Isaan Record, long-term partner of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Southeast Asia Office, interviewed Tanwarin Sukkhapisit on the factors that are influencing a sea-change in Thai society’s attitudes towards gender equality, focusing on a long discussed civil union bill. This bill would allow LGBT+ to enter a marriage-like partnership which is awaiting a final decision from Thailand’s yet-to-be-decided government.
“... some people had stones thrown at their head, a knife pointed at their throat or a knife aimed at their belly (these are experiences that I myself had directly). Some have had piss thrown at them, and have been kicked and slapped around. Some have been beaten up to within an inch of their lives just for other people's satisfaction. They have been kicked, beaten and stomped in the face, without being raped or having their possessions taken. That sounds like a joke but it is the reality for kathoei in our home in Cho-airong District.”
The Indonesian case of homophobia (or even some other ASEAN countries) reveals that homosexuality issues are more complex and are more than just moral or immoral debates; they are about national reactions to the rapid transmission of global discourse, the dynamic of movements and counter-movements in democracy, and also the state’s multifaceted representation which place sexuality as a political issue of our contemporary time.
In late November 2016, rainbow colors broke through the black of mourning found everywhere in Bangkok, as 700 activists and allies from around the world arrived to participate in the largest ever world conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
The LGBT Movement in Thailand has struggled over the past two decades in applying a holistic human-rights-based approach as a strategy to achieve its goals. This article analyzes the fledgling relationship between the state and the multifaceted LGBT movements in light of a rapidly changing political landscape.