Kathoeys In Thailand: Literature Review

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Kathoeys in Thailand: Literature Review
Introduction
The cabaret show is a representative hot spot in Thailand. Almost every visitor will go to see it. The performers in such shows are Kathoeys, which refer to transgender women in Thailand. Even though they bring joy to the audience, they are plagued by disease and poverty. Some of them have removed genital organs, while most of them are still “male”. They keep the male genitals, but uplift their chests, slim their waists and lose fertility completely. Many Kathoeys not only perform in cabaret shows, but also work in the sex industry for money. Due to their genders and jobs, they are suffering discrimination in their daily life. Because of the unprotected sexual behaviors, they are exposed
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In the article “Identity diversification among transgender sex workers in Thailand’s sex tourism industry,” Ocha, a PhD member in Gender and Development Studies of Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand, and Earth, a professor in Gallaudet University point out that M Kay Martin and Barbara Voorhies offered a new terminology “Third gender” in 1975, which prompted that the two-gender structure could not work well with gender categories in some cultures (196). Katheoys refer to male-to-female (MTF) transgender people or people identified as the third gender now in Thailand (qtd. in Winter 2002). Ocha and Earth argue that even though Kathoeys are “parts of the human landscape in Thailand” and have been more accepted than before, they are still discriminated and marginalized in Thai society (205). This situation was further discusses by Poteat, a professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her colleagues in their article “HIV Risk and Preventive Interventions in Transgender Women Sex Workers.” This article focuses on transgender women in the world, and Kathoeys in Thailand are also transgender women and facing same difficulties, discrimination and…show more content…
Since they cannot work in formal working positions due to the discrimination against their genders, they have no choice except working in the marginalized fields, such as the sex industry. Not only does this kind of job gives them money to support their lives, but also provides a sense of support from other transgender women (Poteat et al. 276). Similarly, Daily discrimination and hard lives of Kathoeys are also examined by Nemoto, a research program director at Public Health Institute, and his colleagues in the article “HIV-Related Risk Behaviors among Kathoey (Male-To-Female Transgender) Sex Workers in Bangkok, Thailand.” Nemoto et al. confirm that it is impossible for Kathoeys to work in a normal working environment, such as banks or offices of government. They are only accepted to act in shows or do jobs related to fashion (215-216). Nemoto and his colleagues did a survey about Kathoeys’ lives, and the result of the survey proved again Ocha and Earth’s point that there are hardships of Kathoeys as well as Poteat’s view that it is difficult for they to have a decent job. The result showed that there were over 50% of participants feeling like they had difficulties in their daily lives and merely 30% of them considering that they were accepted as Kathoeys in society. Some participants expressed that they were discriminated in the labor market and harassed by

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