Identity Diversification among Transgender Sex Workers in Thailand’s Sex Tourism Industry


Ocha, W., and B. Earth. 2013. “Identity Diversification among Transgender Sex Workers in Thailand’s Sex Tourism Industry.” Sexualities 16 (1-2): 195–216. doi:10.1177/1363460712471117.

Authors: W. Ocha, B. Earth


This article looks at identity diversification among Thai (MTF) transgender sex workers who are in a semi-reassigned physical state; working in two famous sex tourism hot spots in Thailand. Locating the informants in their own gender system, then drawing on western queer and transgender theories, we examine the negotiation of gender and identity in this unique cultural, historical and political context. The research shows that the sex industry facilitates the emergence of new third-gender identities among MTF sex workers. The research finds that core gender identity, embodiment and preferred sexual practices are mutable but vary together. The research reinforces the centrality of the body in transgender studies, but highlights problems of cross-cultural differences in gender concepts.

Topics: Gender, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexuality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2013

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