Is Thailand Truly an LGBT Paradise?

Feb 3, 2019 | Culture, Thailand

“Known globally for its LGBT-friendly parties and the most welcoming culture for tourists, what’s really going in Thailand’s LGBT community?”

One of Thailand’s recent tourism campaigns appeals to expats from around the world who might be interested in visiting and possibly settling in the country.

The country is generally considered safe for same-sex couples. International tourists, especially from Mainland China have expressed their agreement that to LGBTs, Thailand is indeed “the land of smiles.”

One of the magazines that Breaking Asia was able to obtain shows a glossy publication in full color featuring cultural shows, parties, and stories promoting LGBT expats living in Thailand from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Breaking Asia staffs have even identified a current in the promotional narrative where Thailand is actually inviting gay couples who have children to come settle in the country.

Thailand needs equal rights

While all of this is certainly good news for tourists, what many don’t see is the actual condition of the LGBT community in Thailand. What the government allows expats to do and how the local community is treated are two very different things.

Members of the community would say that they are having a hard time being themselves in their own country because they lack the support of the kingdom’s legal structure. Getting equal rights as an LGBT is difficult – and this has nothing to do with the government inviting foreign families to settle in the country.

Painfully slow progress

But things are changing, if not painfully slow, in the land of smiles. In December last year, a bill passed allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt and to engage in a civil union.

While the Thai LGBT community remains unimpressed with the inch they have been afforded by the largely conservative and closed Thai legal system, it’s a start, and they acknowledge that they are in the arena to struggle, and not just to accommodate happy tourists in their own country.

The slow adoption of the proper bills to address the glaring gap between heterosexual couples and homosexual or same-sex couples in terms of civil and legal rights is slowly being addressed throughout Asia. Even in conservative Taiwan, things are looking up for same-sex marriage.

 

‘Better Days’ Shines Light on China School Bullying Tops Box Office

A harrowing drama about school bullying has struck a strong personal chord with Chinese cinema audiences and soared to the top of the box office, after authorities belatedly gave it the go-ahead.

Taylor Swift Kick Off China ‘Singles’ Day’ Followed by $30 Billion in Sales

Chinese consumers spent a record amount on Alibaba platforms Monday during the annual “Singles’ Day” buying spree, the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping event, which kicked off this year with a glitzy show by US singer Taylor Swift.

Best Cities in Asia for Millennials

If you are looking for a new place to live with great culture and a wide array of high-paying job opportunities, keep on reading.

The Rundown: All about Sri Lanka

Everything you Need to Know About Sri Lanka: The Nation of Beauty and Resiliency

Packing a Punch: Profile of Manny Pacquiao

Boxing to music to politics— what can’t this man do?

Singapore Makes Drone Registration Compulsory

Traveling to Singapore with a drone anytime soon? You might want to rethink your decision. The country has required all drone owners to get permits before flying one or risk penalty or jail time.

South Korean Golfer Suspended for Flipping the Bird

A South Korean golfer has been suspended for three years for sticking up his middle finger at the crowd over a cellphone camera noise, the Korea Professional Golfers’ Association (KPGA) said Tuesday.

North Korea Opens New Border Crossing In Chinese City

North Korea has finally opened a new border crossing in a Chinese city amidst tensions between Pyongyang and Washington over some disagreements in an already failing nuclear deal.

The Asian Misconception: Philippines

Home to a hundred million amazing people, the Philippines is often get viewed the wrong way. It’s about time we dispel some of these misconceptions.

The Rich History of Kimchi

Get to know the rich history of Korea’s Most Iconic Dish

Too Fast and Easy: Instant-Noodle are Harming Asian Kids

A diet heavy on cheap, modern food like instant noodles that fills bellies but lacks key nutrients has left millions of children unhealthily thin or overweight in southeast Asia, experts say.

‘South Park’ Issues Mock Apology Over China Censorship

The creators of “South Park” have issued a mock apology to China after censors scrubbed their popular animation from the Chinese web.