close encounters of the 'third kind'
December 16, 2012
I tweeted (I think) this article not too long ago, about kathoey in Thailand as written by a disgusting white tourist.
Now, this article is seriously oozing with all the shit that makes me hate white tourists. Look at the opening paragraphs:
From the moment you set foot in the Land of Smiles, it’s possible you might notice something amiss…something slightly off-kilter with an element you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s not a dark or dangerous thing, simply a curiosity that builds with every passing moment, as you increasingly get the feeling there’s something odd about Thailand…
Don’t panic. You’re simply acclimatizing to the phenomenon of the ‘third gender’ population of Thailand, namely katoeys – more commonly known as ‘ladyboys’ – transsexual men who have decided to live their lives as women.
Do I really need to say anything? I mean. The racism is self-apparent. The exotifying, the othering, the transmisogyny. All there. Easy to see. This should also make it further clear just why ‘ladyboy’ is racist as fuck.
Anyway. What I do want to focus on is this paragraph:
Ladyboys can be found working in almost any job you can think of in Bangkok, from standard 9-5 office jobs to industries like fashion. They are so accepted in fact, that Thailand is one of the few countries in the world to have three official sex classifications – men, women and third gender. With such a wide acceptance, the number of ladyboys in Thailand is considerable, so much so they have become somewhat of a national icon of The Land of Smiles.
It is this kind of shit that makes me fuming mad. Because it entirely erases the struggle that kathoey in Thailand have to deal with in terms of equal opportunity, freedom from oppression, etc. It is a simplistic and horrible view that clearly shows just how fucking ignorant this writer is. Because if they’d spent any time listening to actual kathoey, they’d realize that the picture isn’t this simple or easy.
And. Now. Shall we speak of the title? I’ve been sitting on this article trying to think of all the shit I could say. And I could write a lot more.
But “close encounters of the third kind” is also a movie by stephen spielberg that is about aliens. And it is this kind of dehumanizing shit that so utterly makes this article disgusting.
We (third gender SEAsians) are not fucking aliens. We are human.