venus flytrap – visa for love

It’s been about three months since I first mentioned Venus Flytrap, the ultra-tranny manufactured pop group from Thailand, signed to Sony Records, and something of a cash-in on the success of Korean tranny group Lady who first appeared some two years ago, and now seem kinda quiet. Like all good manufactured pop commodities, they have a mountain of publicists behind, and are no slouches at self-promotion, as their high-content blog shows.

But allow me a moment of smugness (or maybe despair) as once again something I stumbled on courtesy my insatiable consumption of media goes mental (and give me a job as a trend-spotter). I can understand why a group like this could get huge in Asia, where for a few years someone like Harisu is a mainstream icon, and from personal experience (and making a generalisation here based on my time in China and Taiwan), the cultural attitudes to sex and gender are quite different from English speaking countries and Europe.

I’m not so sure of the media push for Venus Flytrap into Europe though. Dana International was the Eurovision winner back in 1998, but this is single-capital-letter-pop, as in J-pop, or Canto-pop, which besides oddly socially awkward geeks like myself, westerners tend to look down on with a good blizzard of colonial disdain. Still, stealing candy from babies and all…

Anyway who cares? Venus Flytrap. They look hot, they sing ok-lah, they’re trannies and they are getting spread over european press like crazy. In no particular order, Metro in UK wonders Thai ladyboys next Spice Girls? (no, Spice Girls were a crap 90s record company stunt, Venus are actually human, and are probably only given Spice Girl names because westerners are generally too thick to pronounce any names not in Queen’s English), and have their video Visa for Love. Gay.com attempts something like an interview. Reuters has a a video report filled with lots of Venus looking smutty for the camera. Gay.tv in Italy has more pictures and video. Plus a few others that do the one paragraph plus photo filler thing. They also have one of those revolting MySpace pages now: www.myspace.com/venusflytrapfan.

Dana International proved that gender reassignment need not be a block to Eurovision success. The UK showed its fleeting love for transsexuals when Nadia Almada won Big Brother in 2004.

Coming our way, and to possible success is Thailand’s first ladyboys band called Venus Flytrap. to The five members were picked from over 200 applicants and have already signed to Sony BMG the global music joint venture with a roster of artists such as George Michael, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera.

The ‘girls’ wore white bridal corsets for their debut public performance last November. They weren’t introduced as sex-change starlets, they merely took the stage like any other girl band

In the middle of performing their debut single, ‘Cause I’m Your Lady’, the 10,000 audience at the Virgin Hitz Radio concert in Bangkok started murmuring, ever since then, they’ve proved quite a sensation.

— Gay.com UK

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beyond the valley of the ultra-trannies

A while ago I was quite the fan of Lady, the Korean tranny pop sensation riding on the wave of tranny coolness thanks to Harisu while yob-talking anglos telly producers thought they were still playing the outré glbt (a sandwich) line with Miriam. So it’s been a quiet few months since then, but thankfully the centre of the t-girl ladyboy universe has finally slid its lascivious fingers into the tranny pop till.

Venus Flytrap, wins for most un-ironic appropriation of Russ Meyer imagery in a band name and don’t stop until the end of the Black Panther/Public Enemy inspired subtitle it’s a ladyboy thing. Actually it’s it’s ladyboy thing but lets not all go fucking semantic, ja? And their blog is full of photos, videos and ringtones from their already superstar career.

miss international queen 2006

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a few days but I am lazy and self-centred. So. Finally I have a means for dating the years that pass by my blog: Miss International Queen. Last year’s winner, Mimi Marks you are all familiar with as she has consistently been the highest search query here for ages.

This year the winner is Miss Mexico, Erika Andrews, beating favourite Miss Philippines Patricia Montrecarlo to the prize.

Of course I think this is cool and always love the tranny beauty pageants across Asia, but as usual I am going to pause for a moment amidst all the fake boobs and ballgowns to slag off several newspapers, including Pattaya Daily News, which comes from the same city as the contest and should bloody well know better than to call anyone in the contest ‘he’ or ‘mr’. But extra bile and a spit in your face goes to SBS World News anchor and ‘out-and-proud’ fag Anton Enus who has no fucking excuse for the lazy and useless piece of fluffy-kittens-after-the-car-bombs end of news item on this where he referred to the contestants as transvestites. For fucks sake Anton you lame asshole get it together.

Anyway, a big CHAMPAGNE!!! and $10,000 of poor behaviour awaits Miss Mexico.

Pattaya, Thailand. It could have been a Japanese samurai, an Italian gladiator or an Egyptian pharaoh — but they were no match for Mexico’s Erica Andrews, the world’s new transsexual beauty queen.

Andrews was named Miss International Queen 2006 here late Saturday night, besting 23 of the world’s most beautiful transsexuals who had come from as far as Egypt and Australia to vie for the diamante crown.

Her slinky low-cut red gown and resemblance to a 1920s starlet finally carried the day, putting her past runners-up Patricia Montrecarlo of the Philippines and Thailand’s Ratravee Jiraprapakul.

“This is the most wonderful feeling,” gushed the 38-year-old from atop her throne after receiving $10,000 and the title.

— The Peninsula

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every transsexual is first at something

Once being first was easy, when everything hadn’t been done, lately, first is the prefix on a long chain of qualifiers, usually orbiting around spurious nation, gender, ability enclaves that allow everyone to be special and unique in anything they do. Admittedly, I like the idea of being first transsexual to climb grade 30 in Australia (how ever unlikely it is I’ll even climb above grade 25), and can certainly stake a fairly solid claim to being the first foreign transsexual choreographer to make dance in China; the appending of ‘foreign’ being necessary because 金星 Jin Xing has already got the rest of that particular ‘first’ tied up.

Somewhere today, I stumbled upon a post from Thai-Blogs.com about the World’s 1st Ladyboy Air-Hostess. Discounting that the nomenclature “air-hostess” has been out of fashion since Pan-Am collapsed, replaced by something generic and devoid of content like “customer service representative”, I’ll make the completely unsubstantiated statement that while it’s a snappy title, it’s probably hyperbole. Nonetheless, we have come to take over the world.

PB Air’s latest air-hostess, Miss Kiranant, has been amazing her passengers with the sweetest voice to hit the Thai clouds in years! As the male passengers look on with rolling eyeballs at such a beauty, none of them would ever believe that the stunning air-hostess, was in fact, born a man!

Miss Nicky can already roll off a whole stream of phone numbers from rich handsome Thai and foreign passengers who have been beckoning Miss Nicky out on a date.

Known as Kiranant (Nicky), just 24 years of age, she is the first ladyboy ever to serve as ‘Senior Cabin Crew’….in the world! For anyone who should dare call Nicky an ‘air-steward’, they have been promised a karate kick around the head!

— Thai-Blogs.com

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miss tiffany’s universe 2006

It’s that time of the year again, and in wishing to have some kind of fair competition, I neglected to enter the Miss Tiffany’s Universe 2006 transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand. Congratulations to Ratrawee Chirapraphakun for taking home the crown.

The Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant contestants were perfectly made up, coifed and draped in glamorous gowns, convincingly masking their hidden truth — that they were all born boys.

Through extensive plastic surgery and hormone popping, Thai men are expert at transforming themselves into transsexuals with long, lithe limbs, silky skin and supreme femininity. Thirty transsexuals selected from 60 entrants from around Thailand competed in the annual Miss Tiffany’s Universe pageant, broadcast live nationwide on May 19.

— Mainichi Daily News

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冬蔭功 tom yum goong meet jin xing

As usual I’m totally behind the times. I’m not sure how long ago it was released, but Prachya Pinkaew, director of the disturbing elbow-meet-head punch in Ong Bak has put out another one, 冬蔭功 tom yum goong, which I will like becaue a) I am a slut for Asian martial art flicks, and b) it has my favourite Chinese choreographer and famous transsexual 金星, Jin Xing, playing ruthless and cruel martial arts crime queen Madame Rose. And she even gets her own movie poster … mmm … I want her costume.

transsexual soldiers, 20 years after halo jones

When I was a serious comic junkie and would spend waaay too much of my dole payments in the local comic shop, one of the weekly bread-and-butter items was the seriously ahead of its time 2000AD, which I had the distinct pleasure of owning every one of the first 600 or issues due to a very stoned deal which saw these slices of newsprint gold change hands for $50.

One of my all-time favourites which profoundly influenced me more than any other comic (including Love and Rockets and Tank Girl) was the epic, transcendental, swirly lines of The Ballad of Halo Jones.

So for some reason when I read that the Thailand military has decided to allow transsexuals into the forces, I thought, “nah, old news, did it in Halo Jones”, which I no longer own, but remember the story where she was in the marines on some primitive planet and there was a special group for all the trannies. And also her line about eating cheese: “…they eat congealed mammary fluids here …”. Sublime.

Anyway, Thailand OKs gay, transsexual soldiers

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Bangkok Tattoo

The first book of John Burdett I read was a very halucinogenic Bangkok 8, which fits neatly into the category of pulp-crime-fiction had it been set in Los Angeles. Sticking it in the sweaty swamplands of Bangkok, meant I was more inclined to read it, but I love trashy B-grade crime stuff, like James Elroy, who is one of the geniuses of the genre. Burdett isn’t quite that good, but I’m glad he’s spat out another novel, complete with all the characters I loved from the first one, plus the usual gutter-crawling sleaze I live for.

The novel makes a shameless appeal to prurient interests. In the course of Sonchai’s circuitous investigation, we are treated to a search for prostitutes willing to service lesbians, a visit to the AIDS-ravaged transsexual community and the personal history and physical assets of all 11 employees of the Old Man’s Club. (”Om, with a naturally boyish figure, has cut off her denims at the crotch. … She is from Phuket.”)

But Burdett’s attention to character and his studiously elegant prose style elevate this admittedly lurid work well above the usual raunchy thriller. Pensive, articulate Sonchai has a strong philosophical bent that makes him an excellent guide to the seamy Southeast Asian underworld.

— CNN

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beautiful boxer at singapore arts fest

Anyone who even heard of Beautiful Boxer knows what happens when a Muay Thai boxer decides wearing a dress is more fun. Now she’s off to the Singapore Arts Festival with her one-woman all-singing, all-dancing tranny kick-boxing extravaganza. I reckon the WWF are gonna lose alot of fans to Boxing Cabaret. (Needs a better name though … how about Rumble Wrestle Trannie Smackdown … nah, that sounds like the kinda shit I’d make…)

Beautiful Boxer star to make theatrical debut in Singapore

A transsexual Thai kickboxer whose rags-to-riches story was made into an acclaimed film will make her theatrical debut in Singapore next month, she has said.

Parinya Charoenphol, whose film and lipstick-wearing in the ring won the hearts of millions in Thailand and around Asia, is set to make her debut in a one-woman show called “Boxing Cabaret”.

The 22-year-old, better known as Nong Toom, said the show with a mix of broadway and traditional and contemporary Thai dance would open in Singapore on June 17 and be brought to Thailand in August.

“I hope people enjoy it, and understand people like me a little bit better,” Nong Toom told reporters on Wednesday.

The show is in five acts or “rounds” — separated by bells, as in a Muay Thai kickboxing fight — and covers Nong Toom’s life before and after her 2002 sex change operation, men, Muay Thai and love.

She chose to act in a cabaret “because I like singing and dancing, and it comes naturally,” Nong Toom said.

In a scene performed for the media, the budding starlet recalls hearing a mother tell her child to stay away from Nong Toom, or they would end up like her.

“I may be different, but I am an not a transmissible disease,” Nong Toom says in the show, which she performs in English for the Singapore Arts Festival. In Bangkok the show will be in Thai and English.

— Channel NewsAsia

Miss Tiffany Universe 2005

Miss Tiffany 2005 was crowned in Pattaya, Thailand a couple of days ago. Sometimes Asia can be years ahead of the west and make America, Australia and other English-speaking countries look like a bunch of parochial hillbillies. Whether it’s Korea doing an Australian Idol for transsexuals and popping out Lady, Harisu going for gold as a sex-councillor, Liu Xiaojing rocking the Chinese Miss Artificial Beauty contest, there’s a fundamentally different attitude towards boys-who-wanna-be-girls around here. So big yay! to Tiptantree Rujiranon who won the annual beauty pageant for transsexuals this year. Let’s see Australian TV piss off Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and televise this.

Many contestants came from rural provinces across Thailand and describe being accepted by their families only after proving that they would be academically and professionally successful, and not a financial burden.

But for others, like the 2005 winner Tiptantree Rujiranon, there needs to be even greater acceptance. Even this pageant – broadcast live on national television, with a grand prize of $2,500 and a new pink car – is not enough.

“There are some who still will not come out,” 20-year-old Tiptantree said after being crowned early Sunday. “I want ‘second-sex’ women to be able to live in society like men and women, and have the same rights as people of any other gender.”

— Asian Sex Gazette

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