Pride event to span over five days
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Pride event to span over five days

Govt keen to host more LGBTQ events

Participants at an event to announce Pride month celebrations at a Bangkok hotel on Monday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Participants at an event to announce Pride month celebrations at a Bangkok hotel on Monday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The government, along with the private and civil sector, will host a five-day Pride event in Bangkok to show Thailand's readiness to be Asia's "rainbow" capital.

At a press conference announcing the event on Monday, the organisers said this year's Bangkok Pride Festival will be held under the theme "Celebration of Love".

According to Ann Chumaporn, founder and president of Bangkok Pride parade, this year's festivities -- which include a parade, various concerts, public activities and the Bangkok Pride Forum -- will run from May 31 to June 4.

"The reason we're hosting [the event] over five days is to showcase Thailand's ability to host bigger events, like the 2025 Inter Pride Conference and the 2030 World Pride parade," she said, adding the event will also celebrate Thailand's push to become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex unions while raising awareness of other issues affecting LGBTQ+ and other marginalised individuals and communities.

She said Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has confirmed his participation in this year's Pride parade, which will take place on June 1. The parade will be held from 3-6pm.

Responding to an alert by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, which warned of a possible attack on LGBTQ+ individuals during Pride month celebrations, Ms Ann said the organisers have always placed a lot of emphasis on security, as LGBTQ+ individuals often become a target of hate, especially in Asia.

She added the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will be coordinating with the Royal Thai Police to secure the event.

She said around 100,000 people took part in the event last year. This year, she said, at least 200,000 participants are expected to turn up at the event.

The parade will start at the National Stadium and end at Ratchaprasong intersection.

Thapanee Kiatphaiboon, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said LGBTQ+ travellers contribute significantly to tourism revenue, noting they spend 40 times more than the general spender.

This year, there will be pride events in 30+ cities across Thailand, including Chiang Mai and Koh Samui in Surat Thani.

"However, in order to be a Pride destination, all of the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals must be met. We'd like to be one of the supporters of the community,"

Separately, Tourism and Sports Minister Sermsak Pongpanich said at a recent seminar that LGBTQ rights are not only about amending laws and regulations, as they are also about improving accessibility to public resources and services.

He said that not only will the Pride celebration help the government meet its target of generating 3.5 trillion baht in tourism-related revenue in 2024, it will help further cement Thailand's international image as a fair, inclusive and progressive country.

"Our government sees that LGBTQ individuals not as a burden but as an important force that could help Thailand advance in all aspects of life," he said.

Mr Sermsak also confirmed the ministry's officials will join the parade this year to show their support for the nation's LGBTQ+ communities.

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