Thailand's first LGBTQ Pride march in years takes place in Bangkok.

 Thailand's first LGBTQ Pride march in years takes place in Bangkok.

Although Thailand's LGBTQ community is well-known, its members still experience prejudice in the conservative country.

On Sunday, a joyful march made its way through Bangkok, Thailand's capital, for the first time in over 16 years.

The "Naruemit Pride 2022" event — named after the Thai word for "creation" — was the result of months of planning by NGOs working to promote LGBTQ rights, with the help of Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittiput, who was just confirmed.

Thousands of people marched through the streets, waving rainbow and transgender flags in the process.

Chants for same-sex marriage and sex workers’ rights could also be heard. The Thai parliament is set to soon vote on a bill introducing same-sex unions with almost the same legal rights as married couples.

What is the situation for LGBTQ rights in Thailand?

Thailand has a largely visible LGBTQ community, but its members still face discrimination in the conservative country.

One of the spectacles of the Pride parade was the wedding ceremony, right in the middle of the event, between Anticha Sangchai and Vorawan Ramwan, according to AFP.

The Thai cabinet agreed on a proposal to increase the rights of same-sex couples but pushed back on full equality with heterosexual couples back in March.

“Everyone has the right of raising a family, love and marriage with anyone they love,” Anticha told AFP. “Why we can’t do that as a human being?”

What did the pride participants say?

One of the parade’s participants, 24-year-old designer Cpeeranat, told Reuters that the event gave him goosebumps. This year’s march is the first with local government backing.

Drag queen Johnnie Phurikorn, wearing a scarlet ruffled dress and red lipstick to his first pride, said to AFP: “I feel so glad and thankful to have this moment,” but added that there is still more to do to support LGBTQ individuals in Thailand.

Another drag queen, the 56-year-old Gun Punna, told Reuters about the need for acceptance of sexual diversity.

“I’m so happy that I get to express my identity. I get to tell people we are not despicable in society,” Gun said.

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