Life as a ladyboy: 'What does being a transgender mean to you?'

Life as a ladyboy: 'What does being a transgender mean to you?'

At the recent Miss Tiffany's Universe pageant, several of the alluring contestants spoke frankly about what it's like to be a member of the 'third sex'

A new Miss Tiffany's Universe was crowned last weekend in Pattaya, bringing together some of the nation's most beautiful ladyboys.

We spoke to eight of the stunning finalists in the Miss Unlimited Sexy Star swimsuit round and asked them two questions: 

1. If you were being sent to live on a deserted island for six months with food, water and shelter provided, but no mobile phone coverage or electricity, what are the three things you would take?

2. What does being a transgender mean to you?

Here are their answers. 

Also on CNNGo: Thailand crowns its newest transgender beauty queen

Name: Kunwala "Luookkaew" Thongklitsadakron

Age: 20

Desert island necessities: "A flashlight, my boots and my intellect." 

On being a transgender: "Being a transgender makes me special as I can feel the needs of men and women as one person. As long as I can dress pretty and fall in love I'm happy. I hope that soon people will see transgenders as people, look at their hearts and stop categorizing them as something different."

Name: Parichat "Blos" Rattanalerddumrong

Age: 20

Deserted island necessities: "My family, cooking utensils and my passion -- make-up." 

On being a transgender: "Living as a transgender I must be better than any girl or boy and set an example of how to live a good life and act in a proper manner at all times." 

Name: Sirapatsorn "Sammy" Attayakorn - Miss Tiffany's Universe 2011

Age: 21

Desert island necessities: "My mom, sunscreen/lotion and fishing tackle."

On being a transgender: "I was born a man but with a woman's heart and since I was very young I've wanted my body to match my heart."

Name: Serinapa "Got" Petchaboon -- Miss Unlimited Sexy Star 2011

Age: 19  

Desert island necessities: "Nothing. I will accept whatever fate brings me. Life is a cycle and I accept that."

On being a transgender: "I could not choose what gender I was born, or how I feel about myself, but as long as I am honest in the way I am and the way I treat other people then I and them are happy."

Matthanaphathah "Kob" Khemmanath

Age: 23

Desert island necessities: "A bottle, a pen and paper to write a note and put it in the bottle to throw into the ocean."

On being a transgender: "Being a transgender allows me to understand the full feeling of being a woman and even though my body is female, I can also understand how men feel about matters. This is my life, my choice and I hope one day society accepts transgenders the same way they do the other two sexes."

Name: Ratsarin "Rin" Chenchitthatanon

Age: 23

Desert island necessities: "A photo of my family for inspiration,  a knife for protection and cooking and medical supplies."

On being a transgender: "Living as a transgender I must be stronger than other people who live according to the body they are born with. I'm proud to be a transgender, but as such I must act and behave 100 times better than any male or female."

Name: Reya "Bank" Meelaksap

Age: 21

Desert island necessities: "My parents, medical supplies and my clothes."

On being a transgender: "Living as a transgender I must be strong, but also considerate to people around me. Transgenders are special because we can understand both male and female feelings and thoughts. I know that by my actions and behavior people make opinions about transgenders so I work hard at helping to create a better understanding of transgenders."

Name: Jaruphat "Puy" Lunggawong

Age: 25

Desert island necessities: "A bottle to carry water when exploring, a flashlight and a boat."

On being a transgender: "I'm happy to be a transgender because a person's heart is more important than the body. I enjoy living as a woman and look forward to the day that transgenders are treated the same as males and females."

John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 20 years' experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and copy editor.

Read more about John Le Fevre