Bangkok to host its ‘first real’ Pride parade in June
Pride parade returns to Bangkok on June 5 to celebrate sexual diversity while raising issues of gay marriage, social justice, and gender inequality, its organisers said on Friday.
The procession is scheduled to start at 4pm at Maha Uma Devi Temple, or Wat Khaek, on Pan Road, ending at Silom Road.
“This will be the first real Gay Pride event in Bangkok’s history,” feminism activist Siri “Tata” Nilphruek told a press conference at The Sukosol hotel.
Previous Pride events held in the city were just street demonstrations, he said.
This year’s event is called “Bangkok Naruemit Pride 2022”. “Naruemit” means “creation” in Thailand.
It is being organised by various non-governmental groups promoting sexual diversity.
Friday’s press conference included representatives from state agencies, including the Prime Minister’s Office, political parties, foreign embassies, and the private sector.
Among the invited guests was Bangkok governor-elect Chadchart Sittipunt, who attended the event as an observer.
“Bangkok is a city of diversity in many aspects, not just sexual diversity. We can live happily when we can accept diversity,” Chadchart said.
He added that as per his plan, June would be designated “Pride month”. Every month is being correlated to Bangkok’s celebration of festivals.
Promsorn Veerathamjari, a representative of sex workers, said on Friday that this year’s Gay Pride event would also address social issues, in addition to sexual diversity.
“The organisers hope that Pride parade will become an important event on the calendar, similar to Songkran or Loy Krathong,” he said.
Due to its relatively high tolerance to sexual diversity, Thailand is regarded as a “utopia” for LGBTI+ people by many foreign visitors who experience abuses in their home countries. However, the Kingdom still does not legally recognise same-sex marriage, and discrimination against sexual diversity remains.
Prior to Covid-19, Pride parades were held in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. In the capital, the events were organised by Silom nightlife business operators.
Pride parades, held in cities across the world, commemorate the Stonewall riots, which started when police raided the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City in June 1969.