Thailand celebrates diversity and freedom through gay pride events held every year in the three major tourist destinations in Thailand: Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.
Thailand is a gay-friendly country as evidenced by Phuket’s Annual Gay Festival – a yearly event that attracts gay revelers from all over the world. GLBT communities in Thailand and in the region wait in anticipation for this revelry every year, to find out if the previous year’s celebration will be outdone by the current festivities in terms of scale, gimmicks and pageantry and treats.
This year (2013), the much-awaited Phuket’s Annual Gay Festival was held in Patong in a riot of well-toned and colorful bodies on flamboyant floats and colorful parades. The event kicked off April 22 and culminated on April 28 on what was a week of fun and well-organized festival activities that range from street parties, quizzes, parades, costume and character dress-ups.
The first Gay Festival and Parade in Phuket was staged in 1999 and has since been continuously drawing crowds upon crowds of gays and straights in a unique and boisterous carnival-style festival celebrating the gay communities.
The year 2013 is a special year for the GLBT residents and visitors of Bangkok. The annual New Year’s celebration – the Songkran Festival coincided with the Songkran Bangkok Circuit Party, the largest gay celebration in Asia. The weekend parties happened on April 12 to 14, 2013.
GCircuit organized and produced this year’s Songkran and kick-started with the opening party called Exotica. The Saturday’s main event was Galactica while Sunday’s event ender was Fantastica. Also featured and organized were two Aquatica Rooftop Wet parties and Bears on Top which happened on April 13.
Pattaya is the third venue in Thailand that celebrates Gay Pride Festival. Pattaya is a beach resort like Phuket, but on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand. The place is also known for its nightlife (like Patong Beach).
A trip to Pattaya in November will be pretty exciting because it is when Pattaya Pride Festival, formerly known as Pattaya Gay Pride Festival will take place. Held yearly, the Pattaya Pride Festival typically includes parties held on the streets and a float parade that is slated on December 1 which happens to be World Aids Day. This year’s Pattaya Pride Festival is raising funds for the charities that take care of sex workers, most of whom are infected by the HIV Aids virus. Funds raised will be distributed among several charities on condition that they use it for the welfare and awareness of the sex workers.