I remember seeing several gay men in Laos, but not as much anywhere else in the five countries I visited. Lao society, so laid back in so many ways, seems to be quite accepting of homosexuality. But today I'm going to talk about another sexuality-related issue: ladyboys. Ladyboys are also known as "kathoey," remembering that "th" is pronounced as "t" in Thai. They are a distinctly Thai phenomenon, men living as women. If you're a North American you may think "that happens in my country," but not to the extent that ladyboys permeate Thai society and culture. Some just get their nails done occasionally. Some have long hair, nails, stylish clothes, and a very slender figure. Another segment live their entire lives as women. And some have implants, hormone treatments, and genital reassignment surgery. It's a very broad spectrum, and large numbers of them live and work in cities and towns of all sizes, often doing jobs where they would be unlikely to be accepted in North America. I was waited on at restaurants several times by kathoey. They're just part of the landscape. For more information, see Wikipedia's article.