Thailand, Asia

Thailand is the world's 51st-largest country in terms of total area. About 80% of the population is ethnically Thais, 10% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay. Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 95% of all Thais. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as the ruling monarch. The King has reigned for more than 60 years, making him the longest reigning monarch. The King is recognized as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and Defender of the Faith.
Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a European power. The current 2010 political infighting has destabilized the country.

There are no laws against gays or lesbians in Thailand. However, there are some Buddhist laws that prohibit openly gay men to enter monkhood. Transsexuals (known as Kathoey) are imbued in Thai culture via television and cabaret shows such as the famous Calypso performances in Bangkok. Thailand has an (almost) annual gay pride events in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chang Mai and Phuket. The health authorities work together with the gay community to promote HIV education and prevention. Gay and transvestite actors also play key roles in Thai movies and soap operas. 



Most young Thai MSM define as heterosexual, even if they mainly have sex with men

A large, randomised sample of 21-year-old Thai men, presented at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington recently, has found that by far the largest risk factor for HIV infection is gay identity. Contrary to the oft-quoted saying “it’s not who you are, but what you do,” actual male/male sexual behaviour, while still an important… Read more »

New Regional Community Youth Leader And Policy Briefing Paper Announced

(Bangkok)   The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) has been a leader in mobilising attention and action to promote the health and human rights of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people since 2007. Today, APCOM reaffirms its commitment to working with young MSM and transgender people by supporting… Read more »

On ’100% Thai manliness’ and the reality of LBGT in Thailand

On Wednesday, a rather confusing headline made the rounds when a Thai actor told that the country’s Ministry of Culture (or as we call it here “ThaiMiniCult”) ordered TV executives to ensure that “100 per cent male” actors should not play transgender roles on TV. Naturally, such a bold statement caused at least befuddlement and… Read more »

Thailand: Trans woman becomes the first to win elections to public office

A trans woman has won a historic seat in local elections in Thailand, thereby becoming the first openly transgender person to hold public office in the country. Yonlada Suanyos, a PhD candidate who also runs a satellite television station, in addition to running her own jewellery business, has defeated two other male candidates to become… Read more »

Lady Gaga Meets Thailand’s ‘Lady Boys’

Bangkok — 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… Read more »

Windows into domestic gay Thailand

A exhibition of tender photographs of gay couples in their homes is showing in Bangkok, Gay Star News interviews the Thai photographer Piryarat Piyapongwiwat Queerness, an exhibition at the Toot Yung gallery in Bangkok presents windows into the domestic lives of gay couples in the city. Piryarat Piyapongwiwat, the photographer behind the exhibition, and featured… Read more »

Burmese rights group to broadcast LBGT news online

A Chiang Mai-based LGBT rights group that serves the Burmese LGBT community and began Rainbow TV programs in late 2011 says it will continue to broadcast television programs on a monthly basis. The following was first published by the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma on Feb 19, 2012: In 2012, the Colours Rainbow group… Read more »

Thai NGO advocates safe sex in Bangkok red-light districts

Bangkok, Thailand – It was an early Monday evening and the red light district in Thailand’s capital was already heaving — full of locals and foreigners drinking sundowner cocktails and enjoying the flesh parading before their eyes. Street vendors were selling food, clothes, souvenirs and Valentine’s Day gifts. They probably weren’t expecting a group of… Read more »

Flying the flag for ladyboys: Thai airline takes on transgender flight attendants

Boss of PC Air hires transgender cabin crew and says he wants Thailand to give more rights to ‘members of the third sex’ Her eyelashes, and her stockinged legs, are long enough to warrant a double-take from passengers on board. It may seem a form of harassment to others, but Thai flight attendant Punthakarn Sringern,… Read more »

Thailand found over 10,000 new HIV/AIDS patients in 2011

Bangkok(NNT) – The Public Health Ministry has made public the number of HIV/AIDS patients in 2011, saying over 10,000 new patients were found last year alone. According to the Public Health Ministry, over 1 million people were infected with the deadly disease in 2011, with nearly half still alive. The statistics from January to November… Read more »

Transgender airline staff make inaugural flight in Thailand

Thailand’s first transgender air stewardesses have taken part in PC Air’s inaugural flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani. The new airline took on four transgender crew last year when hiring thirty in-flight staff. PC Air boss Peter Chan told the Daily Telegraph last year: “I think these people can have many careers – not just… Read more »

The truth about tolerance

Thailand is well known for being tolerant towards people of different sexual orientations. After all, hardly a day goes by without one seeing ladyboys and chic lesbian tomboys with their shortly cropped hairstyles and manly attire roam the streets of Bangkok. The most obvious response of bystanders is a mixed bag of raised eyebrows and… Read more »

‘Without equality, tolerance is just a myth’

Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, The Nation’s columnist on gay affairs since 2001, has been honoured by the National Lesbian and Gay Federation (NLGF) of Ireland with the GALA International Prize for Gay Rights Activist of the Year. Paisarn, a defender of gay and other rights, accepted the award over the weekend on behalf of the Sexual Diversity… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2011

1 The first Thai ‘Tom’ movie 1/11 1a Semi-official gay website undergoes revamp 1/11 2 New Thai airline recruits transsexuals as flight attendants 1/11 3 Bangkok Post goes gay 2/11 3a Mental health of MSM and Transgender on blind spot 2/11 3b Michel Sidibe’s fight against prejudice 2/11 4 Global Commission Reviews Legal Barriers Obstructing… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2010

1 Mplus produces animations for HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention 1/10 2 Marginalised empowered by learning legal rights 3/10 3 Money-boys in Thailand: sex, work, and stigma 4/10 4 Sex frequency and sex planning among MSM in Bangkok 4/10 5 Inconsistent Condom Use Among Young MSM… 4/10 6 Notes from Bangkok 5/10 7 Report from Gay… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2009

1 Fire in Bangkok gay sauna kills patron 1/09 2 Veteran gay activist slams Chiang Mai’s second pride parade 2/09 3 Chiang Mai gay pride parade called off 2/09 4 On-the-ropes gay mag industry fights for media acceptance 2/09 5 Mainstreaming HIV prevention in Thailand 2/09 6 Without equality, tolerance for gays is just a… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2008

1 ILGA-Asia conference elects first regional board 2/08 2 ChiangMai, Thailand witnessed its first gay march 2/08 3 Thailand’s Gay Past 2/08 4 Call for action against bogus AIDS cures 3/08 5 New men’s lifestyle TV programme to launch March 9 in Thailand 3/08 6 Thailand joins gay blood ban 4/08 7 Temporary ban on… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2007

1 National Human Rights Commission of Thailand 2 Thailand Promises Elections This Year 3/07 3 Organizers of Book Fair unable to check content of all books sold by vendors 4/07 4 A look at the acceptance and rejection of gay people in Phuket 4/07 5 AIDS activists in Thailand protest U.S. decision on copyright violators… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2004-06

1 Thais Better Know Where Their Children Are–Curfews are back 2/04 2 The Story Utopia Tours Never Dreamed They Would Have to Publish 3/04 3 Film Tells of Kickboxer Who Had Sex Change 4/04 4 School gives transvestites own restroom 6/04 5 Thailand’s Cultural Ministry "Declares War" on Homosexuals 6/04 6 Love, Fantasy, Money and… Read more »

Gay Thailand News & Reports 2000-03

1 Lesbian group plans campaign in schools to boost awareness… 7/00 2 Open-minded discussion better than heated argument, seminar told 4/01 3 Thailand crowns Most Beautiful Gay Man in Miss Tiffany contest 4/01 4 Safe sex play staged in jail 3/01 5 The Crackdown on Gay Bars in Bangkok: 11/01 6 Thailand to turn out… Read more »