A common concern for gay traveller is whether a destination is LGBT friendly. What is the LGBT rights situations and would you need to hide your sexuality? What’s the overall attitude towards gay people and would you need to book separate accommodations for a partner? These are just some of the questions that gay travellers ask because the reality is that there are some places where being gay isn’t safe.
The good news is that there are many places around the world with more liberal views and are happy to accommodate gay travellers with Thailand being one of them. Thailand is a country known for its stunning beaches and lovely atmosphere. It’s also one of the most popular gay travel destinations.
Here we’ll look at everything you need to know about LGBT travel in Thailand.
LGBT rights in Thailand
Private and consensual sex between same-sex individuals is legal in Thailand. The 2015 Gender Equality Act was the first piece of legislation to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. While same-sex couples are widely accepted in public, the law does not officially recognise same-sex marriages like other countries.
In 2017, the Thailand government responded favorably to a petition that was signed by 60,000 people calling for legal rights for same-sex couples. The Justice Ministry began drafting a bill in 2018 in which same-sex couples would be able to register as partners and be granted some of the same rights as married couples if it passes.
Social attitudes towards LGBT
A poll conducted by YouGov of 1,025 respondents found that 63% of Thais supported same-sex partnerships while 11% were against it. The results suggest that social attitudes are more accepting towards the LGBT than other countries.
As a gay traveller this makes Thailand a great destination. However, it’s still a good idea to exercise caution especially in more conservative areas where attitudes are likely to be different. Public displays of affection in Thailand are not welcome – even from heterosexual couples.
Places to go
The city of Bangkok was voted as the second most gay-friendly city in Asia. There’s no shortage of things to do as there are plenty of clubs, bars, and shows that cater specifically to the LGBT community. It’s definitely a city where you can travel to and feel accepted. If you prefer to get out of the city, other great places include Pattaya and Phuket where you can relax on the beach to your heart’s content.
Accommodation for LGBT travellers
In Thailand, you should have no problem at all finding accommodation no matter what your sexual orientation is. There are plenty of hotels and hostels that are happy to accommodate gay travellers. However, if you’re staying in a more rural area, it’s a good idea to enquire first especially if you’ll be with a partner.
Thailand is a great place to travel to but it’s also important to exercise some caution. While attitudes have become more favourable in recent years, some areas hold more conservative views. Whether you’re staying for a short trip or taking an extended holiday, be sure that you have the right vaccinations for Thailand. The last thing you want is to get sick during your travels.
Thailand ranked 47th in the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019 next to other countries, including USA.
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