I have never felt more grateful or blessed to be who I am where I am. When you are surrounded by people who have so little, give so much and continue to smile, spreading their Love an Light even through the darkest of times, you learn to give endless gratitude for everyone and everything life has bought you. Through my experiences and travels so far I have truly come to know empirically the harsh realities of what so many human beings on this planet have to live through and deal with every single day. The reality of how many people misunderstand the fundamental truths of humanity and morality whether by choice, circumstance or situation has never been more apparent in my mind or my heart. After a shocking conversation in which I discovered some horrific facts as to what has been normalized as morally acceptable ways to treat human beings I decided to reflect on my thoughts, feelings and opinions on the urgent matters at hand by sharing some words with the world, with a hope and aim that by relaying my experiences and thoughts I will help to plant a positive seed in the minds of those that need to hear and be reminded of the truths from which we have strayed so far.
I was having the time of my life in Georgetown Thailand when I was made of aware of another reality of what life as a ladyboy is really like, one that truly shocked me. This story is only the tip of the iceberg of a very complex topic, it is a side of the story that is less well known yet impacted me in a huge way, encouraging me to do some research in order to share with you my knowledge of the situation so far. As I’m sure many of you are aware ladyboy’s or ‘kathoey’ make up a shocking and rather significant portion of Thailand’s population. Estimated at around 250,000, it is possibly the most notorious sex industry in the world. Although there are many different reasons as to why so many young boys go on to transition into ladyboys or simply begin to dress as woman, and I acknowledge that some do lead normal lives working at makeup counters, hairdressers or beauty salons due to the accepting religion; Buddhism that is practice throughout Thailand, the story that I am sharing with you today is a more controversial and unheard of reality that I feel needs to be brought to light. The vast majority of ladyboys come from poor families who simply have no way of putting food on their tables, it then falls upon boys as young as 7 or 8 to either make this decision to transition themselves for the survival of their families or in worse cases they are sold by their struggling families to ladyboy schools. Many of these victims are subjected to a series of life endangering surgeries and ensuing estrogen treatments beginning at shockingly young ages and continuing throughout their lives. Once the transition has begun they continue to a life of sex work on the streets where they only face further danger from sexual diseases, drugs and crime in the world that will become their horrific reality for the rest of their short lives. A vast majority of these poor souls are broken both mentally and physically having been rejected, discriminated against and even treated violently for simply being who they are. So many of us in our world today feel overlooked, unloved or uncared and it is so crucial that we remember that we all possess inherent dignity, value and worth and deserve to be loved, cherished and treated with respect no matter our color, race, religion, gender or social status. However despite living lives that the majority of us could never begin imagine surviving, let alone making something of, some of these uniquely beautiful individuals surpass all odds and go on to live happy lives. Although it fills me with a deep sense of sadness and pain to know how these beings of Love and Light who are just like me and you, have had to normalize such terrible practices in their lives, it also simultaneously gives me a sense of hope for humanity and an indescribable appreciation for such a truly beautiful illustration of the real strength we as human beings all possess so inherently. I think we can all learn a lot from such stories.
In my eyes it goes to show how powerful our minds really are and how much control and choice we have with regards to how we feel about a situation or circumstance. No matter what the external reality of your life you are more than capable of creating genuine happiness and positivity in your life. What this story really illustrates for me more than anything is how our power in the physical world can often be limited due to circumstance and situation but our minds will never truly be controlled. As soon as we start taking steps towards freeing ourselves from the social constructs and conditioning inflicted on us from birth we begin to take our lives and happiness into our own hands. With acceptance of what we “can’t” change we begin to appreciate every little thing that comes our way, therefore creating for ourselves happiness from the smallest of things. We as a human race have gotten so lazy. These people are forced to accept what they can’t change and create for themselves some inch of humanity, safety and security just in order to survive and remain sane, however with everything that a western society has to offer we no longer “need” to remember these truths to survive, therefore we ignore or do not bother with them. Through this we do ourselves a massive injustice settling for lives that are filled with materialistic happiness and no inner fulfillment or peace. Too many people in our western society today fill holes of sadness and lack of self-love with “stuff” that is really of no service to us and only contributes to the growing levels of waste and pollution in our environment. But most importantly we set a bad example for not only the future generation but every other human being who is not privileged enough to have been educated in these matters. When we begin to appreciate every little thing in our life our compassion for humanity grows to and it is with this compassion that we begin on our journey of understanding, empathizing with and therefore helping others. We begin to allow ourselves to treat others with compassion and respect because we can now recognize the need to treat ourselves and everyone with self-respect and equality. By sharing these thoughts with you I am not only reflecting for my own growth but also sharing my knowledge and beliefs with the world. I do this simply because I believe that with knowledge and education comes the responsibility to share our truths and teachings with those who are less fortunate in order to help raise the consciousness of humanity and protect the natural beauty and wonder that is still left in this world before it is too late.