Lady Parinya Revisited

Since alot of forum members seem enamoured
with the plight of Lady Parinya. This new article
which appeared by way of Reuters in Bangkok
should up date you on her activities:

Bangkok- As a boy, Parinya Kiatbussaba dreamed of becoming
a famous kickboxer, and went on to fight regular bouts in bangkok's
biggest stadiums until the authorities imposed a ban - with a rule to
exclude women from the ring.(Just an aisde-women never have fought
in the major arenas)

Parinya is what Thais call a katoey--a term that loosely covers camp men,
transvestites and transsexuals.

She is also a good kickboxer, who regularly drew big crowds until a
sex change two years ago stopped her from fighting men in Thailand's
main boxing halls.

But becoming a woman, rather than putting an end to her career, brought
Parinya new, lucrative opportunites abroad.

At 20, Parinya is a star in Japan, where the rules are more flexible. She has also
fought in the United States.

"In Japan, like here, people recognize me in the street and ask for my autograph," she
told Reuters after a sparring session.

"Thousands of people come to watch the fights and they're also
televised," Parinya said. "Its better money than in Thailand, so its
worth it--even if it hurts"

Dangerous Silicone

Katoeys are so much a part of Thai life that some of the young
boxers at Parinya's training camp dont think twice about getting into
the ring with her.

But,Parinya, her hair in a long ponytail and wearing mascara, lipstick, boxing vest and shorts,
gestured at the teenage boys hitting punch bags and said some feared
being embarasssed.

"When I was young, other boxers teased me a bit, but when they saw I was a good boxer they
respected me, she said.

"Now they're scaed of getting beaten by a woman"

Parinya took up boxing after being taunted for being too effeminate when a
12 year old boy.

"I wanted to box after being taunted for being a katoey and I wanted to get back at
them,"she said.

"I was like a normal Thai boy--very quiet and shy--but my dad trained me and taught
me to be strong"

Moving to Bangkok changed her life.

"really, she was quite a good boxer and the public liked her because she was colorful," said Kittiphong Kulyaong, a columnist at Muay Siam magazine.

"After five or six fights in Bangkok she got a lot of money, and had silicone breast implants and then the operation."

Then her problems began, Kittiphong said.

"Aside from the rules against women fighting, it would have been dangerous for her to fight with silicone breasts," he said. "There was also the problem, even before her operation, that she refused to take her clothes off for the weigh in."


Thai katoeys are famously almost indistinguishable from women, and Parinya is no exception.

"After the operation, some boxers came to chat me up. But you can't trust men. I'm always a bit suspicious."Parinya said.

She said her pre bout ritual included putting on her make up as well as the usual psyching up.

"Its normal for women. Even as a boxer I still want to be beautiful."

But kittiphong said Thai audiences would probably not see Parinya's talent again.

" She's got a problem now because women dont want to fight her--she's too strong--and since the operation she's become too weak to fight men." he said. "But I guess in Japan the level's not so good"

Parinya said her job options would be limited.

Although katoeys are largely accepted in Thai society-and have traditionally played a major role in the entertainment industry--they are still not taken seriously.

"I'd say that women are at a disadvantage in Thai society, and katoeys are even further down the scale., Parinya said.

"Its difficult for us to become civil servants and most companies wont take us on. You dont get Policeman or nurses who are katoeys." she said.

Parinya said she wanted to pass on her skills to a new generation of boxers.

"I want to teach Thai boxing to kids, and get them playing sport so they dont get into drugs,"she said.

Cool. I actually met her in Thailand, she did an exhibition at the camp and was filmed for a Japanese variety show.