Thailand’s Third Gender

Ladyboys of Thailand

Leap & The Net Will Appear

  • Kathoey: a transgender person or an effeminate gay male in Thailand.  The term is believed to be of Khmer origin.
  • Sao praphet song:  a second kind of woman.
  • Phet thi sam:  the third gender.
  • Ladyboy:  the English equivalent of kathoey.

Kathoey culture has fascinated me since I arrived in the Kingdom of Thailand nearly two years ago. They are everywhere, these exotic creatures, running wild in the Land of Smiles.  Some are pre-op; some are post-op; some are semi-op. There are fully transgendered kathoeys (male-to-female) and some who are female from the waist up and male from the waist down. I’m not so concerned about anatomy. What fascinates me is their flamboyance, their femininity and the way this Thai Buddhist nation generally accepts them for who they are.

Sexual reassignment surgery in Thailand is highly sophisticated and it is not uncommon to be in the presence…

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