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Fun as a Phuket marcher pokes his tongue at forecasters of doom

Phuket Shakes That Sinking Feeling With Patong Pride Parade

Sunday, April 29, 2012
PHUKET: The Phuket Pride 2012 parade and a party closed the popular alternative annual Phuket festival last night without the island sinking, as scaremongers had forecast.

If there was some link between the holding of Phuket Pride's finale and predictions of the end of the world as Phuket knows it, then those taking part in the big Patong parade were intent on partying to the very end.

Throngs of tourists enjoyed the folks on the floats, much as people now celebrate big pride festivals in the world's most cosmopolitan cities.

While there's only one-way in Patong when it comes to the direction of traffic and last night's parade down beach road, the underlying serious message of the fun was one of greater tolerance.

Although Phuket is possibly the katoey capital of the world, celebrating transgender performances in several polished cabaret shows and the popular Soi Bangla walking street, official recognition and acceptance has yet to be achieved.

Organisers hope that it won't be long on Phuket and in Thailand before all alternatives are tolerated.

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I actually think these kind of events makes it less and not more likely that thransgenders and homosexuals will get recognition. It only reinforces stereotypes (or just reinforces the truth?) that gays, lesbians and katoeys are overly promiscuous, immoral and fixated and sex crazy. If they want to be accepted then why walk around half naked in the street and scream and yell? What is it in gay and katoey culture that makes this kind of overexposure neccesary? I have gay friends that despise these kind of events and says it only makes them look like freaks in a side show, and I agree.

Posted by christian on April 29, 2012 13:34

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Come out of that closet Christian.

Posted by Mac on April 29, 2012 18:51

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Trying to be cool with a one liner? I wrote that overly sexual and raunchy behaviour like this does nothing to help HBT people. If you think I'm gay or whatever for writing that then you have a serious mental problem.

Posted by christian on April 29, 2012 20:19

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Fly your freak flag high Christian !

'HBT' people ? Very intellectual ! (Pity about the "or just reinforces the truth" comment before that. If your gay friends saw that what would they think ? Shame on you.)

And what is it that you find 'immoral' ? Is it the stuck out tongue ?

As for recognition, I don't think the chap in the photo will have any problem there (although to be fair, apart from the leather studded thing, put him in a suit and he could be a banker).

Sorry it's a long comment, but I know you don't like one liners.

Posted by James on April 30, 2012 09:29

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HBT is a very official and NOT bad term for Homosexual/Bisexual/Transgender people. Intellectual or not, I don't know. And my comments about OTT Raunchy behaviour was NOT directed at the guy in the photo, but from witnessing several Gay pride parades on TV and real life. And, yes of course he could be a banker. You make it sound like HBTs in general would be excluded from working at a bank. Well, that's not the case here in Thailand.

Posted by christian on April 30, 2012 12:44

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I for one do not attend Pride on principle, but do acknowledge the significance of the Stonewall riots and the beginning of the modern gay rights movement.

Pride parades themselves essentially represent the struggle the community has had against oppressive authorities. The heightened provocation was initially used to emphasise the existence of the community, and in many Western countries, has since then been commercialised and somewhat embedded in "the gay culture".

As a homosexual individual growing up in a privileged and accepting environment, it would certainly be more ideal if these parades were to focus more on education and promoting social equality; but in the world where too many LGBTs are still getting arrested (Russia), prosecuted (Iran), or discriminated in numerous ways (ANYwhere) - let them scream and shout if they want to. Let them exist.

No one complains when straight people act like fools at Mardi Gras.

Posted by mayuke on April 30, 2012 15:15

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As a footnote to 'mayuke':

"& ALL at Songkran."

However, I still don't understand why extreme groups have to exhibit extreme behaviour? Get on with your lives behind closed doors & don't try to inflict your beliefs on others who are quite indifferent and disinterested.

Posted by Logic on April 30, 2012 20:53

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I'm not in any way saying that they shouldn't be allowed to hold their parade, or that they shouldn't be allowed to "exist", not at all. I just don't see how overly sexually charged and raunchy behaviour in public would further gay peoples goal of acceptance? It just reinforces many peoples idea of gays and transgenders as being completely obsessed about sex and shock. It's just bad PR. And I know people who think exactly like me that are gay, had several gay friends at work tell me this exact thing.
As for letting them scream and shout: Sure, but the places that actually let them scream and shout are usually already pretty liberal (otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to scream and shout) as opposed to countries like Russia and Iran and many others were no gay pride parades can be arranged. Does anybody think the regime in Iran feels the pressure to change becase there is a parade on the isalnd of Phuket? They are preaching to people that are already converts. Does anybody think anti-gay people attend gay pride festivals? Only a few religious crazies do usually, and draw nothing but ridicule and laughter.
The gay pride movement needs to focus on important things like trying to change discriminatory laws. Do you think people watching a gay pride parade walk away thinking "we really need to put pressure on our politicians so these decent people get fair treatment" or "Did you see that Katoey? Those breasts looked absolutely real!"

Posted by christian on April 30, 2012 21:13

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Logic: These exhibited 'extreme' behaviors mentioned are commemoration of the Stonewall riots, and these days more so employed for commercial purposes.

I suggest reading about the Stonewall riots to understand why these 'provocations' were initially necessary for many of the marches back in the 70s/80s. It is exactly because the LGBT community could not get on with their lives behind closed doors that triggered the modern LGBT rights movement.

christian: Like I said, I choose not to attend Pride on principle, and I also agree with many of the points stated. I in additionally agree with the community's need for more focus on changing discriminatory laws, and in fact we are witnessing just that in many of the developed countries, (e.g. protests against Prop 8 and several organised movements that will surely push this blatant discriminatory constitutional amendment all the way to the Supreme Court in the US). I believe we will definitely witness similar gradual changes over time in many of the developing parts of the world.

Posted by mayuke on May 1, 2012 12:21

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The Stonewall riots took place in 1969 & are as about as relevant as the McCarthy's 'Reds under the Beds' witch hunts on the 1950's. We have moved on a long way from that.

When I talk about extreme behaviour by extreme groups, I am thinking of the likes of worldwide riots by people of a certain religious persuasion (moderated).

Posted by Logic on May 1, 2012 21:13

Editor Comment:

I didn't realise there was any connection between sexuality and religion. It seems to me you are stretching logic, Logic. The Phuket Pride definitely does not discriminate on the grounds of religion. Why? Because religion has nothing to do with it. Whether a man who choses to walk around Patong in his underpants is an extremist is also a long stretch. Only his tongue is hanging out.


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