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Asian Pride Alliance Launched in Phuket: Michelle Meow Spearheads LGBTQIA2S+ Rights Initiative

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Representatives of gender equality networks took a moment to strike a pose at a landmark event in Phuket last Friday, setting the stage for the birth of the groundbreaking Asian Pride Alliance (APA). This initiative aims to elevate gender equality and safeguard LGBTQIA2S+ rights across the region. (Photo credit: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

The APA isn’t just about forming an alliance; it’s about creating a sanctuary for the LGBTQIA2S+ community, where their rights are not just acknowledged but celebrated. “Asian Pride Alliance will serve as a safe place for the LGBTQIA2S+ community across the region, fostering equality and gaining respect for everyone’s rights in all dimensions,” said Michelle Meow, who identifies as male. He is not just a producer and advisory council member of the APA but also a founding member of InterPride, bringing invaluable expertise to this initiative.

Michelle emphasized that Phuket’s role as the host has sewn the seeds of collaboration, uniting the LGBTQIA2S+ community on both a regional and a global scale. “Phuket’s hosting and support of the event has created collaboration within the LGBTQIA2S+ community both regionally and globally,” he elaborated.

Diving deeper into the roots of this movement, he highlighted the indomitable spirit of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. “The celebration of the LGBTQIA2S+ community has deep roots in the fight against discrimination and human rights violations,” he stated, setting the tone for what the alliance aims to accomplish. The APA is envisioned as a vital mechanism for fostering regional alliances, generating positive changes and instilling a sense of pride and justice.

Echoing Michelle’s sentiments, Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, a co-founder of the APA, added, “This marks a historic moment for the pride community.” Plaifah underscored the importance of border-bridging efforts that foster unity within the Pride Community both in Thailand and across the broader Asian region.

The ambition of the APA is far-reaching. Plaifah mentioned, “The initiative to form the alliance will significantly impact visibility and advocacy for the LGBTQIA2S+ community in Asia and other regions.” The core objective is to fortify cooperation and unity, creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

The establishment of this alliance was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), witnessed by Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, director of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Tceb). The MoU saw participation from representatives spanning the globe, including the US, Turkey, and Japan, further emphasizing the international interest and support for the APA.

“The signing of the MoU aims to promote the development of a network fighting for rights and freedom of expression,” stated Chiruit, noting its significance as the first collaborative network established in Phuket. The collaboration has extended beyond Phuket, gaining momentum in more than ten southern provinces in Thailand.

Chiruit also highlighted Thailand’s intrinsic cultural values of openness and respect, which have allowed the LGBTQIA2S+ community to thrive. “Thailand’s cultural values, including openness and respect, have enabled the LGBTQIA2S+ community to grow and coexist. As a government agency, we fully support the pride community in driving towards an equal society,” he affirmed.

Looking ahead, he expressed optimism about the APA’s potential impact. “We believe establishing the alliance will carry on Thailand’s will to foster regional cooperation and pave the way for hosting future world pride events,” he concluded, envisioning a future where such initiatives can act as catalysts for broader societal change.


  1. Alex June 8, 2024

    This initiative is so needed! The LGBTQIA2S+ community deserves more respect and recognition.

    • Leslie June 8, 2024

      Absolutely, Alex! It’s incredible to see such progress in Asia.

      • SamuraiX June 8, 2024

        But do we really need another alliance? How many groups do we need to say ‘respect us’?

    • P. Chang June 8, 2024

      Representation is crucial, especially in regions that have been historically oppressive.

  2. Gwen T June 8, 2024

    Michelle Meow is doing an amazing job. InterPride’s influence is undeniable.

    • Drew June 8, 2024

      Not to be a downer, but I hope this isn’t just for show. Real change requires more than signing partnerships.

  3. Tanya June 8, 2024

    Amazing to see this happening in Phuket! Thailand truly is a beacon of hope for LGBTQIA2S+ rights in Asia.

    • K. Vann June 8, 2024

      True, but there’s still so much work to do everywhere. It’s not all rainbows and pride parades yet.

    • Alex June 8, 2024

      Yes, it’s a start, but we need to maintain the momentum and not get complacent.

      • Tanya June 8, 2024

        Completely agree, Alex! We need long-lasting change!

  4. rooster882 June 8, 2024

    Honestly, this feels like another Western idea being forced on Asian cultures. How about respecting local traditions?

    • Dr. Emily Lee June 8, 2024

      Cultural respect is important, but human rights are universal. LGBTQIA2S+ rights should be prioritized.

    • Chi-Chi June 8, 2024

      I agree with Dr. Lee. Human rights should transcend any cultural limits.

    • rooster882 June 8, 2024

      But not every culture sees LGBTQIA2S+ issues the same way. Are we imposing western morality here?

  5. Haruto S June 8, 2024

    Phuket hosting this event is a big deal. We need more places in Asia stepping up.

    • Laurie D June 8, 2024

      Yes! It’s time more Asian hubs became safe spaces for the community. Asia deserves more visibility.

    • Haruto S June 8, 2024

      Exactly, Laurie. Visibility is a key to acceptance and equality.

  6. Sandy B June 8, 2024

    Border-bridging sounds fantastic. Unity among diverse Asian LGBTQIA2S+ communities will help everyone.

    • Kim Thuy June 8, 2024

      It really will. Stronger together means having a louder voice.

  7. Ravi N June 8, 2024

    Why is such an initiative needed only now? Asian cultures are seen as very conservative.

    • Meghan June 8, 2024

      Better late than never, Ravi. Progress is slow but happening.

  8. truthteller69 June 8, 2024

    Are we sure this will really change anything? Actions speak louder than words.

  9. Joe L June 8, 2024

    This MOU is a symbolic move, but what are the tangible steps that will follow?

  10. Liam June 8, 2024

    Phuket’s cultural values of openness and respect make it the perfect place to start something like this.

  11. Kate H June 8, 2024

    Let’s hope this sets a precedent for other regions in Asia to follow.

  12. Amara June 8, 2024

    Being a catalyst for broader societal change… I’m skeptical, but I hope it works.

  13. Arturo June 8, 2024

    Very promising start! I will follow APA’s progress closely.

  14. Natalie June 8, 2024

    Phuket hosting world-pride events in the future could really drive change globally.

  15. Ming June 8, 2024

    The international interest in this alliance shows that the world is watching. Let’s make it count.

  16. Tanaka June 8, 2024

    Michelle Meow and Plaifah’s work should be applauded. They are champions for equality.

    • D.K. June 8, 2024

      Yes, but the road ahead will be tough. They need all the support they can get.

  17. Lee June 8, 2024

    It’s heartening to see representation from countries like the US, Turkey, and Japan. Truly a global effort.

  18. Nikki June 8, 2024

    Michelle’s vision is ambitious, but that’s what’s needed to make a real difference.

  19. Mahmood June 8, 2024

    Thailand’s government agency’s support is crucial. Government backing can amplify these efforts.

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