What the world is reading: Ladyboys in the Gulf

FOREIGN POLICY

Ladyboys in the Gulf

Slim and full-lipped, Mya is Thai-Chinese, though she was raised in Java and speaks English with an Indonesian accent. It was on one of her trips that she decided to go to Dubai, where she knew she could make a lot of money in the transgender sex trade. "The men there love me," she says. According to Sulome Anderson, sex trade in the Middle East is attracting hundreds of transgender sex workers. All these Gulf countries abide by strict Islamic law, outlaw homosexuality, and forbid gay foreigners from entering the country.

This is one of the more extreme challenges faced by the Arab Gulf countries as they struggle to adapt to the changing cultural norms brought on by globalisation, writes Sulome. These communities have long grappled with the sale of alcohol and foreigners' scanty clothing—but the presence of transgender sex workers is dealt with not through compromise, but brute repression.

TIME

Will blacks vote for Obama "Because

He's Black"?

Obama has not been shy about bringing black cultural signifiers with him onto the national stage — from fist bumping his wife in the 2008 campaign to refusing change from a fast food cashier by saying "Nah we straight." The question has become an Internet meme over the last week, fueled mostly by people like author Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie, who told Fox News, "Racists that they are, [blacks] voted for [Obama] because he's black, not because he's qualified."

Instead, the idea that blacks support Obama just because he's black is itself racist, suggest Toure, as if blacks would vote for anyone who shares their skin colour, even though most blacks didn't support Herman Cain, Allen West, Alan Keyes and don't respect Clarence Thomas.

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