My opinion on this matter is based on a small sample of women I’ve spoken to over the course of 10 years on about 5 trips to Bangkok & a single trip to Pattaya (Ladyboy capital of the World). Many of the ladyboys I’ve talked with have a different agenda than most Western Trans women I’ve met.
Ladyboys want to sparkle, glitter and shine. They strive to be noticed and want to be appreciated.
What Does The Term Ladyboy Mean?
Someone born as a male who either desires to be or wishes to look female. Some ladyboys want to have full affirmation surgery to remove any trace of maleness while others revel in the dichotomy of retaining their original parts and energy.
Whether they need or want full affirmation surgery is up to them. But some women decide to wait on surgery so they can maintain their employment as a ladyboy in the clubs. Many clubs fire women who have had affirmation surgery (top and bottom surgery) because they no longer fit the definition of ladyboy (having breasts and a penis).
How Can You Tell A Ladyboy From A Woman?
Ladyboys are women… I want to say period end of story but that won’t foster understanding.
Some articles will tell you to rely on physical markers: height, larger hands and feet, large breasts and gorgeous appearance. But for me the shell of our bodies rarely tell us anything about the person. I tend to look beyond to the essence of the person. The ladyboys I met and watched perform have an energy that was magical. They embraced both their male and female energies. Some allowed both to reside within them and in others the male energy has vanished. But within any group there are individuals so you can’t paint everyone with the same brush.
In Illusions & Dreams I shared two characters both of whom could be seen as ladyboys from the standpoint of Thai culture (if not the club rules). Boon-nam is all girl. She’s sweet and adorable to the extreme. Boon-nam craved affirmation surgery (complete top and bottom surgery). Her outside needed to match her inside so she could live a happy and full life. Her best friend Lalana is completely different. She is elegant and feminine but she retained all of her parts and resisted any suggestion of surgery beyond breast augmentation. On occasion she allows the small part of her that retains male energy to come out. She enjoys using her strength to pin her lover against the wall and at times in her own mind she thinks of her clitoris in male terms. She’s proud to be a ladyboy and won’t be changed by anyone.
People have sexualized ladyboys and transgender people... and sadly still do. It’s not surprising people hesitate to say they fancy ladyboys or someone who is transgender over the cisgendered (someone who is the gender matches their body). People automatically assume the person is looking to get off on someone they fetishize. The censure someone who is trans-oriented receives almost guarantees to lock him or her into a closet where only his or her baser needs can be fulfilled. Some people are simply attracted to individuals who find this unique dichotomy of male and female energy. And yes there’s a sexual component to being trans-oriented the same way there is to being gay, straight, bi but as with any orientations that’s not the only enticement to find someone who calls to you.
I hope we open the trans-oriented closet door soon. The more we accept ourselves and others… the happier this world will be.
In case you want to have some Bangkok adventures yourself without getting on a plane you might try: