Gender and Sexuality as Dipicted in the movie ‘Beautiful Boxer’
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Beautiful boxer is a Thai movie revolving around Toom, the protagonist and his struggles throughout life for a sex change. Toom does not want to gain glory by defeating opponents in the ring. He wants to earn enough money to support his family and to get a sec change surgery. Toom’s life goes from his teenage years as a traveling monk, to tough days in boxing camps, to explosive matches where he knocks out most of his opponents across Thailand and Japan. This movie is based on a true story of Parinya "Nong Toom" Charoenphol, a bold star, model in Thailand and “one of the most controversial figures to emerge in international sport” (Hodgkinson).
In Thailand, homosexuals are commonly known as kathoey which refers to a man who feel s he is a…show more content… It shows that he could not follow his dreams because of the conditions he was in and also that society will not accept him as a transvestite. His sexuality was already defined by the societal norms and he dare not challenge it. Later on, when he became famous kick boxer, he seemed enthusiastic and he did come up for fights with his make up on and that shows that he was comfortable in doing that. He listened to his heart and did what he wanted to and was right, but still at the end, after he had sex change, he changed his profession. He became a model. It is shown that Toom did not like kick boxing but one other reason of changing his profession can be that kick boxing is not considered as an accurate profession for girls. The film presents Toom as a strong protagonist who is strong enough to fight the norms of the society and challenge them with hope of reaching his goal.
In Lihaaf [The Quilt] by Ismat Chughtai, we see Begum Jaan hiding her sexual identity as a lesbian because at that time women in the society were suppressed in almost every aspect and were not granted any kind of freedom, so coming out of closet and revealing her sexual identify was very difficult. Whereas, in the movie Beautiful Boxer we see that Toom is not afraid to attain and reveal his real identity. He fought for his very being, for the person he wanted to become and he did it going