June 26, 2011

Bangkok Podcast 59: Transgender Lifestyles

Bangkok Podcast 59: Transgender Lifestyles

The image of a beautiful Thai women is one that is known throughout the world; however, only slightly less well known is the image of a beautiful Thai women who was born a man. Call them what you willl - transexual, transgender, ladyboy, katoey -...


The image of a beautiful Thai women is one that is known throughout the world; however, only slightly less well known is the image of a beautiful Thai women who was born a man. Call them what you willl - transexual, transgender, ladyboy, katoey - their place in Thai culture goes back thousands of years, but despite the history, and despite Thailand being very accepting of them, it's not always an easy life.

On this episode we're joined by Ms. Prem, a transgender lady who was born a man but now lives as a woman. We have a fascinating chat with Prem about her life and the difficulties she faces everyday, not least of which is the perception that all transgenders are only capable of prostitution, beauty pagents, or hair salons. Prem - who has a very good job with a high-level international agency - has fought against this stereotype and has seen progress, although it's slow going.

She also talks openly about how she grew up knowing she was different than other boys, how the media's perception of what is beautiful creates stereotypes, what it's like dating men who may or may not know her past, her experience fighting a military draft that labels all transgenders as mentally unstable, and what she thinks about *that scene* in the Hangover 2.

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