Thailand’s 1st Ladyboy?

February 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Ladyboy News

The first ladyboy?

Really, the first?

I suppose it had to start somewhere so it may as well be with this one. Truth be told, she’s very pretty and I’d probably short time her if I saw her trolling outside of Nana Plaza.

I found this story floating around online and that person found it in a book so I’m going to credit them both and go about my day.

I found the story here: http://www.thai-blogs.com/index.php/2007/08/21/thailand_s_1st_real_ladyboy_2?blog=8

He says he found it here: Khoosangkoosom magazine

It’s a long fucking read so I hope you really, really, really want to know about Thailand’s first ladyboy if you’re going to read all of this.

And here we go…

Former actress Jim Sara claims that she was not only Thailand’s very first transsexual to be officially recognized as ‘Miss’, but also the first to have full sex-operation surgery. For the first time in English, here is her story on how she became Thailand’s first ‘real’ ladyboy.

A native of Nakhorn Sawan province, Miss Jim first hit the limelight in her teens when she acted in a series of films – each one playing the part of an actual women. According to the film crew and fans, Jim was so cute in those days, that everyone mistook her for a Tom-boy! And even after she gave up performing for the cameras and took up the normal working life, people around her still believed she was just a girl disguised as a boy. Jim relates the story of the time she was employed at a fancy hotel. One day, on being approached by one the hotel bosses she was taken aside and informed that it was against staff policy to hire Tom-boys. She was instructed that from that day onwards, unless she went back to dressing as she should – as a proper female – she would be fired!

Fed-up with the miserly pay of hotel work, Jim changed direction and got herself a job as a well-paid tour guide. She admits that she had a great time with her new chosen career and managed to save plenty of cash. So much in fact, that she was able to establish her own bar – aimed at gays. Her bar was soon a hit with the local and expat ‘pink’ communities, especially when she thought the idea up of secretly showing gay sex movies. Not for long though, her bar was busted by the police; Jim was arrested, her bar shut down and she lost all her money.

Devastated at such bad luck, Jim packed her suitcase and headed for London at the advice of an English friend she had met while working as a guide. Wanting to travel as a ‘woman’, Jim decided to travel on her sister’s passport and left her ‘male’ one at home. Not long after, Jim secured herself work in a Thai restaurant and she was back to earning decent cash.

By chance, while flicking through a copy of a local newspaper, Jim came across an advertisement from a London hospital looking for sex-operation ‘case study’ applicants. It was 1976 and Jim was just 23 years old. Jim jumped at the opportunity of a free sex-operation as no such thing was available in Thailand in those days. Mind you, Jim wasn’t the only one to apply for such a great opportunity and on the day of application she was surprised to meet another 100 or so transsexual hopefuls. She was the only Thai and one of just three Asians.

Jim managed to pass the first stage of application and the amount of applicants was cut to 40. For the next couple of months, Jim had to attend a series of daily interviews and tests, most of them psychological and underwent hormone treatment– she was fortunate that her place of work wasn’t too far down the road. Finally, the doctors made their ‘case study’ list be known and when Jim heard her name being called out as one of the chosen 7, she broke down in tears. Later, on asking one of the doctors why she had been one of the lucky ones, she was informed that she was the most ‘lady-like’ of all the hopefuls, both mentally and physically. Jim’s operation was classified as ‘full-option’ and it was to take a total of 14 hours. In the meantime, Jim took 7 days leave from work and told no-one.

After the operation, Jim admits that she was in a lot of pain and it was a few days before the bandages came off and she could finally see her new self in the mirror. She was thrilled at what she had become – her dream had come true.

When Jim’s visa was coming to an end, she decided that she had had enough of London and headed back for home. With the sex-operation complete, Jim thought it best to disclose the details to her family for the very first time – at the airport where they were waiting. Only having known Jim as a cross-dresser before, they were absolutely shocked to see their brother walking through arrivals with a big pair of breasts. Jim’s father never did get over such a surprise and didn’t talk to her for years after.

After Jim Sara had been the first Thai to ever undergo a complete sex-change operation (London’s Kensington Hospital, 1976) she came back to Thailand to start her new life as a woman. Unfortunately though, the Thai law (as it still does today) disallows transsexuals to use the title ‘Nang Sao’ (Miss). Jim feeling really hurt inside, admits that even though she was fitted out in female sexual organs, she didn’t feel like an actual woman.

Fed-up with Thailand’s anti-transsexual diplomatic way of thinking, Jim packed her bags again and this time flew to Melbourne, Australia to start up a Thai restaurant – going into business with her Thai boyfriend of then. Jim stayed there for a total of 5 years, but after her and her boyfriend split up, the restaurant business went to tatters and she got on the airplane home. She next flew on to Switzerland – and as she has traveled to England before, she falsely used her sister’s passport.

Again, in the restaurant business, Jim decided that she really loved Switzerland and wanted to apply for permanent residency. Certainly not too easy though, especially when she was carrying fake identification. But anyway, Jim, through a friend of hers, met a Swiss guy who was willing to marry her if she paid him 500,000 baht. She did and the marriage was signed. Within just a few days though, she was dumbstruck to hear that the Swiss law on automatic residency for married aliens had changed – and her dream of residency wasn’t gonna happen that easy.

Jim waited years before she was applicable for permanent residency and when her time was ready, her ‘husband’ turned around and refused to sign any papers of guarantee unless she paid him a stack of money. Giving into his greed, she paid but once again he demanded more cash. This time she refused and he simply disappeared of the scene. Sadly, Jim never did get her permanent residency for Switzerland.

A couple more years went by and suddenly one day, her ‘husband’ came back and said “Unless you give me the sum of 600,000baht, I’m gonna tell the authorities that I was bluffed into marrying a ladyboy who deceived me with her sister’s passport”. Taking the threat seriously, Jim decided to the right thing and go back to Thailand.

Once safely back in her home country with plenty of savings in her bank account, Jim opened up Thailand’s very first ‘Gay and Transgender’ hotel in Pattaya. It was during her time there that she met her future husband Mr Nop – a successful businessman and former actor. But, with the 1997 Asian Financial Disaster, Jim’s hotel business collapsed and on top of that – lost 28 million baht in currency exchange.

With some money leftover though, Jim came back to Bangkok and opened a Gay Club in Saphan Kwai district. Jim and Nop’s love grew stronger and in 1998, they were the first ever transsexual-straight couple to get married in Thailand. The marriage ceremony, the first of its kind, was heavily publicized and the couple were a household name overnight. What made the story even more amazing, was that Jim’s husband was 21 years her junior! A ceremony it only was though and the couple, as is stated by the law, were unable to have the marriage officially documented.

When being asked what first made her fall in love with Nop, Jim said “He was like no other man I knew; he didn’t smoke, drink, gamble, play around or even go out at night. He was the politest and gentlest guy I had ever known”. So, how did Nop feel about getting publicly married to a transsexual ladyboy, 21 years older than himself? “I didn’t care, love is love and if two people love each other then why should you care about what other people think. Love is in the heart. Until this day, when I walk around in public with my wife, I don’t feel embarrassed – I feel very proud.”. Nop went on to mention that he had had the continued support of his family and friends.

That year, Jim sold off her gay club and moved to New Zealand with her new real husband to start a new life – this time traveling on her original ‘Mr’ passport. On being stopped at immigration, it was only after an interview with the officials on duty that Jim was allowed entry (Jim was later to be refused entry to China because of her male passport and female breasts).

Jim and Nop established a Thai-sweet business in New Zealand – the first of its kind and again Jim was making attractive earnings. In 1999, Jim began to apply for permanent residency. After two years, she got it. As is allowed by New Zealand law, her next step was to legally marry Nop. Jim had to undergo three medical examinations and take her case to three different courts. But somehow along the lines, the authorities manage to find out that she had once completely broken the law by illegally marrying in Switzerland. Back to square one for Jim and it took it her until 2006 before she was finally permitted to legally marry Nop – the first Thai transsexual-straight couple ever to be officially married.