Transvestite beauty queen turns monk

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The winner of the 2009 Miss Tiffany Universe pageant in Pattaya has cast aside the makeup and breast implants to become a monk in southern Thailand.

Sorrawee “Jazz” Nattee entered the monkhood May 12 at Khongkha Liab Temple in Songkla, followed by a gaggle of reporters aflutter with questions over how the man who lived most his adult life as a woman could don the golden robes.

Sorrawee Nattee, ordained as a monk at Khongkha Liab Temple in Songkla.Sorrawee Nattee, ordained as a monk at Khongkha Liab Temple in Songkla.

Abbot Atuwathee Phikhu said the newly ordained “Phra Maha Wiriyophikhu,” or “person with great perseverance” removed the silicone breast implants that filled out his evening gown in the 2009 transgender pageant and never had gender-altering surgery. Thus, the abbot said, “he is 100 percent male.”

Sorrawee “Jazz” Nattee shown winning the 2009 Miss Tiffany Universe pageant in Pattaya.Sorrawee “Jazz” Nattee shown winning the 2009 Miss Tiffany Universe pageant in Pattaya.

Noparat Banjawattananont, director of the National Office of Buddhism, said that transsexuals who’ve undergone surgery cannot be ordained but that, in cases such as Sorrawee’s, the decision on whether on not a monk must defrock is left to the abbot.

Atuwathee said Sorrawee had studied dharma for two years and had always wanted to become a monk since he was a child. He finally made the decision in order to repay his parents for their support.

Speaking with reporters, the de-glammed beauty queen said he intends to remain a monk for the rest of his life. He asked the media for privacy, saying he did not want to be a focus of tabloids and would remain at his hometown temple to serve.