This young male/female transsexual is prepared to take part in the Bung Ban Fai Festival in Roi Et Province. These rocket festivals are very ancient and are basically fertility rites, intended to call for the life-giving rains to come. Many areas of Isarn, the Laotian speaking North-east of Thailand, have such festivals. This one is taking place in Phanom Pai. Each village enters the town, bringing its home made rockets, the women lead, dancing in the traditional dress of their village and the men follow likewise. These transsexuals, however, are accepted perfectly to dance with the women and are treated just like any other village woman. The polite way that Thais use for referring to these male/female transsexuals is “Sow ti prapet ti song” (Ladies of the second sort)
I am always fascinated by the place of transsexuals (katois or ladyboys) in Thai society. I guess that transsexuals exist in any society that permits them to, but in Thailand, what is unusual is the level of social acceptance. They are able to live and find employment openly. Every department store or super market has katois employees; they work as teachers,in hotels, as nurses and in government service. In fact they exist at every level of Thai society. Buddhism, not having the sexual rigidity that some religions do, is tolerant towards them and they fit into the Buddhist idea of rebirth as being, not unnatural, but as a natural occurrence in the rebirth process, as an incomplete transition.
Critiques | Translate
ndb1958 (9289) 2007-09-16 21:12
I like this shot. (S)he looks nice with the sunflower. Nice to see his / her open smile.
I really like your note. I like the Thai tolerance regarding transsexuels.
ALIRIZA (16423) 2007-09-16 22:21
Very nice and pretty portrait of the ..... Beautiful composition with sunflower and good colours. Well done my friend...
All the best...
vincz (19113) 2007-09-17 0:52
So vivid colors, this is amazing especially with the dark background. Gret POV from below, and incredible person. Very interesting note.
TopGeo (38216) 2007-09-17 8:51
Superb composition with this ladyboy, this is an interesting and very composed shot of a great mood and pleasant atmosphere, I like, out of colours clothes and flowers, and the painting with strong make-up pretty face.Well done bravo Geo..
sothy81 (9588) 2007-09-17 12:44
Beautiful shot. I really like the glance of this person. Interesting face make up. NIce light and good colors. Well done. Sothy
siolaw (38292) 2007-09-17 20:22
That kathoey is still quite manly looking! Some way to go to become a girl! Good framing and vivid colors there and a nice smile too!
Somehow, it lacks a bit of definition... By the way, what camera do you use?
Greetings from... Bangkok!
dareco (17134) 2007-09-18 0:27
Very nice POV, the colors are fantastic!! An interesting note. TFS
AROBN54 (11475) 2007-09-21 9:11
I was amazed by (they called them 'butterfly boys' when I saw photos of them) of the transsexuals in the Phillipines. This was forever ago when I was first in the Navy. Some of them were astonishingly beautiful. This shot has excellent composition and the colors are terrific. Great note, too. This is a fine shot for learning about our world. Nicely done! Kind regards,
wolf38 (31286) 2007-10-05 1:38
Hello kevin. Multicolored, sharply and expression-strongly. Enormously. A convincing photo. Best regards, Wolfgang.
banyanman (7789) 2007-11-10 22:53
Hi Kevin. This shot just seems to exude happiness - I think it is the combination of the vibrant colours and genuine smile that achieves that. You are right about how katoeys are accepted in Thai culture. I don't think there is any other country in the world where they are so accepted and integrated into society than Thailand. Cheers . . . David
j4uvikram (57) 2008-01-22 8:46
Very nice photo.
The colors are very vibrant.
Juzo (4349) 2009-10-28 7:42
Your pics capture the diverse people of Thailand so well. Great work as always.
- Copyright: kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) (7507)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-05-04
- Categories: Festivals
- Exposure: f/3.8, 1/30 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): The Rocket Festival (Bung Bang Fai) [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-09-16 9:52