ThaiHealth Joins Forces with Partners to Create “Safe Spaces” for LGBTQ+ People to Achieve Well-being

June is a month when the world turns their attention to Pride Month, the month of LGBTQ+ pride.. Thailand is no exception, showing a growing interest, being active in this regard, and embracing gender diversity. As a health promotion organization, ThaiHealth has joined forces with its networks to drive and advocate for reducing inequality among vulnerable groups and promoting equal health rights for the LGBTQ+ community.


The year 2024 holds special significance for the LGBTQ+ community since it marks the 55th anniversary of Stonewall Riots, which took place on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. These riots were sparked by police discrimination, escalating into resistance and violence. This incident ignited the global movement for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. In Thailand, the LGBTQ+ community has been actively advocating for the equal marriage bill this year. On June 18, 2024, the bill was finally passed by the Senate, following 12 years of sustained effort. Currently, 38 countries worldwide have legalized same-sex marriage, with Thailand being the first in ASEAN and the third in Asia to enact such legislation, following Taiwan and Nepal.


Additionally, various organizations in Thailand, government agencies, private sectors, and civil societies, have hosted Pride Month celebrations nationwide. Thailand’s celebrations of Pride Month began in 2006 with the Bangkok Pride Parade and have been held annually ever since. This lies in the fact that this month serves as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to openly express their identities, cultivate value, and foster pride through a range of activities, connecting people of all genders and ages. It is also a source of inspiration for the younger LGBTQ+ generation to live openly and achieve success with pride. LGBTQ+ events in 2024 feature events such as: Bangkok Pride Festival 2024, Thailand’s grandest annual Pride festival held in early June, featuring a parade, concerts, parties, exhibitions, and discussion panels; and Pattaya International Pride Festival 2024, held in Pattaya in mid-June. There are also many other events from different sectors, highlighting Thailand’s increasing acceptance of gender diversity, support for equality, and the empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community.

A crucial concern for the LGBTQ+ community is the establishment of safe spaces for all individuals. This stems from the inequalities in rights and access to various services. Safe spaces can, therefore, cultivate an environment free from bullying, discrimination, and harassment while fostering a society where everyone can coexist equally, embracing diversity and inclusivity. The Health Promotion for Vulnerable Populations Section of ThaiHealth is dedicated to promoting well-being and equal access to healthcare services for vulnerable populations. Consequently, it works in concert with its networks to advocate for policies and support initiatives, placing a strong emphasis on enhancing knowledge and understanding of gender diversity and combating prejudice, discrimination and stigmatization at the family, community, and social levels. Additionally, its efforts focus on promoting health literacy on gender diversity and advocating for healthcare services which are sensitive and responsive to gender diversity. This is achieved through collaboration with the LGBTQ+ individuals of all ages and those with intersectionality by supporting academic efforts to advance health promotion in gender diversity.


With the passage of the equal marriage bill on June 18, ThaiHealth has focused on contributing to educating and raising awareness among the LGBTQ+ community and society at large about this legislation. This aims to ensure understanding of the new law while advocating for equal access to its benefits for all LGBTQ+ individuals.     


Meanwhile, the Health Risk Control Section of ThaiHealth underscores its support for social equality and the rights of LGBTQ+ community, who seek gender equality and the same rights as the general public, free from discrimination. To achieve that, it supports its networks across all sectors to manage health risk factors for the LGBTQ+ community, drawing upon knowledge to establish social measures and communicating the value of gender diversity to society. Additionally, it advocates for policies and promotes the respect for the rights of transgender individuals and other gender-diverse individuals. Looking ahead, it aspires to incorporate transgender health promotion into the benefits package of the healthcare system.


This resonates with the efforts of the Health Promotion in Organizations Section of ThaiHealth, which fosters healthy organizations in Thai society, ensuring the well-being of workers of all genders and ages in terms of physical, mental, social, and intellectual health. Embracing diversity is another crucial aspect which directly impacts social health. Thus, it joins forces with various networks to encourage organizations to understand and prioritize the issue of organizational well-being for the LGBTQ+ community. This involves designing organizational systems to accommodate diversity, such as inclusive organizational policies, recruitment practices, welfare systems, and organizational culture, to retain employees and enhance performance while elevating the quality of life for employees.


ThaiHealth remains committed to collaborating with its networks nationwide, giving priority to the LGBTQ+ community and vulnerable groups. It is also dedicated to creating safe spaces for physical, mental, social, and intellectual well-being and to fostering a society where all individuals enjoy equal rights.

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