be more for financial reasons than by inclination.
Chiang Mai Lady Boy
Myth, Fact and Supposition
In most Western cultures a man having sexual relations with a Kathoey would be considered as homosexual. This would not be the case in cultures who accept Kathoey.
Kathoey enjoy being Kathoey. They love dressing up and the associated glamour of being a girl. They are more interested in the romance of a relationship than the physical side.
The Ladyboy does not have to have surgery to be accepted as Kathoey.
Kathoeys are NOT transvestites. Transvestites may be heterosexual or homosexual males who like cross-dressing. Kathoeys are transsexuals. In Thailand they are not looked on as men at all but as another type of woman.
Mai-Chai-Poo-Chai (I'm not a Guy)
Kathoey deserve greater recognition...
And they are getting it. They have been given their own toilets in some Thai Universities.
Although they are accepted they do get bad press. If a Bar Girl cheats a customer it will get scarcely a mention. If a man robs a client it will hardly get a line in the press. If a Kathoey does anything wrong it will get a paragraph...or two.
Accept the Kathoey for what they are. The Third Sex...another human being and just the same really as Tom, Sheila or Sheila. Kathoey are fun the same as anyone else. Kathoey are clever the same as anyone else. Kathoey get sad, angry, lonely, hurt, bored and hungry the same as anyone else.
And they cry too......
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