News | 07 Jul 2015
Is Thailand the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex paradise it’s often seen to be?


While Thailand is justifiably celebrated for its openness and the important strides it has made in recognizing LGBTI rights, millions continue to face discrimination, inequality and exclusion.

To commemorate this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), UNESCO Bangkok and partners celebrated Thailand’s progress on LGBTI issues, while also giving members of the community a platform to tell the public about the challenges they still face, during a week of activities at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. With the BACC lit up in rainbow colors, UNESCO joined the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration as well as 40 UN, development, civil society and commercial partners to stage 25 events over 7 days, which ranged from concerts and theatrical performances to impassioned discussions and workshops on the issues closest to the hearts of Thailand’s LGBTI community.


The video, “Is Thailand the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex paradise it’s often seen to be?” asks the question that was at the center of our IDAHOT activities and features some of the sights, sounds and insights of that unforgettable week.

Watch the video on YouTube:


Among the key points made in the video:

- While homosexuality is still punishable by law in many Asia-Pacific countries, it was decriminalized in Thailand in 1956

- Universities in Thailand are beginning to relax their uniform policies

- Thailand’s new Gender Equality Bill now recognizes third gender, but equality does not extend to areas such as education and religion

- Many LGBTI people in Thailand stigma, discrimination and even violence in schools, health services, communities and within families

- Almost 6 out of 10 young LGBT Thais are being bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

- LGBTI workers lack protection in Thai labour policies, making them vulnerable to workplace discrimination

- Transgender women are frequently and disproportionately the targets of assault 

Find out more in our facts sheet on LGBTI rights in Thailand:

Other videos released feature a sampling of the performers who lent their immense talents to support our IDAHOT efforts. Featured performers include Balla & Juno from The Voice Thailand, the Rainbow All Boy Cheerleading Team and a beautiful piano recital by transgender pianist Rami Namtep: 

Flickr page with print quality images from our IDAHOT 2015 celebrations


Help us raise awareness by sharing the above materials on your social media channels. Suggested tweets:

- Is Thailand the #LGBTI paradise it is often seen to be? Watch the new video. #WeAreRainbow #IDAHOT #IDAHOT2015

- The Rainbow All Boy Cheerleading Team were a hit at #IDAHOT in Bangkok #WeAreRainbow #LGBTI #LGBT @may17IDAHOT

- Transgender pianist Remi Namtep performs ‘Someone Like You’ at #IDAHOT in Bangkok #WeAreRainbow #IDAHOT2015 #LGBTI

For further information, please contact UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer Noel Boivin