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Is this Bangkok’s Year of Musical Theatre?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Our Arts Editor trills: It won’t have escaped your notice that, in Thailand, music blares from dusk to dusk, and every opportunity is seized to transform mundane reality into a bit of a show. Security guards, bell boys and street vendors all have their solo routines - mini-parodies of the rites of their trades. Off duty, when Thais gather on a street corner with a couple of Leos and a bucket of ice, they’re soon gurning and wisecracking like the cast of a sitcom. Theatricality is everywhere: exhibitionism for the fun of it, not egomaniacal showing-off. Guys don’t so much nip to the toilet as sail in there to give a virtuoso performance of self-grooming for the amusement of Milady Mirror. And this is not to mention the elaborate choreography of local superstition, where even the simple acts of entering and leaving a building are accompanied by carefully executed bobs to the resident spirits. So, the big question is, with all this song and dance going on, why has Thailand never taken musical theatre to its heart? After all, the kingdom is relatively gay friendly, and musicals – though by no means exclusive - are a relatively gay art form. Western delights such as Hollywood movies, TV formats and even rap have been embraced: why not the greatest of all 20th century inventions in theatre?
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Farewell Summer, Hello Low/Rainy Season and LGBT Pride Month
Monday, June 04, 2012
Our Meteorological Consultant rambles: A few weeks after Songkran and the rain in Thailand has been getting heavier, though the “thundershowers” forecast frequently during May were sometimes no more than rumbles in the distance. That’s one of many wondrous kinks in South East Asian life: weather that can be heard but isn’t always seen. And in numerous parts of Thailand, there is usually less rain in June than in May: see the charts here. So this is a good time to visit, whatever the guidebooks say. But the crowds in the street markets and on the beaches have inevitably thinned out, and resident expats are wallowing in the rare luxuries of room to breathe and a wide choice of seats at their favourite bars.
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During April showers, watch out for emboldened young men
Monday, April 09, 2012
Our Expert on Divine Intervention vouchsafes: Earlier in the year, we reported on the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s plan to restore the kingdom’s image and revive its hospitality industry with a 6.3 billion Baht PR crusade, supported by the government under the title “Miracle Thailand Year 2012”. For many years previously, the TAT’s preferred slogan had been “Amazing Thailand”. Now, emboldened by the magical achievements of her first months in office (such as the swift reversal of the flood waters), PM Yingluck Shinawatra had decreed the nation’s elevation from being merely “amazing” to the status of an actual “miracle”. Strangely, there’s been precious little evidence of “Miracle Thailand Year 2012” so far, but perhaps the TAT has been distracted by what it refers to merrily as the “Songkran Splendours” of April.
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March comes in like a lion… and May will be Gaga
Friday, March 02, 2012
Our Gay Icon Editor screams: It’s just been confirmed that Lady Gaga will bring The Born This Way Ball to the Rajamangala National Stadium in what must surely be her spiritual home, Bangkok, on 25 May. The long-anticipated event risks relegating this month’s appearance by Olivia Newton-John at the sinisterly-named Hall 106 in BITEC Bangna to the status of a warm-up act. Tickets aren’t cheap for either dream-come-true. But, if you opt to miss La Newton-John and save up for Her Musical Loonyness, you could console yourself with Olivia’s new healthy eating cookbook. Who knows? It might unlock the secret of how she keeps her hair so sumptuously blonde at the age of 63! Now, this Deluge of Divas would overshadow all other news in a normal month. But there’s no such thing as a normal month in Thailand. True to form, the Kingdom has begun March by defying global trends, not to mention its own recent history, with a burst of bullish optimism that’s been endorsed by many gay businesses.
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Thai PM believes in miracles – official
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Our Mental Health Correspondent reports: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government has pledged 6.3 billion Baht for a campaign to revive tourism and counter the effects of street protests, terrorist alerts and flooding. The news comes despite repeated claims that Thai tourism had hardly been affected by the stream of negative news in recent times. Mind you, the figures published in support of those claims never did seem very plausible. And besides, consistency isn’t one of the P M’s big things, except perhaps in the rigid state of her hair-do and her ceaseless assault on the English language.
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A box full of reasons to be cheerful about 2012
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Our Lifestyle Editor explains: The news has been spreading like wildfire among resident queens throughout the holiday weekend. In the bars, saunas and tea rooms, they’ve nattered about little else. My elderly assistant, Yolande, hasn’t been so excited since she first laid hands on a copy of Physique Pictorial. It is such very special news, and has been so fervently awaited by all persons of delicacy and refinement, that it must be taken as a sign, an augury. Now only the most dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeons – Scrooges loitering unwanted after Christmas, like turkey scrag ends at the back of the fridge - can possibly doubt that 2012 will be a blissful year in The Land Of Smiles.
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Beginning of the Floods’ End, as Gay Bangkok parties on
Monday, November 14, 2011
Our Water Sports Correspondent reports: During the past couple of weeks, we Bangkokians have reeled before tides of disaster, mayhem and sheer incompetence. We’ve watched open-mouthed as discredited politicians and hapless officials have struggled vainly to stem a deluge that threatens to engulf millions and wreck edifices once thought impregnable. Yes, with the rest of the world, we’ve been riveted by the melodrama of the Eurozone and its seemingly impending collapse. It’s been a welcome distraction from the embarrassment of a local overflow that is a new feature of Thai political life.
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A month after the election, The Land of Smiles is still smiling
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Our Political Correspondent reports: Since before Thailand’s national elections in early July, the Australian and British embassies, among others, have painted a garish picture of life in the Kingdom that’s conflicted laughably with day-to-day reality. The Aussie website warns travelers of possible “civil unrest”, while the Brits dub the political situation “unpredictable” and “sometimes volatile”. Well, we can predict with certainty that the newly elected parliament will meet for the first time on Monday 1 August and a Speaker will be elected the following day. Meanwhile, unrest remains at bay, and volatility has been avoided so far. The Land of Smiles is still smiling from ear to ear.
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2.5 Million Baht donation to HEARTT 2000
Sunday, March 16, 2008
On Monday 25 February the Pattaya Gay Festival 2008 held their 'Tribute to the Stars' opening Street Party in Boyztown, Pattaya. The host for the evening was Madame Jim from the Ambiance Hotel who presented Dr Phillipe of the HEARTT 2000 Charity with a cheque for 2.5 million Baht from Pattaya Gay Festival.
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New Asia Pacific Statistics Reveal an Alarming Incidence of HIV in MSM
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Today, on World AIDS Day 2007, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men who have sex with men (MSM) will become infected with HIV in cities across the Asia Pacific, becoming the latest statistics in an almost unrecognized but ever-growing crisis that many governments in the region are only just beginning to grapple with. As these efforts take shape, the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) is offering its partnership to develop and support new strategies aimed at tackling this regional challenge.
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Bangkok Pride Festival 2007 Accounts
Friday, November 30, 2007
Financial accounts for Pride 2007 have been announced by the festival committee. Total income was 214,438 Baht, with expenses of 53,906 Baht with a profit for the year of 160,532 Baht.
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Thai Constitution To Protect Gays
Monday, July 02, 2007
The Thai government's Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) adopted language to ensure equal rights for gays, lesbians and transgendered people on Thursday, June 29th. The draft constitution expressly refers to people of "other sexual identities," which activists involved in the process said was understood to include transgendered kathoey as well as gay men and lesbians.
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Thailand Votes to Exclude Protections for Homosexuals and Transgenders in its New Constitution
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Thai Assembly drafting a new constitution under the Kingdom's current military junta has voted against including Thai lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. Once famed for its tolerance, Thailand has taken another step backward in not protecting the human rights of all of its citizens.
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Phuket Pride Festival 2007 Report
Friday, April 06, 2007
Great Beach, Gorgeous Bodies, and Elephants - Phuket Pride 2007 a big success reports Daniel See, Co-Chair of the Phuket Pride Association.
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Purple Dragon Photo Contest
Friday, February 23, 2007
Do you think you take good travel photos? If so, you could win a prize. Asia’s oldest gay travel company, Purple Dragon Ltd., has announced its second annual amateur photo contest.
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Viva La Divas Report
Friday, February 23, 2007
Another fabulous PGF Street Party in Boyz Town which raised a spectacular 874754 baht on the night with more to come.
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Pride Festival AGM
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Pride Festival Annual General Meeting was this year held at The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand’s office. The two Co-chairs this year were Ajaarn Wiroj from Rainbow Sky and Khun Danny from The Beach Group. Khun Tai and Khun Anjaree were the hosts, and presented a great slide presentation showing the exciting events from the year.
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Thai Tourism — Business As Usual, Military Coup has Minimal Impact on Thai Tourism
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Reports received from TAT offices, local and international travel trade associations, travel and tourism-related operators and media over the past two days indicate that the peaceful and bloodless coup d'état staged by Thai military leaders on 19 September 2006, has had minimal impact on Thai tourism.
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'Bangkok Together 2006' strives to 'unite community' with annual pride festival
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Bangkok, Thailand - The organizing committee of Bangkok's annual gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) pride celebration announced details of 'Bangkok Together 2006' today at their first major press conference. The eight day festival will commence Saturday, October 28th with a major kick-off party, and conclude on the weekend of November 4th and 5th with Pride in the Park and a community fair on Saturday, and a colorful, not-to-be-missed, late afternoon parade on Sunday, the 5th.
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Phuket Pride to Host Fifth Annual Straits Games
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The Straits Games 2006 - “Games With No Boundaries” will be held October 26 to 29, 2006 in Phuket, Thailand.
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Phuket Pride 2007 Dates Announced
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The 2007 Phuket Pride Committee have announced that the 8th Annual Phuket Pride Celebration will take place March 29, 30, 31 and April 1, 2007 with major events scheduled for each day.
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The 2nd "Rainbow Media Award": a recognition of media pride.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Rainbow Media Award" is an award from Thailand Queer Network for media, individual and group of people whose works representing open-mindedness and fairness to GLBT, especially to the Thai GLBT community.
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New name and new date for Pride in Bangkok
Friday, April 07, 2006
This year, something new and exciting is coming from Bangkok's GLBT community. It's "Pride Festival – Bangkok Together 2006".
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2005 Utopia Awards for Gay and Lesbian Pioneers in Asia announced
Sunday, January 08, 2006
The recipients of Asia's leading gay human rights commendations, the 6th Annual Utopia Awards, have been announced for 2005.
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New Bangkok mall to have 'Gay Avenue'
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Thailand's first gay shopping zone will open next year as part of the one-billion-baht Tawana Center Park in Bangkok's Lat Phrao district.
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Bangkok Pride October News
Monday, October 03, 2005
Cruise with Pride for a leisurely Sunday afternoon on 30 Oct. as we sail the Chao Praya River to picturesque Koh Kret. And we are gearing up for Bangkok Pride Week 2005 is 6-13 November.
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HIV Infection Soars among Men who have Sex with Men
Monday, September 05, 2005
A study conducted in Bangkok in June add July shows that the number of MSM (men who have sex with men) with HIV has increased to 28.3% in 2005, from 17.3% in 2003. A recent press release from the Thailand Ministry of Public Health outlines the details of the study and the ministry's response.
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Teddy Bear’s Picnic Departs Bangkok
Monday, September 05, 2005
Over the last month, customers and staff at The Balcony in Silom Soi 4 have collected nearly 100 Teddy Bears and other cuddly toys for donations to Baan Jing Jai in Pattaya and the Kalasin City Orphanage. The collection was the brainchild of Throb Showbar in Boyztown and for the past two years The Balcony has collaborated and acted as the Bangkok collection point for the project.
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Power of the Pink Baht
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thailand’s gay population is increasingly being recognised as big spenders. A recent survey conducted by a Bangkok research company, Nano Search Co Ltd, found that in spite of the economic slowdown, sales of cosmetics, apparel and trendy mobile phones are on the rise partly because of demand from homosexual buyers according to a report published in The Nation.
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Roxy Bar and Club launches Cabaret Show Bar
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
The Roxy Bar and Club in Silom Soi 4 is primed to change to a full Cabaret show bar. The new concept that includes a dinner Cabaret as well as two evening shows has been in development for some months and is now almost ready for launch. Additional investors are being welcomed to broaden the base and enable the concept to proceed immediately.
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Telephone receives Gold Award
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Last month in June Telephone Pub was pleasantly surprised by the Thai government when they were awarded a gold award from the Ministry of Labour, Department of Labour Protection & Welfare and from the Ministry of Public Health, Department of Disease Control.
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ASO Award for Tarntawan Place and Dick's Cafe Bangkok
Monday, April 25, 2005
Both the Tarntawan Place and Dick's Cafe Bangkok have received the prestigous ASO Gold Level Award from the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, Ministry of Labour.
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Teaching Tolerance - Classes on homosexuality mulled
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will consider allowing lessons on homosexuality drafted by a gay-rights group to be taught in primary schools.
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Phuket Gay Festival moves festival dates to April 7-10, 2005
Saturday, January 08, 2005
The organizers of the Phuket Gay Festival, led by the Festival Chairman Khun Tangmo, have moved to postpone the 6th Annual Phuket Gay Festival from February 9-13 to April 7-10, at the general meeting called in Patong, Thursday January 6.
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Baht 300,000 Charitable Gift Given By Phuket Gay Festival to Tsunami Related Needs
Saturday, January 08, 2005
The Phuket Gay Festival announced on Friday, January 7, that gifts totaling 300,000 baht were presented to three tsunami affected organizations.
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Phuket Gay Pride Festival date change
Sunday, December 12, 2004
In a press release dated 10 December, The Phuket Gay Pride Committee has officially announced the new dates for the upcoming 6th Annual Phuket Gay Festival to be held from 10th to 13th February 2005, right after the Thailand General Election (6th Feb ‘05) and Chinese Lunar New Year (9th Feb ‘05).
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Press Release - Utopia Award Recipients Announced
Saturday, October 30, 2004
The recipients of the 5th annual Utopia Awards, Asia’s leading gay human rights celebration, have been announced and will receive their awards at 8pm on Friday, 19 November at a festive celebration at Bangkok’s Roxy Bar & Club.
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Entertainment zoning laws now in force
Saturday, September 18, 2004
The new laws covering entertainment zones and venue operating hours are now in force and Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont yesterday vowed to start strictly enforcing closing times of night entertainment venues.
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Activist to run for 'gay' seat
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
A prominent gay activist yesterday announced his decision to run for the Senate as the first gay representative in parliament according to a report in the Bangkok Post today.
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Advocacy Parade: Our Voices Together: Hearing from those who live it!
Friday, June 11, 2004
As part of the XV International AIDS Conference, a street parade will be held in Silom Rd on 14 July starting at 6:00 PM.
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Culture Ministry is confused about gays
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Homosexuals do not necessarily indulge in what the Culture Ministry describes as 'homosexual behaviour' according to Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, a freelance writer in an opinion piece in The Nation today.
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Call to limit gay presence on TV
Saturday, June 05, 2004
According to an article published today in The Nation, the Thai Culture Ministry will next week ask all television stations to cut down on images portraying homosexual behaviour, according to a senior ministry official. TV producers say they will comply with Culture Ministry's request. The article was a followup to articles in the Thai language press yesterday reporting that homosexuals would be banned from working in the Culture Ministry.
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'Turning Back the Tide - Addressing the Rises in HIV Infections in Major Gay Communities' workshop announced.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Rises in HIV infections in the world's gay communities have now been reported in major cities on all continents. HIV community organisations are grappling with developing effective responses - but with minimal opportunity for discussion with colleagues facing similar challenges in other cities. This all-day workshop is intended to provide a forum for sharing experiences and learning about responses planned, developed and/or implemented - and their outcomes so far.
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XV International Aids Conference to focus on "Access For All"
Monday, May 03, 2004
The conference aims to set the global agenda for HIV/AIDS science, prevention, treatment and resources, and 15,000+ delegates from 160 countries are expected to participate according to their press release 20 April, 2004.
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Utopia Tours responds
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Doug Thompson, Marketing Manager for Utopia Tours, has responded to media reports of the raid on their offices last Friday. The statement issued today attempts to clarify the situation given the fairly sensational coverage in the local and international media.
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iCON:2004 comes to Bangkok
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Long Yang Club will be holding iCON2004:Bangkok their 5th Annual International friendship and networking event in Bangkok, Thailand between Nov 17-21, 2004. The host group will be Long Yang Club Thailand.
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Bangkok Pride to hand out donations and say thanks
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Bangkok Pride Coalition will be saying “thank you” to all its friends and supporters, presenting cheques to the charities designated to receive funds raised as part of Bangkok Pride 2003, and gearing up for 2004 at a good times party to be held at Freeman Dance Arena, on Thursday evening, March 11th, starting at 7.30 p.m.
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government needs advice on gay issues
Monday, January 26, 2004
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should hire gay activists to advise the government on gay and lesbian affairs, Pakorn Pimthon - president of Bangkok Gay Festival - said on Friday.
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Bangkok Pride 2004 underway
Saturday, January 17, 2004
The Bangkok Pride Coalition held their AGM on January 13. The meeting included a review of 2003 activities by the outgoing executive committee, the election of the 2004 executive committee and the announcement of the official dates for Bangkok Pride 2004. The date for the first planning meeting for 2004 was also set.
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Pattaya Gay Festival 2004 underway
Saturday, January 17, 2004
The newly-elected 2004 Pattaya Gay Festival committee held its first meeting on Thursday 15 January. Details of events and plans for 2004 were announced in their first newsletter for 2004.
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bangkok pride resoponds
Thursday, November 27, 2003
There has recently been some very negative public comments made about Bangkok Pride 2003. In response, the Bangkok Pride Coalition has released a statement.
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utopia uwards 2003 announced
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
The 4th annual Utopia Awards, Asia's leading gay human rights celebration, are to be handed out in a festive evening on Friday, 14 November, at Bangkok's new Roxy Bar & Club.
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bangkok pride kickoff parties
Sunday, July 06, 2003
With planning well underway for Bangkok Pride Week 2003 in November, the official kickoff parties will be held in Bangkok at the end of this month.
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bangkok pride to give 300,000 baht to local charities
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Bangkok Pride Coalition (BPC) announced today that over 300,000 baht is to be presented to three needy Bangkok charities. The money, raised during Bangkok Pride 2002, will be presented to Mercy Center and Girl’s Home, Alden House and Hospice of St. Clare. The presentation will take place on Thursday, 6 February at the annual Community Appreciation Party.
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phuket gears up for gay pride festival
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
With a new name, new logo and new web site the organisers are busy putting the finishing touches on the plans for next month's gay pride celebration in Patong.
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dreaded ned's mark II launched
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
welcome to the new dreaded ned's - we still have a bucket on our head but we have a new look and some new features!
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gay sauna raids continue
Monday, December 30, 2002
It seems that saunas are the flavour of the month for the Bangkok police - another gay sauna was raided on Friday night and most have now increased the lighting and decreased the privacy of their "private" areas.
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gays and lesbians are not mentally ill
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Yes, it's official - the Thai Mental Health Department agrees with the World Health Organisation that gays and lesbians are not mentally ill and do not have a disease, so Anjarie, a local gay and lesbian advocacy group, has started a campaign to try and change social attitudes in Thailand.
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pattaya gay festival 2002 raises more than 3.5 million baht
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
After a very successful final few days, the Pattaya Gay Festival announced this week that they had raised more than 3.5 million Baht for local charaties, surpasing their 2001 effort of 3.2 million Baht.
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new minister, same social order
Saturday, November 23, 2002
The recent cabinet reshuffle introduced a new Interior Minister who indicated that the new social order was still firmly on the political agenda, and recent raids have confirmed this.
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we're here, we're queer and we're making movies
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
With the Bangkok Gay Film Festival in full swing, the Bangkok Post's Outlook piece on 19 October focused on the new crop of "queer" (their quotes) films currently in production and wondered if this was just another fad or was a sign of greater acceptance of gays in Thailand.
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pattaya gay festival 2002 breaks the 1½ million baht mark
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
The PGF 2002 has now raised over Baht 1.6 Million for its charities this year. The last three events put the PGF over the one and a half million mark according to announcement for the festival organisers today.
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bangkok gay & lesbian film festival announced
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Bangkok is about to join more than two hundred other major cities in the world that host an annual gay film festival according to an announcement from the Bangkok Pride Coalition.
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yet another crackdown in pattaya
Sunday, August 18, 2002
The Pattaya Mail on August 2 carried on ominous headline announcing "Pattaya’s gay bars being targeted for upcoming crackdown" where both the local governor and the Interior Minister stressed that more needed to be done to ensure that Pattaya's gay bars adhered to the law.
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sex change with a difference
Sunday, July 21, 2002
Thailand has long been famous for sex changes - some local clinics and doctors are known internationally for their skills and the number of operations performed. Now scientists at Khon Khan University are getting into the act, performing sex changes on - wait for it - fish!
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a real educational experience
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
What do a zoo, an aquarium, a park, a beach and Alcazar Cabaret have in common? Give up? They are all educational places to take school children according to the Thai Education Ministry which recently organised a field trip for underprivileged children including all of the above!
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sex survey reveals all
Friday, March 29, 2002
Ever wondered why middle-aged foreign men are so popular with the bar boys? The stereotypes are all wrong - it is not their fat bellies, or even their fat wallets, but it could well be that they are more interested in sex than middle-aged Thai men, according to a recent sex survey.
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festive reprive short lived
Monday, December 24, 2001
Unrestrained all night fun is to be allowed on New Year's eve, but according to all reports it is still crackdown as normal for the rest of the high season.
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prostitution suddenly news
Sunday, December 16, 2001
Prostitution has certainly been making the news recently, which leaves one wondering why this sudden flurry of interest.
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beautiful boxer
Wednesday, December 05, 2001
If you enjoyed Satree Lek (Iron Ladies) - the hit comedy movie abut the Thai katoey volleyball champions, then keep your eye out for Beautiful Boxer, a new movie about Parinya Charoenphol the famous katoey kickboxer.
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cheaper AIDS drugs
Saturday, December 01, 2001
On the eve of World AIDS Day the Thai government announced significant changes in pricing and availability of anti-retroviral drugs for AIDS patients.
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social re-engineering IV
Sunday, November 25, 2001
Just when we thought things might be starting to settle down a bit on the new social order front, along comes another classic.
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whose festival is it anyway?
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
A few years ago there was little public celebration of gay lifestyles and not a lot of open discusison of AIDS in Thailand. Then in 1999 the Bangkok Gay Festival burst on the scene.
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social re-engineering III
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Many have argued that the "new social order" is not anti-gay as such, and the effect generally has been seen on many sectors of Thai society, even down to neighbourhood noodle stalls. However recent events in Chaing Mai have shown a disturbing anti-gay bias.
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social re-engineering II
Tuesday, October 02, 2001
The opposition to the new social order was continuing apace and a more liberal and conciliatory attitude is starting to emerge in the government's ranks, but it was not to stay that way.
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social re-engineering
Sunday, September 02, 2001
The Thai Rak Thai party was elected to government just 6 months ago with one of the largest majorites ever seen in Thailand, but their popularity, and that of their business tycoon leader, is reportedly already starting to wane - perhaps in part due the to social re-engineering campaign spearheaded by the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister.
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new phone number system for Thailand
Thursday, July 05, 2001
A new phone number system comes into effect today for the whole of Thailand, though to easy the transition both the old and the new dialling rules will be supported for one month.
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