Thai Lesbians and Tomboys – What’s it all about?

It’s just Wednesday and I’ve already seen four Thai lesbian couples this week while walking around Sukhumvit Bangkok. I have been staying in Bangkok for quite some time now but I just recently started to spot more Thai lesbians than ever before. For me there is no doubt that the number of Thai Lesbians in Bangkok is on a record high. But why?

Not that I have a problem with it, there will always be more potential Thai girlfriends than I can possibly even talk to. So is it just because there are more Thai girls than Thai guys and girls find it hard to find a boyfriend? Thailand has a population of 63.5 million of which 49.2% are men and 50.8% are women. That means there are potentially 680,267 Thai women who are not able to find a (Thai) boyfriend. Is this the reason? Rather not since the phenomenon with lots of Thai lesbians is quite a new one and demographic figures have been more or less stable for at least the past 20 years.

Before I let you know what I think is the reason for the record high of Thai lesbians in Bangkok here is how they appear in the public: The girls are holding hands (which is unusual for Thai hetero couples) they are kissing (which is absolutely unusual for Thai hetero couples) but most interesting is the phenomenon that  most of the time one of the girls has short hair like a guy, dresses like a guy and is totally average looking (Thais even have a term for her, they call her Tom – ทอม) while her girlfriend is extremely beautiful and has long hair. Thais call her Dee – ดี้.

There are a few theories to answer the question why there are now so many Thai lesbians in Bangkok and I have talked to several people about it and among the many explanations that are being produced this is the one I think makes sense most:

These Thai girls have made too many bad experiences with relationship with Thai guys. It’s quite common for Asian men in general and Thai men in particular to see a woman as a kind of, well, accessory, some tool to play with. This may sound a bit hard and for sure there are exceptions but the majority of Thai men are not the most honest boyfriends (according to a statistic published by the Bangkok Post in January 2013 Thai guys are the world’s most dishonest husbands) and therefore Thai women have to do what they are told to by their boyfriend and not just that, it’s quite common for Thai guys to have several girlfriends at a time or how Thai people like to call this – having giks.

So it’s not surprising that there comes a time when more and more Thai girls are just getting fed up with this role in the relationship and start having a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend as they are sure to get treated a lot better and both partners are equal. Well, not quite because here is the funny thing about the whole Thai lesbian phenomenon: The girl with the short hair normally doesn’t only almost look like a guy, she is also playing the male part in the relationship and that means she is paying the bills.

Thai girls being fed up with Thai guys. What we can see here in Bangkok is a sort of emancipation of women in Thailand.

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