Ladyboys from Thailand in the street

Why Are There So Many Ladyboys In Thailand? 9 Reasons

Thailand is a popular tourist destination for so many reasons, one of which is beautiful ladyboys. From the jaw-dropping body to the incredible sex, there’s so much to know about them.

However, the question that keeps popping up is: Why Are There So Many Ladyboys In Thailand?”.

It’s normal to get this question, especially when you’re visiting Thailand for the first time.

From the streets to the malls to the clubs, ladyboys are fairly common. So there is a very high likelihood of running into a ladyboy, known locally as Kathoey or ‘the third gender’.

Surprisingly, the main reason why ladyboys are rampant in Thailand has a lot to do with the cultural belief in the country.

But there are other additional factors as well, each of which I’ll cover in this article.


1. The LGBT Community In Thailand Isn’t Discriminated

Unlike in the West, gays, trans, and lesbians are tolerated. They are free to express their gender without prejudice.

This is perhaps the most important reason why ladyboys are prevalent in Thailand. According to this report, over 300,000 trans people are living in Thailand. 

If a guy feels feminine, he won’t have second thoughts about using some make wear a skirt. He won’t be bad-mouthed or ridiculed.

Yet, this mostly depends on the location. In tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya where there is a high concentration of ladyboys, no one makes a fuss about them.

But in rural communities, there are a few locals who merely tolerate ladyboys. 


2. Thai Ladyboys Make Good Money Selling Sex

Thai ladyboy in gogo bar in Pattaya

Sex tourism in Thailand is huge as you can see from these statistics.

It’s no secret that many foreigners travel to Thailand to have sexual encounters, especially with ladyboys. This has increased the demand for trans sex in Thailand.

The result is that many young effeminate boys decide to become Kathoeys so they can work in the sex industry and make good money.

They make much more than gay boys because of the less competition they face. For every 10 gay boy, there is only one ladyboy.

Basically, it’s demand and offer economics at work.


3. A Permissive Religion

Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand and plays a vital part in the acceptance of ladyboys.

According to this religion, everyone is reincarnated and ladyboys are the result of karmic consequences in their previous life.

And because their decision is not made out of choice but from karma, they are pitied by most people.

This is why Buddhism accepts kathoeys as a third gender. Many Buddhism monks even accept invitations to bless same-sex marriages in Thailand.


4. The Internet

Thanks to the internet awareness about sexy Thai ladyboys has spread around the world. This video interview is what I mean…

And this not only has captured the attention of foreign men who want to hook up or date them but also makes other trans women relocate to Thailand.

Foreign trans women see an opportunity to become famous and also make some good money in Thailand.

Also, they can enjoy the trans-friendly environment without having to deal with close-minded people in their own country.


5. It Isn’t a Threat to Male Masculinity

The Thais consider transgender individuals as a third gender, separate from both men and women. This classification not only isn’t a threat to male masculinity but to society as well.

And because most Thai ladyboys are more beautiful than women, many men are attracted to them.

But unlike in the West where a man would feel homo having sex with a transgender, in Thailand, thanks to the third gender classification is seen as sexual openness.

The result is harmony between all the sexes in a culture where these individuals can pursue their true selves without fear of discrimination.


6. Surgeries Are Common And Cheap In Thailand

There are so many clinics in Thailand specialized in esthetic surgeries that they are easily accessible as well as affordable.

For example, a male-to-female reassignment surgery cost starts from 1100 USD which is nothing compared to the $5000 starting price in the US.

Aside from this, Thailand also has one of the best surgeons in the world. And it’s easy to shop for hormonal pills as you can find them in most local drug stores and for cheap.

The easy access to a surgeon and the affordable cost makes it relatively easy for guys to become ladyboys.


7. Beautiful Thai Kathoeys Are Promoted

Miss Tiffany Kathoey show

Another reason why ladyboys are so many in Thailand is that they are publicly promoted for acceptance and popularity.

The beauty contest, Miss Tiffany Universe, is a transgender show in Pattaya. The show is incredibly popular and an opportunity for trans to make money and fame.

The same goes for Miss ACDC, which is a parody contest that allows trans to express their humor. And there are lots of films that center on ladyboys.

These competitions, films, and contests are used to promote ladyboys in Thailand, and even internationally.


8. Many Ladyboys Establish Their Career Around Their Identity

It’s wrong to assume that all ladyboys in Thailand are sex workers. There are many famous TV stars and online celebrities as well.

All the hype they get from the public push many young boys to become the most beautiful and search after ladyboy.

Besides the height of popularity they can reach as kathoeys, there are many side gigs like cabaret shows that pay extremely well.


9. Trans Women Are Part Of Thai Culture

Apart from being a third-sex member, ladyboys are an integral part of Thai culture.

In the olden days, ladyboys were mocked and mostly seen as comic figures. However, this is not the case anymore, especially in Thailand.

In public places, there are restrooms made just for trans. Ladyboys are also very popular among models, singers, beauty queens, etc.

As such, ladyboys have become a part of the country’s lifestyle. Seeing a boy wearing makeup or a dress is considered very normal in Thailand.