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Taking centre stage

Natarat Lakha on finding the spotlight in showbiz for transgender people

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It is a fact: Thai transgender women are among the most beautiful in the world. Compared to many countries, Thailand is open-minded about transgender people where there are places for them to stand proud, especially in the entertainment industry. 

Although movies and soap series sometimes portray LGBT people in exaggerated or misleading ways _ usually as shrieking clowns _ today showbiz has made way for a number LGBT talents. In the comedy-drama film Tangwong, directed by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee and which opens today, we see a character played by transgender actress Natarat Lakha _ as pretty as any lady. This is one role that portrays a trans as a flesh-and-blood human being.

Natarat plays a woman who earns her living as a traditional Thai dancer at the shrine. In the film, which explores Thai identities, as well as our political and superstitious belief, her character has to teach a group of students to perform a Thai dance in order for them to fulfil a pledge made with a local deity.

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