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Ladyboys: Ignorant and Unconscionable

| Apr 13, 2015
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If you still think that all is well and good for the many beautiful Ladyboys or Transgender people in Thailand, think again.

If you think there is no discrimination against T people in the country, read the outline of the article below.

But even more abhorrent than the incident in question mentioned below, to me at least, is the fact that so many of the “enlightened” westerners who frequent the “Land of Smiles” and have brought their often unwelcome cultural paranoia about T people to Asia, see fit to make such derogatory comments on well known Internet forums.

Let me explain: this matter started with a fairly recent headline and article in a national newspaper along these lines:

A Transgender model recently filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over an alleged ban on Transgenders at a club in central Bangkok.

Accompanied by Thai Transgender Alliance president and a well known University professor the T-lady in question submitted the petition to the NHRC chairperson about the club’s alleged discrimination against Transgenders.

The club’s security guards, who let her friends in, denied her entry on grounds she was a Transgender. She said she felt humiliated and that she and others in the alliance decided to file the petition to try to bring social change and gender equality.

It was added that more than 10 night entertainment venues, health spas or hotels in Bangkok and other provinces had bans on Transgenders. The professor said, “Some hotels in Pattaya and Phuket had even put up signs prohibiting guests from bringing in a dog, a durian [Ed. note: a smelly local fruit] or a Transgender person”.

It is said some Bangkok security guards claimed such bans had become policy in some places because some Transgenders had stolen items from customers or provided sex services at the venues, although one added, “Those claims should not be a reason to generalise that all Transgenders would do such things.”

Recently, the National Legislative Assembly approved a draft law on gender equality and, after being announced in the Royal Gazette, discrimination against Transgenders will be punishable by a jail term or a fine. There will also be a fund to aid victims.

In my opinion, it’s bad enough that, in the 21st century, discrimination against people who only want to live their life as they were meant to be is so prevalent; that the general public seem to stereotype so dramatically T people — without there really being any enforceable laws to stop them. You can be fined or sued or even imprisoned for racially motivated discrimination, or for verbal attacks on gay people… but does it not seem like it’s a free for all against Ts?

The attitude of many appears to be: that’s okay, just feel free to treat us as second class citizens. We can take it.

Well, I don’t agree. And I often try to work out in my own mind where has it all gone wrong for us T people.

But why so much the angst from me in these last few sentences you may ask?

Well, having read the above mentioned article and then seen just some of the comments on a popular Internet forum from a variety of readers, mainly foreigners from the “enlightened” West, about said article, to say I am disheartened would be an understatement.

Comments along the lines of:

It’s only a man in a dress; he can never be a woman

Transgenders simply have a problem with their sexual orientation

I bet he was going looking for customers in the club

Durians and dogs cause less trouble than Transgenders (reference the quote in the article)

Plus a variety of other totally nonsensical (maybe trying to be funny, I don’t know), ill-informed and simply ignorant comments about “curing” T people or that god doesn’t approve(!?), or that the T person really wanted to get arrested to be able to go to a man’s prison for a week and so on, ad nauseum.

Despite all the positiveness over the last 12-18 months about T people in the media and the number of high profile T people coming to the fore, with comments such as the aforementioned, there clearly is a very, very long way to go in the education process of all sectors of society about T people — in both the east and the west.

Can someone please tell me: Where do we begin?


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Category: Transgender Opinion

Christine B

About the Author ()

Christine has written numerous (at least 150) articles, columns, op-eds, features & stories for well known T magazines, websites & e-zines; she also works as a part time fiction editor for Club Lighthouse Publishing, and is a co-editor of an award winning T-girl Magazine. In addition, she has written 8 adult books mainly in the T sub-genre which have been published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, for whom she has been the best selling author for the last 5 years.

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