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Photographer's Note

This is the Bung Bang Fai or Rocket Festival in Rio Et, in Thailand’s Laotian speaking North-Eastern province. As I showed before, transsexuals (Katois) take part in all of the village events, accepted as women. Here, however, a group has formed their own procession, representing a local petrol station. They are changing into traditional costume in the petrol station, in readiness to process en mass into the town.
They live their lives as women, often working as shop assistants, hairdressers or beauticians. Teaching is also a preferred profession, but many work the land like other farmers. Some of them; those who can afford it, have sexual realignment surgery. The level of acceptance of these transsexuals in Thailand, even in these rural areas, is very great. They have always been part of life here and no one thinks them very strange. Every soap opera on television has at least one katois in the story.

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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1013 W: 170 N: 1769] (7393)
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