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We are a #RainbowFamily: Ministry of Justice,
United Nations, embassies, civil society groups and more unite for IDAHOT 2017 commemoration in Bangkok

Thailand’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community face challenges ranging from bullying in schools in their earliest years to economic exclusion and barriers to health services later in life. Supportive families can be a much-needed pillar of support for LGBTI community members in facing and overcoming these obstacles.

The Ministry of Justice, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, World Bank, UNESCO, the Embassy of Canada and more than 30 community and development partners are celebrating this crucial role with a special day-long commemorative event for this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), 17 May at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The “We are a #RainbowFamily” event aims to unify people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Musical performances, photo exhibitions, a learning forum, frank discussions on LGBTI family life by celebrities and ambassadors, delivery of a petition on same-sex marriage in Thailand by LGBTI communities, as well as a special candlelight ceremony are among the highlights of day.

WHEN

IDAHOT activities will be on Wednesday, May 17. A full program with details on each session and speakers is available here. Brief descriptions below.

IDAHOT Learning Forum (1.30pm-4.15pm, inside BACC,  ground floor)

1.30-2 pm: Remarks by Dr. Malee Prungpongsawalee, Chairperson of the Committee for Ruling on Gender Discrimination Cases, Angkana Neelapaijit, Human Rights Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, and Clifton Cortez, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Senior Advisor, World Bank Group

2-3 pm: “Rights and Protections for LGBTI” – a panel session on Thailand’s draft civil partnership bill, complaint/feedback mechanisms, protection at the work place and international lessons on legal protection for LGBTI

3:15-4:15 pm: “Snapshots of Recent Research on LGBTI” – featuring new studies on the economic inclusion of LGBTI groups in Thailand, gender recognition of transgender people, bullying in schools and the role of families, and young gay men’s access to health

4:15-5:15 pm: “Family Forum: Roundtable Exchange on LGBTI Youth and Families’ Experiences” – Hear different perspectives on LGBTI family life in Thailand from the mother of a transgender youth, the daughter of a lesbian, and a transgender mother.

IDAHOT 2017 Celebration and Commemoration (4.30pm-8.30pm outside the BACC | plaza)

4:30-5:30 pm: Photo exhibition featuring “Queerness” by Piyarat Piyapongwiwat and “LGBTI Families” by Pawoot (Tum) Bumrungputh, DIY Art Space “Rainbow Family” by Togetherness for Equality and Action, informational booths by co-organizers and partners

5:30-6:15 pm: Community performances and music by Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand

6:15-7:15 pm: Official IDAHOT commemoration opened by the Ministry of Justice, World Bank Country Director Ulrich Zachau with special remarks by H.E. Ms. Donica Pottie, Ambassador of Canada. Change.org petition delivery on “Civil Partnership Bill” by LGBTI communities to the Ministry of Justice

7:15-8 pm: “We are a Rainbow Family: Loud and Proud” – a chat show-styled dialogue on LGBTI family experiences with three celebrities and moderated by Channel 3 host Meesuk (Kai) Changmeesuk

8-8:30 pm: “My Story: Personal Statements of Support” – sharing of personal experiences from LGBTI youth and their families from across Thailand including Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Surin as well as members of the expat/diplomatic community living in Thailand.

8:30 pm: candlelight commemoration will be held to both pay respect to reflect the “brighter tomorrows” that all those participating in the IDAHOT 2017 activities are working to achieve for Thailand’s LGBTI community.

All IDAHOT events are FREE and open to the public, with simultaneous translation from Thai to English and English to Thai.

Join us and receive an IDAHOT t-shirt or umbrella for helping to champion LGBTI rights!

WHERE

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (National Stadium BTS)

WHO

The Ministry of Justice as well as more than 20 UN agencies, development and Thai civil society organizations and private sector are participating in IDAHOT Day at the BACC. [List of Partners].

BACKGROUND

IDAHOT: The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is commemorated every year on May 17 in more than 100 countries in every region of the world to champion LGBTI rights and combat discrimination. The day was created in 2007 and May 17th was chosen because it was on this day in 1990 that the World Health Organization first decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Click here to check out global IDAHOT activities