‘Why do men continue to get prettier as the days go by?” The question, a rhetorical one, was asked by Woody Milintachinda on his morning TV show Woody Teun Ma Kui last week. And, no, he was not referring to Caitlyn Jenner. His subject was homebound and revolved around Thailand’s latest sensation that most of us have come to know as Nong Wo.
Nong Wo, or Woranat Sukhavanit, recently had her pictures flying all over the internet when she appeared at Chiang Mai University for an admission interview wearing a male school uniform. Her pretty face, slender figure and long hair had many wondering: is that a boy or a girl?
Woranat was born male and hasn’t undergone any operations yet — a trans in the making. She aspires to follow the path of trans actress and model Poy Treechada, who won the Miss Tiffany crown in 2004.
Woranat’s pretty face in a boy’s school uniform catapulted her into overnight stardom, but this sudden rise to fame has seemed to illicit negative reactions from some older katoey students at CMU.
“Who says a new katoey coming in this year is beautiful? Come and see me. Cut your hair. Dress like a man and stop taking your hormone pills,” posted one student on Facebook.
It was followed by another comment, stating: “I’ll slap her so hard, her face will go askew. Hormone pills are forbidden on any occasions.”
In the end, Woranat declared on Facebook that she would not move to CMU and would continue studying in Bangkok.
“The threats were only a small part, but it’s mainly for my family that I choose to continue my studies at Srinakharinwirot University. Everything, for me, is here in Bangkok,” she said on the TV show.
Still, the online community suspects otherwise. Many condemned the extreme seniority system in educational institutions (known as the Sotus system) that, on many occasions, displays violent behaviour towards incoming students.
This whole drama about Nong Wo shows that violence and discrimination towards LGBT people does exist, even from fellow LGBT members. The idea of a community, of sticking together, sadly doesn’t always exist.
While different groups of activists work together to fight for equal rights and same-sex marriage legalisation, another side of the community — though small — sees one another as foes. How are we actually moving on in this society? As a community of minorities?
Credit: Bangkok Post