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Thread: Homosexuality in Asia

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    Question Homosexuality in Asia

    WARNING: if looking at pictures men you might call attractive women if you didn't know any better offends you or makes you feel uncomfortable with your sexuality, neglect this post.

    It's a touchy subject, but I don't care.

    This winter, I’ll be going to Thailand to teach English to Thai kids and businessmen. I’ll spend 2 months in Phuket getting my feet wet in the touristy oasis of Thailand that is Phuket City before heading north to Bangkok where the real adventure is. So as one might expect, I’ve been doing as much research into the country with which I have had absolutely zero prior experience as is humanly possible. However in surfing the internet I’ve discovered one very disconcerting thing about Thailand…

    Sex tourism is HUGE in Asia. As elephantine as it is lucrative, in fact. It’s legal in every country in the world where prostitution is not effectively illegal. At the most demeaning level, a sex tourist is an adult who travels abroad in order to have legal consensual sexual relations with another adult often for the exchange of money or presents.

    Ugh.

    Now, first I would like to point out that prostitution exists virtually everywhere in the world with the exception of maybe the Vatican City and the Antarctica (unless emperor penguin populations have hookers, which, to my knowledge, they don’t). So why am I making such a big deal about it? Well, I’m raising a stink because in Thailand, there aren’t only prostitutes, there are katoeys.

    Katoeys are Thai men who pose as women. More than that though, they pull it off with astonish and terrifying proficiency. In Thailand, Katoey life is actually a culture. They seem to be “singled out” at a very young age (presumably if effeminate characteristics, both physical and emotional, develop) and begin a rigorous campaign of hormone therapy, breast implantation, genital reassignment surgery, and even operations to reduce the size of their Adam’s apple.

    And like I said, many of the “girls” pull it off:
    (safe, albeit sexually suggestive links)
    http://www.sexwork.com/Thailand/Graphics/ladyboy4.jpg
    http://www.sixsixfive.com/cutetrannie.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...px-Kathoey.jpg


    So now I’m absolutely terrified to go to Thailand for fear of getting plastered in a bar, waking up in a seedy ‘One-Night-Hotel’, and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes just in time to see a Thai ladyboy standing over a toilet and zipping up his fly.

    Luckily, from what I understand, they’re not generally sexually aggressive, unless of course, you give them reason to be, or katoeys is really your thing. Well, boys and girls (and boygirls) it ain’t mine, so I’ll definitely be inclined to check the plumbing on any fine Asian women I set my sights upon.

    But seriously, I really want to know why homosexuality and transgender culture thrives so openly in Asia (particularly the southeast) when in the West its still taboo and El Stupido Presidente Bush passes laws against gay marriage? Hell, in Japan, stars like Mana, Gackt Camui, and Kagerou pioneered the Visual Kei movement to the point where Japan’s entire media (yes, Razor Ramon Hard Gay included) revolves around suggestively effeminate and heterosexually emasculating themes. Is it merely a cultural thing? The world of the samurai was reputed to be a very homoerotic one; perhaps some elements of the old-world culture still endure today. Or, could it extend beyond culture, and into religion? Whereas Christianity looks harshly upon homosexuals, Buddhism (which is without a doubt the staple religion adopted by the greater majority of Asian populaces worldwide) practices tolerance and acceptance.

    I don’t have the answers here, so I’m hoping someone else can shed some light on this. Maybe it will explain the yaoi and bishi trends common in many manga/anime series. On this one, I’m at a loss. All thoughts, comments, ideas, criticisms, and scrutiny welcome.

    Hopelessly confused,

    ~Shigure

  2. #2
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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    In Asia the freedom of expression is used in their daily life, unlike USA, we get freaked out if we see a gay or lesbian couple on the streets holding hands.

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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    hmmm...well-said.

    i also think that japanese people are somewhat open to these "yaoi-yuri" stuffs since, as far as i know, there are no current speculations about banning anime/manga/jdramas with these themes.

    i don't know either yet today's era is really liberated. for catholics it might be offending but i think some people think it's cool---i don't like yaoi or yuri since i find it rather improper still, i want to tell you this again: today is liberated
    "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
    So Nostalgic

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    Newbie losangeles may be famous one day losangeles may be famous one day
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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    well, erm... first of all, mind telling where do you from ?

    since i'm living in thailand's neighboring country, i thought that thailand's sorta ... erm... quite famous of prostitution,
    i think by watching a movie "the beach" by leonardo DiCaprio would help more or less (???)..... hmm ....

    yea, another thing famous in thailand's the transsexual culture, the kathoey you mentioned, and you are right, they are not so agressive unless you give them a hint to .... hahaha.....
    so becareful of your moves when you are with them hah~joking!!~~~~~
    well, here's some movie showing another side of them, in fact, i think the normal side, like "Satree Lex, or The Iron Ladies." and " Beautiful Boxer ".
    they are human also, just facing the problem of hormones, and, some transsexuals are even more fimenine than real women!(than me , at least ...lol)
    and some of them, i think most , are inside out, outside in woman.

    last thing, bout the homosexual in thai, we are truely not so vigorous in this, probably because most here are buddhism, which hold the concept of tolerance with the surrounding, unlike christians, which would take homo as offensive.
    but, in the concept of older generation, or should i say more traditional ones, they still cannot stand if they see homo.
    well, for me, i am a fan of yaoi (shionen-ai) manga. hah~
    and this trend is, some how, developing in nations other than japan, among youth, so, our category like us take homo easily, some would even get excited when they see one .... = =||| it's true though....
    homo's not a big deal, i mean, when you are in thai, if you dont go to the places where they gather, like gay bar or something like that.

    that's what i know bout thailand, weird but absolutely cute and full of passion.
    yea, just relax and enjoy your journey there, phuket, the world famous tropical island....i have never been there, how wish i could go there too > < ~~~
    well, dont forget to keep an eye on your personal properties, hah~

  5. #5
    Stray Sheep Aya-kun may be famous one day Aya-kun may be famous one day Aya-kun's Avatar
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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    Thailand is famous for tiger shows!
    you know.. stripping and whore dance~
    ^^ but the--since when asian countries has become this open-minded?
    *is living in malaysia but has no clue*
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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    Quote Originally Posted by Aya-kun
    Thailand is famous for tiger shows!
    you know.. stripping and whore dance~
    ^^ but the--since when asian countries has become this open-minded?
    *is living in malaysia but has no clue*
    you are from malaysia too?
    (shake hand)
    ya, tiger show
    i still remember the first time i heard this, when i was 5,6 years old, travelling in thailand, saw the adver somewhere....
    got angry when my dad refuse to bring me to watch the show, i thought the show's bout the real tiger .... hahaha (i used to be innocent too! ok?)

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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    i'm from the philippines and here, lesbian love is offending yet we have a lot of gays here, who dresses like girls and not just merely romancing with another man. gay relationships are SLIGHTLY frowned upon here...yet gays here are unlike gays in other countries: gays here crossdress.
    "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
    So Nostalgic

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    Re: Homosexuality in Asia

    *shakes losangeles's hand*
    yay!!!!!
    tiger show.. i thought it was the animal show too!! XD
    but i got to know it wasn't. bummer...
    philipines.. lesbians..gays..
    how do this sort of people come about?
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