When I first told my friends that I was planning a longer stay in Thailand, it was amazing how many times I heard the same stupid answer – "watch out for them!" I heard this inane remark again and again until he really started to beat it. Everyone makes the same stupid joke as if they were smart and original. What a ridiculous stereotype in Thailand, I thought. As if they were ladyboys everywhere.
The funny thing is that when I moved to Thailand, I soon realized that the ladyboys or the Thai katoeys were indeed everywhere. Not only is it useful when working in tourist resorts. You will see that they work in shops and restaurants. Even if you go out to the country, you will find katoey. They are really everywhere.
I wasn't here long before I had a personal acquaintance who was a catoey. One thing I noticed was how comfortable another Thais was with her. The straight Thai men were pleased to give him such ceremonies as to tell him how beautiful he looked. They were all called him; because he was polite and happy.
Personally, at first I was a little uncomfortable in his presence. I was not afraid to jump at me. He was a pleasant and balanced person. I was just a little uncertain about how to deal with it. It was the charming way the other Thais handled him, which soon eased me.
What is Katoey?
What exactly is a katoey? I recently talked to a couple of Western friends. They both live in Phuket, and both said they could only call one katoey if they had a gender change; otherwise, the term ladyboy should be used. I feel this is a Western invented difference. Katoey is a Thai word and not so.
Thais uses the term much looser. They use the term for every person who acts like a woman. The transgender man is probably the closest English expression. Men who have a gender change are catoeys. They are also those who acquire hormones to create female properties such as breasts. People who dress like a woman. In fact, even homosexuals who set up and walk around are called katoeys.
Why are so many Katoys in Thailand?
With this definition, there are certainly many katoeys in Thailand. Then why is this phenomenon more common here than in other countries? Thailand seems to have a genetic reason to have more transgender men than in other countries. I think the cause is more of a tolerant attitude of the Thai people.
There are many katoey TV stars, singers and models. There are even Katoey beauty contests. There were several katoey films, such as & # 39; Beautiful Boxer & # 39; which is a real story of a katoey who became a Muay Thai warrior. He often kissed his defeated opponents.
Katoeys was a widely accepted part of Thai society. This is probably partly related to the promotion of Buddhist religion and tolerance towards others. However, countries with strong Buddhist influence (Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Laos, Japan) are not known for ladyboys.
There must be something different in the workplace. I think one of the strong factors in Thailand's belief is that life should be fun (sanook). When they see a katoey they think it's fun. They will laugh and joke about it, but not in a nasty way. Surely they will not abuse abuses or threats like in Western countries.
So the main reason why there are so many boys in Thailand simply means that Thai society is open and tolerant to them. You will wonder how many transvestites are in Western countries if our societies are a little forgiving.
How many katoeys work in Phuket?
Following a tsunami tragedy and the subsequent media maintenance, a friend sent me a British newspaper article. The reporter was in Phuket and obviously struggled to compete for attention in hard-hit areas. So he did what many reporters did in Phuket and started focusing on the local nightlife. That's not what I knew about the tsunami tragedy.
It seemed that this journalist impressed the ladyboy scene. He made some overwhelming generalizations about Phuket's nightlife, suggesting that the whole island is actually over. Then he claimed that 5000 ladyboys were working in the Phuket sex industry and had a huge demand for their services.
Where did you get this number? It seems like a very bold claim. Is there a census? Are the authorities preparing a ladyboy number? I really doubted that the reporter had reliable statistics available. Like most of his reports, I think he just brought it up, but he clearly saw that he was thinking about ladyboys that it was reasonably fictitious.
Phuket's seasonal population is estimated to be around 500,000. If 5,000 of them were ladyboys, this would be 1% of the population. This is undoubtedly, but not entirely unimaginable. But 5000 said actually in the sex industry. Where Was This Army Available Ladyboys?
Soi Katoey, Patong, Bangla Road, There are always some dances at the beginning of the soi. There is another katoey bar in the back and Moulin Rouge ladyboy show. But of course, even at the highest estimate, there can be no more than 50 ladyboys working in Soi Katoey. Maybe there are 30 more lectures at the Simon Cabaret Ladyboy Show – is it even a sex industry? Let's say for the reason. Then there is the warm area around Soi Paradise. There are a number of ladyboys in this area, but I think a 100 estimate would be very generous.
There are some ladyboys freelancers on the coast where they annoy the passers-by. But really, they aren't very big. Let's be generous again and say 100. I missed it? There may be some polka dots around other sexual facilities.
So even if the numbers are rounded, we are a very generous 300 ladyboys working in the sex industry. I think this might be very generous. The above numbers are probably the same catos that move from place to place, and I think I've overestimated all the guesswork. The total number can only be 100.
So I would say somewhere between 100-300 katoeys in the Phuket sex industry. Of course, not 5000, but then a 100 number would not be a good press.
Men and Katoweys
So what about Katoeys demand? Are there really many men looking for their services? As their most common approach seems to be trying to deceive very drunk men, I think their services are not mass-intensive. I met some men who had sexual encounters with katoeys. Most of them claim it was a drunken mistake.
I met a guy who said happily that he was just blowing out. two katoeys hotel rooms. He was very proud of himself and certainly didn't claim to be a mistake. See some funny characters in Patong.
I think there is a real demand for katoeys. Although they are active in the homosexual field, I don't think it is hot. Despite being made as women, I don't think it's a straightforward thing. But there is a hard-to-define group of people who find the catoys attractive. Of course they have a lot of curiosity about them. Every month, "katoey & # 39; can be found in the top 20 lists of search keywords that led people to our Phuket website. And there is only a small section of the cat.
Although katoeys are generally well accepted in Thai society, they still have a negative side to their reputation. They have a good reputation for being polite and unreliable. I met personally in Thailand a few years ago and I have to say that all of them were well adapted and happy from the outside. At the same time, I have heard a lot of stories about coyans involved in criminal activities, such as negotiation and other thefts. They are known to be harassed and threatened by passers-by while looking for customers at the seaside.
These things certainly happen, but the size of the problem is unclear. It is difficult to judge whether the boys are actually committing crimes more than other Thais.
Also emotionally unbalanced. As I said, all the people I met came well. However, I think it is fair to say that the tensions in their lives are very demanding, and it is not surprising that many people lose their emotional control.
In Thai society, katoeys tolerance is not absolute. Their families, especially fathers, are sometimes rejected. Those who tolerate katoeys in most other ways still find the dad shameful.
And Permissions & # 39; there is also a limit to tolerance. When a Katoey volleyball team won the national championship, two members of the team were selected for the national team. The government entered and blocked the selection. They didn't think it was good for the country's image.
Saving Private Production
In 2002, there was a Thai movie titled English title & # 39; Saving Private Tootsie & # 39; In this film, an aircraft crashes into a catoys group in a jungle of neighboring country torn by war. A group of macho Thai soldiers were sent to save them. The story revolves around the clash of personality between flikey katoeys and macho soldiers, trying to avoid this neighboring country.
Finally, we all come together to make the last intersection with Thailand. The soldiers misled the cato and their leader returned to finally accept his son, who was also a catoey.
The film's message is a tolerance to Thai society. At the end of the film there is a nice quote from a katoey. "It may have been born in a bad body, but I was born in at least the right country."
Source by James Spellman