It seems that many of the men that visit Thailand have a preconceived notion that all of Thailands ladyboys are also prostitutes. Its true that normally foreign men only meet the ladyboys that work in bars and restaurants, however this is only a small percentage of all the kathoeys in Thailand.
Ive met and been talking with several ladyboys on Hi5 and they cannot understand why so many think that just because they are kathoeys they are prostitutes as well. This isn’t just limited to foreigners either, Ive been told that many Thais hold this preconception.
When spying a ladyboy in tourist areas or going out late at night, immediately the idea that she is a prostitute starts to circulate. Why would people think this just because the person is a ladyboy?
I can tell you from my conversations this makes many of them quite sad. Thai ladyboys may be different from you and I that’s true, but in many ways they are the same too. They have the same feelings, needs and wants as most people. Many of them are looking for a stable relationship and would love to settle down with someone special.
Most ladyboys work in traditional jobs such as clerical staff, hairdressers or waitresses and they work very hard, just like the rest of us. Its not fair that they have to labor under two prejudices. They are thought of poorly because of their lifestyle choice and then to compound this prejudice are often thought of as prostitutes.
I have no idea how many kathoeys exactly work as prostitutes in Thailand and yes the number is probably statistically higher than men and women, however most are still just normal hard working people. Please consider this the next time you meet a ladyboy, dont immediately assume that they are looking to sell sex because you might be hurting, embarrassing and humiliating a very nice person.