By PATRICK WINN / GlobalPost
BANGKOK, Thailand — Getting dressed for class is straightforward for university students across much of Asia. By school decree, guys wear slacks, girls wear skirts and both wear white button-up shirts.
The word “tomboy” carries a different connotation in Thai culture. The word “tom” in Thai can be loosely translated as “butch lesbian.”
A “tom” isn’t necessarily transgender; she may present traditionally male characteristics without considering herself to be male.
Also, the belittling-sounding “ladyboy” isn’t the go-to word for a transgender woman in Thai society. (And when it is used, it’s not generally derogatory.) That would be “katoey,” which has a mostly neutral connotation unless the person saying it is trying to be vulgar or demeaning.