Prostitution has been common is Thailand for centuries, During the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351–1767), prostitution was not only legal but taxed for the good of the people in charge who ran brothels to earn more tax.
Prostitution itself is legal but anything associated with it such as brothels, pimping, kerb crawling ect are considered crimes. The sex industry in Thailand actually accounts for a large portion of the National GDP.
The trans community makes up a large part of the industry and has actually become what Thailand is almost known for…Ladyboy’s.
It has it’s own word – Kathoey – Meaning Trans women, intersex people and effeminate gay men.
So what is a Ladyboy?
A lot of Ladyboy’s are men who choose to look feminine, while some are transvestites who simply enjoy dressing as a woman. A number of them are Transgender people who are transitioning from male to female. When the criminalization of homosexuality made its way to Thailand a lot of gay men became a Ladyboy to avoid persecution.
While Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1956, The laws did not acknowledge that anyone is a different sex to what they were born and cannot be named so on any official forms despite many calls for change.
In 2015 the Thailand gender equality act was passed which helped to support this maligned community rather than oppress it and now Thailand is also home to Miss International Queen which is the largest Transgender beauty pageant in the world marking the great strides that have been made in the county with attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.
So anyone who identities as LGBTQ will be pleased to know that there is a thriving social scene in Bangkok including Gay clubs, cabaret nights, and much more where Ladyboy’s make up a large amount of attendees.
In 2006 the first all Kathoey Music group called Venus Flytrap was formed and is promoted by Sony BMG Music Entertainment which has helped promote knowledge about Ladyboy’s all around the world.
Ladyboy Escorts and now a money making phenomenon in Thailand and will continue to thrive the more accepting the world becomes.