As the world’s favorite sex-change surgery destination, Thailand definitely takes the cake in its recognition of the complexity of human sexuality.
There are, in fact, 18 gender identities that are recognized in the local lexicon, according to RocketNews24.
Japanese Twitter user @yg_1223 discovered a chart listing all identified 18 genders in Thailand and shared them on Twitter.
— かん (@yg_1223) January 24, 2017
Not just men and women!
A man who likes women.
A woman who likes men.
A woman who dresses like a man and likes women or Dees.
A woman who likes manly women or Toms.
A woman who likes women, Toms, and Dees.
Tom Gay King
A manly Tom who likes Toms.
A woman who likes bisexuals, Toms, lesbians, and men.
A man who likes women, Gay Kings, and Gay Queens (does not include Ladyboys).
A womanly man who likes men.
A manly man who likes men.
Tom Gay Two-Way
A Tom who can be both a Tom Gay King or Tom Gay Queen.
Tom Gay Queen
A womanly Tom who likes Toms.
A woman who likes women.
A man who wants to be a woman.
A man who likes Toms.
A Kathoey who likes Toms.
A woman who likes gay men and Kathoey.
A woman who likes Toms, lesbians, and women, and can also be any of them.”
While shocking as this list may seem to some, it is important to note that since these are “gender identities” which are different from “biological sex.” There could be a myriad of other genders that people might identify with. This whole spectrum of other genders in Thailand is not too different from the West’s classification of the sexes as well. New York, for example, recognizes 31.
Facebook users, on the other hand, can choose from over 70 specific genders to be identified as.
It is also worth noting that homosexuality is not specifically regarded as a sin in Thai Buddhism and the religion has no specific prohibitions regarding the lifestyle. And while some gender identities in the country face discrimination, they have gained significant acceptance over the years, making themselves a huge part of the Thai society.