Transgender Actress in “Lost in Thailand”
The Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand” was one of the biggest hits in 2012. Originally a budget film, it has now recorded a box office of more than 200 million dollars and inspired thousands of Chinese tourists to visit Thailand.
Another hit from this film is a Thai transsexual actress called Rose. Chinese audiences are most surprised to find out that the pretty young lady speaking Chinese Beijing dialect in the film is actually one of the top 10 transsexual queens. She only appears for 1 minute in the film with just one line. However, she is the most searched figure of the whole film cast afterwards.
Transsexual (or ladyboy) became a heated search keyword on internet. Netizens express their surprise about their much more feminine figure as compared to “real women”.
But according to Rose herself, only poor children in Thailand are sent to be trained as transsexual performers. Usually, boys are sent to professional ladyboy schools when they were 2 or 3 years old. The training includes everything about feminine dress code, behavior, and habits. In the 1990s, the population of transsexual performers reached 20,000 with the age between 14 and 50. Most of them used to work for night clubs in Pattaya. Nowadays, transsexuals in Thailand are increasingly integrated into the society as a choice of self-identity.
According to the law of Thailand, transsexual (ladyboy) is still categorized as male, but their social recognition is female. Some public areas now have restrooms designed for them, which people call “pink lotus toilet”. Transsexual sign is labed on the restroom door.