Vietnam Photographer Aaron Joel Santos | Editorial, Documentary, and Travel Photographs | Vietnam | Thailand | Laos | Cambodia | Southeast Asia: Thailand Documentary Photography | Thailand Ladyboys
But gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original.
For many of Thailand's ladyboys, to be a woman is to be the ultimate woman, to become the prevailing and sometimes grotesque realization of a social fantasy. For some it is a road plagued by stereotypes and hardships in a world that is loathe to recognize a sliding scale for gender. For others still it is a journey and celebration of self-actualization.
In its way, Thailand's unique relationship with ladyboy culture creates a stage where the myths and stereotypes of gender are enacted with a vibrancy rarely seen elsewhere, where boys and girls can be reborn or transform in whatever ways they see fit. Where fantasy becomes reality, and the mask of the ultimate woman can be put on as easily as a pair of new heels.