Before being eligible for gender reassignment surgery in Thailand, patients must prove that they have been “living as a woman” for at least one year, Greechart says, including dressing like a woman and taking female replacement hormones.
More than 80 per cent of Yanhee’s sex change patients come from overseas, mostly from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, but also from Western countries, with demand among foreign patients rising sharply in recent years, Greechart says. I always prefer to do it the first time.” Thanyasa Tajinda, 32, the managing director of a transgender performing artist and modelling agency, says she has dreamed of having gender reassignment surgery for years but that her family was not initially supportive.
They examine these sites of desire through specific historic and cultural circumstances, from the first explorations of Europeans, through colonial power, to the contemporary issues of sexual tourism, prostitution, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Considering sexuality as embedded in a complex social and political world structured and saturated by gender, race, and class relations, these scholars challenge the categories with which sex and gender have been named and studied.
In addition to Yanhee, five other major hospitals and clinics in Thailand, along with dozens of smaller speciality clinics, offer male-to-female sex change surgery.
“This is a ladyboy paradise,” says Pornnaphat Choochart, 38, a Thai transgender female who underwent the procedure 10 years ago.
A male-to-female sex change operation at Yanhee – one of Thailand’s best-known cosmetic surgery hospitals, where document runners glide through the hallways on roller skates – costs between Bt240,000 and Bt320,000, depending on the surgical method used.
Smaller, less reputable clinics might charge as little as Bt45,000.