Pattaya drag icon Maisie Trollette makes movie

Drag icon Maisie Trollette, a familiar sight in Pattaya’s gay clubs of 20 years ago, has made a movie.

Based in Brighton UK, David Raven was hired by Pattaya clubs as an MC way back when, and is said to have raised hundreds of thousands of baht for AIDS victims, orphanages and other charities.

Maisie is now 89, and the oldest-working drag artiste in the UK, according to Pattaya Mail. She made her reputation in post-war London and moved to Brighton in the 1970s where she became a drag icon.

Out of the music-hall tradition, Maisie is part pantomime dame and part modern performer after the style of Lily Savage.

Even though Thailand has evolved into a better place for LGBTQ+ people to live, it hasn’t always been easy. Members of the LGBTQ+ community still face challenges. Many trans women in Thailand are unable to find work and have no choice but to take informal jobs in the entertainment or sex industries.

Thailand decriminalised homosexuality in 1956, opening the floodgates for LGBTQ+ people to come out, and more spaces such as gay clubs and bars were opened. Then came Thailand’s drag cabaret at the Tulip Bar in Bangkok which reshaped Thailand’s cultural tourism.

Later, the owner of Tulip Bar expanded his business to Pattaya where his unique cabaret shows grew and attracted the attention of increasing numbers of tourists.

The documentary entitled Maisie, directed by Lee Cooper, was released this year following delays caused by the pandemic. Not exactly a biopic, Maisie records the performer’s home and professional life for one week.

The theme of the movie is “old age can be a drag” which provides much of the production’s charm.

Many recent “gay” movies feature young people coming out or discovering their sexual identity. Maisie is concerned with the other end of life – being gay when you have lost much of your allure and your independence.

Pattaya drag icon Maisie Trollette makes movie | News by Thaiger


Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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