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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

THE LADYBOYS: THAILAND AND PHILIPPINES

by: MisS VictoriA DaviD

In Southeast Asia, at the centre of Indochina Peninsula, a country formerly known as Siam is located. Today this constitutional monarch country is now famous to all of us as Thailand. Its the world's 51st-largest country in terms of total area and the 20th-most-populous nation. It is also a neighbour of the Philippines which is likewise a sovereign state in Southeast Asia with a recorded 7,107 islands and is geographically divided into three major main areas: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

These sizzling hot countries have also one more 'thing' in common, their Transwomen/Ladyboys. People who were born male but with female gender identity and who have strong urges to undergo physical changes in order to align their body with their gender identity.

When I was away for a week and checked what was on T.V, I stumbled upon a series of documentaries about The Life of Ladyboys in Thailand. That caught my attention as I was very interested to know more about Ladyboys and how they live as citizens in their own country. That's why, I recorded the series rather than watching it late at night on Sky Living channel.

The night after, I watched the whole series while quaffing a glass of wine!


Highlights of Ladyboys season 2 ft Scott & Paeng by smspencer69

I thought the documentary series was a new one, but when I played the first episode the characters and their love stories were quite familiar. However, it didn’t stop me from playing the rest and I found out, they were a continuation of the episode I had already viewed. I soon became interested in following the stories of these two Ladyboys, Paeng and Annie, in Thailand who were forming relationships with their Farangs (Caucasians) namely Scott and David. Why? Because the series also tackled how most Ladyboys live and cope in Thailand. There were also interviews with a few outstanding Transwomen who were successful in their own field of endeavours.

When I was still in my beloved Philippines, I thought genuinely that Thailand is the Haven for all Ladyboys. Perhaps, it was!

Transsexuals from our country who'd been to Thailand adored it so much for various reasons and even said many good things about the locals. According to them, Thai's were very warm to their visitors as well as very welcoming when it comes to all sexualities. They even raised the topic of, Thai families with a Ladyboy child were very proud and showed how supportive they were toward their child's chosen identity. It seemed that they also hoped that a Ladyboy child would be bountiful and bring fortune into their lives.

Thailand is one of the most affordable destinations for holiday makers which is also known, the world over, as an open-minded country when it comes to Transwomen. Actually, the country has an exceptional reputation in performing various types of surgical operations and many foreign Transwomen are attracted to their clinics to have surgical changes to their bodies.

Long ago, I thought Thai Transwomen/Ladyboys were more blessed than Filipinos. But I was absolutely wrong to have assumed that. Even though Thailand is a Haven for all Ladyboys there is a sad reality behind that fact. Something I grasped half way through finishing the whole documentary series.

I cannot deny the fact that Thai Transwomen are more beautiful and modest than Filipinos. But when it comes to occupations, educational backgrounds and in speaking English fluently, Filipino Transsexuals are far superior and can hold their chins-up. That is why, most outsourcing companies in the Philippines are being dominated by LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) who are often bosses of the firms or are holding executive positions. And because of these achievements, public understanding about Transsexuals in the Philippines has gaining more and more acceptance as well as respect.

The majority of schools in the Philippines have welcomed the existence of being gay despite the fact that we are a Catholic country. That is why, being gay or showing a tendency to be one at a very young age isn't a big hindrance to continue the dream of becoming a professional. Actually, many gay students have high intellect with competitive skills and often lead student organizations. And because of this acceptance at schools, there are now Transsexuals in middle and upper management of many firms. They are generally competent as an employee or excellent as a leader.

Enough of the Philippines and back to Thailand...

After watching the whole series, The Life of Ladyboys in Thailand, I learnt a few things and my eyes were opened profoundly about the real scenario. I was in a deep shocked to learn that most Thai Ladyboys earn their living by prostitution on a few touristy streets in Thailand. They are working at night and flaunting their very beauty in order to attract customers who are willing to pay for the comfort and warmth they can give.

Morally speaking, trading your body isn't a good thing as it ruins your integrity. However, most Thai Transsexuals are not as educated as those in the Philippines and also, a great numbers of them are from farms in the provinces. Where the only way of living is either by laborious farming or rearing domesticated animals under the heat of the sun. That is why, when they are about 15 years old or so, they move to the capital Bangkok or Pattaya City to find the quickest way of generating money while they are still fresh and young.

We might think of what they are doing with body and soul as diabolical but its a SACRIFICE! The main reason is not to feed their vanity or desires. They do it, as long as their bodies can endure, in order to support their families back home who treat them as breadwinners. I have to admit that, it was a very sad reality to know that most Thai Transsexuals are into prostitution. And also that their families are, more or less, playing blind about how they acquire the money which feeds them everyday.

Furthermore, the documentary also touched on the topic of sex reassignment and they interviewed a few who had the procedure in the past. And I was dumbfounded to know that Thai Transwomen who underwent sex reassignment are still not recognise lawfully as a woman. When I was watching this part of the episode, I thought Thailand would automatically allow and distinguishes these Transwomen as females in their official documents. It was a shocking revelation because Thailand performs surgeries for Transwomen (to be specific) and are very open-minded about this type of sexuality. But I was wrong to assumed at the back of my mind that their country will identify them lawfully as females in their passports or other pertinent documents. That's why, the woman (Nok Yollada ) who shared her grief about this is now fighting for the fair right that Transwomen like them should be allowed and acknowledge females in their relevant documents.

In the Philippines, Filipino Transwomen who underwent sex reassignment can file a case in order to change their birth records to what and who they are now. The procedure of changing must be proven and supported with an authentic certificate from a registered Doctor. They will then be granted the changes they are wanting and their documents can be changed. This appeal may take time but at the end of the battle, a favourable result will be worth waiting for.

*Video courtesy of YouTube uploaded by Smspencer69

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