The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, making 2020 and 2021 filled with challenges we never experienced before. For APCOM, we have had to shift some activities, especially those which required physical gatherings and travels, while still working towards our overall goal of LGBTQI inclusion, bringing to light some of the issues and challenges for LGBTQI people in the workplace, and the effects of Covid-19 on LGBTQI individuals and communities.
APCOM in partnership with SPECTRUM, a Thai LGBTQI media agency, developed advocacy videos looking into the situation of LGBTQI social and economic inclusion, and the effects of COVID19 on LGBTQI individuals and communities.
“It is important to continuously call for LGBTQI inclusion, especially in challenging times when the traditionally marginalized communities can experience further marginalization, discrimination and even violence. These videos bring to light some aspects that our communities have to struggle with“Midnight, APCOM Executive Director
LGBTQI exclusion in institutions
One video tells us how LGBTQI people experience exclusion in various aspects of their lives including their families, work, education, and health services. These are the voices of people who are the living proof that Thailand is not “an LGBTQI paradise”. In this video Sam, Kath, Thee, Jeab, and Tao explain how Thai LGBTQI people are made to feel different and are treated unfairly.
The video shows that prejudice is still everywhere in our society, highlights the need for more inclusive institutions and policies, calls for ‘leaving no one behind’ and advocates for a diverse but equal society.
“We need laws that protect the rights of LGBTQI people, like a marriage equality law, a gender recognition law, and an anti-discrimination law based on gender and sexuality”Tao, women’s rights activist
“We need a society that cultivates and embraces diversity and differences.”
The Effects of COVID-19 on LGBTQI Businesses
The video, which calls for more inclusive responses to COVID-19, is told from the perspective of Parinya “Toom” Charoenphol, a world-renowned professional boxer who challenged the limits of gender binary in the world of sports during a time when the society was a lot less accepting of LGBTQI people. Today, she is running her own boxing gym in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, south of Bangkok. After a first long lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business is taking a hit again due to another wave of Covid-19.ue to another wave of Covid-19.
“Personally, I don’t expect anything from the government. I have to rely on myself as much as possible. But if the government really wants to help, they have to support everyone equally as the pandemic affects everyone,”Toom, Parinya Charoenphol
From this video, we also learn about the situation in our region from APCOM country partners; Babylanes in the Philippines, CHIas in Laos, Micro Rainbow International in Cambodia, and Suara Kita in Indonesia.
APCOM would like to thank those who participated in the videos for their courage in sharing their experiences and insights
These videos were made possible through APCOM’s Finance Inc project and in partnership with SPECTRUM.
Finance Inc engages the finance and private sector for LGBTQI inclusion in Southeast Asia, including working with our country partner organizations in Cambodia (Micro Rainbow International), Indonesia (Suara Kita), Laos (CHIas), and the Philippines (Babylanes). Finance Inc is supported by Voice.