Every now and then I am really amazed how far the integration of ladyboys in Thailands institutions and organisations goes. Last month I joined the volunteer medical service and I was a little bit scared how the rest of the team would embrace me. In western countries the medical service and firefighters are one of the most conservative institutions – beside the military. In Thailand this can bet he complete opposite. I have to admit that the members of the rescue team first did not know that I am a transsexual. I guess they were just happy to have a foreign girl who can speak english in their ranks to help them to treat foreign patients. Of course they later found out mostly because I wanted them to know. I can`t really tell when they recognized becuse I never sensed a change in their behavior. I knew I had to reveal it at least wehn I had to show them my passport – which has a „M“ as the sex entry - to get the Thai paramedic license.
Since then I spend a lot of time with the team and I never experienced strange behavior. They treat me like they treat all the other girls on the team. Maybe they even take care about me a little more (which is nice). They also offerd another Katoey friend of mine to join the service, too. So, this means they did not just make an exception form e, but a kinds of people are welcome.
I have to add that the manners among the team are more polite than people behave. I guess it has been not so much important what me and my friends are, but that we behaved and talked in a polite way and manner, which is most necessary in interpersonal communication in Thailand.For me this means that there are no reservations for a ladyboy in Thailand to integrate in organisations. It semms to be more important what kind of person you are and how you interact with your environment than what you are. Of course there are still a lot (too many) jobs and posititions in Thai society that are closed for katoey just because they are katoey. Thats pretty sad, but my recent experiences make me confident that things and people can change.
Technorati: ladyboy katoey katoy integration society thai thailand organisation institution tolerance