27 March 2013

Life's A Drag - The Ladyboys of Koh Tao

Oh, the glamour of it all!

On our way to the drag cabaret on Koh Tao, I had the following exchange with my friend (and diving buddy) John:
     John: I can't believe you changed into a dress and red lipstick to impress the ladyboys. 
      Me: You don't know me very well.

It's true. I love drag shows. I acquired a fake ID when I was 16 and the very first thing I used it for was to go to the Odyssey (RIP) to see Willie Taylor, Mandy Kamp and Carlotta Gurl perform in Lips Inc. While I slammed 99 cent shots of butter rum schnapps (*shudder*) I fell in love with the glamour of it all - call me a fag hag or a fruit fly, but sister, I have been back to that show- and others - dozens of times over the past decade and a half.

Thailand is a fantastic place to see a drag show. Kathoeys, or ladyboys, are an accepted part of Thai culture, and you will see them working retail and restaurant jobs alongside other women and men. That is, if you can clock them - some kathoeys are more feminine that I could ever dream of being, with willowy waists, perfect skin and flawless make-up. For those with the desire to perform in a revue style show there are thousands across the country, and the Ladyboys of Bangkok is said to be one of the best in the world.

While on Koh Tao, an island that seemingly has everything, I was delighted to discover that they have a ladyboy bar called the Queens Cabaret! I was thrilled to get prettied up, pre-drunk and head to the 11pm show for a night of entertainment and glamour and.... it was... well, it was just ok.

The outfits were a little wilted, the lipsynching a little messy and damn, those girls didn't really know how to beat their faces. BUT we still had a fantastic time - John and Pau got called onstage to participate - and with no admission fee and only a one drink minimum I highly recommend the show. So gurl, break out that MAC Red and your best flip flops and head to the Cabaret!

I actually asked them if they watch RuPaul's Drag Race. They had no idea what I was talking about.
John, me and Jess ready to watch the show. Tres excite!

No T, No shade, hunty.
What is the correct term for a group of ladyboys? A cluster? A murder? A glitter?
That's it. A glitter of drag queens.

Pau, or the Spanish Tom Cruise "Tomas Cruz" shows off his ladyboy kiss with pride. I later heard him have a conversation in the 7/11 with a big dude from South Africa about how much they respect the ladyboys.

With love from Kathmandu (but dreaming of Koh Tao)
xoxox Violet Dear

1 comment:

Terri Emelia said...

Wow!! We love this blog post, thanks for mentioning the Lady Boys of Bangkok's UK show in your write up :):)

If you have any questions or want more information about the Lady Boys of Bangkok give us a shout! We are also running our own blog over at www.gandeyworldclass.blogspot.com from the parent company of the UK show: Gandey World Class Productions.

This is such an awesome review we're off to tweet about it too! with love from @TheLadyBoys xox