The fact that Pride Week is drawing in over here in Cambodia (check out the event here) has made me thought of all the conversations that I have concerning the topic of LGBT. An alarming pattern manifests itself in that the guys that I have talked with have displayed an honest disgust for “Ktery” or transgendered women. Most of them accept my reasoning and cease to be transphobic and homophobic while others just go silent. Though, I believe the latter still internally think being transgender is disgusting.

Discrimination comes from pre-judgment and generalization that you get from the media, from gossips or from personal unpleasant experience, but don’t you think it is quite unfair to judge a gay person just because another gay person has faulted you? Do I get the permission to call you a jerk just because you have the same gender as the last jerk that was rude to me on the street? I believe you would say no, so why would you pre-judge a normal, well-functioning gay person just because another gay person has wronged you in the past?

During this month of pride, I will be publishing a series of misconceptions that the LGBT community faces in Cambodia as far as I know, and their deserved counter arguments. This series is for everyone, especially the unintentionally homophobic, and transphobic males who most of the times are the creator of very badly formed gay jokes.

Here is the first one:

  1. All transgendered women are thirsty hoes:

First of all, let me clear the term “transgendered woman” for you. Transgender means to change one gender to another. As you already know, there are 2 genders only: male and female, depending on the physical anatomy that one possess. It’s quite simple, actually. If “A” is born male, but changes to female in the course of his life, he becomes a transgendered female. If “B” is born female, but changes to male in the course of her life, she becomes a transgendered male. Now the reason behind this desire to change is still not entirely understood. Some would say it’s biological. Some emotional, or whatever. I, myself, couldn’t care less about the reason because hell! There are so many things wrong in the world (hello! war, clean water, dying children, homeless people?) why would you want to waste your brain power obsessing over the reasons why someone would want to change their gender which is a totally personal thing? Just mind your own business if it doesn’t affect you. What would you feel if people decided to ask you questions like:

Socheat, why are you so fat?

Srey Neang, why did you choose to have a nose job?

Even if your actions don’t really affect them? Annoying, isn’t it? Now, hold on a minute. What if those actions really did affect you? Many guys claim they had been hit on by transgendered women (Ktery). They were then disgusted, and then they generalize that all gays are thirsty. Hasty much?

There are males; there are thirsty males.

There are females; there are thirsty females.

There are gays; there are thirsty gays.

There are transgenders; there are thirsty transgenders.

It’s that simple. Is it fair if a girl turned you down, talked to you as if you were a piece of jack shit just because she has been hit on by a thirsty guy before; when you only intent to ask her out on a date? It’s not so fair, isn’t it? Then why are you treating all transgendered women as if they are after your junk? You know, some of them do have standards. While I do accept that many Kterys act very thirsty and without manners in the company of handsome men but have you seen the reports of rapes in Cambodia? one out five men has raped a girl in his life. Let that sink in. if your way of generalizing is correct, then aren’t girls supposed to be super afraid of male contact too?

“Hey! Not all men are the same.”

“Well, yes, not all transgendered women are the same either.”

You, the males, are actually fighting the same battle as the transgendered- that is, to fight bad generalization and stereotypes. We should all work together to create a society where one is measured by one’s actions, personality and merits rather than one’s own gender, whether it be male, female, or transgender.

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