Thai University Uniforms – The Ladyboys of Bangkok

I’ll warn you now. This post is not for the kind of person who is strait-laced, prudish, puritanical or easily disgusted. If the gay movie Philadelphia made you nauseous and sick, then look away now, because this post could leave you feeling altogether limp and a bit ‘queer’. It’s all about Thai university uniforms, but ones with a bit of a twist.

With a gay abandon and a computer keyboard tightly bound in a pink PVC antimicrobial dust cover, Beyond The Mango Juice delves into the dark world of Thai ladyboys and takes a look at the ladyboys of Bangkok dressed in Thai girls university uniforms, under the safety umbrella of Thailand’s educational system.

From the outside, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University in Bangkok, looks no different to any other university in Thailand, but on closer inspection it ‘majors’ in a very unusual way.

Ladyboys have been a big part of Thailand’s culture for many years and with the country’s emergence into the tourism sector back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the art and profession of a ladyboy soon spread throughout the Land of Smiles. Nowadays, a sex change surgeon’s scalpel is in operation nearly as much as a corkscrew in Bangkok’s trendy bars.

Ladyboys are not uncommon in Thailand’s universities, and it would be a fair bet to say every school, college and higher educational institution in Thailand has a number of third gender individuals.

However, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, near Ratchasima Road, Bangkok, has set itself apart from the others. It is believed to be the first educational establishment in the world to allow ladyboys to attend dressed in university girls student uniforms.

The photograph above shows ladyboy Wittaya Jannoi studying in a university classroom alongside fellow (not sure if that’s the right word) scholars. Wittaya is studying for a degree in marketing, and she is best pleased with the university’s stance on Thailand’s third gender sex wearing girls uniforms at Suan Dusit Rajabhat’s educational facilities.

“I’m happy here. We can be ourselves, because we don’t have to hide.”

Suan Dusit Rajabhat University’s policy of treating its transgender pupils as equal to all other students has seen around one hundred ladyboys enrol in search of an honours degree. Handbags at dawn must be an hourly thing in the classrooms near Soi Ratchasima.

Pacharee Suankaew, vice-president for student affairs at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, had this to say about the their policy towards the university’s ladyboys wearing female uniforms.

“Our view is that everybody is equal. Boy, girl or lady-boy. We try to accept them and not look down on them.”

Now it’s time for you to have your say on whether ladyboys should be allowed to dress in this way whilst attending Suan Dusit Rajabhat University. Here’s a poll;

The poll is now closed due to the voting plugin clashing with Beyond The Mango Juice’s new template theme.  The overwhelming result was a 73% (78 votes) vote in favour of Thai ladyboys being allowed to wear girls uniforms at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University.[dublin-core-metadata]

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

12 Responses

  1. I don’t see any problem with ladyboys wearing a female uniform. I can’t see how it could harm anyone.

  2. Martyn says:

    Paul as a former school teacher in Thailand I very much respect your view on this one and that is firmly with the ladyboys. Although you probably wouldn’t want them sat too near the front.

  3. lawrence says:

    After that intro, how could anyone wimp out of reading the article, Martyn? It’s not often I vote with the majority either. Good post, good follow-up to the uniforms . Most people teaching English in Thai schools find the lady-boys the most apt pupils: fewer inhibitions than the boys, willingness to show-off, etc.

    The toilet question still seems the major obstacle for lady-boys, but I have read of at least one place that provides 3 choices, perhaps it was this one. Personally, I already waste valuable time figuring out which of two vague logos is the one I need. I wonder what the third one looks like.

  4. Martyn says:

    Lawrence you offer a good insight to ladyboys in Thai schooling, I bet they do show-off a little. Sports lessons and changing rooms must pose a problem for them.

    A photo of the third gender toilet sign would make a good quiz question. I must try and seek one out. That is internet seeking and not actual.

  5. Catherine says:

    I’m also with the “Yes, I don’t see a problem” group.

    There’s enough to deal with growing up and I strongly believe that emotional damage comes in heavy when you force real people to hide who they are.

    Which leads me to this disclaimer: my strong beliefs are not extended to everyone and their dog and pony show.


  6. Martyn says:

    Catherine – You are right about how kids can carry emotional damage into their childhood and it can last forever. I think ladyboys wearing girls student uniforms to college or university is about as far as it should go. However parents and schools allowing younger boys to dress this way is not the way to go.

  7. Mike says:

    Martyn, I’m with the majority here. In fact I do have very limited experience teaching lady-boys at my local voluntary work.

    Generally I find them to make good students who seem accepted by everyone in the class.

    Here in Thailand girls seem to make better students(same as UK?) and the ladyboys tend to follow the girls lead.

    Good post……what was your source?

  8. Martyn says:

    Mike you surprise me with your vote I thought you’d have been in the camp (pun) of one of the other two. Thailand must be doing you some real good.

    The source…..I was looking to do a ladyboy story and went to Google Public domain to search for some images when I stumbled on 22 photos of the university ladyboys. They turned out to be copyrighted but the owner kindly sent me a low res image. The photos and story are splashed all over the net but without the copyrighter’s approval.

  9. Talen says:

    I don’t see a problem with it and besides most Thai males wore traditional Thai skirts anyway up until the last century.

    I think the Western mind has a problem with most things because the West has a problem with sexuality in general.

  10. Martyn says:

    Talen I hadn’t thought about Thai males traditional dresswear perhaps that’s got something to do with the history of ladyboys.

    I’m sure the story would shock most western people but I’m one of those who over the years have come to accept ladyboys as an everyday thing in Thailand.

  11. Smink says:

    I dont see any problems with that.. Honestly people need to accept that everybody isnt the same..

  12. Martyn says:

    Smink – Thanks for your comment and it goes with the voting so far. It appears most people think the same as you.

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