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Gay travellers love Thailand, and Thailand loves us! So much so the Tourism Authority of Thailand even has a beautiful video focused on the LGBTQ+ market.

Watch the video below and then read on for five reasons why Thailand is a gay- and LGBTQ-welcoming destination.

If you think this is just another tourism board attempting to slip their sticky fingers into our pink pockets without taking real action to support LGBTQ+ travellers, think again. Here are five fast facts on why Thailand is a true leader in LGBTQ+ tourism.

5. Legal rights

Homosexual activity has been legal in Thailand since 1956

To put this in perspective, homosexuality only became legal in the USA in 2003 after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of us during Lawrence v. Texas.

4. Government protections

Sexual orientation and gender identity are specifically protected in the Thai constitution

While there are no stand-alone laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community, both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are specifically mentioned and protected from discrimination in the Thai Constitution.

3. Bangkok’s “gay village”

Thailand has the largest and loudest gay villages in Asia

Gay and LGBTQ+ travellers in Bangkok must visit Silom to experience the country’s (if not the continent’s) liveliest gay village. Outside of the capital, raucous gay districts are found in Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Even smaller cities are peppered with cabarets and gay hangouts!

2. Military service

Thai LGBTQ+ people can serve openly in the military

Again, unlike America, where Trans people have been banned from serving by certain administrations, Thailand welcomes anyone into its military ranks.

1. Kathoey

Transgender people are widely accepted

While there are many roads to pave when it comes to transgender rights in Thailand, the community as a whole is widely accepted and, in some ways, celebrated. The popular opinion of trans people is extremely favourable, and trans individuals are well-represented in pop culture and Thai television.

Care to join us in The Land of Smiles? We have not one, not two, but THREE tours annually:

Thailand: Temples & Beaches – February

Thailand: New Year Celebration – December

Thailand: Songkran Water Festival – April

Header image courtesy of The Tourism Authority of Thailand.

All information is taken from Equaldex and correct as of February 27, 2019.

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