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social sciences

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Regarding glbtq community organizing, Thailand has had a small but vibrant lesbian movement since 1986. In that year a small group of women created an organization called Anjaree. Based in Bangkok, Anjaree coordinates and facilitates social and support group meetings for lesbians. Politically minded, it has also organized and hosted a number of activist and educational events, including the first Asian Lesbian Network meeting, held in 1990. The group also publishes a quarterly magazine called Anjareesarn. While this publication is typically only mailed to members of Anjaree, occasionally it is made available publicly on newsstands across the country.

For many years Anjaree was the only glbtq group with a significant presence in Thailand. A positive recent development, however, is that gay men and kathoey are also becoming visible and active in community organizing. Since 1999 there has been an annual Bangkok Gay Festival, which includes a Pride Parade, a film festival, panel discussions, and a fair at Lumpini Park called "Pink in the Park," that features booths representing gay, lesbian, human rights, and women's groups.

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Andrew Matzner

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arts >> Overview:  Asian Film

The recent popularity of Asian films with English-language audiences has allowed Western audiences a glimpse of Asian gay and lesbian identities and gender ambiguities in high-profile queer films.

social sciences >> Overview:  Bangkok

One of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities, Bangkok is perhaps the region's most progressive when it comes to glbtq issues.

social sciences >> Overview:  Buddhism

Buddhism is unusual among world religions in that it generally expresses neutrality on the issue of homosexuality.

literature >> Overview:  Butch-Femme Relations

It is impossible to understand twentieth-century lesbian literature without recognizing the significance of butch-femme relationships.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parades and Marches

Both parades and marches have served to render the glbtq community visible; whereas marches typically attempt to effect political change, parades and pride events affirm identity and community.


Jackson, Peter A. Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality in Thailand. Bangkok: Bua Luang Books, 1995.

Jackson, Peter A., and Gerard Sullivan, eds. Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand. Binghamton, N. Y.: Harrington Park Press, 1999.

Matzner, Andrew. "Bodies, Choices, Rights: A Look at the Thai Lesbian Movement." Off Our Backs 29.3 (March 1999): 1, 10.

_____. "The Complexities of 'Acceptance': Thai Student Attitudes Towards Kathoey." Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 15.2 (2001): 71-93.

Sinnott, Megan. "Masculinity and Tom Identity in Thailand." Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand. Peter A. Jackson and Gerard Sullivan, eds. Binghamton, N. Y.: Harrington Park Press, 1999. 97-119.

Wiresit, Sittitrai, Tim Brown, and Sirapone Virulak. "Patterns of Bisexuality in Thailand." Bisexuality and HIV/AIDS: A Global Perspective. Rob Tielman, Manuel Carballo, and Aart Hendriks, eds. Buffalo, N. Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991. 97-117.


    Citation Information
    Author: Matzner, Andrew  
    Entry Title: Thailand  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated September 25, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
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    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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