With all the color and festivities of Pride, Bangkok staged its first pride parade in more than a decade on Sunday. As with any gay pride parade, it drew muscle boys, drag queens, political activists, and many enthusiastic and colorful spectators.
Our man Robert Dodge, an award-winning photographer and writer, shared with us some stunning and colorful photography of the event.
While gay pride has been celebrated with street demonstrations and other events in the past, this year’s festivity was billed by promoters as the city’s first real parade. Activists wanted to focus attention on equality, health care, and other issues.
It may have lacked the corporate floats and larger crowds that are typical in western gay pride events, but local activists saw it as a new beginning after efforts in recent years were canceled because of covid and the death of the late king.
Thailand’s reputation as a gay mecca exceeds reality in the relatively conservative kingdom. While the country is light years ahead of some of its neighbors in Asia, same-sex couples are unable to be legally married under Thai law and LGBTQ people do not enjoy basic civil rights, such as protection from being fired from their jobs.
But there are signs of hope. The city’s new governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, marched the full length of the parade on foot and was constantly surrounded by news cameras and a crush of excited well-wishers. He stopped numerous times to be photographed with parade-goers.
See more of Dodge’s photography, including fine-art male body figures, and affordable prints.