Last Sunday I went to a really interesting workshop about same-sex unions and families in Thailand. A friend of mine, P’Tang has headed up this organisation for years and is really trying to get some momentum going.
The topics covered were the various struggles couples have faced regarding their same-sex orientation with respect to raising a family, and all the areas of law which need changing here for marriage equality. In fact, marriage law still isn’t equal for both participants in a heterosexual marriage, so this also needs urgently addressing. There is also a law here that transgender people cannot legally change gender, so even a full MTF still has to use ‘Mr’ on all official documentation. I had a really hard time keeping up with the Thai – a lot of the vocab was specific to law and subjects I have never before discussed / or listened to, but there were a couple of lovely and really patient people there to help me understand and translate.
It was a great day and I felt really privileged to be part of the community (there were just two other farang (one with MINDBLOWING Thai language skills)) and hope that there will be something A and I can do to help out in the coming months. A is a law graduate as well as a superchef so she might be useful to them. The day was really inspiring and I was struck by what an uphill battle it is facing up to these issues. I WISH that Thai culture was a bit more up for DISCUSSION. I thought it was a shame that when Thai same-sex couples are visible everywhere and openly tolerated / accepted (as long as they aren’t your child and as long as they don’t try to talk about it) that the total number of participants was 37, and a number of these were the core members of Anjaree Thailand. Thai lesbians at the moment prefer to bury their heads in the sand than to join a crucially important campaign to raise their rights as couples and parents and risk the strife that comes with publicly talking about their sexual preferences. How to generate support for what amounts to a change of law, when the community concerned still isn’t speaking up?
If you live in Thailand and are gay or lesbian, Anjaree Thailand welcomes your support and, please lend it. P’Tang will translate any updates you can’t read (all of them in my case but I am determined to change that).
Join their facebook group here and show your support: