6 June 2024

Many thousands of Thai and foreign LGBTQ+ people joined Pride celebrations in Bangkok today (Sunday), to celebrate gender diversity and advocate for their freedom and fundamental rights, such as gender recognition, same-sex marriage, the legalisation of sex work and equal social welfare.

Officially called “Bangkok Pride 2023”, the parade kicked off at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) at Pathumwan intersection and ends at the Central World shopping centre in the Ratchaprasong area.

Their parade represented the six themes of this year’s event, namely Gender X, My Body My Choice, Chosen Family, Peace & Earth, Equal Rights to Health and Security.

The parade will conclude with a “Pride Stage” at 8pm, which will feature performances by Thai drag-queens and a special concert by LGBTQ+ artists.

Many politicians also participated the parade, includingBangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew and Paetongtarn Shinawatra. The U.S., Danish and Finnish Ambassadors to Thailand also took part for their first time.

Chadchart said that the parade shows that people are more willing to embrace those who are different, not only from the LGBTQ+ community, but also those with disabilities and those who hold different views.

“If we can all accept the differences and diversity, I believe that our society will be happier and will become a better place in which to live.”

Chadchart added that this year’s pride parade is the first step to becoming the host city for World Pride 2028. He suggested that many of the draft laws related to improving the livelihoods of the LGBTQ+ community should be passed as a priority first.

Meanwhile, Pita told Thai PBS World that the Move Forward party aims to legalise marriage equality within 100 days, if their coalition becomes the next government. He also said that this year’s pride parade in Bangkok shows that the capital has the potential to become the first Asian city to host World Pride 2028.

“It’s already on the parliamentary agenda [to pass the marriage equality bill],” he said. “I think we are gathered here together to send the message to the world that love wins, and here, in Thailand, we view diversity as a strength. We are ready to organise pride events at an international level.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Robert F. Godec, says he is “thrilled” to join the Bangkok Pride Parade today, while describing it as “very special, colourful, powerful and moving”.

“It is so important that we come out and say that it is critical that everyone should be able to love who they love and be with who they want to be with. This message to our world, freedom and pride, is extraordinarily powerful, and I just love this energy, vibrancy and the power of this moment here in Bangkok.”