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Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys
Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand
Edited by Peter A. Jackson, Canberra Gerard Sullivan
1999, Harrington Park Press - 237 Pages

About The Book:

Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand offers methods that will help social workers, researchers, and students create HIV/AIDS intervention services for gay men, lesbians, and transgender individuals in or from Thailand. Many of these methods can also be used by practitioners or HIV/AIDS educators in North America and developing countries to address issues of culturally diverse clientele. In response to Western and Thai sexuality studies that fail to accurately represent the diverse sexualities of Thailand, this book discusses and describes certain factors that need to be taken into consideration when developing intervention programs. Demonstrating how cultural and social factors influence services, Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys will help you provide clients with effective and relevant services.

Drawing attention to Eurocentric ideology that may hinder cross-cultural collaboration for Thai-Western service provisions, this book offers you information that will help you understand how cultural, political, and economic systems shape sexuality and gender roles in Thai society. Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys provides you with the necessary knowledge for providing successful services, including:

  • how Thai sexualities are identified by examining the meaning of terms such as ?toms? (masculine Thai lesbians), ?dee? (feminine-identified women who have relations with other women), ?kathoey? (males that dress like women and wear make-up), or ?lady boys? (transsexual or transvestite males)
  • how Thai society actually defines ?having sex? and recognizing the differences from Western connotations of sex to effectively teach individuals about the risk of HIV/AIDS
  • ways Western views of confidentiality and privacy differ from Thai views in order to understand why individuals hesitate to get tested for or seek counselling about HIV/AIDS
  • the relationship between occupation and sexual identity in movies and magazines that reveal how sexuality is characterized in Thailand
  • the unique social identity of ?toms? and how Thai society labels what is masculine and feminine
  • reasons for hiding sexual identity, such as rejection, fear of stereotypes, and having a relationship that is viewed by society as wrong and meaningless
  • protecting commercial sex workers (CSW) from infection by developing culturally appropriate interventions

One of the only books to address HIV/AIDS issues of gay and transgender individuals in Thailand, Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys will help you increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and create successful intervention programs for clients.

?This book is about a way of life, culture, and society far away. It is also AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR OUR COUNTRY as we continue to be the melting pot we have always been.? - Resources Hotline

?AN ENGAGING BOOK. . . . Will be of interest to HIV/AIDS prevention workers, scholars of Thailand and Southeast Asia, and students of human gender and sexuality.? - Journal of Asian Studies

?Brings to life the issues and problems of interpreting sexual and gender identities in contemporary Thailand. . . . Provides challenges to the applicability of models derived from Western gay, lesbian, and queer theories. . . . An important corrective to the many misapprehensions that have arisen, both within and outside Thailand, about non-normative sexual behaviors.? - Nerida M. Cook, PhD, Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania, Australia

?Demonstrates how negative stereotypes have pervaded the dominant scholarship on sexual minorities in Thailand and caused barriers to needed health education, counseling, and health services. . . . This book illustrates how the cultural notions of family and community may be positive resources in providing effective services.? - Eldon L. Wegner, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu


  • Foreword
  • A Panoply of Roles: Sexual and Gender Diversity in Contemporary Thailand
  • Same-Sex Sexual Experience in Thailand
  • HIV/AIDS Projects with and for Gay Men in Northern Thailand
  • Increasingly Gay Self-Representations of Male-Male Sexual Experiences in Thailand
  • Masculinity and Tom (ital) Identity in Thailand
  • Transformations of Transgender: The Case of the Thai Kathoey (ital)
  • Rehearsing Gender and Sexuality in Modern Thailand: Masculinity and Male-Male Sex Behaviors
  • The Friends Thou Hast: Support Systems for Male Commercial Sex Workers in Pattaya, Thailand
  • Between Money, Morality and Masculinity: The Dynamics of Bar-Based Male Sex Work in Chiang Mai
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

About the Editors

Peter A. Jackson, PhD Research Fellow in Thai History, Division of Pacific and Asian Studies, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra Gerard Sullivan, PhD Senior Lecturer, School of Behavioural and Community Health, University of Sydney, Australia

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