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22 Jun 2009

Bye Bye Bangkok Pride

Unnoticed and unmourned, the pride parades in Thailand have come to an end. What happened? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok.

The Thai paradox is (a) a higher level of comfort with sex and gender diversity than elsewhere, but (b) no ‘out’ political or entertainment figures and limited LGBT rights activism. The Nation newspaper commented in an editorial in 2007 that the country “has traditionally been quite tolerant towards homosexuals and transvestites, who are widely regarded as a pretty harmless aberration to the norm…” How’s that for a tolerant putdown?

Things seemed to change in 1999 when we saw the first Bangkok Gay Festival, with a parade at Halloween in the central business district. A real live parade! Obviously (to outsiders), this was a “pride” parade, like those in the West, designed to stake out gay (and later lesbian) visibility in a society that limply ‘tolerated’ sexual diversity.

Above: Pakorn Pimpton, a dancer and drag performer, organised Bangkok's first gay pride parade. All photos from Bangkok Gay Festival 2000. by Sylvia Tan.
The unique things about Thailand were (a) the niche for transgender kathoey in the entertainment and beauty industries, and (b) the roughly one hundred gay bars, saunas, massage parlors, restaurants and discos in Bangkok. It was these two factors that came together in 1999. Pakorn Pimpton, a dancer and drag performer, involved with one of the major entertainment companies, was the individual who put the cabaret performers together with the bar owners to back a parade that was a public party, not a political statement.

Longtime activist Natee, who had no role in planning the parade, rushed in at the last moment. He put his activist banner at the very front of the parade, claiming that right on the basis of his pioneering anti-AIDS organisation, known as FACT. Tang, of Angaree, the pioneering lesbian organisation, had t-shirts printed up renaming the event the “Gay and Lesbian” festival, and sold them on the margins of the parade. They had, in fact, been ignored in the planning, but claimed a space anyway.

Who was in the parade? The cabaret kathoeys and the bar boys. The gay business owners sponsored floats and had their sex workers on show. The business owners saw the parade as a way of drawing in more gay tourists, and, in 1999, that seemed to work. I remember well the crowds of gays on Silom near Soi 4, there to see the parade. Many had come up from the AIDS conference in Kuala Lumpur to have some fun in Bangkok and see the parade.

The commercial interests of the business owners and the partying agenda of Pakorn diverged. The business owners took over and pushed Pakorn out of the leadership. The “gay festival” was renamed “Bangkok Pride.” Business owners in Pattaya and Phuket thought there was money to be made, and started their own parades and festivals.

Many of Bangkok's gay business owners sponsored floats and had their workers march in the parade along Silom Roads.
After a number of years the Bangkok Pride board developed its personality clashes, and faced declining support from businesses and the few NGOs involved. Eventually the main business figures withdrew in favor of the Thai NGOs. But the Thai NGOs had never been the people pushing the parties and the parade. The last parade was held in 2006.

The Pattaya parade was completely different, and quite strange. There already was a Pattaya parade on world AIDS Day, December 1st. School children put together anti-AIDS floats, and were judged by a panel of teachers and officials. The gay parade was piggy-backed on the AIDS parade. After all the grim floats came dancing bar boys.

I am not sure when this ended, but there has probably been no parade for three years. Pattaya Pride was exclusively organised by expatriate gay businessmen. A number of parties and events continue to be held every year, packaged as the Pattaya Gay Festival (PGF). Instead of an AIDS day march, last year saw a Mr PGF contest at the biggest go-go bar on December 1st.

Phuket pride was also exclusively run by gay businesses, but there they seemed to be exclusively Thai. That parade and ‘festival’ is now history.

For business owners it is easier to organise some street parties and ‘handsome man’ contests. Those events are closely linked to the gay bars and provide some buzz for tourists. The parades, after the first year, probably drew few new tourists to the gay scene.

The Chiang Mai story, clearly, is totally different. A small pride parade was held in Chiang Mai in January, 2008, without advance publicity or media coverage. It was part of the Asian regional conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).

The local organisations supporting the conference and parade were the main gay-run AIDS organisations - Rainbow Sky and M-Plus. So the parade was NGO driven from the beginning, like the parades in the Philippines.

The attempt to hold a second Chiang Mai parade in January, 2009, was blocked by ‘red shirt’ political activists loyal to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin. The red shirts claimed to be defending traditional Lanna (Northern Thai) culture. Police did not interfere, though the Red Shirts physically confined the would-be marchers to prevent the parade from happening.

Natee, the pioneer activist, lives in Chiang Mai. Just like 1999, the organisers had ignored him. Instead of inviting himself into the parade (as in 1999), he publicly opposed the parade - angering other activists.

NGOs in Bangkok held a “Sexual Diversity Day” in November, 2008, with rainbow umbrellas (covered in a previous Fridae story 'Thailand holds first sexual diversity day', see below). Here again we have an NGO backed event, without sponsorship from gay businesses. At this point no one knows if it will become an annual event.

Douglas Sanders is a retired Canadian law professor living in Bangkok. He can be contacted at sanders_gwb @ yahoo.ca.



1. 2009-06-22 19:49  
I could only wish the same thing would happen in the US. Gay"pride" parades are for the most part embarassing spectacles of flesh snd fetish.
I live near NYC and know many non gay people that will attend the gay parade simply to have a good laugh at the antics of people putting themselves on display.
One friend says it is better than the circus coming to town.
I am not ashamed to be gay, but I question the need to have a parade about sexual identity.

2. 2009-06-22 20:03  
I agree. An American satirical newspaper, the Onion, ran an article with the title something like "50 Years of Progress Ruined by Gay Pride Parade," quoting a straight person as saying, "I thought gay people were people like me, but now I know they are sexually deviant." The parades celebrate fetishism. I can also remember seeing the ubiquitous 'drag show' at a gay bar in Changchun, China in 2002. The huge audience was visibly bored, yet forced to watch the queens. When will the gay world let go of its underground past? Fetishism and drag queens can have their place, but they shouldn't be 'central'.
3. 2009-06-22 20:13  
Time to rejuvenete the Bangkok Pride with all parties getting involved. Thailand with openly LGBT approach shall take the lead to promote LGBT rights and awareness among nations in the region, especially its neigboring countries.
4. 2009-06-22 20:54  
How do the "display of flesh and fettish", (supposedly heterosexual rooted in christianity), parades and parties around the world called Mardi Gras correlate to the gay parades/festivals? Are they not at least as "vulgar" "embarassing" and "boring"? I think the Gay Pride parades CAN still serve a purpose; they just need a face-lift..they've become too predictable, too "formula" in their format. The parades need to be re-thought, re-designed and the events which follow the main event need to spread their financial support as equally as possible among NGO's, politicians, celebrities, businessess and private donors. And we all need to change our own attitudes about the Gay Pride events themselves...they can be viewed as economically opportunisitc for the quick-money-makers, they can be viewed as social events just for the fun of it, and as sociological events to review our history and explore our future. And I believe we can (and should?) still publically celebrate our past, present and future and give everyone an opportunity to laugh at us, at our flesh and our fettishes as we also laugh at ourselves. If the heteros were so bored by our bare flesh, why do so many of them turn up so predictably every year? At least we are viewed by the Thai government as a "harmless aberration" (gag)....how would one, I wonder, define Thaksin and his Red Shirt supporters? They have been anything but harmless, but indeed do qualify as an aberration. They are ruining what once was a basically peaceful, tolerant country which accepted and invited diversity. For now, those days are over and Thailand is a distressed country in deep political, economic crisis.
5. 2009-06-22 21:41  
personally think it looks ugly.
6. 2009-06-23 02:02  
Must have gay pride back..if there isn't any gay pride in thailand.There will be no life in Thailand..Must have life....

Mostly is at least there are people whom come out of their closet and let people known how gay people is like and that they are not alien or anything.

No matter what,we are still humans.

If there no gay pride is like saying that ALL GAYS PLEASE TURN STRAIGHT.
7. 2009-06-23 03:01  
Maybe it's time for some innovation?

Why not a thousand little gay pride type events all through out the year coinciding with other major holidays? and Thai holidays?

If we need one Gay type holiday in Thailand just merge it with Songran and get on with the party or go to the Buddist temple for a religious ceremony.
then move on to the bars or have a party at home or at the beach.

8. 2009-06-23 03:32  
Oh, I saw one of my friends' pics of a Pride parade in Thailand, and to me, it was VERY creepy.

All I could see in the background of the pics were a LOT of quite Fat, old (well, to me, 60 - 70 is old!) white guys, with their arms around the waist/shoulders of small Thai twinks only wearing tiny Speedos etc (and in a couple of photos, the guys clearly had their hands IN the Speedos, publicly groping around).

Those white guys were quite often 40+ years older than the kids - and they looked like kids - that they were with, and although I know and understand that the local Thai guys had Chosen to be 'grabbed' by the White guys like that, it still made a terrible, awful impression on me.

Maybe That's one aspect or side of Thai Prides that crept into things there? The Creepy Westerner angle... which is also VERY obvious here, of course (lots of ugly, hopelessly out of shape aging/old guys who Only want to meet some gorgeous, fit, under-25-year-old asian Boy); I guess that's one more nail in the Thai Pride coffin.

I mean, sure, of course I like many Thai guys - but I certainly would feel pretty uncomfortable watching parades of Bar Boys etc dancing past, and I'd be even less willing to be there if I was surrounded by a lot of guys old enough to be MY Daddy (and I'm 37!), all of whom have latched onto some local kid...

9. 2009-06-23 05:42  
I had the honor of participating on the 2006 Bangkok Pride Committee. Here are some remembrances of that year's events in the form of photo galleries:

Pride Parade

Pride in the Park

Swimsuit Contest


Nicholas Snow, Founder
11. 2009-06-23 12:52  
It seems one of the main problems of the pride parade in Bangkok is the lack of involvement and participation of the local (indigenous) gay community (as opposed to expats, business owners and 'gay for pay' guys). If it looks 'creepy' as described by Vercoda, what more to the average gay and lesbian Bangkokian!
12. 2009-06-23 13:43  
No more pride parade, no more gay tourist attraction, no more income... bad bad bad ... Cant imagine how the buziness would turn out to B ...
修改於2009-06-23 13:44:21
13. 2009-06-23 15:42  
The problem with Most gay Prides is that they end up demonstrating how unusual (compared to the majority heterosexual population) many of those participating in it are, or seem to be - for example, extremely sexualised floats or people attending, which is totally at odds with what Everybody else in the community is like, every other day in the year.

In addition, Prides tend to be only about a certain view of homosexuality - the 'I'm Young And I'm Fabulous' side of things, which is generally an excuse for
14. 2009-06-23 17:59  
It would be nice to see homosexuals anywhere who have a clue as to what pride really is. Hint: It's not a reason to revel in hedonism.
15. 2009-06-23 18:32  
Although the tolerance toward homosexuality has a high threshold, the parade should be aligned with Thai culture and values not to show how bitchy gay men are. I presumed that the majority of Thai gay would not participate in the parade. Yeah, it's quite creepy!
16. 2009-06-23 19:33  
vercoda,i have something for you,imagine you grows older like that age ragne 50+ year old.will you go for younger then you or same age as you and stuff something like that.

So is like a picture of you next time when you grew older and well.

Be it 50 year old or 60 year old,we eat,did,talk,everything we did the same thing as now as when they are younger the time.

So yup,be more OPEN
17. 2009-06-23 19:54  
thought pride parade is where people can express themself n who cares about those hetro who laugh at us??? fetish is normal n people who display that in pride r just want u, closed mind, to see that it is out there n hope one day u'll get over urself n respect others' definition of normal.

thailand pride just need new aim n set their priority straight...to express sex and gender diversity b4 business profit
18. 2009-06-23 23:15  
Finally! Someone who acknowledges the truth about Thai queer realities, and specifically the paradox of Thais having 'a higher level of comfort with sex and gender diversity than elsewhere' but 'no ‘out’ political or entertainment figures and limited LGBT rights activism'.

It is homophobia when queers are denied access to the public space, even in more sexually liberal socio-cultural environments. The political establishment in Thailand seems no different from those in other Asian countries where even the slightest expression of same sex sexuality - "I'm gay" is one of them - is coerced into the realm of "private immorality" ("You're sinful! But that's okay as long as you hide it").

(Note to the Singaporeans here: Shades of the Singapore government's current stand, perhaps?)

It is internalized homophobia on the part of queers when we accept the validity of such a view and eschew the public space because of it.

(Note to all: You are never going to get full equality if you don't take up the public space; your rights are not going to be handed to you on a silver platter.)

Thank you, Doug Sanders for shattering the widely held myth of the unassailability of Thai tolerance.
修改於2009-06-23 23:20:17
19. 2009-06-24 05:54  
The day I see a 55 or 65 year old white guy chasing a 55 or 65 year old asian guy, I'll eat my hat. I'll go out and buy a hat, just to eat it.

It. Doesn't. Happen.

Getting defensive about what 'older people do' is not at all the same as my point about OLD white guys actively and Only seeking YOUNG asian men/teens, which, luckily for them, the law says is not exactly child abuse, but which still seems pretty horrible to a Lot of other people.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that there May be some kind of May-September relationship going on, and that it just works out sometimes for two individual guys that way. That's totally fine by me. But it's the general, consistent and persistent way that that's the ONLY relationship that Many guys want - something which I've seen myself, time and time again, which seems Wrong.

My hat's safe for another day...
20. 2009-06-24 16:00  
chasing a 55 or 65 old asian guy? wewww... I couldn't imagine to happen. BUT, it could possibly happen. Let's accept the fact that beyond the relationship of a young and old gay guys has their own expectation beyond their purpose. So, if the asian countries happened to be very rich while western is like what asian have right now. I believe that young and white guy will chase asian old guys.. hehehehe. But if that happen, I still certainly find a young asian than white guys. SMILE
21. 2009-06-24 23:42  
Vercoda says:
19. 2009-06-24 05:54
"...The day I see a 55 or 65 year old white guy chasing a 55 or 65 year old asian guy, I'll eat my hat. I'll go out and buy a hat, just to eat it...etc"

You'd better start munching on that hat. Speaking personally I would love to date certain ageing actors (any race), especially the ruggedly handsome Jet Li, whereas my equally mature Chinese partner is more likely to fancy some floppy-haired handsome young European pianist, or Takeshi Kaneshiro.

You single out whites for your scorn based on what is probably a relatively small number of guys in Bangkok who stand out more than others.

Don't you know that many older chinese Singaporeans and Malaysians, gay and straight, go to Bangkok for romance and/or sex? Did you know there are also older women of various nationalities that get involved with gigolos all over the world?

Don't you know there are middle-aged asian and middle-eastern tourists who travel to London and other Western cities in search of young women and men? You’ve never heard of mature Japanese men being ripped off in the clip joints in Soho or chasing young Europeans in Tokyo?

The thing is, who are we to judge or to make generalisations rooted in prejudice regarding race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or financial status.

As for your comments about gay pride marches, you seem to have never actually seen one. In London (and elsewhere) they do include contingents of the elderly, disabled, religious and secular organisations, politicians, the police and armed forces, and a predominant mass of very ordinary looking people. The occasional glitzy float makes it entertaining for onlookers and attracts attention to the march.

But if what they have in Bangkok by way of a gay pride march is more of a parade of purely commercial entertainment (don’t know, never seen it) than it should perhaps be called something more appropriate.
22. 2009-06-25 12:28  
Thanks for your great contribution steveuk.

The subject was "what happened to the Bangkok Gay Pride", but as he so often does on this comment board, vercoda manages to rant yet again - and for the umpteenth time - on what seems to be his own obssessional ranting theme ie older white guys going out and (yurk!) actually having SEX with younger Thais. Note that he's not making a point against paedophiles, no no no, what he's saying is that, for example, a 60 year old white guy going with a 20 year old Asian is simply revolting. What these men (the old white guy and the young Asian) feel and/or what they choose to do is not vercoda's concern. He is telling them what is good for them and what they should do or not do, because he knows better and is on the side of morality.

The thing is, morality doesn't have much to do with this...

It has become more or less politically incorrect in "civilized" countries to openly insult or make racist comments about gays, blacks, women, Jews, etc... but obviously it is still perfectly OK to lash out at older guys on the grounds that they are old (and often fat, too) and yet still have a sexuality of sorts.
Age and overweight are stigmatized for one reason and one reason only : making older and heavier people feel guilty about themselves generates an ENORMOUS market. A side effect of this is that a lot of younger people tend to think of themselves as God's gift to humanity, and often view their age as an achievement rather than as a mere (and of course temporary) condition...

Propaganda, manipulation, money, that's what it's all about.

Vercoda-the-righteous is, in that respect, a true product of consumer society and the advertising age.

Your various arguments, steveuk, are all remarkably sound and true. For example I live in Pattaya where I see MANY older Asians going after young Thais (and some young white guys who come here to make some cash).
You could also have mentioned the fact that SOME younger people (never mind asian or white) actually PREFER older guys and that for all kinds of cultural and historical reasons this kind of preference is actually rather common in Asia. Just surf on the Asian profiles and see what age range people favour. It speaks for itself.
We could say this, say that, but in the end I don't think we will ever convince vercoda because his "ideas" are not actual ideas, they are just a thin cover for a hatred that is both pathetic and sad.
Especially knowing that he too will be old one day...
23. 2009-06-26 02:43  
I don't know which gay pride parades, everyone here has been going to.
I have been to several in different cities, but mostly in my former city of Seattle.

I can report that the groups marching in Seattle's parades are consistently far more than half community groups such as high schools, colleges, community centers, religious groups, culture groups such as the Filipino traditional dancers (Mostly families and children with no direct connection to gay issues), civil servant groups such as police and fire departments, businesses (many with no direct connection to gay issues), to name just a few of the groups of people who come to the parade to lend their support to the gay community.

And yes there are, the flamboyant such as Dykes on bikes and some bars with go-go boys, but these are not the dominant groups. They just happened to be the most fun to watch for everyone.

So for those of you who find the flamboyant ones, ugly or whatever judgment word you care to throw at them, I say "go re-examine your Judeo-Christian- Islamic -based value system, which holds that sexuality should only be procreative and not pleasurable."

Let's celebrate our diversity and appreciate the straight folks who come out to celebrate and support their gay brothers and sisters at pride parades worldwide!

24. 2009-06-26 08:43  
I couldn't care less. Thailand Gay Parade is among the sleaziest and creepiest I have ever seen in my entire natural life. How could they send out a positive message of being gay to straight people when they act like sex freaks like that? Shame on you stupid Thai Gay Pride.
27. 2009-06-26 14:07  
Osberga, the violence of your reaction says more about you than about Gay Parades...

I read your profile and found this interesting phrase in it :
"Please don’t judge me by typical stereotype"...

Hmmm what was it they said in that old old book... ? another interesting phrase.... Ah yes...! "judge not and you shall not be judged"...
28. 2009-06-27 19:17  
I'm sure that a certain someone above will understand when I say that, well, you know what? At least I contribute to these boards, in whatever way, and it's better to have some kind of debate or thought than none at all - or should I be silenced? Is what I say, or have Ever said, that awful around here? Seems unlikely...

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, or to see myself on some self-righteous I'm-Always-Right quest around here - whatever I say is my opinion, and I'm entitled to it, just as anyone else is to theirs.

However, the fact is, from a quick glance at your profile, I get the very strong impression that YOU are one of the aforementioned older white guys that Only want young boy types, so no wonder you seemed to rattled and defensive in what you said in this, the first time that I've ever seen you pop up around here, much less coming out swinging with a couple of personal attacks on me. It's not my fault if you feel guilty or - well, whatever way or reasoning you think is a better description for your reaction to criticism against older men - and, true, not just white guys and asians, but white on white, thai on thai, etc (but as this is a asian/white site, that's just One of the lines I went with) - chasing guys barely out of their teens, or perhaps still in them.

I'm fully aware that many young guys like old and older men, and I'm also perfectly sure that there are many white guys [or others] who are older, yet still look for their peers, or older still. Of course there are. But my point was that, IN GENERAL, the practise of Chickenhawking is 'wrong', or immoral; it certainly bothers my friends, and it bothers me on occasion too.

So... if you want some more personal attacks, fine. No problem. Bat them out, and I'll hit them back with simple, neutral reasoning, as above. It doesn't change what I said, or think - but perhaps you should question why You took such offence at what I said, considering what your profile text says and suggests.

If the cap fits...
29. 2009-06-27 23:12  
that's a very pathetic reaction from you, vercoda, but i can't say I was expecting anything else lol as I've read your rantings before.
For the record my bf is 32, and I'm attracted to guys 30up, so your "impression" about my profile reveals only what you are, not what I am.
31. 2009-06-28 02:49  
That's fine by me; I'm not interested in getting into some argument with someone that I didn't even know before today who thinks that I 'rant' on these boards (even though you didn't say about what), or thinks that a formal, impersonal and politely delivered response is 'pathetic'.

However, I'm perfectly certain that, if I pursued this topic further, you'd be very swift to come to the defence of the creepy older guys at that Pride parade that I mentioned earlier - and whom my friends also thought were creepy - but you've already played your hand, and sometimes, it's just not worth dealing another round, and I decline to get into a public slanging match with someone who may have issues that he wants to blame on me. It's good and sometimes easier to have someone else to blame, right?

But, please, whatever hassle you may have had or may have over This very topic - which has so obviously struck a chord - don't personalise it all on My shoulders, when I don't even know the first thing about You rather than your willingness to come out and take a pop at me, personally, when I made a general (yet not all-inclusive) statement/point of view.

Good luck to you, and whatever policies you have of getting with guys 20+ years younger than you, I'm sure...
33. 2009-06-28 08:17  
rant away dude... :-))
If people take the time to read my original comment they will understand what I was talking about. Obviously, you didn't, blinded as you are by your oversized ego.
34. 2009-06-28 21:16  
It seems to me the parades have become like someone said above, the same old S**T. Add to that an increasing awareness of human trafficking, the "sex workers" have become a symbol of a sordid, immoral, and ungodly business. As for Caesar, I do not understand how he concludes that "display of flesh and fettish (sic)" is "supposedly" heterosexual rooted in christianity". If you think Buddhists are tolerant, just observe a Thai couple who learn their only son is gay, and they will not be grandparents. I have met many thais, many hetero, and they are NOT tolerant! If anything they ridicule us. Often, on the other hand, Christian families are MORE tolerant, provided they see themselves as sinful too, because they know that is the state of the whole fallen world.
35. 2009-06-29 08:40  
Penstate I'm glad to read for once that someone else doesn't agree with the old "fabulous Thai tolerance" thing. It may look good when advertising for tourists (especially gays of course, who love to think that they have landed in Wonderland and can actually believe it because they don't STAY), and it is therefore used and re-used to the point of exhaustion, but it is totally untrue. Thailand is NOT tolerant "as a country" or "as a culture". SOME Thais are tolerant (of course) but MOST people are not. Same as anywhere else !

I have said it many times here, the famous Thai lady-boy phenomenon is NOT evidence that Thai society accepts gays, if anything it proves the exact opposite. Why ? because it indicates that Thai society does NOT accept gay identity AS SUCH , and deliberately confuses gender with sexuality in order to comply with its narrow view of normality. In other terms : you are defined by who you're attracted to sexually, therefore if you're a man attracted to other men, your only choice is to become a woman. So they do. Same thing in Tahitian society with the "Rere", the local lady-boys who generate similar mis-interpretations from the tourists. These guys prefer to "become" women and be accepted (well, tolerated) rather than to be pariahs because all human beings are first and foremost social animals who have an absolute urge to belong, to be accepted and to be integrated. That's why it took soooooooo long for Stonewall to happen in a Western society. It was a MAJOR turn, sociologically, politically and psychologically.

I clearly remember how, in the early 80s when there were just a handful of super discreet gay venues in Paris (where I lived at the time), the guys in charge of "Arcadie", the only gay official organisation, invariably advocated discretion, low profile, being "good boys" in order to project a good image etc. They were EXTREMELY opposed to any form of visibility and to the first Gay Prides even if those were light-years away from the flamboyance seen nowadays. They truly believed that society could be made to change its attitude by patient lobbying... Let's just say that the PAST had not exactly proved them right, so one might wonder why they clung so desperately to that total-loser policy ...

Last but not least, I would like to remind angelic admirers of "Thai tolerance" that lady-boys are accepted here only because straight guys do not see them as a threat to their identity. They are accepted, albeit in a very hypocritical way, but they are heavily MOCKED. I happen to understand Thai and some Esarn language too and you have NO IDEA how much mockery goes on against lady boys and gays.

Also, MOST Thai gays who don't go transgender are not out to their families and being thrown out by an angry father who just learnt that you're gay is not uncommon at all. You have to know how important the family is to any Asian to imagine what a disaster it is for a Thai man to go through this experience of rejection.

I am sick and tired of hearing the same old lies about Thai tolerance, and you have to look at who propagates them so doggedly to understand why they are such a die-hard legends.

I would like to add one more point, penstate, to echo the part of your comment where you say "if you think Buddhists are tolerant".... On that particular point I think you are making a too fast equation : Thai=Buddhism therefore Thai attitudes=Buddhist attitudes.

If you examine what goes on in Malaysia, Indonesia and of course South Thailand, which are predominantly Muslim, and the Philippines which are mostly Christian, you will see more or less the same phenomenon as in "Buddhist" Thailand. My belief - and I did extensive research on the subject - is that the ROOT attitude to sexuality in Asian societies comes not so much from Buddhism, Islam or Christianity but from... Confucius. He's the one who defined the pillars of most Asian societies, the central role of the family and the relationship between parents and children. His influence is, in a million subtle ways, BEHIND the other religions that now prevail in various parts of Asia, and if you go into it like I did you will be amazed at how much that explains.

Confucianism even managed to "survive" Mao Tse Toung, his "cultural revolution", and his own loathing of "family values".... that's how resilient it is !
36. 2009-06-29 18:36  
Confucianism is not even considered as a religion... its just a school of thought.

Gay People are branded as queer by the so-call normal straight people. Queer means strange. Meaning we are strange to straight people.

Mardi Gras is a joyous parade not necessary restricted to gay people only. Some others do join in for the fun and celebration. As gay people are in general happy and celebrative in nature, which always inccur jealous and envy of the straight people who are always repressed in their life.

Oriental society is conservative since. But with open-minded teachings from Buddhism which talks about the law of karma and rebirths, being gay is as natural as a rare and unsual flower which blooms once every centuries.
37. 2009-06-30 06:25  
I did not say that Confucianism was a religion, did I ?
38. 2009-06-30 16:32  
That's fine; continue with your showboating, and playing to the gallery - terms You'll certainly understand, seeing as Your ego couldn't let things rest either, hmm? (Sigh.)

You can't convince Me that the (to be Crystal clear) Sex Tourism referred to in this evolving thread is Right, and I guess I can't convince You that it's Wrong, but I am sorry that I've been made out to be, as you might say, 'a petty, small-minded bigot' simply for raising this hardly controversial or surprising opinion.

But I won't drop back to this thread again, or to see these comments, there's no point; I just have to hold to what I think is 'right' or 'decent', just as you, and others, have your own moral compass to move by.

Good luck, one and all...
39. 2009-06-30 17:59  
my my this guy has a lot of anger in him...
You're probably angrier now that some YOUNG caucasian who happens to live in Bangkok has written a long comment (in another article) that supports me and doesn't exactly flatter you... well, I can thank him, but I don't think you're worth the trouble, really. You don't write, you throw up. So naturally, it stinks, lol
40. 2009-08-05 23:19  
41. 2009-08-05 23:30  
42. 2009-08-05 23:57  
hi everyone im Ron and live in Toronto Canada im a Gay man.
i think its a pity they stop the Pride parades in some Asian cities!
in Toronto here we have had for many years and continue to have.
in the early years i decided to take part in one of them to help our cause to be accepted also for human rights etc.
the positives are these parades bring in tourist dollars for the cities involved which helps the local businesses.
also these parades help human rights to be recognised for gay people in other countries where there governments are not really civilised yet for respecting gay people because usually they are military type governments who like to govern keeping a tight grip of the people in all respects.
the negatives are two things they should tone down the drag queen displays as majority of gay people are not drag queens so this gives wrong image about us.
also keep politics out of these parades as that can cause some conflict in the organisation of these parades which can affect our human rights causes for gay people!
these are my opinions only and i welcome any comments from asian countries in general thanks for reading this!
if u read my comments i would like some feedback from




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