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วัฒนธรรมของเกย์ไทย - Thai Gay Cultures

Gays No Longer 'Sick' In Thailand

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Bangkok) The Thai government has finally announced that homosexuality is not a mental disease. The statement, from the Department of Mental Health came after three decades of lobbying by the country's leading gay rights advocacy group.

The formal letter from the department complies with a 1993 World Health Organization decision.

DM director Dr. Prawate Tantipiwatanasakul admitted that the agency's move, made at the behest of rights group Anjaree, lagged more than 30 years behind academic consensus.

"It is simply a different sexual orientation," he said Friday.

Anjaree's Research Coordinator Sulaiporn Chonwilai endorsed the move and said the goal of the group's campaign was to help society accept same-sex relationships.

Source: 365gay.com: Thai Gay dated December 28, 2002 at 12:01 a.m. ET/+5GMT/-3PT

Thai Mental Health Department: Gay Normal

The Thai Mental Health Department certified that gay and lesbian people to not suffer from a mental aberration and should be treated as “normal.” The statement said that it is not unhealthy to be in same-sex relationships. The government department referenced the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases 10th edition (ICD-10), which no longer counts homosexuality among mental disorders.

The landmark December 2002 statement was issued in response to a request by Anjaree, the activist Thai lesbian organization. It has been the only Thai gay organization to defend and promote gay/lesbian/transgender rights in this Southeast Asian kingdom

The following is excerpts from The Nation's Editorial dated December 27, 2002: “Healthy attitudes to homosexuals,” praising the statement:

"Such an official pronouncement by the Mental Health Department should clear the air in the public debate about the need to do away with social sanctions against people on the grounds of a different sexual orientation.

"Although Thai society in general has shown remarkable tolerance toward male-male and female-female relationships, the heterosexual majority continues to stigmatize homosexual men and women. Unlike the homophobia that is common in much of the rest of the world, anti-homosexual sentiment in Thai society is relatively low key.

"Thanks to sustained efforts by homosexual groups to promote a better understanding about their sexuality and the support these groups provide for individual homosexual men and women, the situation has improved considerably in recent years.

"Homosexual men and women are becoming increasingly more visible in Thai society in all occupational and professional groups, although many more in same-sex relationships choose to keep their private lives under wraps.

"Most heterosexual people have learned to become more sensitive and develop subtle ways in dealing with homosexual people without being patronizing.

"Among homosexuals, some are content to stay 'in the closet' while others have little or no inhibitions about openly displaying their different sexual orientation through their mannerisms or the way they dress.

"Organized homophobic practices or hate crimes against homosexuals are rare although misconceptions, myths and stereotyped views about homosexual men and women continue to be perpetuated by some quarters in the mass media.

"Most people find they are capable of tolerating homosexuality in their colleagues at work, in their personal friends and acquaintances, but are much less tolerant when it comes to homosexuality in their own families.

"One sensitive area of concern for many parents is whether their children's sexual inclinations can be influenced by other homosexuals or whether homosexual tendencies are biologically programmed from birth.

"These parental concerns are legitimate. Professional counseling services must be made available to young people who have doubts about their sexual orientation so that those who choose to follow a homosexual path can lead fulfilling personal lives—just like heterosexual teenagers may also need guidance on how to lead fulfilling relationships.

"The move toward more sensitivity, compassion and understanding about homosexuality should not be too difficult given the fact that Thailand is already one of the few cultures that displays much less homophobia than the great majority [of cultures worldwide]."

Source: Floatinglotus.com's Thai Gay News

Homosexuals 'no monsters,' doctors say

by Sirinart Sirisunthorn

A group of doctors specialising in reproductive health is gathering research material in support of changes to homosexuality laws, including permission for transsexuals to change their honorific to reflect their new sex.

"Our studies suggest that gays and lesbians do not have as many problems as society saddles them with," said Dr. Suporn Kerdsawang, president of the Reproductive Health for Quality of Life Development Association.

He said the major problems gays and lesbians had long faced stemmed from social prejudice, which shut the door of opportunity to contribute their talents to society.
Studying the subject is complicated as the problems of gay and lesbian people differ hugely from one society to another, as witnessed in a study in one country that noted a boy realising he was gay at four-years old.

Some research grades gayness in men on a six-level scale, from zero for exclusive heterosexuality to six for exclusive homosexuality, Suporn said.

"We'd like to beg parents especially not to discriminate against these people. They suffer enough as it is. Sexual deviation is neither a sin nor a monstrosity; it is simply a matter of different sexual tastes," he said.

Suporn said that a man who changed his sex had the right to call herself Miss [Nangsao - นางสาว] or Mrs. [Nang - นาง], instead of Mr. [Nai - นาย] and vice versa, [or "Miss," "Mrs.," or "Mr." in their passport].

Source: Floatinglotus.com's Thai Gay News quoting The Nation dated July 1, 2002

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