Tag Archives: Gender

Some parents have no understanding of their child’s unconventional sexual identity

People like Khun Bell will always have a hard time convincing their parents to accept them for what they are. Some are disowned by them and others are forced to do things that they do not want to. Some parents drive their effeminate sons to undertake physical activities like macho sports. I am glad to say that some of my friends who were born that way did not have to suffer the same experience. Their folks were not particularly overjoyed with their unmanly behaviour but they never strove to transform my friends. Their parents acknowledged their sexual identity. However, from time to time, they would grumble about them; about the fact that they tended to wear a lot of make-up and spend an unreasonable amount of time in the bathroom and so on.

A close friend of mine who was not effeminate, but happened to fancy both men and women, had a bit of a battle with his mother. His mother had not been aware of her son’s sexual proclivities until there was a rumour about him holding hands with another boy, also a friend of mine, at college. Apparently, it was a big deal to her. They had been doing it for ages and nobody at the college cared remotely about their overly intimate behaviour towards each other. Occasionally we ribbed them about it light heartedly. One day, at her house, she overheard their flirtatious conversation. I was there too, but I was not paying particular attention to these two love birds. After I returned home, I ended up having a long conversation with her regarding this affair on the phone. Since I was very close to her and she always treated me like her child, I could not bring myself to lie to her. Besides, I saw nothing wrong with the way the two of them behaved. I confirmed the rumour. She asked me whether they were boyfriends. I told her that I did not think so, but they were exceptionally close. The other guy also had a girlfriend and ‘N’ – her son – was aware of that too. She was clearly upset and confused. She assumed that he would want to become a woman in the future and was worried that she would not be able to afford the cost of his sex reassignment surgery. She was thinking too much and being paranoid. As well as liking this guy, ‘N’ was dating a lass too. She told me if that was what he wanted to be, she was prepared to approve of his way of life, despite her confusion, as long as it made him happy.

Immediately after I hung up the phone, I had to respond to another call. It was from ‘N’. He had been eavesdropping the tete-a-tete and wanted to know what else she had interrogated me about. I recounted the matter to him. I told him she wanted to have a proper chat with him, but she was worried about him becoming angry with her. I did not encourage him to talk to her because I knew he would not. It would be better to just leave it like nothing had happened.

I was nonplussed by the news, a few years ago, that he now has a daughter. He had finally stopped being confused and discovered who he truly wanted to be. Each time I go back to Thailand, I am tempted to give him a ring and ask what he has been doing with his life. One thing for sure, he is probably more grown-up than me.

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Khun Bell’s interview

The interviewer complimented her on her beauty. He asked her how she felt about many people from different parts of the world talking about her gorgeousness. She humbly said that she did not actually feel that she was pretty, but she felt proud to know that people have been talking about her beauty. He mentioned her voice. He noticed that she has quite a deep voice. She said that when she worked as a disc jockey, people mistook her as a woman with a deep voice. Then he talked about members of the one-time boy band, Take That, who saw the clip of her singing on “Thailand’s Got Talent”. He asked about the rumour of her female singing voice being mimed. She confirmed that it was her genuine voice and she proved it by singing the song. Next they talked about her father; about his initial unwillingness to accept her for who she is. Her father is a soldier and her grandad was also a soldier and most importantly she was the “only son.” She is the middle-child whose eldest and youngest siblings are both female. She felt a lot of pressure because her father wanted her to have an army career too. Because of being born male, she was the  hope of her family. Her father beat her because he wanted her to quit being katoey. If she had not stopped, he would have conscripted her into the army. At that time she was about a Por 6 student; a grade six student. She began her transformation to be her true self after finishing her diploma study. She proceeded with it gradually to make it easier for her father to accept her. She started by paying attention to her studies and doing everything she could to win her father’s heart, but whatever she tried, her father still could not accept her for what she was. Later his unwavering opinion began to change. Little by little, she continued to try to make him accept her by earning a living for herself. She would give money to her parents that she had won from transgender pageants and singing contests, as well as financing her youngest sister’s education. She tried to be the family breadwinner. The interviewer asked her if her father was proud of her yet and she said “he is”. He asked her if there was anything she wanted to tell him. She said that she wanted to tell her father that at the moment she had achieved a certain level of success and she was very proud to be his child. In addition, the interviewer would like to say to her father that she is certainly the pride of Thai people. Then they talked about how she discovered her ability to sing in both male and female voices; she said it was when she first started to be a singer in a pub. Someone had told her that she already had a woman’s appearance. This person said to her “why don’t you try to fool patrons who come to the pub?” She would start a song by singing with a female voice and then she would surprise them by changing into a male voice.

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It is perfectly ok to be whoever you want to be

At first I did not pay much attention to the phenomenal clip of Khun Bell Nuntita. I saw a lot of people mention her name on Twitter while I was enjoying my holiday in Thailand but I was not aware of how good a singer and how endearing she was until later on when I watched the clip. Now I quite understand why so many people adore her. I am very surprised that I have never encountered her seeing that I used to live in the province where she comes from. She comes across as well-mannered, likeable and girlie although she was not born that way. She reminds me of some of my friends who are just like her. As many people have already said, the clip is very impressive and appealing on many levels. Her singing voices – both female and male – are beautiful and the transition from one to the other is startling. Unsurprisingly the audience plainly accepts her for who she is. At the same time I feel sorry for her and people like her who are sometimes treated unfairly simply because of who they are and who they want to be. Thank God those narrow-minded haters are the minority in Thailand. She is doing very well right now and regardless of their gender and where they come from, many people seem to be very supportive of her. We all will be dead one day. It would be a regrettable waste if we failed to be honest with ourselves and missed the opportunity to choose to live the life that we want as long as it does not cause trouble to anybody. For that reason, I very much respect people like Khun Bell.

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Recycled comment

I came across one of my comments on Khun Dan’s blog, namely “Absolutely Bangkok“. Since I have been somewhat lazy lately. I have decided to repost that comment on my blog. I hope Khun Dan won’t mind.  ^__^

From “Thailand’s Gay Past”:

“To be honest, I am not at all surprised to know that there are some homosexual pictures painted on various ancient temples in Thailand. In the past, people have tended to think of sex as simply an aspect of human nature. If you ask the Thai elderly, they do not even know what homosexuality means, as the word was hardly ubiquitous during their youth. I reckon little do they care about same sex interaction either; it might be just a little bit amusing to them. I don’t think many Thais will blame homosexuality on western influence; but quite the opposite, they dislike the fact that some people have categorized human sexual behaviour into groups, i.e. heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality; it simply encourages sexual discrimination. Historically speaking, there was an acceptance towards same sex practice in some ancient cultures. Take the Roman and Greek eras for instance – paintings, poems, and literary comments relating to same sex attachments existed during those times. Try searching “homosexuality in ancient Rome” and “homosexuality in ancient Greece”. Same sex or both sex predilections did not seem to be much of an issue for the Romans and the Greeks. In my view, same sex practice might have become taboo in these societies when the new force, also known as religion, emerged. In the case of Siam, the old name of Thailand, like the author said, the country had to embrace western laws and attitudes, including the outlawing of sodomy, so that the state could look more civilised in western eyes during that particular period, and also because of the circumstances the country found itself in at that time.”

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Dress as you like

A private school in Phichit province in Thailand has allowed its students to dress however they want. The administrators of the school realised that boys who behave effeminately and girls who act in a tomboy manner are often teased when they attend the classroom and this has affected these kids’ study as they want to express who they really are. The school management unanimously agreed that it does not matter who these kids are, as long as they are morally good and cause no trouble to anybody. For this reason, in order to sort out the problem and encourage harmony in the school, they decided that the kids should be given the chance to dress according to their gender interest: boys can dress as girls and vice versa. A big round of applause to the school from me.

Sources: Manager newspaper and news Hunsa.com

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Wanted: a transgender Thai female to participate in a German movie

I am writing about this gender again but please do not think I have a thing about these people. As a matter of fact I feel nothing at all towards them since, to me, they are simply normal. Yet when I happen to come across an interesting story regarding these people, I think it is better to pass it on as I do not suppose many people can read Thai.

This is the advertisement (in Thai) at Thaicinema.org looking for a Thai ladyboy:

“Wanted a Thai ladyboy who loves acting to take the leading role in a German movie called “RED CROSS” by the director Hugo Vieira da Silva.

The applicant must meet the following requirements:

1. A Thai ladyboy who has not yet had the operation (having breast enlargement is permissible).

2. Beautiful and have confidence in your own beauty. Mystique, beguiling and endearing.

3. Will not have a problem with certain scenes that involve exposing your intimate parts.

4. To be able to travel to Germany so as to shoot the movie without any problem, towards the end of the year.

5. Do not need to be able to speak English fluently as an interpreter will be provided.

6. HIV negative test result needed after being selected.

7. In the process of having a screen test, you need to wear a two piece bikini for a recording shoot which will be viewed by the director.”

More information can be found via the link.

Immediately after reading this I thought, for a few moments, that there was something sinister about this movie. But according to the site, this is a real requirement for a specific acting role. Interesting though…

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