BANGKOK (AP) – Lady Gaga has met Thailand’s premier “lady boys” at a Bangkok drag show featuring busty dancers who were not born that way.
Diving in to the city’s nightlife, the pop diva and an entourage from her “Born This Way Ball” took in a show at the well-known Calypso Cabaret, where she cheered on a transvestite review of Broadway show tunes.
“A million people have to pay to see a Gaga concert, but Gaga paid to see our show!” cabaret manager Nipon Boonmasuwan told Friday’s Thairath newspaper. When the performance ended, she took the stage to shake hands with the dancers and handed out six tickets to her Friday night show.
Born This Way, the title track of Lady Gaga’s latest album, has become a gay anthem. It includes the line, “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.” Transvestites and transsexuals are known in Thailand as lady boys.
Promoters confirmed Lady Gaga visited the cabaret Wednesday night, just hours after her arrival in Bangkok.
Lady Gaga’s Asian tour has generated publicity and often controversy at nearly every stop.
In Seoul, fans younger than 18 were banned from Lady Gaga’s concerts after Christian groups complained that her lyrics and costumes were too sexually provocative.
It remains unclear if her June 3 show in Jakarta will take place after Muslim hard-liners threatened violence. Indonesian police initially denied a permit but later hinted the show could go on if she tones it down.
Not a chance, said her manager Troy Carter, who told the Straits Times in Singapore on Friday that Lady Gaga “plays the show as it is” and has no plan to self-censor.
Associated Press writers Thanyarat Doksone in Bangkok and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.