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Trans More Accepted In Buddhist Countries?


Guest Annaemo

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Guest Annaemo

Hi I was just reading about Kathoey in Thailand then watching a youtube video about Newhalf in Japan. They were saying one reason they are more excepted is that in Buddhism its be leaved you inherit traits from your past life. I also had a strange feeling when I was on the bus that I was going into some kind of samadhi when I realised that I could be male and female. Is said in Christianity that is seen as a sin instead of a blessing.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Zenda

Kia Ora Annaemo,

:rolleyes: I know it’s been a while since you posted this… anyhow….

:rolleyes: For the most part Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism [Eastern philosophical beliefs] are more tolerant of diversity :friends: than their Abrahamic counterparts…

Having a belief in rebirth and karma fosters this tolerance, especially amongst Buddhists and Hindus…Many gay and transgender people in the West are drawn to Buddhism, because of it’s non judgemental nature…

RE: Karma & Rebirth...

:rolleyes: Some Thai Buddhists believe all humans will due to our karma, at some stage of our many rebirth, be born 'transgender'...They believe the karmic result for adultery , is for one to be reborn 'Transgender'...It's nothing to do with 'sinning' or 'good or bad', it's just the karmic results of unskillful actions.. :doh1: .There's no such thing as 'sin' in Buddhism... :thumbsup:

Metta Zenda :)

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Guest JazzySmurf

Hello :-)

I do wonder if this hypothesis you mentioned is a causal one. It would mean Mr. Woods is coming back quite a few times as a hotshot transwoman golfer. Oh dear.

Heather

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Guest Wulfhere

I think we need to be careful not overgeneralise. Thailand seems to be tolerant of trans people in some respects, and yet there are some factors that point to the contrary even within Buddhism. I'm not sure if you've read the book The First Man-Made Man by Pagan Kennedy, but it is basically a biography of the life of Michael Dillon who was the first known transman to get bottom surgery in the 1940s. Dillon eventually went to live among a Buddhist community in India where he eventually revealed that he was FtM. Because of this he was denied ordination by one group in particular. Even after moving to another group where he was ordained as novice monk (and if I remember right, he wasn't allowed to rise above that position), he was not met with full acceptance because some would not accept him as fully male. I think people tend to over romanticise Buddhism, but it does have many of its own instances of anti-trans/anti-lgbt sentiments, which can be seen in some present day Buddhist groups. Remember that Buddhism in North America and European and as presented to westerners is not necessarily the reality of Buddhism in countries like Thailand.

A brief survey of Thai law shows that homosexuality was deemed a mental disorder until 2002, and because of that weren't permitted to serve in the military until 2005. There are no hate crime laws including the LGBT community in Thailand. Some Buddhist groups continue to prohibit gay men and trans people from being ordained.

There also seems to be a huge representation for MtFs but very little for FtMs. Do Kathoeys include FtMs? Is there any talk of FtMs within Thai society? That's a trend I'd like to see change the world over, because somehow we've managed to be less visible. As far as MtFs, it seems like the visibility there is similar to North America, in that a lot of centres around entertainment and comedy, rather than being seen as normal human beings. These are stereotypes that need to be broken.

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Guest Zenda

I think we need to be careful not overgeneralise. Thailand seems to be tolerant of trans people in some respects, and yet there are some factors that point to the contrary even within Buddhism. I'm not sure if you've read the book The First Man-Made Man by Pagan Kennedy, but it is basically a biography of the life of Michael Dillon who was the first known transman to get bottom surgery in the 1940s. Dillon eventually went to live among a Buddhist community in India where he eventually revealed that he was FtM. Because of this he was denied ordination by one group in particular. Even after moving to another group where he was ordained as novice monk (and if I remember right, he wasn't allowed to rise above that position), he was not met with full acceptance because some would not accept him as fully male. I think people tend to over romanticise Buddhism, but it does have many of its own instances of anti-trans/anti-lgbt sentiments, which can be seen in some present day Buddhist groups. Remember that Buddhism in North America and European and as presented to westerners is not necessarily the reality of Buddhism in countries like Thailand.

A brief survey of Thai law shows that homosexuality was deemed a mental disorder until 2002, and because of that weren't permitted to serve in the military until 2005. There are no hate crime laws including the LGBT community in Thailand. Some Buddhist groups continue to prohibit gay men and trans people from being ordained.

There also seems to be a huge representation for MtFs but very little for FtMs. Do Kathoeys include FtMs? Is there any talk of FtMs within Thai society? That's a trend I'd like to see change the world over, because somehow we've managed to be less visible. As far as MtFs, it seems like the visibility there is similar to North America, in that a lot of centres around entertainment and comedy, rather than being seen as normal human beings. These are stereotypes that need to be broken.

Kia Ora Wulfhere,[Thanks yes I've read the book it's interesting]

:rolleyes: However, If one compares apples with apples, Buddhist countries [that is countries where Buddhism is the central belief system] are more tolerant than those countries where Abrahamic religions are their central beliefs…

But in saying this, humans are humans and if the local government doesn’t adhere to the ‘teaching’ but instead opts for a different approach to things [which is normally the case when influenced by the West or for that matter Eastern communistic ideals or authoritarianism ] then it’s quite possible this tolerance level that once was the norm, begins to change and not necessarily for the better- Miramar is a good example and if one looks at the history of pre colonial India one will find under Hindu rule ‘homosexuality’ was tolerated, it was only to do with British rule that laws were put into place that discriminated against homosexuality, and sadly since their departure, these laws still exist …

Gay and transgender people in Buddhist countries might not have ‘full’ recognition, but unlike here in the West, they don’t fear for their lives, that is, when out and about they are not targeted…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_topics_and_Buddhism

On the whole, people who are brought up in Buddhist societies tend to be more tolerant towards gay and transgender people, because of their ‘Buddhist’ beliefs !

However I understand where you're coming from, in regards to full recognition some Buddhist countries have some way to go, but as far as tolerance goes, if you visit a Buddhist country you'll see for yourself…

Metta Zenda:)

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Guest Zenda

Hello :-)

I do wonder if this hypothesis you mentioned is a causal one. It would mean Mr. Woods is coming back quite a few times as a hotshot transwoman golfer. Oh dear.

Heather

Kia Ora Heather,

:rolleyes: It's possible because of the karmic result the next time he comes back he could end up being a 'trans-caddy' :D;)

Metta Zenda :)

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Guest JazzySmurf

Hi Zenda :-)

I do wonder what would be a good prayer for him. In the lack of any clear favorites: may he be safe, may he be happy, may he be healthy, may he live with ease.

Have a wonderful day. :-)

Heather

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Guest Zenda

Hi Zenda :-)

I do wonder what would be a good prayer for him. In the lack of any clear favorites: may he be safe, may he be happy, may he be healthy, may he live with ease.

Have a wonderful day. :-)

Heather

Kia Ora Heather,

:rolleyes: Another way of looking at this [from Buddhist perspective that is], is "Karma helps those who help themselves!" Bearing in mind one's 'karma is ones personal karma' and for every action there's a reaction...

:rolleyes: No matter what prayers or well wishes one says/has for Tiger,in the long run it's Tiger's karma and he is fully responsible for his actions and the outcomes...One can only 'hope' his actions become as 'skillful' in life, as they are on the golf course...

Metta Zenda :)

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Guest JazzySmurf

Hi Zenda :-)

We are all interconnected :-) By wishing one well, we wish all well.

May we all be safe, may we all be happy, may we all be healthy, may we all live with ease.

Have a wonderful day. :-)

Heather

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Guest Zenda

Kia Ora Heather,

:rolleyes: We're all interconnected it's true, I don't have any ill will towards Tiger or for that matter any sentient being...I'm very aware of what both he and his wife are going through and have compassion for both equally, I wish them well, but they and they alone must develop the skillful means to overcome/work through the karmic impact of 'both' their actions...

In other words they must accept what 'is' and move on...

"Sabbe Dhamma Nalam Abhinivesaya!"

"Nothing 'Whatsoever' Should Be Clung To!"

Metta Zenda :)

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Guest JazzySmurf

Hi Zenda :-)

We are all in this together. Though some of us are leading more virtuous lives and some of us are leading less virtuous lives, at the end of the day we are still, together, part of a larger picture. So, we help each other out. :-)

Have a wonderful day.

Heather

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Guest Zenda

Kia Ora Heather,

:rolleyes: Again what you say is true...But we can't take away/stop their karmic experience,we can only try to help ease their suffering...And how one does this would depend on the individual and what means they have at their disposal...

Metta Zenda :)

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Guest JazzySmurf

Hi Zenda :-)

One can always find a way to help, if one tries well enough. Because helping others is tremendously beneficial to our own karmic experience, therefore we should try our best to help all others. :-)

Have a wonderful day.

Heather

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Cynthia Of Creation

A chinese friend told me

Thailand is a "Mans Paradise" were he can get anything and i do mean ANYTHING he wants there. but only a Man,

not a trans women or women. from what i can gather

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest CharlieCLA

I can't tell you how nervous I've been about transgenderism and buddhism since becoming buddhist. Even knowing that someone in my sangha is a lesbian didn't make me fear it much less. I'm constantly worried about stuff like, if I get top surgery what will that mean to my sangha. Or where would I go if I wanted to get more serious about buddhism, since monastic orders are sexually segregated from what I could tell. But I feel better after reading this thread. Thank you for posting.

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Guest CharlieCLA

Hi, Megan.

I sort of stumbled onto a Tibetan monastery in my hometown and went there for their intro Buddhist stuff once I decided to start pursuing Buddhism. It's a rather small monastery and is pretty open to laymen. I'm not as familiar with Zen Buddhism, other than hearing it is more strict than Tibetan. I've seen other people practice Zen, but not asked a lot about it myself.

The running joke I have with myself is that I'm Buddhist, but not a very good one. It's become less and less often, but mainly I say this because I have a very bitter outlook on the past and present, and end up not liking a lot of people. I still try to be optimistic about the future, and try to keep my heart open to love and compassion. It doesn't always work.

I'm worried my fear of rejection is one of the big things preventing me from being more committed to my practice. That is, getting more involved in the weekly prayers and other ceremonies. I'm also hesitant about anything new and don't want to pray when I don't understand the meaning of the prayers. Yet I am hesitant to ask about them so I can understand them. On sunday morning, after the intro Buddhist talks, members of the Sangha will sit with tea and talk. But I haven't felt close to anyone yet. It's friendly chatter, but nothing that involves asking other people to share life outside of the monastery's grounds. It probably doesn't help that the Sangha for intro level is so small and no one's really around my age.

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Hi Charlie,

I've practiced with the local Tibetans here as well as having practiced Zen. The sangha you're with sounds different than the one here, because most everything here was in English and easy to understand. But, I do imagine that yours has that same open and happy personality that I found here. It's possibly more for expatriated Tibetans and less American - but the beliefs should be much the same.

But, with either Zen or Tibetan Buddhism, it's less about understanding, and more about doing the practice. By joining wholeheartedly in the practice, even if you're not perfect (or even close to it), you'll become more relaxed, and those fears of rejection should diminish. So, I'd encourage you to join in, even if you don't understand - and ask questions when you do feel relaxed. But, practice, practice!

I do have to issue this disclaimer: I'm just a student on a path, and by no means can claim expertise!

I'll be interested to hear how you're doing, okay?

Love, Meg

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Guest CharlieCLA

Hi Meg,

There are some expatriated Tibetans, yes. But the intro stuff is all English and caters to area residents and students. The intermediate stuff like Tsog offerings are Tibetan and Lama Choepa practice is Tibetan but given translation. It's mostly the Tsog offerings I'm hesitant to attend. I'm still nervous about Lama Choepa practice because I'm worried about etiquette. There's mainly two monks and one Lama at my sangha. I've been less nervous asking questions of the American monk, even though I wish it didn't matter to me.

And it's ok. We're all students! (unless there's a Lama or other enlightened being on this forum somewhere...)

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I didn't attend the "empowerment" ceremonies at my Tibetan Temple either. There is a level of mysticism in Tibetan Buddhism that didn't feel comfortable to me, as a Zen student more accustomed to a "Just Emptiness" practice. But, as a Buddhist practice, regardless of the mystical power of the ceremonies, it would be good to join in. It's a bit like being trans: you have to start somewhere, and the monks and even the Lama started at the beginning just like you are. Don't be afraid!

Love, Meg

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  • 9 years later...
Kasumi63

Interesting topic. Though I’m completely unqualified to comment on the situation in Thailand, as a long-term resident of Japan, I’d like to comment on the situation here. Although there are far more Buddhists here than in the States, most people are pretty neutral when it comes to religion. Quite honestly, this is high on my list of things I love about my new country. Even when people aren’t fully accepting, there is none of the moral condemnation or condescension that one often has to confront in the US. After coming out a year ago, I have yet to hear a single negative word from anyone here.  Japan still has a long way to go in accepting LGBT people, but the problem has almost nothing to do with religion, and you’ll never hear moralizing in the media.

 

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