Nowadays, the affirmative action movement is very popular worldwide, and people not only seek equality between men and women, but also care about the rights of minority groups.
For example, transgender, intersex or transgender people are one of the groups that have received a lot of attention. Nowadays, people are more and more concerned about the rights and protection of these groups, but in fact, even in Thailand, one of the most tolerant countries for the transgender community, the life of intersex people is not as good as we think.
Transgender people in Thailand - often referred to as sirens or intersex people in the past - have always been a "hit" with tourists. Many tourists travel to Thailand for the "siren shows", to see the beauty and to experience their "open" style.
But behind the glitz and glamour, the real life of Thai intersex people is not so good, many of them actually live a miserable life.
Why are there so many intersex people in Thailand?
Most people think of Thailand as a very open country when it comes to transgender people, as there is a large community of "sirens" in the country and the locals don't seem to discriminate against them.
The so-called "human demon" is a popular name in Hong Kong and Taiwan, in fact, it seems to have a certain "discriminatory", with the rise of equal rights thinking, people seem to prefer to call them intersex or transgender people, or, people will say that their gender is the "third gender".
Some people may wonder why there are so many transgender people in Thailand when it is clearly a Buddhist country. It is difficult to generalize this question, but there are three generalizations.
First of all, some information points out that, in fact, in the past few hundred years, Southeast Asia has the phenomenon of transgender people engaged in performing arts, not only in Thailand, in Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries are also there, and this performance may be the earliest trace back to the indigenous civilization of Southeast Asia "transgender priests" traditional culture.
According to the indigenous worldview of the time, the world was composed of various "opposite" elements that appeared in pairs, such as heaven and earth, and male and female.
And put into the human body, androgynous - or intersex people became a "both opposite elements" of existence, people at the time not only do not discriminate against intersex people, but also believe that they have a mysterious power. The intersex people here do not only refer to people born with both male and female reproductive organs, but also include the acquired "sex change" intersex people.
Because people believe that intersex people possess special powers, they often host rituals and become the so-called priests.
As early as 1727, the British documented the "transgender priests" of Burma, saying that they communicated with the "gods of the earth" through a frenzied dance to learn about the harvests.
Thailand has also been influenced by this civilization and has produced similar transgender priests, but the "crazy dance" of the transgender priests has evolved into a mere song and dance act, and during the Siamese period of Thai history, the royal family sponsored a transgender song and dance troupe.
It is probably for this reason that there are so many transgender performances in Thailand.
Secondly, there is a more mainstream theory that Thai transgender people evolved from the Indian "castrati".
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Mughal state developed a culture of having "eunuchs" to serve the women of the family. The term "eunuchs" initially referred to congenital hermaphrodites, who did not cause "harm" to the women of the dignitaries and were generally loyal and trusted by their masters because of their good income.
As a result, the custom of having eunuchs to serve women was popular among the dignitaries, and eunuchs were once in "short supply". However, congenital intersexuals were only a minority, and many men who had difficulty making a living would make themselves "eunuchs" through primitive means to injure their lower bodies in order to earn money.
However, as the number of eunuchs increased rapidly, the demand for eunuchs greatly exceeded the demand, and some eunuchs who could not get jobs to look after the women had to perform in songs and dances to earn a living, and the "eunuch circle" was gradually formed.
With the movement of castrati to Thailand in Southeast Asia, Thailand has gradually embraced this culture and has developed its own "siren show culture.
Finally, it has been pointed out that this is not unrelated to Thailand's own historical and cultural factors. Because Thailand has a long history of sexual culture, women are not much blamed for engaging in sex services. Moreover, Thailand is a country that believes in Hinayana Buddhism, where even if the money earned from engaging in sex services is donated to Buddhism, there is nothing wrong with it.
Because of the good income from sex services or transgender performances, some poor men will also want to earn money by "becoming a woman", Thailand is generally tolerant of this.
In such a situation, the transgender culture in Thailand is naturally flourishing.
Thailand's "sirens" of "unlimited scenery"
In the eyes of many people, Thailand's "sirens" may be the scenery, they are beautiful, good-looking, and very open style, very popular.
Thailand has a well-developed tourism industry, which is the second pillar of the country's economy, and among the tourism industry, the "siren show" is also an important feature and calling card of Thailand.
In Thailand today, "sirens" are mainly men who have been feminized by estrogen since childhood and are locally known as "red artists", but nowadays they are probably more commonly referred to as transgender people.
According to incomplete statistics, the number of intersex people in Thailand is more than 600,000, they are not discriminated against in Thailand, but most people look at them with "artistic" eyes, and when tourists go to Thailand, they also make it a point to watch the performance of intersex people.
In Thailand, there are beauty contests for intersex people, and those who participate in the contests are those who have beautiful bodies and looks, and once they win the championship, their destiny may change from then on.
In fact, many intersex people become famous overnight precisely through beauty pageants and get the opportunity to transform into movies, TV shows, or participate in variety shows, while others have a beautiful singing voice and are able to become singers.
In Thailand, whether male, female or intersex, the life after becoming a star is more or less the same, because many intersex people, in fact, because of poverty to become a "siren", so if you can become a star, of course, even if it is not to live up to the suffering of so many years.
However, to win the beauty pageant is not so easy, after all, intersex people are also a large number of groups, they also need to be favored through their unique charm as others, to be able to stand out from the crowd.
And those intersex people who do not win the pageant may not be able to become overnight successes, but they do have the opportunity to join the senior intersex singing and dancing groups in Bangkok and Pattaya.
The standard of performance in the cabaret is very high, and at its peak it can be said to be packed, hard to get a ticket, and the intersex people involved in the performance are naturally earning a lot of money.
For example, the famous Siam Princess in Thailand, there are many intersex people selected through beauty contests, they are more good-looking than the general intersex people, body, face is also more like women, if you do not listen to the voice, they are basically a complete female, but also better-looking than the general female, more flirtatious.
These better intersex actors can earn about 70-100,000 yuan per month, which is quite a good income and can maintain their relatively privileged life.
Of course, Thailand's intersex people are not all engaged in performance work, in fact, due to the new crown epidemic in the past two years, Thailand's tourism industry has been hit hard, the "siren show" income is also greatly reduced, the intersex people began to look for other jobs.
Some intersex people will go to the theater to run the show, because the film and television industry in Thailand is also more developed, and more actors and actresses are needed. In addition, there are also some intersex people who will go to get certificates to work as make-up artists and models, which are still in high demand in Thailand and they can get more job opportunities.
According to media reports, there are also intersex people to serve as flight attendants, Thailand P.C. Air has hired a number of intersex people as "flight attendants", after training, they are officially on duty, to serve passengers.
Finally, there are some intersex people who go to special "siren" training institutions as teachers to pass on their "work experience" to young people.
In this way, the life of Thai intersex people does seem to be similar to that of ordinary people, and those who come out through beauty pageants may lead a more scenic life than ordinary people. But in fact, the scenery is just a moment, the more "miserable life" of intersex people are covered by the scenery.
Just as the best in every profession are the best in the landscape, so are the intersex people in Thailand. Many people only see their scenery, but always selectively ignore their sufferings.
Objectively speaking, while there are many intersex people in Thailand who are intersex of their own volition, meaning that some men may start trying to turn themselves into a woman because they feel they should, there are also many who are "involuntary".
In Thailand, there are three types of so-called "sirens", those who simply think they are women, or like to dress as women, without any surgery, just dressing in a feminine way, which in China is also called "pseudo-nymph".
The second type is those who have undergone breast augmentation surgery but not lower body sex reassignment surgery, which are abundant in Thailand, while the third type is those who have undergone complete sex reassignment surgery, removing male sexual characteristics and turning into women completely.
In fact, many intersex people in Thailand fall into the second category because the cost of a complete sex change operation is so high that ordinary people simply cannot afford it.
Moreover, these intersex people have to take estrogen for a long time to maintain their body's "feminine" characteristics, plus the money needed to dress up, in fact, the expenses of intersex people is not small.
So, do they really have enough money to support this spending? For those who are particularly beautiful and attractive intersex people certainly not a problem, but the problem is that not all intersex people are able to make a lot of money.
In fact, there are many intersex people are forced by life, want to earn more money, will move the idea of becoming a "siren", their appearance, talent are not outstanding, but also not after a full sex change surgery, may not look so much like a woman, even for acting performances are not very popular.
According to one source, although the income of the "siren queen" can be as high as tens of thousands of yuan, but the income of ordinary intersex performers may only be one or two thousand yuan per month, the income difference between the two is huge, so they can only earn more tips by "bold" style.
For example, tourists must know that in Thailand with the "siren" photo is to tip, and most "siren" will also offer to "touch the breast" to attract tourists, most intersex people are also similar to the "sale" of the body to make money.
Many people have heard the saying that "sirens" have a short life expectancy of about 40 years, which has aroused a lot of sympathy for intersex people.
However, in reality, this argument does not seem to be so reliable, because estrogen is not that harmful to people, and with the advancement of medical technology, the life expectancy of intersex people is actually similar to that of ordinary people.
However, intersex performance and most of the show business, is the "youth rice", once the performers are old and decrepit, income will also decline significantly, there will be a "new generation for the old", those older intersex people will naturally gradually leave people's attention.
If you have the habit of saving, you may be able to open a small store or engage in other work to make ends meet, but if you are used to "paper money" and do not think about the future, the life of intersex people will be more miserable.
For example, some intersex people can not perform, can only turn to the sex industry, and as we all know, this industry always seems to be and drugs, violence and other negative information "bound" together, therefore, a lot of intersex people engaged in the sex industry, in fact, not as good as people think, basically just to make ends meet.
Moreover, they are also no longer able to reproduce, generally do not have their own offspring, when young may not feel, in later life will always look a bit lonely and lonely, and the previous scenery in sharp contrast.
In their later years, they also have little security in their lives, and many intersex people will eventually choose to enter a temple and spend this life in the sound of Buddha's voice.
The most important point is that although Thailand is relatively tolerant of intersex people and has set up various "third gender" facilities and equipment, discrimination can still exist.
After all, in Thailand, there are not only "sirens" who think they have become intersex, but also those born intersex, who are more likely to be discriminated against during their teenage years.
According to some information, there are some intersex people born in Thailand who are discriminated against in schools. The most basic problem is that students do not allow them to enter either the male or female bathroom, and they are also ridiculed and isolated, and many of them suffer from depression and do not want to go to school or have contact with others, which has a great impact on their lives.
In general, there are bright and shiny people in every group, but not everyone can enjoy this bright and shiny, for us, we still need to be more understanding of the group of intersex people, no matter what reasons they are based on to become intersex people, they choose this path, it is destined to their road ahead will be more difficult, but also more we need to treat them with an equal attitude.