top of page
  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

#BangkokPride 🇹🇭Reflecting on Bangkok Pride 2024, and staying true to our roots in spite of #RainbowCapitalism


🌏Pride Month is always an exciting time, dedicated to celebrating the global queer community. This year, over 200,000 locals and visitors joined the Bangkok Pride Parade to celebrate alongside the local Thai queer community (Source: Bangkok Post). It was especially touching to see the continued increase of LGBTQIAN+ visibility and acceptance in Thailand, a nation home to so many important queer figures and liberation movements.


🌈 It was very beautiful to see so many proud queer people including drag queens, happy couples, people of diverse gender identities, and queer liberation activists, coming together in the parade to express themselves. More LGBTQIAN+ visibility increases the likelihood that people who are judgmental, afraid, or closeted might be compelled to challenge any prejudices and homophobic ideas they might have. This all culminates in positive social progress, to make the world more equitable and accepting to all.


🏳️‍🌈Though Bangkok Pride was beneficial for the LGBTQIAN+ community in so many ways, it is important to always stay principled in the true values of the LGBTQIAN+ liberation movement, and always hold co-opters and opportunists accountable. It was very clear, especially to the local Thai community, that this year’s Bangkok Pride Parade was overrun by cops, capitalists, and corporations. It must be crucially remembered that the queer rights movement is rooted in the tireless, sacrificial work of the most intersectionally-marginalised members of the LGBTQIAN+ community, such as trans, sex worker, Indigenous, intersex, and nonbinary people. Throughout history, these queer advocates have resisted judicial harassment, police brutality, and other forms of oppressive violence to fight for all of our rights. From non-Thai LGBTQIAN+ heroes like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, to Thai advocates like Nada Chaiyajit and Sirisak ‘Ton’ Chaited, we must never forget who walked first so that we could all run.


💰It was very ironic to see Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Minister of Tourism Sermsak Pongpanit, and other political and corporate elites, marching at the forefront of the Pride Parade waving corporate pride flags. Meanwhile, many queer Thai political activists, trans community advocates, disability justice advocates, leftists, and queer coalitions raising awareness for Sudan, Congo, Myanmar, Palestine, Taiwan, and other intersectional liberation movements, were pushed to the very end of the parade, and made to wait three hours in Bangkok heat until they were finally allowed to make their voices heard on the streets. Though it was frustrating, it was not surprising to see the way that the real meaning of Pride was being overshadowed by elites. It was nevertheless very moving to see how steadfast, loud, and in solidarity the activists at the end of the parade were, for their own movements as well as for each others’ movements. Nevertheless, amidst all the Rainbow Capitalists, it was reassuring to see that the real spirit of Pride will always persist.


💗Those who are truly for the queer liberation movement know that queerness is about more than aesthetics. It is about more than just marriage, or sexual relations, or the way you present yourself on the surface. It is fun and important to embrace the aesthetics of pride, such as pride flags, queer aesthetic expression, Pride Month parties, and queer media. But we must simultaneously remember what is at the heart of it all; otherwise, all of these aesthetics are made empty and soulless. Queerness is about radically accepting your own identity, and those of others. It is about radical love. It is about community. It is about humanity.


⚖️In other news, the long-anticipated Marriage Equality Bill was passed by the House on the 19th June, making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. We are so overwhelmed with joy at this news - we cannot wait to see all the happy LGBTQIAN+ marriages that are soon to come. We want to make sure to again highlight the pivotal roles that the Thai sex worker, nonbinary, transgender, and feminist communities played in the passing of this bill, especially as their labour is so often overshadowed by capitalists and the patriarchy. We could not have achieved this win without them.


❗️We also want to invite all to continue to show up, educate, get educated, and advocate for LGBTQIAN+ rights and equity. The fight does not end just because legislation is passed, or just because we see rainbow flags everywhere, or just because the most privileged members of the LGBTQIAN+ community are visible and feel safe. We must not stop fighting until all of us are free. Until then, none of us truly are. 


Sources

Bangkok Post, Pride month celebration, 1 June, 2024. Available at: bangkokpost.com/life/social-and-lifestyle/2803481/pride-month-celebration


#WeAreManushyan ♾️ Equal Human Beings 




Comments


bottom of page