"I want to tell my dad that I love you, and I finally made it now."
March 15, 2011 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Thailand's Got Talent: Boy or Girl? (SYTL) Maybe this reinforces some cliches, and maybe it's overwrought and scripted reality tv, but I still found this pretty sweet.
posted by the thing about it (60 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Note that boy/girl imprecisely dichotomizes gender/sexuality for many Thais.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathoey
posted by docgonzo at 8:33 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This makes me happy, because I got this linked to me earlier by a friend without the subtitles, and it was nifty then (seriously, forget the novelty act factor, being able to do that vocally is amazing) but it's even better with the subtitled bit at the end.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:34 PM on March 15, 2011


Why are the backstage hosts, in every single countries rendition of this weird Got Talent theme, always like characters out of the Jim and Derrick sketch on Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!?
posted by Corduroy at 8:34 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fifteen years ago this would have been total Jerry Springer show gay-panic material. Today people are passing it around all over Facebook, and not in an "ewww..." way, but in a "wow, isn't this cool!" way.

Tell me that's not progress.
posted by hermitosis at 8:38 PM on March 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


Weird.

I (as a biological female) could probably reproduce this song. It doesn't go all that high and I have a really low range, and all my power is in the range of the lower part of this song.


Is this really all that unusual?
posted by zug at 8:38 PM on March 15, 2011


That was lovely.
posted by NoraReed at 8:41 PM on March 15, 2011


I immediately thought of the guy who performed as a female pop star in the 3rd installment of the Robotech saga.
posted by MasonDixon at 8:47 PM on March 15, 2011


I immediately thought of the guy who performed as a female pop star in the 3rd installment of the Robotech saga.

That would be Lancer, AKA Yellow Dancer.
posted by loquacious at 9:10 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


She not only has talent, but courage. Good for her!
posted by SPrintF at 9:23 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It only matters if you're planning on having sex with her/him.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:49 PM on March 15, 2011


That last section was really touching. I can't imagine how this would go over here in the states, but I'd guess not as well?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


omg this made me cry
posted by flyinghamster at 9:55 PM on March 15, 2011


It only matters if you're planning on having a specific kind of sex with her/him.

No matter the combination of sexual organs, open-minded people will always manage to pleasure each other.
posted by ymgve at 9:57 PM on March 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Preachin' to the choir, ymgve.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:59 PM on March 15, 2011



posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:28 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


zug...this is unusual. Have you ever seen anything like this before?

Good on her.
posted by salishsea at 10:45 PM on March 15, 2011


Girl, obv. She said "Sawasdee ka", not "sawasdee khrap".
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:52 PM on March 15, 2011


Girl, obv. She said "Sawasdee ka", not "sawasdee khrap".

You, with the explaining, start now.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:02 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was kind of wondering what everyone on here was all about, and then I totally lost it at the end with the "I love you."

Bravo.
posted by you're a kitty! at 11:07 PM on March 15, 2011


I find that if you pay attention to how people speak you can learn an awful lot about them. For instance, criminals generally use a sort of Cockney patois and aristocrats drop their "r"s. In this case, the Thai language is gendered and there are different ways of addressing someone depending on whether you're male or female. She used the female form, which was a dead giveaway.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:16 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thais love this shit. I was visiting my brother in Thailand where he was teaching English at a high school. He took us to a talent show they were having one night and one of his favorite students was pointing out the dancers during one of the performances, asking me if I thought they were cute.

And so then she pointed out that they were all Kathoey!
posted by cman at 11:23 PM on March 15, 2011


I find that if you pay attention to how people speak you can learn an awful lot about them. For instance, criminals generally use a sort of Cockney patois and aristocrats drop their "r"s. In this case, the Thai language is gendered and there are different ways of addressing someone depending on whether you're male or female. She used the female form, which was a dead giveaway.

Which form do kathoey use? How about MtF transgenders?
posted by kafziel at 11:29 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Girl, obv. She said "Sawasdee ka", not "sawasdee khrap".

You, with the explaining, start now.


In Thai, one is goodbye said by a woman, one is goodbye said by a man. IIRC.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:11 AM on March 16, 2011


She's a good singer, so good for her. I can't help but think the song selection was insipid crap, though.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:28 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had to shut it off when the judges started speaking. Not only do they shamelessly duplicate the American structure of the show, but even imitate and dress the judges up similarly.
posted by haroon at 12:32 AM on March 16, 2011


ha classic. I was lucky enough to live in Thailand for while after high school. It took me a month before I realized one of my good friends was born a woman but id'd as a man. Us farang start to be able to tell after a bit...but nothing is funnier than watching some fresh off the boat navy boys walking around BKK with what they think is a hot girl...teehee
posted by Jibuzaemon at 1:13 AM on March 16, 2011


I love how this is basically the same show as the British version, complete with 2 crazy guys in the wings acting as a visual laughter track, editing, interplay between the judges, and quieter music when they go off stage!
posted by DanCall at 1:51 AM on March 16, 2011


American structure of the show

er
posted by fire&wings at 3:01 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's a lovely video. The constant references to "deception" and the way the men felt they had to say "I knew it!" rather tarnished it for me, but relying on a translation I can't know how it was originally phrased.

So I'm left with a moderated happy.

Today people are passing it around all over Facebook, and not in an "ewww..." way, but in a "wow, isn't this cool!" way.

That is cool, though. I remember the reaction to Dana International.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:02 AM on March 16, 2011


I didn't get past the first few seconds of this at first as I really didn't like the song and thought it was just the usual 'isn't this voice amazing' thing and decided to skip it. Then I read the comments and decided to give it a go. Glad I did as it was pretty cool. I especially liked the Thai versions of Ant and Dec.

I've also just seen this from the Spanish version. Good to know that sometimes 'talent' shows actually do feature real talent.
posted by joboe at 3:31 AM on March 16, 2011


Thailand's answer to Ant and Dec is surprisingly accurate.
posted by Solomon at 3:52 AM on March 16, 2011


Not only do they shamelessly duplicate the American structure of the show, but even imitate and dress the judges up similarly.

As Joseph Campbell points out, the myth of Britain Having Talent is one of those ur-stories that's been recycled endlessly in every culture, all across the globe, since time immemorial. It's simply a part of what makes us all human.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:03 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: You deceived me ever since our first met.
posted by odinsdream at 5:22 AM on March 16, 2011


one is goodbye said by a woman, one is goodbye said by a man. IIRC

TIC.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:16 AM on March 16, 2011


I was also bothered by the repeated "deception" thing, particularly with the one judge who seems to be really fixated upon the fact of a "boy's" voice coming from a "girl." Count me in with the moderated happy as well.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:25 AM on March 16, 2011


Aw, I thought this was lovely. I don't care if it's scripted reality TV, I fall for these narratives every time.
posted by sugarfish at 6:31 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ripple of applause for a guy pushing the play button on the backstage CD player reminded why I never watch TV talent contests.
posted by afx237vi at 6:36 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Count me in with the moderated happy as well.

High five for two steps forward one step back!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:43 AM on March 16, 2011


I don't speak Thai, but I'm pretty sure the judge on the left was mistranslated. According the the subtitles, he didn't say "dawg" once.
posted by Owowthathurts at 7:56 AM on March 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


So she's a girl trying to reproduce man's voice ?
posted by vincentabry at 7:59 AM on March 16, 2011


So she's a girl trying to reproduce man's voice ?

She's a girl whose particular history makes her more able than most girls to reproduce a man's voice.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:37 AM on March 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


I loved this. Sent it to a bunch of friends. She is just awesome. I'm totally floored by her. She sang great, yeah, but to be able to come out like that and have your voice be so confident and unwavering. She got her story out at the end without breaking down or awkwardness. My heart skips a beat when I come out to someone just one on one. You just never know and to see her come out on tv and the way she did it. Oh man. She is tough as shit.
posted by Craig at 9:05 AM on March 16, 2011


Girl, obv. She said "Sawasdee ka", not "sawasdee khrap".

In Thai, males end sentences/statements with khrap (often shortened to kap) and women end with kaa.
posted by docgonzo at 9:16 AM on March 16, 2011


fascinating creatures
posted by the cuban at 12:12 PM on March 16, 2011


No matter the combination of sexual organs, open-minded people will always manage to pleasure each other.

You may need to open more than your mind, though. (I'm sorry)
posted by WalkingAround at 12:19 PM on March 16, 2011


Why are the backstage hosts, in every single countries rendition of this weird Got Talent theme, always like characters out of the Jim and Derrick yt sketch on Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!?

Success, Corduroy. The show is based on a formula that produces financial success, much like McDonald's hamburgers or Hyatt's hotel suites.


No matter the combination of sexual organs, open-minded people will always manage to pleasure each other.

Non-bisexual does not equal not-open-minded, ymgve.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:26 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-bisexual does not equal not-open-minded, ymgve.

Straight men often have sex with women who have penises, and straight women often have sex with men who have vaginas :)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:58 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Straight men often have sex with women who have penises, and straight women often have sex with men who have vaginas :)

I suspect you might be using a different definition of the word "often" than the rest of us.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:45 AM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Straight men often have sex with women who have penises, and straight women often have sex with men who have vaginas :)

I suspect you might be using a different definition of the word "straight" than some of us.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:43 PM on March 17, 2011


Penis makes gay? Why does it get the casting vote when the rest of the individual's bodily and social presentation is otherwise? And besides, for almost every instance of a straight man dating a trans woman that I personally know of, the man in question a) didn't know about his partner's trans status until after courtship began, and b) never dated trans women or cis men before and in his own words considers himself straight.

Also, if you were wondering how insulting it is to imply that 'real' straight people cannot by definition sleep with trans people, the answer is: very. That you for your backhanded dismissal of my entire life.

Oh, and as for 'often', I mean in comparison to the number of trans people out there, not cis people. Otherwise, we'd be pretty fucking busy and I definitely haven't been doing my part.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:55 PM on March 17, 2011


ArmyOfKittens, the insult is in your perception. There are people who self-identify as "straight" (and "gay", for that matter) who are fairly open-minded, and yet - and this is the amazing part - hold on, it's a lulu - yet, they actually care whether their sex partner's genitals are penissy or vaginaish.

If it takes that little to "dismiss your entire life", does the phrase "drama queen" come up often?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:51 PM on March 18, 2011


I don't want to get into this again on mefi, particularly not at the bottom of a spent thread, but the issue of whether trans people are 'really' the sex they present as - which is what we're talking about when we say people have to be bi to have sex with them - is central to trans rights and is at the heart of the violence inflicted on us. If that's a drama queen concern to you then I'm pleased you don't have to deal with it personally.

I probably shouldn't have been such a dismissive prick in my previous comment - I am rather close to this issue as you may have guessed - but I hate the notion that one automatically must be bi to sleep with a trans person who still had their birth bits, partially because I really am not convinced that attraction turns off completely just because some guy's mate has nudged him and told him that woman has a penis, but mainly because that moment is where the spark of violence hits the fuel of shame and another woman ends up dead. In fact I think a lot of trans deaths happen because some straight guy can't stop being attracted to someone and takes out his resulting self loathing on the woman in question.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:25 AM on March 19, 2011


I didn't discuss gender identity, except to say that some of us use "straight" to mean "someone who never desires sex with people who have genitalia like their own."

You can define "straight", "bisexual", and "gay" however you please. I still insist that some people can be both open-minded, and yet be absolutely picky about what kind of genitals they rub against.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:10 PM on March 19, 2011


Hi, IAmBroom.

This comment of yours struck me as so condescending, dismissive, and rude, that I sat straight up in bed despite my recent ingestion of a massive dose of NyQuil.

It sounds like you're defending yourself against the (unmade) accusation that you're not open-minded if you have strong preferences about what your sexual partners have going on between their legs. You're doing that by policing the meanings of words like "straight" and "bi."

I just want to suggest to you that, at least to me, it sounds like you're coming from a position of ignorance about the history of these terms and the cultural battle over their meaning. It's not accurate for you to act like your definitions are obvious.

I'm really uncomfortable with your tone. You are, in fact, dismissing the lives and struggles of persons whose gender identity does not conform to rigid social norms.
posted by prefpara at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds like you're defending yourself against the (unmade) accusation that you're not open-minded if you have strong preferences about what your sexual partners have going on between their legs.

It's a "made" accusation. QUOTE: "No matter the combination of sexual organs, open-minded people will always manage to pleasure each other."

Logically from that statement, if two people with identical sexual organs do not manage to pleasure each other, they are not open-minded.

You're doing that by policing the meanings of words like "straight" and "bi."

Ironically, it is you and ArmyOfKittens who are doing this. I am merely pointing out that some people (my exact words) define those words differently from you... and this variation in public opinion is apparently unacceptable to you.

I just want to suggest to you that, at least to me, it sounds like you're coming from a position of ignorance about the history of these terms and the cultural battle over their meaning.

Nope, but you are. The TG/TS community doesn't "own" those words. Neither does the non-TG/TS community. I'm pointing that out.

It's not accurate for you to act like your definitions are obvious.

You're describing your own problem. My whole point is that the definitions vary from person to person.

You are, in fact, dismissing the lives and struggles of persons whose gender identity does not conform to rigid social norms.

I hope you get a lot of pleasure out of ascribing nefarious motives to people who disagree with you, prefpara. All I've done is to point out that some open-minded people have preferences in their sexual partners. Maybe you and AOM could start a drama club together.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:07 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom, I'm having trouble flagging otherwise I'd just FIAMO, but I gotta say: what you're saying to ArmyOfKittens--dismissing her words as the complaints of a "drama queen"--is insanely not cool and, more, not nice. And on a thread that started so positively, too. These issues might be thought experiments for you, but for transpeople, it's deeply personal, touching many aspects of their romantic and daily lives. As AOK said, people die over these kinds of debates.

Between this and the abortion thread, metafilter is making me sad tonight. :(
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:21 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom, I also want to say that despite your best intentions, what you've said does come across as dismissive to ArmyOfKittens. Calling her a drama queen is not only not nice, but also plays into insidious stereotypes about sexual minorities. Further, I'm not sure what good it does to say that straight-identified men who have sex with trans women are wrong about their own sexual identity (or that "some people" believe they are). Surely you can see how this might be perceived as condescending or controlling, even if you don't mean it that way.
posted by neal at 11:46 PM on March 19, 2011


neal: OK, that's a good point; "drama queen" plays on stereotypes.

ArmyOfKittens is blowing my wording completely out of context, and extrapolating ridiculously unwarranted implications out of them, all for dramatic effect.

I stand unapologetically by my original assertions, regardless of whether this is a "nice" thread or not: some people care which genitals they mate with. This does not make them close-minded. In their minds, this makes them straight (or gay, as the case may be).
posted by IAmBroom at 4:46 PM on March 20, 2011


IAmBroom, if the only point you want to make is that there are people who believe that straight people are exclusively attracted to persons with opposite genitalia, is there a reason that you have to be so aggressive in making that point?
posted by prefpara at 5:17 PM on March 20, 2011


IAmBroom, if you can't allow for some flexibility in your definitions, I suggest you find some inorganic compounds to hang out with and take your uncaring and uselessly pedantic arguments elsewhere. You don't have a dog in this fight, and you're behaving in a really cruel way to those that do.
posted by NoraReed at 2:04 AM on March 21, 2011


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