The first “Thailand LGBTQI+ Biz 2020”, an LGBTQI+ forum in the community, was held on 26-27 November 2020, at Pullman Bangkok Hotel Rangnam. Also, audiences from around the world can participate in our forum online as it is the hybrid platform. This forum aims to promote diversity and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community in Thailand. APCOM advocates on advancing the rights, and protection of people with diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) and LGBTQI community. The forum is the space for various sectors who support the beautiful and diverse shades of “PRIDE ” to create new opportunities and partnerships on supporting LGBTQI communities in all areas.
“We thank various partners and stakeholders from diverse sectors to take part in this forum with APCOM. It is so important that issues of LGBTQI inclusion are being discussed and addressed to improve our society to be more inclusive,”Midnight, APCOM Executive Director
The hybrid forum included experts from multiple sectors: government, businesses, media, researchers, UN and multilateral agencies, sharing their experiences and examples of working on supporting SOGIESC people with an emphasis about the workplace. Experts from the tourism industry, business sectors, and the government shared their strategies and policies and practical cases on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace for LGBTQI people. The local LGBTQI community also shared their experiences of stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
“It should not be the case [in recruitment] that you are only selected because you are LGBTQI+….it should be because you are as good as the next person.”Chomphoonuth Nakornthap, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
“It is almost institutionalized that LGBTQI+ people are limited to certain industries.”Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand
Besides the sessions, special shows were performed in the forum from our professional LGBTQI performers LGBTQI. Moreover, there’s a marketplace with stalls from ally LGBTQI businesses and allies, and LGBTQI community groups to sell and promote their products.
Thailand LGBTQI+ Biz 2020 significantly shows that there’s value and opportunity to enhance stronger interlinked communities and broader partner networks to support and advance human rights of SOGIESC people for our LGBTQI community.
Summary of Challenges
- Employment opportunities are limited for LGBTQI people in Thailand, and those in employment also face significant formal and informal discrimination in the workplace.
- Concerning narrative within the private sector that businesses have the power and the right to choose the most ‘suitable’ candidates for their organization, which ultimately leads to discrimination.
- The pathologization of gender identity and/or gender expression poses a significant challenges for the LGBTQI+ community in many countries throughout Asia and the Pacific, denying basic human rights of transgender people to seek gender recognition and gender affirming healthcare.
- Despite changes in laws which legalize same-sex marriage, this does not necessarily translate into marriage equality.
Summary of Opportunities
- Development of a roadmap which outlines how to forge alliances between the private sector and the community, so that diversity and inclusion policies can be translated into action and in doing so, the private sector is held to account.
- It may be beneficial to establish peer-to-peer or company-to-company co-operation programmes, to encourage a mutually beneficial learning process with practical examples of companies who have effectively fostered an inclusive workplace.
- Develop and implement a strategic plan for the collection, analysis and dissemination of disaggregated data by key population. Accurate and representative data on LGBTQI+ and other key population groups are needed to serve as an evidence-base for advocacy materials and for guiding the strategic direction of the organization’s programmes.
- Scale-up advocacy work around legal gender recognition, by instigating open dialogues and communicating the benefits not only for transgender people but for society as a whole, in order to influence societal and governmental buy-in.
- Advocate for the reform of national education curriculums, to integrate diversity and inclusion as a package of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).
Overview of the Thailand LGBTQI+ Biz 2020 Agenda
10:00 – 11:00
LGBTQI+ Situation in Thailand
- What is the situation of LGBTQI+ inclusion in private sectors in Thailand?
- LGBTQI Inequality situation in Thai business sectors
11:15 – 11:25
Spectacular show: Music by Stamp
11:30 – 12:30
Thailand LGBTQI+ Inclusive Business
What are the cases for LGBTQI+ Inclusive business in Thailand? Sharing experience and idea about how can business be more LGBTQI+ inclusive
13:30 – 13:55
How to use Facebook Ad effectively?
14:00 – 15:30
Thailand LGBTQI+ Moving Forward
- Tourism industry in post-COVID19 era
- Hospitality industry as an opportunity for an LGBTQI inclusive approach
- Thai SMEs and tourism in post- COVID19 era
- How can business sector can be more LGBTQI inclusive?
15:30 – 16:00
Spectacular and Talk Show by Stranger Bar
27 November 2020
09:00 – 10:00
Health & Wellbeing
Sharing experience and ideas about well-being of LGBTQI+ community related to the inclusive business
- How the inclusive business is good for mental health?
- Inclusive Business in Diversity of Beauty
10:30 – 11:30
Lifestyle & Trends
Beauty and fashion trend updated on what LGBTQI+ people are on today and inclusive business in diversity of beauty industry.
11:40 – 11:50
Spectacular show by Real You Cabaret
13:00 – 14:00
Session: Self – Development
Know yourself, know your rights!
- What skill to prepare for LGBTQI+ rights in workplace?
14:00 – 14:10
Spectacular show Real You Cabaret
14:10 – 15:00
Meet and talk with our ACCOMMU content editors:
- Health & Wellbeing
- Arts & Culture
- Social Movement & Education
15:30 – 16:00
Spectacular and Talk Show by Stranger Bar