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The Stealth Pride Festival of 2022

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It seems as if organizers of the Thailand Pride Festival of 2022 were playing it low key--very low key--because it came and went without many taking any notice.

According to a lone post on GB's board, about a dozen groups walked Silom Road on Sunday, Nov. 27. There were reportedly some side events on Nov. 25 and 26 which apparently received little advance publicity (intentionally or unintentionally).

25 November 2022

  • Physical structures and signs of the rainbow flags in Silom Road
  • Side Events in the scheduled location by stakeholders
  • HERO Awards 2022 at the Australian Embassy by APCOM
  • HERO Awards 2022 After Party by APCOM

26 November 2022

  • Physical structures and signs of the rainbow flags in Silom Road
  • Thailand Pride Festival Party by Silom communities and partners

This was the organizers website: https://www.apcom.org/thailand-pride-festival-2022-press-conference/

Like to think I read the local media regularly and puzzled how this slipped by without notice. If anyone attended, it would be interesting to hear their impressions.

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Very few Thais will appear at public gay events in the country. This has been proven time and time again. The annual Pride Parade was stopped in the early 2000s because virtually the only participants were boys from the bars, massage spas and lady boys. Good on them, but you will rarely if ever see a professional Thai take part since Thailand remains a very conservative society. In 2009 the Chiang Mai Parade had to be abandoned when those watching it hurled abuse at the marchers and it threated to become violent. I heard that the Bangkok Parade which was reinstated this year did have a better turnout, but it is still mostly organised by gay venues rather than individuals.

Even with few tourists taking part as the easing of covid restrictions came to late, this year's Taipei Gay Pride Parade had 120,000 participants. Clearly the vast majority of these were ordinary Taiwanese men and women, far from all of them gay since traditionally parents have brought their kids to take part. Bangkok's public gay displays will never take off until the culture of the country changes. 

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17 hours ago, reader said:

The lack of diversity among the organizers may have also been a factor. The SWING group seems to have had a major role in determining the agenda. A few private photos I've seen of the event showed signs reading: "My body, My pussy, My choice, Your money."

I am certain you are correct. In my view, Taiwan's Gay Pride Parade - indeed its entire gay movement since the end of martial law in 1987 - has been so successful because it is organised by a group of committed individuals prepared to work within the system. The Pride Parade was started basically as an act of faith by this group in 2003. It both worked with the authorities and every Parade has promoted a different social message. Thaland's early attempts at Parades were entirely organised by commercial gay venues partly to promote themselves. Unless and until it can involve many more ordinary Thais to take part in the Parade, it will never be more than some sort of side-show - unfortunately.

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