The other day I watched a long due controversial (?!) bangla short film. Well, I guess I wasn’t ready for it when it first came out in the cinema. But since I tried to write down my thoughts about Transgenderism I decided to watch it and from there some thoughts came into place. I wanted to check my stance and if I could be considered progressive, conservative, obstructionist, or conventional in respect to recent fuddy-duddy gender issues. Oh yes also I definitely want to write rather than ignore or hide on this topic.
The film I watched is called, ‘Ghetu Putro Komola’ aka Pleasure boy Komola. The plot is described in Wikipedia as follows:
“The story takes place 150 years ago during colonial era in a village Jalshuka, Habibganj. During that time a musical group was created called Ghetugaan where young boys dance in female clothing’s and those dancers were called “Ghetu”. Soon they became famous among people but the landlords wanted them for sexual desires and the theory of gay marriage was recognized in the society. The Ghetus were used to get hired for the flood season. The story is about a teenage boy who is hired by a colonial era landlord to entertain his sexual desires until the annual flood is over.”
After watching the film some abstruse thoughts bothered me, which I will explain below:
- The plot might sound common enough but there’s more to it.
- It certainly makes you feel disturbed towards secular society.
- Being poor is hard but you can’t blame everything on that.
- How can those kids grow up after severe abuse ?
- What were those parents thinking as they sold their kid for child sex?
- How the the hell does society tolerate those pedophile like that landlord in the film?
- Curious to know that impact of the film on my natives.
Anyhow, I don’t know what else to say about the film. I thank the writer and producer for bringing out the severe truth from the past. I believe public reaction was eloquent and took them a while to digest!
Consequently, here is the unfinished talk about transsexuals as I mentioned in my previous blog. I spoke with two trans aka ladyboy in Pattaya. One is my neighbor-shop owner, Tai. Koy is another one whom I randomly talked to while grocery shopping. I was curious to know their growing ups and their current lifestyle. Surprising as it may be it turns out they didn’t have much insights to add. In another ward they kind of surprised me.
I will share the findings of my conversations in the listed overview you find below:
- Tai was born as trans and Koy first discovered her real self at the age of seven.
- Their family was fine with their new discovery.
- They didn’t find much difficulty growing up.
- Their social surroundings didn’t bother much about them and did accept them.
- They didn’t go to college for higher education.
- Tai spend lots of money on eye, nose job as well as an operation on her body.
- Tai is happy in life and doesn’t have a steady relationship.
- Tai looks after her little sister and mother from the money she earns from the shop.
- Koy is from the Philippines and is currently living in Bangkok. She also spent a large amount of cash to become herself properly.
- Koy works in a travel agency and Bangkok’s LGBT night club area is her favorite spot. She is looking for a long term relationship.
- Koy doesn’t have much of a future plan as she spends all her wage over the weekends. She’s happy that way.
- Both of them get annoyed by the tourists’ eye rolls and sometimes face questions about their gender.
- They are happy as they are.
- Both of them were shocked to hear about other trans lifestyle in some part of Asia.
- They agreed to talk with their community to raise awareness and funds for other less fortunate transexuals in various countries.
- In both cases their gender is marked as female in their passports . So they don’t use heavy makeups or usual dress when they use airport.
To be honest with you, growing up trans certainly sounds like it must be difficult for many people. But over here in Thailand is certainly different. As I spoke with a local senior citizen regarding this topic he told me he fears that in a few years there won’t be any girls left, only ladyboys!? I really don’t know what to make out of this remark.
The matter of the fact is, that ladyboys are the highest paid entertainers here. And even though I do have the utmost respect for this society, there is too much of it here. It’s way too commercialized and polluted. I get fiercely annoyed by the ladyboys over here as they like to pester passersby. But since I started to greet them regularly their teasing has no longer been directed at me, thankfully.
The point I am making is not about whether it is right or wrong to feel what they feel and express it the way they do. The society here has largely been shaped by them and must be what they sought after. The thing I am trying to emphasize here is that it is a rough world for Transgender people in many parts of Asia. There is a lot of hatred for them and quite often they are deprived of the most common rights. My thoughts always go out to those who need the support most! These people don’t need any special care or support, in my opinion! Just the most basic thing: equality! Is it too much to ask from the society..?