Ladyboys on parade in a village outside Dayton, Ohio
BANGKOK, Thailand (Nothing is Sacred) - As the hard-working citizens of the Thai capitol prepare to bedazzle the salivating world media with the ornate costumes, navel jewelry, porcelain skin, and narrow hips that have skyrocketed ladyboys to the heights of fame, it is important to take a step back and remember why it is that people the world over have the day off work/school today.
No, it is not so that you have an opportunity to cloak yourself in ostrich feathers and alternate bong rips with keg stands in the kitchen at your grandparents' legendary annual celebration before safely acting on your latent bicuriosity with an intriguing stranger without fear of reprisal.
Candlelight vigil in support of ladyboys in Africa Unity Square, Harare, Zimbabwe
Rather, International Ladyboy Day seeks to remind the world of the countless atrocities committed by generations of haters against the peaceful ladyboy community. We live in an age where ladyboys can roam the streets without fear of hostility, with the assurance of earning a living wage for their efforts, with their heads held high and the world at their feet, and so we forget the world was not always so hospitable for their kind.
It wasn't long ago that being a ladyboy prohibited somebody from running for office or becoming a movie star, a captain of industry, professional athlete, etc. Discrimination was rampant, random acts of violence were common, wages were shockingly low, disease spread like wildfire...the ladyboy camp was running scared, rarely coming out of hiding, fearful for the future, dwindling in number, pretending to be something they were not.
Old Man Gunderson's barn in Wyoming, USA, was home to countless Ladyboys over the years, for a night or two. Funds are currently being raised for its preservation.
The now-famous Ladyboy Railroad that provided so many persecuted ladyboys passage to friendlier confines in Bangkok over the years--thanks to the selfless efforts of rural homesteaders and urban liberals the world over--was a key component in allowing the previously vulnerable ladyboys to assemble en-masse, lick their wounds, perfect complicated new sexual techniques, and come back stronger than ever, more numerous than ever, and more relatable than ever.
As a result of a pitch-perfect public relations campaign, an increasing supply of satisfied customers, and a general loosening of morals among younger generations and closeted politicians, ladyboy tolerance spread across the globe slowly but surely. However, while ladyboys are indeed everywhere these days, Bangkok will always be the spiritual home of their movement.
The Starbucks on Khaosan Road always has the most fabulous queue in Bangkok
Will the Ladyboy Parade in your small Norwegian mining town be as grand as that of Bangkok? Doubtful, but it is equally as important and I have no doubt the hors d'oeuvres will be fantastic, so get out there and have some fun, people of Earth!
Time to indulge in a few dozen buttery nipples and gather vital material required for me to report back tomorrow afternoon, as the world sobers up on its convenient 'sick day.'
Au revoir for now, mes amours,
Goodtime Charlie is the foremost expert on ladyboys and the author of several books on the subject, most recently, "Ladyboys in Love: A Thrilling Journey to the Frontier of Love," a New York Times Notable Book for 2010.