Annie Andasuk.

Annie Andasuk.

Annie’s tight, round ass is rolling in time with the Isaan music blasting across the seated throng. You hold her hips clad in her little denim shorts. She dances raising her hands in the archetypal V sign adopted by all Thai people. She thrusts her ass in your face, laughs and tells you she loves you as you kiss and drink together. You cannot compete with her in the eyes of the watching crowd. Your farang statehood usually draws all eyes but tonight this ladyboy is stealing the show. Tonight you are the Base and she is the Flyer. She is the entertainment and you are the support she needs. Like all exciting dancers she needs to feel something solid beneath her, holding her, loving her. You like this job. You realise that you love her and that the horror and pain of your last Thai ladyboy relationship is almost forgotten. Perhaps not forgotten but accepted, resolved in part and without the sharp pangs of heartache and sadness that have been flooding your emotional landscape for as long as you can remember. Tonight you feel you are waking from a bad dream and like the rest of Thailand, drying out after the floods. The morning light no longer seems so depressing. She smiles, ‘I love you so much my husband, I love YOU’! She shouts over the music. You smile. You believe her. That’s a new experience. But it almost never happened, did it? You remember Pattaya in September. You have gone to fetch her back to Bangkok realising you want to be with her but the face and...
Should trans women compete against men or women?

Should trans women compete against men or women?

CrossFit — Sued By Transgender Athlete … You Won’t Let Me Compete With Women! Chloie Jonsson, a personal trainer and CrossFit athlele from Los Gatos, CA., is suing CrossFit for $2.5 million. She wanted to compete last year in the CrossFit Games, but was banned from competing as a woman because she was born a man. A transgender, Jonsson has undergone surgery and is recognized by the state as a woman. She is accusing them of “violating her civil rights,” according to TMZ. Jonsson, 34, has considered herself female since her teenage years. She underwent transformation surgery in 2006 and even changed her birth certificate to female. She states that the surgery, along with hormone therapy, are enough to be recognized by the state as a female and she is exerting her right to compete in the CrossFit events as a woman. The athlete was banned from competing at CrossFit events, however, because the company is standing by the fact that Jonsson was born a male. They believe that Jonsson may have an advantage over women in the competition who were not born with male chromosomes. The company maintains its stance that they want to keep the competitions fair for everyone involved. Allowing Jonsson to compete would go against that rule, giving her an unfair advantage over the female competitors. She received a letter from CrossFit saying, “We have simply ruled that based upon being born as a male, she will need to compete in the Men’s Division.” Dale Saran, CrossFit’s general counsel, posted in an online discussion board where he states that Jonsson failed to supply medical records....

Transgender Indians’ seatbelt safety video

  An Indian video campaign to persuade drivers to wear seatbelts shows transgender actors taking to the streets of Mumbai in imitation of an airline safety demonstration.   An Indian video campaign to persuade drivers to wear seatbelts shows transgender actors taking to the streets of Mumbai in imitation of an airline safety demonstration. They have appeared in sacred Hindu texts and been part of South Asia’s culture for thousands of years. They have been asked to bless marriages and births and are often seen across India blessing motorists in return for cash. Now hijras – better known in India as transgender people – have emerged as the unlikely stars of a new road safety campaign. The Seatbelt Crew features transgender dancers in a short film, created on behalf of a personal protection app Vithu by the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, has become an internet hit, clocking up more than one and a half million views since it was uploaded three days ago. The adverts shows the hijras clapping to a routine inspired by an air cabin crew. “If you’re going to drive like a pilot,” says one, “then you should know some things.” They then go on to explain to motorists the dangers of driving recklessly and without a seatbelt. Prejudice prevails Transgender people have suffered due to antiquated criminalisation laws dating back to when the British ruled in India. The country’s Supreme Court last month finally ruled that transgender people would be recognised on official documents under a separate “third gender” category. The decision was cheered by activists, who say that, despite its distinguished history, the...
Do Ladyboys plan for the future?

Do Ladyboys plan for the future?

  Many of us westerners do all we can to direct and control fate or to limit it’s negative effects. If you doubt this, consider the multi-million business of insurance in the West. The average Thai ladyboy, girl or man is no closer to adopting this attitude to life than were their ancestors a hundred or two hundred years ago. Next time you hire a scooter in a Thailand beach resort, ask for insurance and you will probably be met with a blank gaze. At first glance such insouciance may seem to belong in the stone-age, but spend a little more time in the kingdom and you may begin to question the wisdom, and even the sincerity, of your previously held Western attitudes. Think a little about life in the West. We spend our lives paying income tax, council tax, life insurance, car insurance, accident insurance and perhaps even medical insurance. The job market demands that we constantly train and retrain, presenting ourselves as dynamic, enthusiastic go-getters who are well educated and experienced in our field. It also demands that we remain young and malleable. Negativity about our situation is almost considered a criminal act. We raise our children at great expense and personal sacrifice of our freedom. We may not regret it and yet the cost is undeniably high both financially and emotionally. We strive to achieve status, buying the house and cars as required by our corrosive social mores. Later, married, having given up alcohol abuse, nicotine, fulfilling sex and recreational drugs, having learned the coded language of our politically correct workplace, having become careful of what...
Talking football with the (wo)man of the match

Talking football with the (wo)man of the match

Talking football with the (wo)man of the match A boutique nail and beauty bar isn’t the obvious location to interview a footballer of international standing – but then Jayeih Saelua is no ordinary footballer. A 6ft 2 central defender for American Samoa’s men’s team – Jayeih is known for crunching tackles and crucial goal line clearances. But Jayeih also has long vermillion nails and sleek glossy hair that reaches almost to the small of her back. Jayeih is transgender – in lay terms, a woman born into a man’s body. A woman whose parents gave the name “Johnny”. Talking football with the (wo)man of the match Her team – American Samoa – were previously known as the side that infamously lost 31- 0 to Australia in a World Cup qualifier. But that was before a new coach revitalised the team and recruited new players. One of whom is Jaiyeh – who has accidentally become the star of a new documentary ostensibly following the team’s on field fortunes. And “Next Goal Wins” also tackles an issue at the cutting edge of sport. Transgender footballer Jaiyeh is the world’s first transgender footballer to play on the international stage – not just in meaningless friendlies, but in the world cup qualifiers. Jaiyeh is in London to promote her film. While a beauty therapist fixes a broken nail and massages moisturiser into her palms, we discuss who is going to win the World Cup. It’s hard to imagine someone like Jaiyeh ever playing for the England men’s team. But American Samoa is rather different. For when she first took the field, Jaiyeh says...