With Thailand being amongst other things the land of Lady Boys (transvestites) and Katoys (transsexuals) there has been a new and unusual twist, a third gender toilet that can only be nicknamed a ‘Katoylet’. So in Thailand from Pattaya to Bangkok, as it stands or sits you now have a third choice of where to take a leak.
The Education Ministry wants separate restrooms for transsexuals to avoid potential problems, however this whole issue has a bad smell to it. It is difficult to pin political correctness on this but it does have that same bad taste. The other possibility is there is money to be made somewhere along the way, but that is also a bit far fetched as only the sign on the door needs to be changed and a newly dubbed Katoylet is born. So that leaves open the issue that this is some sort of discrimination.
Transsexual nursing student Worakarn Kantajaem, 19, says he and 200 other transsexuals participate in university activities and believes their presence does not “disgust teachers or other students”.
“Separate toilets won’t make anything better for us. We can use both the men’s and women’s. It’s unnecessary to build them,” Worakarn says.
So what of this and the potential problems this can cause, and no doubt a whole new line of toilet jokes can come of it. For starters as you arrive in Thailand your immigration card would have Male, Female and Other options to check, and from there it would really get confusing if the ‘Other’ box is checked. Questions below that could be ‘Do you prefer to sit or stand when you pee?’
Simply this Katoylet idea is a bad idea all around. To see someone come in and lift up their skirt to use the urinal next to you is not uncommon in Thailand. In many of the adult venues the toilet is for both sexes so a third toilet would not be necessary. To be standing there taking a leak and having a girl apply her makeup in a mirror a few feet away happens everyday.
So why this ever got started is a complete mystery and is totally unneeded in the Land of Smiles.
Of course it is useful. Not because somebody in the males bathroom might be disgusted by my presence, but I fear that he might feel uncomfortable. It`s all about politeness. Samething is with the girls room. We have to have our hair short, so we look like boys and some girls just feel uncomfortable, too, when we go to thier room. Going to our own room is nothing bad, but gives us a more comfortable feeling and makes as normal. Just a gender on our own. I wrote more about this in that post http://phettisaam.blogspot.com/2008/06/discussion-about-ladyboy-restrooms-in.html and and post in pretty well reknown Matt`s blog, too: http://whatismatt.com/girl-at-heart/
I thought that this was an interesting article. I find that the Thais can be very open-minded people, when they want to be. Unlike other countries Thai society is not at all homophobic.
I recently wrote about this same subject on my website. The short piece “He, She, or Wannabe” is at the bottom of the column on this link below…