Saturday, January 29, 2011

Transgender Airline Takes Off

 Where else but Thailand would an airline have a policy of hiring transgender trolley dollys ?.

Thanyarat Jiraphatpakorn
Known as kathoeys or ladyboys and called the 'third sex', transgender Thais are a common sight all over Thailand and they blend into the culture in every way. When a Thai boy tells his mum and dad he plans to change his sex, the discussion is most likely about whether the family can afford the operation rather than shocked exclamations.

Now a new Thai airline called PC Air has hired three transgender flight attendants including the winner of the 2007 Miss Tiffany beauty pageant 23 year old Thanyarat Jiraphatpakorn . Tiffanys is a world famous cabaret theatre in the seaside resort of Pattaya near Bangkok and hundreds of tourists flock to the extravagant floor shows to see the beautiful ladyboy chorus lines every night of the week.

Joyce Maynge for Qantas ?
Just last week SBS television screened the popular and classic Thai film Beautiful Boxer, the true story of Parinya Jaroenphon, a young Buddhist monk who became a top Thai boxer while struggling with his sexual identity. Parinya eventually earned enough money in the tough boxing rings of Chonburi while wearing full make-up during bouts to pay for his sex reassignment surgery with the blessing of his parents.

Will the idea catch on ?. As our picture shows, Richard Branson with his world wide Virgin Blue Airlines may be flirting with the idea already and although Thailand has the largest number of transgenders in the world, Australia could give them a run for their money.

Prince Lorenzo
With the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras season hotting up perhaps Qantas could set out on an recruitment drive up Oxford Street.
Priscilla Queen of The Desert has already shown the world what we are made of, or were once made of. It's never quite made clear in the film if all the drag queens have had the 'snip'n'tuck' and Sydney's six foot drag queens delight in keeping it a secret as to whether they have 'gone all the way' down there !.

Qantas has form here for setting trends and hiring trolley dollys of all descriptions and they were the first airline to offer joint family benefits to same sex couples. And  in Aussie egalitarian culture social beginnings of any form have never been a barrier. Now retired but once famous for ditching his prospective bride in Venice for the best man, for years the Egyptian royal Prince Lorenzo Montesini Giustiniani   could be found serving passengers in the first class section at the pointy end of the plane.