The city of Bangkok is set to celebrate gay pride for the first time since 2006
Bangkok will hold its first gay pride parade later this year, a long 11 years after its last.
While Thailand has held a pride event each year in the island of Phuket, the pride parade coming back to the capital is a show of unity for the local LGBTQ community, one of the organisers said.In that Thailand's largest northern city, Chiang Mai, has seen anti-LGBT protests in the past, perhaps this renewed sense of celebration will help foster a more open sensibility of inclusion for LGBTs across the country.
"It was the lack of organisation and a lack of a definite plan back then that really affected Pride to go ahead," Paul Heymans, founder of OUT BKK, one of the LGBTQ organisations involved in Bangkok Pride, told Mashable.
The pride parades of a decade ago were organised by the business sector, and capitalised on the gay movement, and were less focused on promoting visibility or acceptance for the LGBTQ community, claims Rapeepun Jommaroeng, the deputy secretary-general of Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT), another one of the organisers.
"It was more about promoting their businesses in the views of activists," Jommaroeng wrote in an email. "I never perceived solidarity within this sector."
Organisers are also hopeful that increased visibility will help the community move toward gender and marriage equality.
"(Pride) could be another opportunity to sensitise Thai society about gender diversity issues," said Jommaroeng.
Heymans added: "Getting married legally is a basic human right and one many Thai LGBT organisations set as a main priority."
The event will take place at some point in November. Originally slated for May, the delay is in honor of a one-year mourning period following the October death of the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The six-day Pride event will include a lineup of workshops, film festivals, social events and a pride march. More info can be found here on Facebook.