Tag: gay thailand

Thailand’s Intolerance of Its Own LGBT Community Will Surprise You

The Land of Smiles is a gay-friendly playground of brazen lady boys and sexual license, right? Well, not quite… Written by Per Liljas for Time Magazine. Thailand likes to project itself as an oasis of tolerance in a continent where roughly half of the countries outlaw homosexuality. It is one of only seven Asian signatories… Read more »

The two faces of Thai tolerance

Thailand’s Bangkok Post last week highlighted that while the country’s tourism authorities are trying to market Thailand as a gay-friendly destination urging gay visitors to “Go Thai. Be free”, local LGBT activists say the campaign disguises a darker reality that beneath the veneer of public tolerance, conservatism and discrimination remain rife. In an investigative report… Read more »

How Thailand and Vietnam are moving on same-sex ‘marriage’

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognize gay and lesbian relationships? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok and Hanoi While the focus has been on gay marriage in the West, same-sex partnership rights have also been on the move in South East Asia. We examine progress in Thailand and Vietnam,… Read more »

On the road to legalising same-sex relationships: Thailand and Vietnam

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognise same-sex relationships? Doug Sanders, back home in Thailand from two weeks in Hanoi, reports. Thailand In the fall of 2012, the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships was taken up by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights of… Read more »

Thai university introduces two LGBT courses, a first in the ASEAN region

One of the top three universities in Thailand has introduced two LGBT courses, a breakthrough in the country and the region. Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok. On Saturday, July 6, around ten students met for the first time in the credit course “Voice of LGBT” in the graduate program in Women’s Studies at Thammasat University… Read more »

Fifty shades of pink

Some countries consider gay marriage, but elsewhere attitudes harden On the last Saturday in June the centre of Singapore’s very sober business district turned distinctly pink. Lesbians, gay men and others converged there for the annual celebration of what organisers call the “Freedom to Love”, also known as the “Pink Dot”, in honour of the… Read more »

HIV and Syphilis Infection Among Men Who Have Sex with Men — Bangkok, Thailand, 2005–2011

Although efforts to control the heterosexual human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in Thailand had shown success by the late 1990s (1), HIV continued to spread in other risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2003, the Thailand Ministry of Public Health–U.S. CDC Collaboration (TUC) started surveillance among MSM in Bangkok, finding… Read more »

Same-sex union bill no cause for celebration The Nation

Bangkok – Lesbians, gays and others seek equal treatment under the law, not special favours and condescension The recent move by the Parliamentary Commission on Law, Justice and Human Rights to legalise same-sex relationships came as a pleasant surprise to the local community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and intersex persons (LGBTIs). Three leading LGBTI… Read more »

LGBT Thai teens forced to become monks by parents to turn them straight

Homophobic Thai parents have been forcing their LGBT children to become monks but they are taking to social media to assert their identity LGBT teens are being forced to become monks by homophobic Buddhist Thai parents but are taking to social media to express their identities according to the Bankok Post. 28 year-old Deer, who… Read more »

Overlooked, ignored, forgotten? No longer: Groups call for an end to transphobia in Asia Pacific

Bangkok, Thailand – “HIV remains a serious threat to transgender people worldwide,” states a new policy brief, Overlooked, Ignored, Forgotten: HIV and Basic Rights of Transgender People in Asia and the Pacific. For Asia and the Pacific, HIV rates among transgender people are disturbingly high, ranging from 49% in Delhi, India to 11% in Bangkok,… Read more »

Same-sex union bill no cause for celebration–Editorial

Lesbians, gays and others seek equal treatment under the law, not special favours and condescension Bangkok, Thailand – The recent move by the Parliamentary Commission on Law, Justice and Human Rights to legalise same-sex relationships came as a pleasant surprise to the local community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and intersex persons (LGBTIs). Three leading… Read more »

Thai media features same-sex couples as parliament considers civil unions

As public hearings are underway before the bill will be proposed to parliament for debate, the English-language local media appears to be covering the issue positively with interviews with same-sex couples who speak about the discrimination they currently face and their hopes for the future. In February, Asia City’s BK Magazine profiled four couples in… Read more »

Largest ever LGBTI conference in Asia elects new representatives and chooses Taiwan for next conference in 2015

Thailand – The 5th ILGA-Asia conference with the theme “The Phoenix Rising” held March 29-31st 2013 has seen the biggest attendance ever of LGBTI activists in a conference in the region. Over 250 delegates from some 25 countries attended the event, joined by a numerous and enthusiastic team of Thai volunteers who were on rotation… Read more »

Building On The Past, Looking To The Future: APCOM Re-Launched

New leadership, new branding and a new website underscore renewed commitment to the regional MSM HIV cause Bangkok, Thailand: On the eve of its sixth birthday, the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual (APCOM) with new leadership and expanded constituencies is urging all coalition partners to renew efforts to ensure access to social, health and… Read more »

Thailand holds public hearings to consider civil union bill

The Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the House committee on Legal Affairs, Justice, and Human Rights have held the first of a series of public hearings to consider civil unions that would allow same-sex couples equal marriage rights. More than 200 people on Friday attended the first public hearing held to discuss the possibility… Read more »

A lesbian perspective on Thailand

Gay Star News interviews the founder of the first LGBT rights group in Thailand In most developing countries, gay men form LGBT rights groups first, encouraged by HIV and AIDS prevention funding. Thailand is unusual in that the first LGBT rights group, Anjaree, was formed by lesbians in 1987. Anjana Suvarnananda, one of the founders… Read more »

Thai government drafting same-sex civil partnership law

The government in Thailand has formed a committee with policy advisors and LGBT rights advocates to draft legal recognition for same-sex couples The Thai government has formed a committee to draft legislation on civil-partnership law for same-sex couples. One of the committee members, Anjana Suvarnananda of LGBT rights group Anjaree told Gay Star News that… Read more »

Transgender couple in Thailand speak

A touching video about a Thai opposite-gender couple who both happen to be trans The Bangkok post has made a touching video about a loving couple who both happen to be transgender. Trans woman Sittichai ‘Pond’ Suafug and trans man Benhamaporn ‘Ben’ Rotjutakul met five years ago and on Valentine’s Day this year Ben proposed.… Read more »

Queering the pitch, deliberately

Dr Peter Jackson discusses what it means to be queer in a Thai context The US academic Rosalind Morris once praised a book on Thai studies by noting that “it offers a relentless repudiation of those saccharine tropes through which Thailand has mainly been read”. This is a rousing comment and one that suggests great… Read more »

The ASEAN declaration – Good news or bad news?

We now know what the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration will say. Is it good news or bad news for LGBTI? Douglas Sanders looks at the issues. First the bad news. We are not named. In the anti-discrimination provisions there is no reference to “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” or “gender expression.” Perhaps we don’t… Read more »

Thai lesbian movie ‘Yes or No 2’ hits theatres

Thailand’s first lesbian movie Yes or No, which was a surprise hit in China and Taiwan, returns to the screen with a sequel this month. Doug Sanders, who reviewed the first on Fridae, reports on the new two hour-long film. In early 2010 the first Thai movie in which a tom (Thai term for butch… Read more »

Gay Policy In Thailand: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Care”

By day, Thung Si Mueng may appear as any old standard park in Northeast Thailand, but by night, it transforms into the ultimate high school hang out. There’s a public fitness center, an aerobics classroom as well as badminton, soccer and basketball courts. It’s a place for families to go that don’t have a backyard.… Read more »

Thai uni allows trans grads to wear female gowns

Oxbridge of Thailand will allow five transgender students to graduate in female attire this year The Higher Education Commission in Thailand has agreed to allow five transgender women graduating from the country’s most prestigious university to wear female clothes in their graduation ceremony on 30 August. ‘I’ve dressed in a female student uniform since I… Read more »

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 »

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 »