Usually ladyboys are not allowed to enter the mainstream beauty contests. Still, they contribute a lot to the annual Loi Krathong festivities all over the country as makeup artists, dressmakers, hairdressers, florists and dancers.
They also design and decorate many of the giant krathong used in float processions around the country.
But this year, however, the newly elected Chiang Mai municipal council came up with a new discriminatory rule, limiting the official krathong competition to only “gender-correct” people.
This came not long after the local red shirts renewed a threat through a national tabloid against the presence of gays and Katoey at public festivities.
This brings back to mind the shutdown of the Chiang Mai Gay Pride earlier this year, the threat was fortunately averted through cool-headed dialogue.
A friend of mine launching her Krathong before participating in a beauty contest (but in Udon Thani province)
But a university still banned its Katoey students from participating in its celebrations if they were identifiable as gays or Katoey.
Another friend and last year´s winner of the Loi Krathong beauty contest
Unfortunately, it is Chiang Mai - not only just the festival - that will be all the poorer without Transsexual contributions.
This discriminatory restrictions will do great harm to the city´s reputation as a friendly tourist destination not to mention an affront to the principles of equality and human rights.
It is ironic if the city that claims cultural superiority over “the likes of Pattaya and Phuket” treats its own human citizens as lesser than a foreign animal like a baby panda – celebrated as a presenter of this year´s festival (quote: Daily Express)
Technorati: thai thailand, Katoey ladyboy, transsexual transgender discrimination chiang mai loi Krathong beauty contest