Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thai airline hires 'ladyboys' as flight attendants

In Thai culture, transgender male-to-females, as well as transvestites, are considered to be a "third gender" or "kathoey". This loosely translates in English to "ladyboy". Having already been familiar with ladyboys, I watched this news video with interest:

According to the accompanying article:

A new Thai charter airline due to start operations on Asian routes in April is hiring transsexuals as flight attendants.

More than 100 transvestites and transsexuals people applied for the first round of jobs. Four were chosen, along with 19 female and seven male flight attendants.

Among the successful applicants was Dissanai Chitpraphachin, 23, who was crowned as Thailand's most beautiful transvestite in 2007.

Kathoey still have hurdles to overcome in Thai society (read more about ladyboys in an older article here), but the idea of a "third gender" is certainly more embraced in their region than in other parts of the world. I wonder if we'd ever see a similar hiring campaign with a Western airline?

Katrina Strauss

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