The complex world of love in Thailand

16 images Created 16 May 2017

Thailand seems to be the most tolerant place for the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex ) community.

For the LGBTI people who have already revealed their gender identity tend to often be the ones that have been mistreated by the general public and the media due to the lack of knowledge and understanding.

Most common English translation of Kathoey is « Ladyboy », a term that has
become popular all over the world. Before the modern times, the term Kathoey was originally used for hermaphrodites, but nowadays it is mainly used to describe the transgender women.
A significant number of Thais perceive kathoeys as belonging to a third gender, including many kathoeys themselves. They work in predominately female occupations, such as in shops, restaurants and beauty salons, but also in hotel. Kathoeys also work in the entertainment sector and at tourist centers, cabarets. Kathoeys are more visible and more accepted in the Thai culture than transgender or transsexual people are in Western countries.This acceptance is due to the nature of the surrounding Buddhist culture, which places a high value on tolerance.

In Thai society, transmen are still in the shadow of ?tomboy? culture. While the terms of ?transwoman? and ?tomboy? have been well known among Thai people for many decades, the term of ?transman? only been introduced about 5 years ago.
Thailand's 'tom' (as in tomboys) inhabit a unique place on the gender spectrum. They are girls who dress and act in a masculine way, typically sporting a uniform look of short hair, t-shirts and jeans. But toms don't consider themselves trans or even lesbians, despite the fact that they date women (often girly 'dees' or other toms).
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