On June 4, Bangkok is set to host a vibrant Pride parade under the theme “Door to Equal Asia,” as Thailand ambitiously targets hosting the World Pride event in 2028. Waaddao Chumaporn, the founder of Bangkok Pride, spoke to the Bangkok Post, emphasizing that this year’s parade will be grander than the previous event, highlighting Thailand’s preparedness for the 2028 World Pride extravaganza.
Ms. Waaddao revealed that the 2022 edition is being co-hosted by Naruemit Pride, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), along with over 40 civil society organizations and representatives from various private and public sectors. The parade is set to comprise six groups of marchers, each symbolizing one of the six colors of the Pride flag. Key messages promoting health and wellbeing within the LGBTQ+ community will be on display.
Furthermore, the parade aims to showcase pro-social justice messages for other communities, such as persons living with disabilities and ethnic minorities. “Starting at 2 pm on June 4, [people will march] from the Pathumwan intersection in front of the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Center and proceed to the Ratchaprasong intersection,” explained Ms. Waaddao.
She added that around 20,000 people participated in last year’s march held at Silom Road, stating, “For this year, we aim for 20,000 marchers and 100,000 spectators.” The event will be supported by roughly 2,000 volunteers, as well as supervised by the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the BMA.
According to Ms. Waaddao, 38 organizations are poised to join the parade in support of LGBTQ+ rights, including personnel from the National Human Rights Commission, the Justice Ministry, United Nations agencies, and diplomats from a range of embassies. She stressed that Thailand’s tolerant attitude toward the LGBTQ+ community gives the country a significant advantage in catering to LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide, branding Thailand a “safe space” for LGBTQ+ people, particularly those originating from intolerant nations.
Capitalizing on the LGBTQ+ tourism market could be achieved through focusing on sectors like tourism, entertainment, media, and health and wellness, she suggested. To raise awareness and promote tolerance, additional parades will be conducted in various provinces. Moreover, the Naruemit Pride group is slated to organize an art exhibition titled “Road to Bangkok World Pride 2028” on May 29 in front of the BACC building.
“Pride parade is not only about celebrating who we are but also about elevating the livelihoods of the LGBTQ+ community,” Waaddao stated, stressing the desire to push the government to expedite LGBTQ+ legislation to guarantee a truly LGBTQ+-friendly nation. “If we can celebrate pride every year, we will open the door of equality to neighboring countries, and it will show our readiness to become the 2028 World Pride host.”