Bangkok’s first ‘real’ Pride parade coming up June 5

Pride month is approaching cities across the globe, including Bangkok! On June 5, the city is expected to host its first ‘real’ pride parade. Feminist activist Siri “Tata” Nilphruek said at a press conference yesterday that in the past, Bangkok’s pride parades were just street demonstrations.

But this year, the organisers hope to make pride parade “an imporant event on the calendar, similar to Songkran or Loy Krathong,” said Promsorn Veerathamjari, a representative of sex workers.

The parade is set to start at 4pm at Maha Uma Devi Temple, a Hindu temple sometimes called ‘Wat Khaek’ or ‘South Asian temple’ in Thai slang. The temple is located on Pan Road and Silom Road.

Even though Thailand is known as a mecca of LGBT acceptance, there remains a deep conservatism in Thai society. Same-sex couples are unable to be legally married under Thai law. “Marriage can only be contracted between a man and a woman”, according to Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code.

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Currently, same sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, unregistered cohabitations, or any other form of same-sex union remain off the books. But Bangkok’s LGBT activists are working for change.

One imporant guest at the Pride press conference was Bangkok governor elect Chadchart Sittipunt, who attended as an observer. Chadchat said that as part of his plan, June would be designated “Pride month”.

“Bangkok is a city of diversity in many aspects, not just sexual diversity. We can live happily when we can accept diversity.”

Other important guests included representatives from political parties, foreign embassies, the private sector, and even PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s office.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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