For me having short hair is a matter of convenience. However some people look at me and try to see it as a lifestyle decision or sexual identity. It’s just hair and I don’t understand why people would think much more about it but on this trip I constantly got the question if I’m a lesbian. Especially from big strong men with aggressive body language, like it’s a show of dominance stating to me that they are unavailable. I never knew it was so confronting and until this trip it has never been a problem and I don’t know why it should be either.
I think people should stay out of other people’s business, especially when it comes to personal questions. Asking about sex as a first question is simply put bad manners. It can also be a very sensitive issue for some people.
Thailand is unique with their “ladyboys” explained like a “third sex” by some. I hear a lot of complaining from westerners about the phenomenon ladyboys. But the Thais don’t care – a ladyboy is just like another person to the Thais and we could learn from them.
In my job I talk to people about sensitive issues – like mental illness, sexuality, dying or addiction – really anything… You should always listen and feel with people – it’s a healing both for med and them. Compassion and gratitude need to be used to become part of life.