Today I have the pleasure to do an interview with my friend Jamilah. We met on a Saturday night a couple of weeks ago on another bumpy bus ride in BKK, to be more precise my favorite bus no. 2 from Sukhumvit to Khaosan.
Jamilah, you are so beautiful! And I’m sure that so many foreign guys have a hard time figuring out if you are a ladyboy. Do you meet a lot of guys asking if you are a ladyboy because they are not sure?
Many foreign guys passed into my life without knowing that I was a ladyboy even though some Thai people understood that I was a woman. Anyway, there were some people were not sure that I was a ladyboy or not, and I told them “Yes, I’m.”
When did you realize and decide that you want to become a girl?
I had been thinking of dressing like a girl since I was young. At my primary school, I saw my classmates wearing skirts and having long hair, I thought I could do that once. I had to wear a boy student uniform until high school, and after I finished my high school. My dream came true. I began dressing like a woman when I studied in Thammasat University (Bangkok).
How were your family’s and friend’s reactions?
Just be a good man is that my dad and my mom said to me. My family has always told me that I could be whatever I wanted. Between my friends and I we have a very good connection. We can absolutely accept what we are. My life I live.
Was it a difficult time for you to change your sex and did you take hormones? How long did the process take?
I feel myself if I dress like a woman. I became a ladyboy because I did not want to be a man. I’ve taken hormones since I was 15 years old. Now I’m going to be 23 on December.
The word ladyboy is commonly used among foreigners; do you prefer to be called by the Thai word Kathoey?
For me, I prefer the word ladyboy to the Thai word Kathoey because Kathoey is some kind of insulting.
How do you see the situation in Thailand – are ladyboys by now accepted in the Thai society?
From my point of view, Thai ladyboys nowadays are educated. We are almost equal like men and women in many ways of living. Moreover, people these days always respect good persons no matter what sex they are.
You are currently on a trip to San Franciso. How is the perception towards ladyboys in the US compared to Thailand – is it more open-minded?
I think both Thai people and Amercian people in San Francisco are definably open-minded. I had no problem about sexual discrimination. People treated me like a woman in the same way how I treat myself.
Often you hear that transsexual people in Thailand have problems in finding a good job. Did you experience any situations where you have been given a disadvantage?
For me, I think getting a good job doesn’t depend on sex; on the other hand, it depends on your abilities and performance. I don’t mind if some jobs reserved for only straight sex. I’ll find the jobs that they can accept me.
Are you taking a lot of effort to stay in the beautiful shape that you have now – diet and exercise?
First of all, just think positively that you are a beautiful woman. Then, behave and feel like a woman. Take care of yourself like other girls do. That is the easy way to be a lady.
Thank you so much for the interview Jamilah. Are you single right now?
Yes, I am.
Find Jamilah on Facebook here.
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