Sexual systems of Highland Burma/Thailand Sex and gender perceptions of and from Shan male sex workers in northern Thailand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The author examines the context and experiences of Shan migrants from Burma regarding men who work in male host clubs in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. While Shan commercial sex workers in Thailand often have cultural understandings of gender and sexual categories in the Shan and Burmese context, their direct experience in performing sexuality takes place in Thailand, and is economically mediated. This study seeks to answer two questions. First, to what extent do migrant Shans ascribe specific sexual and gender comportment to Thai cultural practices? Second, how might engagement with a gay commercial sex industry affect how these Shan men remember and relate to gender and sexual categories back in the Shan state in Burma? As ethnographic evidence shows, Shan male sex workers are able to adapt to certain cultural aspects of Thai ke [gay] identity, but they posit their own masculinity against former familiar categories of sexuality and gender.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-38
    JournalSouth East Asia Research
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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