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Events: Rainbows fill Bangkok’s Si Lom Road as Thailand celebrates its first Pride March in 16 years

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — There’s a lot to celebrate this Pride Month, and yesterday Bangkok did exactly that as the Thai LGBTQ+ community and allies take to the streets and show their pride. And this isn’t just any Pride parade, either. It’s the first official Pride parade that Thailand has seen in almost 16 years.

Si Lom Road was painted with rainbows and booming with music on June 05, 2022 for the Bangkok Naruemit Pride Parade. People donning colorful outfits marched with their partners and loved ones, flags representing various groups in the community were hung and waved everywhere, and crowds formed around stunning drag performances.

A viral video of the newly elected Bangkok governor Chadchart Sitthiphan even went viral as he joined the festivities, jumping and cheering as he waves a rainbow flag. Just a day before, Sitthiphan spoke at the Pride celebration at​​ Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, highlighting the history and importance of Pride and what the local government is doing to eradicate discrimination against the community.

While the Bangkok Naruemit Pride Parade was full of joy and celebrated how far Pride has come, the community definitely did not forget to shine a light on the fight that remains. Pride, after all, is first and foremost a protest. So, activists used this opportunity to raise awareness of the inequalities that the community still faces and to call for the much-needed change in order to truly empower queer people.

So, amid the rainbow flags, jaw-dropping costumes, and dazzling floats of the march, one can also see picket signs and demonstrations advocating for the rights of the community such as same-sex marriage, gender recognition laws, and more protection from discrimination.

While the vocal support of the new governor and the pro-LGBTQ policies he’s bringing to the table make for a promising future for queer people in Bangkok, as of now, the community is yet to see the concrete change that will bring. And until then — and even after — as this Pride march bustling with proud and dedicated queer groups, artists, activists, and more shows, the Thai LGBTQ community will continue to celebrate, uplift, and protest for each other.

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