Apr 072013



The Tomboys of Thailand are easy to recognize, they have an androgenous look, and according to visiting tourists, they seem to get “all the pretty girls.”  Tomboys chose this word, rather than lesbian.  Many feel they would have liked to have been born a male, so does that put them in the category of “transgender’ wannabees?

The answersUnknown seems to be, a) don’t put me in any category, I just like women    b) no, I’m happy exactly the way I am    c) I might consider it, but not right now.

Tomboys are more open in the public eye, but this is also a dangerous move for many of them.   According to research, fifteen Tomboys have been murdered.  The motive is most cases seems to be a serious and deadly dislike of Tomboys ‘flaunting’ their sexuality.  The word ‘flaunting’ was used by a senior police officer.

On the other hand, Tomboys have now broken out with their own clothing designs and stores.  They were sick of going into male stores and having the salesmen sneer or pass rude or derogatory comments.  Now, there is a reversal of trends; many males are visiting their stores. LOL.

A Thai ‘Tomboy’ is working on a movie to tell their stories. (See below**)Unknown-1

Visible Silence, Thai Tomboys and the Ladies who Love Them is being produced by Marea Media.

Marea Media specializes in creating film portraits that illuminate larger social issues through compelling profiles of individuals and communities. We believe documentary film is a dynamic, accessible visual medium that fosters important discussions about complex issues.

Marea Media was co-founded in 2007 by filmmaker Ruth Gumnit and writer/producer/psychotherapist Marguerite Salmon.

Karun, Ph.D. ** (name changed to protect her identity), Producer, is a scholar and educator who has lived in both Thailand and the U.S. A self-identified Thai tom, Dr. Karun will serve as producer as well as a film subject, consultant, and liaison for Visible Silence.For the past five years, she has worked as General Manager of a Bangkok-based manufacturing company owned by her life partner. Her decision to enter the business world stems from both her desire to assist her girlfriend and in response to sexist and homophobic discriminatory practices in the field of Thai academia. This project represents a return to an area of vital interest for Dr. Karun, who extensively researched this community for her 2001 Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco.

visit site:  visiblesilence

  14 Responses to “Thai Tomboys – A Movie in the Works”

  1. i’m not a tomboy but my best friend is.
    i like tomboys ( as friends ) i dont know how others feel but thats how i feel.
    im a girl and i like being a girl, i have two brother and with them in my life i have sometimes thought that i wanted to be a boy. because i didn’t to be looked down on being the only girl in the family except my mother.
    but i dont want to be a tomboy, not because i hate them or anything. i have another reason and iøm keeping it.

    • Hello Mi en
      I am so happy that you wrote to me. Others will see your comment and I hope that they reply to you. So your best friend is a tomboy. That is great!
      Life is better with a best friend. I married mine. Canada allows two women or two men to marry. We call tomboys ‘butch’ or ‘butches.’ We call lesbians that act and feel very feminine as ‘femmes.’ But there are many of us lesbians that can be butch one minute (when we chop wood) and then feminine if we decide to put on make up or wear a dress. I was a tomboy growing up. I liked to play football (soccer) with the boys and hang upside down from trees. I did not like playing with dolls. I did a blog on a famous Thai kickboxer who grew up as a boy, but always knew he was a girl. He got enough money for a sex-change. Are Tomboys looked down upon in their families? Would they look like boys in the city but dress like girls if they went home to the country?
      Well, Mi en (what does your name mean?) thank you for sharing. Be happy the way you want to be. Keep coming and commenting. I just love it.

  2. Hi. Can you give a name list of famous tomboys in Thailand? Thanks

  3. I dated tom before,
    i don’t know why? Cuz i know i’m not les
    for u know, they are so nice n sweet that the different with a boy
    if they love someone, they’ll do everything
    they are open mind, they’ll protected their love no matter what happen even they hurt them self or their love
    all because they always think around of them
    even i’m not with her anymore, i’ll say she is the best couple i ever had

  4. I am from America but I really love tomboys and butch lesbians, specially asian tomboys. I am girly and always wanted to date an asian tomboy xD but where I live there are none…I saw the movie yes or no and loved it. I hope the violence against tomboys end soon, I love, admire and support them.

  5. I hope violence against toms will be over soon. I like toms also. I have never had one but it seems nice to see them with their dees. I know this tom and dee from article which discussed about tom and dee in Thailand…^^
    I myself is not a tom, I’m a girl who love wearing a girl’s stuff. However I just like to see toms as for friends now but I don’t know in the future. I may change my vision.

    • I was not aware that there was violence against Toms – but is it because they are taking girls away from straight boys? Tiara just be yourself and be happy with your decisions. I hope all violence would stop. paula.

  6. hi, actually this is my first time to write something about my sexuality coz i’m scared to be judged by people around me, ok so i’m really confused about myself the thing Is i like tomboys, will that make me a tomboy too? considering that i wear dresses, short shorts and fit clothes and well there were guys after me too but i don’t know, i’m not attracted to them.

    • Hi Pau: Thank you for having the courage to write! Now, don’t be scared about your sexuality! It is a wonderful gift. It is the way that we express our love for another person. Secondly, try not to worry about what other people think and if they are going to judge you. In life, you cannot please everybody. You have to be YOU! I am so glad that you like tomboys. They are so cute. Now, tomboys like to wear male clothes and I don’t think most of them worry about what people think about them. They want to be tomboys.
      Now, in Western culture, we might call tomboys “butch” or butches and there are fems or feminine girls. We usually are happy to call both of them lesbian, but I do know that in Thai culture – the word lesbian is seldom used. Now, more and more Western movie stars, models etc are using a new word – Gender fluid. Now, the word “fluid” means that it flows naturally – no need to worry about what others think.
      These Gender Fluid people don’t want labels such as lesbian, straight or bi-sexual. They feel it is nobody’s business if a person dresses in long trousers/jeans or wears dresses. Some Gender Fluid women like to wear dresses one day and jeans the next day.
      So, if it is possible – just be YOU. Wear the clothes that you want. You cannot become something that you are NOT. If you feel that you are not a tomboy – then you are NOT a tomboy. The main thing in dating is to be honest. Sometimes, a tomboy might try to be really really like a man because she feels that is how tomboys should act. So take a chance and believe in yourself. If you are constantly worrying about how you look or dress or what other people think, then you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself and you might look worried. Just smile, be kind and find a person to date. Best wishes to you, paula

      • wow thank you so much! you really helped me ☺️ so i’m a gender fluid woman, so cool ^_^ i learned another term thank you 🙂 maybe i’ll use that term to describe me. and yeah i told my bestfriend about my sexuality this morning and she was cool with it, i feel so much better to talk about it and people around me might accept me for me, i just need to have the courage to let my inner self exposed. thank you again ^_^

        • I am so happy for you, Pau. Your life is like a big blank canvas that artist’s use.
          Don’t let anyone else paint your canvas. It is up to you to choose all the colours that bring you joy and happiness.
          You can always listen to people’s ideas. However, if they are not what you need or want, then just say, “Thank you for your opinion, but it has to be me that makes the decisions of MY life!
          I am so glad that your best friend is cool about what you told her. I think most people appreciate honesty.
          Good luck.
          Contact me anytime. paula

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