Fancy going to Thailand and watching a game of polo played by a team of shemales on elephants? Now that’s extreme sports. And the cheerleaders know who to scream for too.
The World Elephant Polo Association was founded in 1982 and has spread from Nepa, where championships are held in spite of Maoist insurgency, to Thailand and Sri Lanka. Proceeds from the tournaments benefit various Asian elephant conservation programs.
Fourteen teams are competing, but the spectators clearly favor the ladyboys. These third-sex lovelies with their hormones and their miniskirts aren’t a big deal in Thailand. For the Screwless Tuskers, the tournament is just one more opportunity to mug for the cameras. Jum, who wears (pink) jersey No. 3, is a porcelain doll and runner-up in the 2004 Miss Tiffany contest. Pu worries about her throat and favors lots of body glitter off the pitch. “Oh my God,” she giggles. “I have an Adam’s apple.”