The Social Construction of Male Homosexuality and Related Suicide Problems
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The Middle East and Asia: Southeast Aia: Part 4 of 6: Internet Links - D
Graphics by Websight West: - Acknowledgments  & Information Limitations
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Bibiography: Papers, articles, and books.
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Abstracts: Ph.D and Master's Theses


Note: Changes / Additions to this resource will initially be made on - This Web Page - and here about six months later.

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Full Text Papers!  - - AsiaPacifiQueer 3
Sexualities, Genders, And Rights in Asia: An International Conference of Asian Queer Studies
Bangkok, Thailand, July 8-10, 2005
Closing date for submitting paper and panel proposals: October 31, 2004

Sexuality Policy Watch (2008): Position Paper on the Language of “Sexual Minorities” and the Politics of Identity.

Part 1: Issues for People of Colour in some Western Countries. - Part 2: Latin America & Africa.

Part 3: Section Index

Section 3D - Southeast Asia (This Page): Mekong Region: Vietnam - Web Resources - Books. -- Thailand - Web Resources - Books. -- Cambodia -- Laos. --- Southeast Asia: Not Including Mekong Region: Singapore - Web Resources - Books. -- Malaysia - Web Resources - Books. -- Philippines - Web Resources - Books. -- Indonesia -- Burma -- Brunei -- Guam -- Nauru.

Note: Full Text Documents are Located on Another Web Page.

Section 3A - Middle East to Central Asia: - Central Asia: - Middle East / Eastern Mediterranean Region: - Iran -- Israel -- Palestine -- Lebanon -- Jordan -- Saudi Arabia -- Kuwait -- Iraq -- Bahrain -- Oman -- Yemen -- Syria -- Egypt -- Algeria -- Morocco -- Tunesia -- Turkey -- Cyprus -- General International Resources. -- Afghanistan -- Kazakhstan -- Kyrgyzstan -- Uzbekistan -- Turkmenistan -- Tajikistan.

Section 3B - South Asia: South Asia - Web Resources - Bibliographies - Books: - India - Films -- Bangladesh -- Nepal -- Sri Lanka -- Pakistan -- Bhutan -- Maldives.

Section 3C - Northeast Asia: - China - History - Films - Web Resources. -- Hong Kong - Films - Web Resources. -- Taiwan  - Films - Web Resources. -- Tibet -- Mongolia -- South Korea - Web Resources. -- Japan - History  - Films - Web Resources - Books.

Amnesty International: Hong Kong: LGBT Group
LGBT Group: Page Header...

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me
You can decide to turn your face away
No matter 'cause there's
 Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you're doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone... oh no
There's something inside so strong
Something inside so strong"
~~ extracted lyrics of ''Something Inside So Strong'' by Labi Siffre on "So Strong" ~~
© 1998 China Records Ltd.


Mekong Turns Around HIV/AIDS (2012)

USAID - Health policy Initiative: Greater Mekong Region - Achievements (2010)

A Human Rights Struggle at the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic (2009)

HIV/AIDS Programming for MSM in the Greater Mekong Region (2009)

Regional Collaboration Among HIV/AIDS Community-Based Organisations Working With Men
Who Have Sex With Men In The Mekong Sub-Region: A proposed Framework for Action

MSM In The Mekong Sub-Region Consultation Report Released (2008, Report)

Mapping Donor Support for HIV Programming for Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2008)

Greater Mekong MSM Network Launches Activities Across Region (2007)

Greater Mekong Sub-Region: Purple Sky Network Coordinates Regional MSM Activities (2007).

Mekong Region Beginning to Act on HIV and MSM (2007)

Men who have sex with men: the missing piece in national responses to AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (2007)

The Purple Sky Network - Regional Coordinating Secretariat (2006, PPT Presentation):
HIV Interventions for MSM in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

TREAT Asia to Serve as MSM Secretariat for Mekong Subregion (2006)

Report from HIV Prevention and Care Interventions for MSM in the Greater Mekong Sub-region:
2005 Regional Consultative Forum

TREAT Asia Will Coordinate MSM Interventions Network in Asia (2006)

Strategizing Interventions among MSM in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (2005, PDF Download).

- Men Who Have Sex With Men Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Asia, but Widely Ignored (2005). 

VIETNAM - Things Looking up for Gay Community in Vietnam (2008): In Vietnam, discrimination is entrenched against homosexuality, though things are changing with more gay people coming out of the closet and setting up support groups. - Gay marriage puts a smile on Vietnam public's face (2011): So a recent social breakthrough in Vietnam should give hope to one minority that can have a hard time of things in both countries. Phi and Pin, two Vietnamese men, recently got married in the country's first gay wedding. The couple, who jointly own two fashion stores, look downright adorable in their matching suits, and have been together for years. But more importantly, both their families turned out for the marriage, and gave it their whole-hearted blessing...   Both Pin and Phi went to each other's houses to ask their partners' parents for permission to get married, just as a traditional heterosexual couple would.  The Vietnamese Ngiao Sao online newspaper reports that originally "Pin's parents were shocked and sad because they couldn't do anything to make their son normal. But they silently accepted their son's lifestyle and felt at ease when they saw Pin living in happiness." - Second gay wedding reported in HCM City (2011). - Another same sex marriage in Vietnam, two men wed in Mekong Delta (2012). - Is it time for accepting same-sex marriage in Vietnam?  (2011). - Mekong Delta authorities prevent lesbian couple from marrying (2012): Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau has prevented a female couple from marrying, arguing that same sex marriage is outlawed in Vietnam, online newspaper VnExpress reported. It has been more than one week since the incident, but residents in Dam Doi Town are still talking about the wedding of Nguyen Van Nhat, the 20-year-old “bride,” and Nguyen Thi Nhu, the 21-year-old “groom.” Nhat and Nhu reportedly held a wedding ceremony at Nhat’s house with the participation of their families and relatives when local authorities showed up and ordered them to stop the proceedings. - Lesbian love comes to surface (2011): t the age of 20, Jessica, who asked for her real name not to be revealed, said that she used to have many boyfriends before becoming a lesbian. However, her experiences with men were cold and disheartening; but her experiences with women are sympathetic and relatable. 

LGBT movement in Vietnam: from passive to proactive engagement (2011, PPT Presentation). - Society alienating gays and lesbians (2011, Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Vietnam Resources, Alternate Link): Gay people in Viet Nam are struggling to overcome social prejudice and family opposition to live true to themselves and find happiness, heard a workshop held in Ha Noi last Friday. “When my mother found out I was gay, she took me to a counselling centre and asked the counsellor for a cure,” Nguyen Thanh Tung (not his real name), shared in an interview conducted by the Information Sharing and Connecting group (ICS), a community of LGBT, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people... According to an online survey conducted by ICS with 1,020 respondents, 78 per cent of those surveyed had sought counselling to find help for their problems revolving identity confusion, social prejudice and relationship problems. Among them, nearly 30 per cent were forced into counselling services by their families because their parents wanted to find a cure for their homosexual status, which was seen by them as a disease. Counsellors at the workshop said strong social prejudice against homosexuals was a major challenge to the quality of counselling services offered to the LGBT group. Quach Thu Trang, an official from the Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), said in some cases, the counsellors themselves even showed prejudice against homosexuals, as they were not equipped with proper knowledge about homosexuality. Some of them believed that gay people became homosexuals because of the influence of Western media or even the environment (for those who live mostly near people of the same sex) and could be “cured” to become heterosexual. A recent study conducted by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) with 3,231 gay people revealed that about 15 per cent of the correspondents have been reprimanded or insulted by their families, 4.5 per cent have been attacked and beaten and around 4 per cent faced problems with landlords or roommates, all because of their sexuality. - Đồng tính, lưỡng giới và chuyển giới ở Việt Nam (Gay, bisexual and transgendered people in Vietnam, Translation). - Lesbian lamentation (2012): Hanoi researchers find Vietnamese lesbians victims of social isolation... hi, a 23-year-old lesbian, told researchers that her parents locked her in a virtual prison after learning of her relationships with other women. “It was such a horrifying time. My parents knew Diep and I loved each other. They seized my cell phone, cut the home phone line and locked me in our house… They always went through my pockets to see if Diep had sent something to me. They even beat and insulted me,” she told researchers from the Institute for Study of Society, the Economy and the Environment (ISEE).

Look At Vietnam: I’m Gay (2011): Coming out party on Valentine’s Day will increase Vietnamese society’s tolerance, homosexuals hope... Nguyen Van Trung, 35, is as excited as a teenager going to his or her first party. But the excitement is tinged with some nervous bravado, because Trung’s coming out party seeks to increase public tolerance toward the gay community in Vietnam. A group of 100 gay activists is planning to raise awareness and visibility by wearing pink T-shirts proclaiming, “I am gay.” They will walk together on the sidewalks in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, probably on the upcoming Valentine’s Day, Trung said. “This will be the first time such an activity has been organized by the gay community in Vietnam,” said Trung, member of a HCMC voluntary group that seeks to advise men who have sex with men (MSM) on safe sex and HIV-related knowledge. “I only hope that by doing so, the public will be more tolerant of people like us since we do no harm to the society.” Trung said the fact that society has become more open to gay people has inspired him and his peers to come out. They had originally planned to take to the streets last Tuesday to mark World AIDS Day (December 1), but canceled it at the last minute as the shirts were not printed on schedule. Very few gay people publicly come out in Vietnam. Homosexuality is still a taboo subject in the traditionally patriarchal society long ruled by Confucian social mores and Buddhist beliefs. “Most gay people are very afraid to say that they are gay. [But] most of them find out when they eventually do reveal it, it is more easily accepted than they thought it would be,” said Donn Colby, medical director of the Harvard Medical School’s AIDS Initiative in Vietnam... - Vietnamese man uses sex tape to blackmail homosexual monk (2012).

Diary aims to shed light on gay Vietnam (2008): His name means bravery, and that's what it took for Nguyen Van Dung to talk about life in "the third world" -- a reference in Vietnam not to poverty but to the gay and lesbian community. At age 41, he has decided to lay bare almost everything in a tell-all diary called "Bong," a slang term for homosexuals, written by two local journalists after more than 300 hours of taped interviews with him. Dung is sure many people here won't like his memoir, which has triggered both praise and criticism for its often explicit recollections of sexual adventures and relationships with other men. But Dung says it was high time to try to change attitudes in Vietnam. - Vietnam is an Emerging Destination for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Travelers (2010). - The First Openly Cafe for Gay People in Danang (2011): Nhip Dap, opened by a public health employee, gathers the community of men who have sex with men and also educated them. In Danang, it remains difficult for the community of men who have sex with men (MSM) to gain social acceptance. Understanding their predicament, Nguyen The Trung, an employee at the local Public Health Consultation Center, has opened a cafe, Nhip Dap, which works on Saturdays and Sundays. “It was because I wanted to give a place for the MSM community to hang out," Trung said. Through shows that Trung and his colleagues put on, the cafe has also become a place for the MSM community to learn about safe sex and HIV-AIDS.

Gay art exhibition tours universities in Hanoi, Vietnam (2010): An art exhibition is currently on tour in Hanoi where organisers hope for minds to be opened with increased dialogue and understanding about gender and homosexuality. Organiser Le Quang Binh tells Fridae about the artworks that are on display and gay life in Vietnam today... ‘Open’ exhibition which was on display at two universities – the University of Social Science and Humanity and University of Law - last week will continue to tour four more universities in Vietnam's capital Hanoi this month. Organisers hope the exhibition, with the tagline ‘Open mind, Open life’, promotes understanding and acceptance, and reduce stigma and discrimination of LGBT people in Vietnam... The exhibition, which comprises 98 photographs, is organised by the Institute for studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) in association with the Information Connecting and Sharing group (ICS), a voluntary group of LGBT rights advocates. A play will also be staged at each exhibition venue... The images are all about life, love and relationships of gays. For example, the series titled “Third gender” by Phan Nha Trang is about men who dare eat ‘forbidden apples.’ However, love triumphs and they find love at the end. In the series “Crossroad” by Tung, traffic signs are used as a metaphor to illustrate the internal struggles of gay men who are trying to find themselves. Standing at the crossroads, he is caught between going 'straight' as expected by the society and families, or leading a life true to his gay sexual orientation. At the end, he follows his heart and as he knows the path to happiness is to lead his true life... About 2,500 students visited the exhibition and 300 students watched the play in University of Social Science and Humanity-Hanoi. Although some students had thought homosexuality to be associated with diseases such as HIV and homosexuality is not acceptable, almost all students appeared to have a very positive and supportive attitude towards the exhibition. Many of them wrote about their feelings on the exhibition notebooks...

Some Men in Vietnam Marry Women to Hide Homosexuality (2011): research on male homosexuality in Vietnam was released in July 2011, by the STDs/HIV/AIDS Prevention Center, which releases a lot of interesting information about homosexuals in Vietnam. According to the survey, many women were shocked to discover that their husbands are gay after a long time living together. Ha, 25, in Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi got married at the age of 25. One year later, she had a son. The family life was very smooth until she found out that her husband is gay... According to the research, most homosexuals do not want to reveal their secret to avoid social discrimination. They still get married and have children. Their secret is mainly detected by their relatives. A 34-year-old gay man in Hanoi said: “I knew I’m a gay at the age of 22. My family knew that secret but they forced me to get married. I could still have sex with my wife and we had babies. But my wife is the first and will be the last woman in my life. I do not have sex with my wife often. I have to seek other gays to satisfy my instinct.”  - Tragedies of closeted gays (2011): The biggest difficulty of gays is seeking partners. Many gays, therefore, have become prostitutes to satisfy their sexual desire and to seek suitable male partners... Vietnamese awareness of homosexuality is limited, according to SHAPC’s survey. Up to 36 percent of interviewees say that they see homosexuality as social evil, 68 percent say homosexuality is a disease, 48 percent say it is unhealthy relations, 27 percent say it is corrupted and 56 percent say homosexual is unnatural. “The biggest difficulty of gays is not being accepted. We have to sneakily seek partners. The most miserable tragedy is we cannot live with ourselves,” a gay said. Sexual relations among gays has become a big worry because gays often have several sexual partners at the same time, even with partners of both sexes, which can spread sexual transmitted diseases fast. In addition, they do not use condoms often or use condoms in wrong ways.

Homosexuals face violence in their own homes (2011): Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people (LGBT) are still discriminated against in Vietnam and are often exposed to violence from their parents and family members, sociologists warned at a recent conference. Hoang Tu Anh, founder of the Hanoi-based Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), said that prejudice relating to gender and sexuality constituted a grave violation of human rights. Reports of physical violence included beating, binding, and starving, while mental tortures ranged from private groundings to public insults. Many gay and lesbian young people are still forced to marry members of the opposite sex... Binh's institute conducted a survey in 2009 that included over 3,200 LGBT residents Hanoi and HCM City, which found that over 66 percent of gay male respondents kept their sexual orientation a secret, while only 2.5 percent publicly embraced it. About 47 percent said they did not come out because they were afraid of discrimination, and nearly 40 percent said they kept their sexual orientation a secret because they did not think their families would accept the truth. - The miserableness of coming-out gays (2011): Closeted gays can hide themselves but for coming-out gays, they have to suffer from nitpicking glances and contempt of others... Trung is always eyed by people on the street. They point and whisper when they see him from a distance. “They look at me because I’m different, different in negative meaning,” Trung says. Trung says he does not participate in any community activities held by his office. Since he graduated university, he has changed job five times due to discrimination. Coming-out gays like Trung, therefore, always aspire to have transgender operation, besides the aspiration to be accepted by the society... Discrimination of doctors and gays themselves has built up barriers for gays to approach healthcare services. Without timely and proper treatment, they can easily spread their diseases to their partners and the community if they do not use condoms. - Vietnam – Story of a gay man (2011): Can't find a way out and don't know who opine along, He stabbed thought cycle and attempted suicide… Song twice Vinh suicidal then were rescued. “Maybe even death also do not want to receive Honor ", Thanh Vinh smiled sad recall.

Abuse traumatizes gay community (2011): Researchers call for greater public awareness about the consequences of homophobic discrimination... Gays and trans-genders at a beauty contest in Ho Chi Minh City. The gay community is looking for more tolerance from the society. A 20-year-old homosexual in Hanoi told researchers that discrimination from his classmates and parents had driven him to attempt suicide three times since the age of 14.  “The only thing I could think of doing was to die,” he said.  He made his first attempt in the 8th grade, after his classmates mocked him and his parents beat him.  The young man told researchers that he ingested rat poison but recovered from the effects the following morning.  “I did not know anyone like me and was so lonely and hurt because of what my family and classmates did to me,” he said.  Next time, he tried sleeping pills, he said, — only to vomit them all up.  In his third and final attempt to take his own life, the young man went to a quiet spot near the Nga Tu So underground tunnel. He took sleeping pills again and hoped to die alone.  But someone discovered him and took him to the police who later transferred him to hospital assuming he was a drug addict who had overdosed.  Cases like his are not rare in Vietnam... In 2008, the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (ISEE) surveyed 3,000 gay, lesbian and transgender Vietnamese.  Twenty percent of the respondents said they had been beaten by their family members... According to a joint report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ISEE and FHI, discrimination against men who have sex with men (MSM) persists among medical workers.  The findings, entitled “How stigma and discrimination drive HIV: A review of the regional and global evidence" were presented at the forum by authors Chris Fontaine of the UN’s AIDS-fighting agency UNAIDS and Caroline Francis of FHI.  Francis explained that such stigmas go beyond medical facilities... Vietnam is the second country in the world and the first in Asia to ratify the Convention on Child Rights, but the recent study found that 13 out of 17 participants in the research reported suffering violence from family, teachers and friends during their formative years... “Action should be taken to create a positive image of homosexuals,” Buu, a gay man in HCMC, told researchers. “Society shouldn’t think of a gay couple as being any different from a straight one. We wish society would recognize that true love exists between homosexuals.”

Report warns families to accept gay children or lose them to the street  (2012, Alternate Link): Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths fleeing discrimination at home face a much harder life on the street... Years ago, Yen’s father kicked her out of the house. The transgender, who refused to give her real name, said she has struggled to survive on the street ever since. “My father told me ‘If you can manage, just go. Once you’re gone, never ever come back!’” she told a team of researchers at the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE). “Anyhow he’s still my father. Whenever I have money I bring him some. Usually I don’t stay long, only 5 or 10 minutes then leave,” Yen said, refusing to discuss how she earned her living. Yen was among 25 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) street children who agreed to speak to the iSEE team as part of a study which will be published later this month. Le Quang Binh, director of the iSEE, said LGBT street children constitute a particularly vulnerable group that often goes ignored by mainstream society. “Street children face threats of hunger, drug addiction, health problems and physical and mental violence,” he said. “But these threats are multiplied for LGBT children.” .... Beating at home, bullying at school: The “Situation Assessment of LGBT Street Children in Ho Chi Minh City” was commissioned by the Save the Children in Vietnam. Researchers from iSEE compiled the findings from in-depth interviews with the children, their families and peers. Many of those interviewed told the same story... Street dangers: The 25 respondents to the forthcoming iSEE study described life on the street as dangerous on many fronts. Binh said that young transgenders are often viewed as members of a dangerous subculture or “social evil.” ... Nearly all participants feared the police or civil defense forces... “It’s all very clear,” a militiaman told the researchers. “Boys and girls sitting and talking at night is one thing. But two boys embracing each other, murmuring and kissing, what is it then if not evil?”

Australian Government to fund LGBT project in Vietnam (2012): The Australian Government will provide $100,000 funding this month for a project to raise public awareness on the rights of LGBT people in Vietnam. The project to be overseen by the Hanoi-based Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) will include activities such as plays and exhibitions looking at the experiences of the country’s LGBT population as well as legal assistance for people who are discriminated because of their sexuality or gender identity. - Australia helps promote rights of bisexual people in Vietnam (2012). - Sweden funds project promoting LGBT rights in Vietnam (2009): The Swedish embassy in Vietnam has pledged financial support for a new campaign aimed at reducing violence against lesbian women and promoting human rights for sexual minorities.

Vietnam’s gay movie attends Vancouver festival (2011): Vietnam’s gay-themed movie “Hotboy Noi Loan va Cau Chuyen ve Thang Cuoi, Co Gai Diem va Con Vit” is now attending the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival after making its trip to the Toronto International Film Festival last month. The movie titled “Lost in Paradise” in English, which was nominated to the Discovery category for outstanding works from promising filmmakers around the world at the Toronto festival, will race to the Dragons and Tigers category for Asian directors at the Vancouver festival. - Gay movie opening minds as well as eyes in Vietnam? (2012): Lost In Paradise hopes to end homophobia in conservative Vietnam. But is gay equality any closer? ... Thailand may have one of the hottest gay scenes in Asia, but in neighboring countries such as Vietnam, where many still view homosexuality as either an illness or a source of ridicule, the battle to win hearts and minds has been a slow one. However, with the country’s economy flourishing and city dwellers becoming more prosperous, attitudes are beginning to shift and a Vietnamese movie featuring racy gay love scenes is helping to dispel prejudice. - Vietnam’s first positive gay movie. Lost in Paradise. - A gay love story from Vietnam takes the country’s film industry into new territory (2011). - Can an LGBT Film Help Change Attitudes About Homosexuality in Vietnam? (2012). - Film helps change attitudes to gays (2012): Vietnam’s first film to openly feature love and intimacy between gay men is helping to change attitudes in a country where homosexuality is often seen either as a disease or a source of ridicule. Curious filmgoers have streamed into cinemas to catch “Lost in Paradise”, which chronicles the doomed love affair between a gay prostitute and a book seller and provides a rare glimpse into a usually hidden side of Vietnam. For some, the movie was eye-opening, with one Vietnamese woman saying the bittersweet love story had changed her views about homosexuality. “Now I think they are just like us,” said the 50-year-old state employee, who did not want to give her name, after watching the film in the capital. Others, though, seemed uncomfortable, with a group of youths at a recent screening at Hanoi’s Platinum Cinema laughing and a teenage girl covering her eyes during a scene in which the two lead actors kiss tenderly. Homosexuality remains largely taboo in communist Vietnam, where Confucian social mores, with their emphasis on tradition and family, still dominate...

Vietnamese movie on lesbian couples to be screened at ASEAN film fest (2012, Alternate Link): “Which Way to the Sea” is one of five Vietnamese movies to be shown at the second Lifescapes Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Film Festival, scheduled for Chiang Mai, Thailand, from February 2-5. The film tells stories of how five Vietnamese lesbians from the three regions of the country have coped with their daily lives after announcing their gender. The 53-munitue film was directed and produced by the Hanoi Laboratory for documentary films and video arts (Hanoi DOCLAB).. - Lesbian documentary from Vietnam to be screened in Thailand  (2012): "Which Way to the Sea," a documentary about lesbian communities in Vietnam, is among five Vietnamese documentaries to be screened at the second ASEAN Lifescape, which kicked off February 2 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The 35-minute film features the lives of five Vietnamese women who represent lesbian communities in three regions in Vietnam. The film explores how Vietnamese women cope after coming out of the closet. "Which Way to the Sea" was directed by Pham Mai Phuong and Tran Thanh Huong from the Laboratory for Documentary films and Video arts in Hanoi (Hanoi DOCLAB). - Au Vietnam, le premier film qui lutte contre les préjugés anti-homos (2012, Translation). - Vertiges - le premier film homosexuel vietnamien (2011, Translation).

Gay Play In Vietnam. They've Come A Long Way (2011): Public perception of LGBT folk in Vietnam is on an encouraging trajectory. Just a decade ago, a poll found that 82% of Vietnamese believed homosexuality was "never acceptable." A year later, the state-run media was calling homosxuality a great "moral evil," and publishing nervous stories about the insidious gay infiltration of the karoake industry. (Seriously!) But things change quickly. By 2007, 80% of junior- and high-school students said there was nothing wrong with homosexuality, and gay tourists were getting hitched in Hanoi. This week, a play opens at the Youth Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City documenting the trials and travails of Vietnamese gay men. This will be the first such play ever staged in Vietnam. The play, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turqoise, and Violet (presumably, that sounds catchier in Vietnamese) is the product of G-Link: "a group offering support for the gay community" in Ho Chi Minh City. - Stereo woman for lesbian performed in Hanoi (2012): Hay la chinh minh (To Be Yourself), an avant-garde play about lesbian relationships, played the Youth Theater in Hanoi May 10 before moving to other venues in the capital and Ho Chi Minh City... The play's message is summed up by one of the characters in the work: "We are all born equal, pure, and with desire to be loved and love. They – women in love – want to tell people that though they are different, they don’t isolate themselves, but have love for everyone like others."

Joint efforts to scale up male sexual health interventions in Ho Chi Minh City (2011,  PSN Newsletter Volume 8, April-June): These government entities have been identified as key drivers to success of the programs in terms of stigma and discrimination reduction, enhancing the availabil-ity of condoms, lubricants and BCC materials at enter-tainment establishments (EE), increasing access to and use of HTC/STI static and mobile services among the most-at-risk-population (MARP), particularly the hid-den and hard-to-reach MSM unreached by traditional community peer outreach... It was agreed among participants that it is vital to scale up MSM interventions in HCMC. Along with that, behavior change communication and provision of ser-vices should be more innovative to cater to diverse sub-groups of MSM, particularly male sex workers and MSM who inject and use drugs. In addition, it is hard to de-ny the very important role of different stakeholders, especially local government, public security and mass media in the whole process of implementing interven-tion activities. The advocacy workshop has also paved the way for PAC to carry out its 100% Condom Use Pro-gram in the coming time where condoms and lubri-cants are made available and compulsory at all EE in the city. - Stand up and do something! (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 4, January-April): Before finally recognized by surrounding society, Tai has under-gone huge pressure, stigma and discrimina-tion from family and neighbours. His mother told him ‗You are dying because of your igno-rance‘. Tai even imag-ined that he would fall down and nobody would accept him. Fi-nally, he realized that needed to stand up and assert himself. Currently, many MSM don‘t have enough courage to live with a real life. A HIV positive MSM will surely experi-ence a much more pro-found stigma. But Tai has been much stronger than many people: he is standing up, and fighting this social stigma. Tai established his own self-help group 'LIVE‘. Regardless of the small participants‘ number, the meaning and contribution of this group can be very significant. The group provides psycho-logical support and advo-cacy. At this moment, T‘s group is developing an advocacy proposal to submit to CARE for a small grant. Tai hopes that the needs and voices of HIV positive MSM community will be-come more visible in HIV response in Vietnam.

Nguyen, Van Hiep (2012). Sexual risk behaviors among male sex workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Implications for HIV prevention. Master's Disssertation, Umea International School of Public Health Epidemiology and Global Health. Umea Universitet. PDF Download. Data collection was between July and August 2009. Data from a baseline survey, consisting of mapping, quantitative and qualitative interviews were used. 200 MSW [Male Sex Workers] took part in questionnaires and 27 MSW in in-depth interviews on male sex work, HIV knowledge, sexual behavior and condom use, etc... Low salary, family support and earning extra income were showed to be major reasons to be engaged in sex work... Special meeting venues or network for MSW were classified in various hierarchies of dichotomous areas: the young-the old, the rich-the poor, the national-the foreign, etc... In Vietnam, mass media have been presented much negative attitude against homosexuals. Even worse, homosexuals were labeled as “social evils” to be eradicated or to get re-educated in mind at detention and rehabilitation centers. For example, 30 men were sent to one of these rehabilitation centers because of their sexual acts at a massage parlor in November 2002. A popular newspaper named Thanh Nien (Youngsters’ Newspaper) said “this was a really abnormal and monstrous phenomenon and foreign to Vietnam cultural tradition” when hundreds of gays gather in a beach of Vung Tau, Southern Vietnam in 2004 [15]. The bias toward MSM was also depicted in a meta-analysis of total 2,077 published news on MSM issues conducted by Sarah during 2006-2009. In her study, she showed how MSM were unfairly viewed by Vietnamese printed newspapers. According to this study, there was a misrepresentation on MSM in Vietnam’s printed publications when they failed to define MSM but concluded that 1% of MSM population engaged inborn sex-related problems. Even though MSM is really one of the most-at risk populations in HIV/AIDS transmission in Vietnam, most of Vietnamese newsprints ignore this trend and showed unreasoned opinions on MSM. The majority of articles did not mention the existence and risk of men who sell sex to other men. Only 1.68% (35 out of 2,077) of articles on HIV/AIDS specifically mentioned MSM [17]. In Vietnam, a ceremony of homosexual wedding can really triggers a stir to the community. Internet information on a lesbian couple was spread in Hanoi late 2010 and followed by a gay couple in HCMC in June, 2011. In recent years, opener and more positive trends on homosexuality is capturing much public’s attention. The National Assembly deputy, Prof. Nguyen Minh Thuyet suggested that same-sex marriage should be accepted in Vietnam. This could lead to a possible change in the Law on Marriage, 2000. Indeed, two articles from this current law were against marriage of the homosexuals in Vietnam. Article 10, clause 5 prohibited the so-called same-sex marriage together with Article 8, clause 2 described getting married is “an act whereby a man and a woman establish the husband and wife relation according to the law provisions regarding conditions for getting married and marriage registration”.

Viet Nam: Treatment of homosexuals, including legislation, availability of state protection and support services (2010, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada): Various sources report that homosexual acts are not criminalized in Viet Nam (ILGA May 2009, 48; n.d.; Gay Times n.d.). However, some sources note that homosexuals in Vietnam largely keep their sexuality hidden (US 25 Feb. 2009, Sec. 5; Thanh Nien 19 Feb. 2009; AFP 11 Aug. 2008). In particular, gay Vietnamese fear the "social stigma" associated with homosexuality (Thanh Nien 20 Aug. 2009; GlobalGayz Jan. 2008). Bong, a Vietnamese word meaning shadow (Time 6 Oct. 2008; AFP 11 Aug. 2008) or silhouette (ibid.) is used as a derogatory term for homosexuals (Time 6 Oct. 2008; AFP 11 Aug. 2008). According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the word "suggests that they are 'shadows of normal men'" (ibid.). In addition, media sources note that Vietnamese face strict societal and family demands to conform by getting married and starting families (Edge 13 Aug. 2008; AFP 11 Aug. 2008; GlobalGayz Jan. 2008). A January 2008 report by GlobalGayz, an international gay travel and culture site, states that "90% of LGB [lesbian, bisexual and gay] folks in Vietnam are married" to partners of the opposite sex (GlobalGayz Jan. 2008). GlobalGayz also interviews a gay man who opinions that lesbians "have it even worse than gay men" due to greater social and family pressure on women (ibid.). However, sources report that overt hostility towards homosexuals is not common (GlobalGayz Jan. 2008; US 25 Feb. 2009, Sec. 5; Gay Times n.d.). According to GlobalGayz, "'gay bashing' is almost unheard of in Viet Nam" (Jan 2008). Sources report that the majority of Vietnamese are largely unaware of homosexuality (US 25 Feb. 2009, Sec. 5; GlobalGayz Jan. 2008; ibid. June 2007). Online gay magazine Gay Times also notes that "life has become much easier for gays and lesbians" in the last ten years (n.d.). Gay oriented websites note a developing "gay scene" centered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi (Gay Times n.d.; n.d.)., a gay travel website, reports that there are also some gay and gay-friendly establishments in smaller cities throughout the country ( n.d.a.). GlobalGayz also states that there are "little pockets of LGTB [lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual] expression in the smaller cities like Hoi An and Hue" (GlobalGayz Jan. 2008).

In Vietnam, the rape of a transsexual woman stirs legal debate (2010, Alternate Link: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Vietnam Resources): The rape of a transgender woman in the north-central province of Quang Binh has sparked a serious debate among legal professionals after judicial authorities declined to prosecute the three perpetrators. The German Press Agency dpa quoted officials in the province as saying the victim had not reclassified her legal gender from male to female on Wednesday, August 25. Because Vietnamese law only applies to the rape of women by men, the case could not be prosecuted, they said. “The laws don’t regulate how to deal with this case, so even if the group raped her ten times, we would not be able to sentence them,” Nguyen Van Thin, chief judge of the provincial People’s Court, told dpa. According to Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper, the unidentified woman was gang-raped by the three men on April 4. She reported the crime to local police the following day. After the men were arrested, they confessed to the crime in custody. The province ran into problems when the authorities found that all of the victim’s identification documents indicated her gender as male.

Vietnamese 'Still in Closet' (2009, Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Vietnam Resources, Alternate Link): Gay men facing prejudice in Vietnam organize an increasingly effective support network... Communist-ruled Vietnam is home to an increasingly vibrant gay community, but homosexual men who "come out" and acknowledge their orientation are still subject to social stigma and workplace discrimination. Hanoi-based college student Vu Tung is one of a growing minority of openly gay men, and currently runs a support group for men who have sex with men in the capital. "In reality, in Vietnam, the issue of homosexuality is not talked about, except by only a few groups like the transgendered, or those who are openly gay," Tung said. "The openly gay community runs into a lot of difficulties, like the inability to find work in government agencies and companies," he added. Instead, men who have sex with men tend to keep their preferences secret, even from close friends and family, living lives that appear to conform to heterosexual norms... Vietnamese authorities initially interfered with the activities of groups like Hai Dang because they believed the groups existed only as "homosexual love clubs." According to Hai Dang counselor Nguyen Van Nam, "they didn't understand our activities or our purpose." "Our second difficulty has been that our members and volunteers still suffer discrimination from the rest of society. Only recently have we seen less prejudice as a result of our efforts to educate the public," he said. "Most gay men prefer to stay closeted, so they don't come to us, or they prefer to come to us in a secretive way. It is partly due to their lack of education and partly due to a fear of exposure," Nam said. "They fear that other people may find out about them and that their families may find out about them. They also fear that their friends may find out about them and that their organizations or workplaces may find out about them and fire them," he said...

Men Having Sex With Men (MSM) (2010): MSM sub-group meetings serve as a forum for sharing and exchanging information on working with MSM in Vietnam, including policy, research, MSM and HIV programming (including HIV/STI prevention), advocacy and training.  Approximately 30-40 people attend each meeting. Coordination meetings are sometimes held in Ho Chi Minh City, with the collaboration of the HCMC Provincial AIDS Committee, in order to promote networking among groups and individuals working on MSM issues in the south. Representatives of the provincial MSM projects from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Khanh Hoa, HCMC, and Can Tho attend each meeting and give updates on local activities. They also meet separately with representatives of the Provincial AIDS Centres to discuss implementation and coordination of MSM and HIV activities at the provincial level. Topics covered in the meetings have included: estimating the size of MSM and hidden populations, research on HIV prevention programming, and presentations of abstracts from international conferences on MSM research and projects in Vietnam...  Community perspective on current response to MSM (PPT Presentation): The needs of MSM/TG community. - HIV prevention for MSM/TG. -  What has been done. - Areas for improvement. - Interventions. - Increase coverage. - Increase coverage to more provinces. - Increase coverage to work with more groups – focus on young MSM, MSM with HIV, transgender, married MSM and MSM in the army. - Strengthen internet interventions and make use of social networks of MSM. - Provide comprehensive services or integrate with other sectors for comprehensive services. - Strengthen and diversify services for behavior change. - Areas for improvement. - Creating enabling and supportive environment. - Approve national guidelines, as a basis for provinces to expand to work with MSM, especially when MSM is one among prioritized groups. - Reduce stigma and discrimination. - For health workers and service providers. - For community and family members of MSM/TG. - For media and newspapers. -v Support for self-help groups. - Group management and development skills. - Community mobilization.

Homosexuals still feel the media’s lash (2009, Alternate Link: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Vietnam Resources): Vietnamese newspapers continue to discriminate against lesbians and gay men, according to a study by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment... According to the study released in Hanoi on Monday, 41 percent of the articles were clearly anti-homosexual, while only 18 percent were unbiased. The other 41 percent were ambiguous. Many of the stories leant toward the point of view that the sexual practices of homosexuals should be condemned as unacceptable and debauched rather than considering them legitimate. In these articles, the manner in which lesbians and gay men parade their sexual orientation was regarded as shameless, and homosexuals were portrayed as undignified and even base more often than not. On a more positive note, lesbians and gay men were described as mainly deft people with an aptitude for the arts and other creative pursuits, though they were also said to be “good at soothsaying” (fortune-telling).

On the Legality of Homosexuality in Vietnam... - Gay Vietnam (Hanoi): Crouching Love, Hidden Passion- Touchy subject out of the closet (2004). - Vietnam's gays begin to gain recognition (2003). - Vietnam Media Call Homosexuality "Social Evil," Vow Crackdown (2002). - Trying to overcome the gay taboo in Vietnamese-American Families (1993). - Explore The Vietnamese Gay Scene. The book you have been waiting for! (1998) - Gay Life Is Persecuted and Condemned in Vietnam (1999). - The Call for Gay and Human Rights of Vietnamese Gay and Lesbians (1999). - LGBT rights in Vietnam. - Forbidden colours: Gay women in Vietnam (To 2004).  - Gay British pianist banned in Hanoi (2007). - Vietnam: le déni de l'homosexualité fait le lit du sida (2005, Translation).

On Vietnamese Terms for Homosexuality. - Vietnamese Authorities Confirm Gay Wedding N/A. - Closet Gays Slowly Coming Out (2004): "Previously, alternative lifestyles were not widely discussed in Vietnam and topics such as homosexuality were considered taboo in communist-ruled Vietnam." - Chung: A new year: Vietnamese and openly gay (2007). - Gay Vietnam (Saigon, Hoi An and Hue): Crouching Love, Hidden Passion. - Rong Tien N/A (Dragon Fairy) was created to provide a safe and open environment for Vietnamese lesbians, bisexuals, and women who are questioning their sexual identity.

Heterohomo: Vietnam (Translation): Vivre son homosexualité au Vietnam. - Un gay publie son journal intime pour faire bouger le tabou de l’homosexualité. - Officiellement 30.000 homosexuels masculins au Viêt Nam (2007). - La vie clandestine d’un homosexuel vietnamien. - Le déni de l’homosexualité fait le lit du sida.

Construction sociale des homosexualités masculines au Viet Nam (2008, Translation): Le présent article traite de la construction sociale des homosexualités masculines et de la discrimination à l’égard des homosexuels dans le contexte de l’épidémie de sida au Viet Nam. Il a principalement pour but d’apporter des éclaircissements sur la culture homosexuelle vietnamienne, entre traditions et mondialisation, la terminologie ethnocentrique occidentale utilisée pour décrire les « homosexuels » au Viet Nam manquant de précision. Les contacts entre la société vietnamienne et les cultures occidentales ont modifié non seulement les modèles d’homosexualités mais aussi le statut social des homosexuels. Ceux-ci ont perdu leur position sociale élevée et subi stigmatisation et discrimination tout au long du xxe siècle, et la situation s’est aggravée avec l’épidémie de sida. Une meilleure compréhension de la culture sexuelle au Viet Nam et en Asie du Sud-Est contribuera à réduire la stigmatisation et la discrimination dont les homosexuels font l’objet dans la région. En outre, elle aura des incidences sur les stratégies ultérieures de prévention du sida et la défense des droits des minorités sexuelles. L’auteur explorant le rôle de la « culture sexuelle » telle que Herdt l’a définie, en tire quelques éléments qui expliquent les processus de discrimination et suggère quelques pistes à suivre pour lutter contre cette dernière.

Vu BN, Girault P, Do BV, Colby D, Tran LT (2008). Male sexuality in Vietnam: the case of male-to-male sex. Sexual Health, 5(1): 83-8. PDF Download. Abstract. To implement effective behaviour change interventions for men who have sex with men, qualitative information was collected about the contexts and meanings of sex and relationships between men in Ho Chi Minh City. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with 74 men aged 18 years or older who had had sex with another man in the previous 12 months. Findings reveal that sex between men exists and is associated with two common descriptors in Vietnam: bong lo for those who are feminised in public and bong kin for those who are not, and are often married. In sexual relationships, for both groups of men, there is a trade off between sexual pleasure and risk. Condoms may not be used, particularly when having sex with a partner who was considered to be good looking or perceived as 'clean'. The study highlights the need for HIV prevention programs which address issues of sexual meaning in male-to-male sexual relationships.

Son, Dinh Thai (2007). Commodification of pleasure: A Study of Male Migrant Sex Workers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Master's Dissertation, Health Social Science, Mahidol University, Thailand. PDF Download. PDF Download. Some recent studies show that male sex work in Hanoi is currently thriving. Along with local men, migrants have become an important source of supply for this market. These include not only gay men but also straight men that come to Hanoi from other cities and provinces. A number of them depend on sex work as their main source of income. The postmodern perspective on sexuality and narrative analysis method are used to discover the fluidity of sexual subjectivities and various types of sexual practices and partnerships that Vietnamese migrant male sex workers (MSWs) encounter in their every day lives. Nine migrant MSWs and four key informants are interviewed... The findings of the research give insights to the business of male sex work, which is notorious for the vulnerability of migrant lives, poor living conditions, leading them to the sex work market in Hanoi. Among the sex work life, the fluidity of sexual subjectivities is shown under the change of sexual and gender orientation to adapt to issues of “Economics of desire”. Moreover, selling sex is not only for sex per se but also for love, gratitude, understanding, and regular financial support. Various types of sexual practices and partner ships are also found in this research. Male sex workers report that they experience many types of sexual practices, safe, unsafe, coercive, consent sex, and especially, porn movies are preferred to enhance their sexual desire. Clients of MSW are diverse and include local male, female clients, and male foreigners. It is also worrying for MSWs because a number of them still lack understanding of how to protect themselves from HIV and STI risks...

Couch M, Hong Khuat Thu (2004). Exchanges between Men within the Sexual Economies of Prostitution in Viet Nam. Paper presented at the The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference held at the Beechworth Campus of La Trobe University. PDF Download. This paper draws on a qualitative study conducted in Viet Nam of men who use prostitutes. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 men and accounts collected of men, individually or in groups engaging prostitutes, the kinds of sex practices engaged in, the range of ways in which men exchange information about prostitutes, attitudes to prostitutes, and differences between men, depending on the era of their formative experience. The analysis suggests that public health prevention is not likely to engage with men if it takes a social evils approach, as men’s experience is not set is a moral frame, but in very rich exchanges within a number of sexual economies. As Viet Nam addresses sex and sexuality as a public health matter, ways forward need to take account, not only of sex practices involving prostitutes, but also the context created by economies of male exchange. 

From Saigon to San Francisco: Two Journeys: "When he was 17, Lam realized that he was attracted to men. "I was completely scared, so scared. In Vietnam it was really bad. If you acted gay or like a woman they teased you. It was really painful." In school the word "gay" wasn't known. Instead the French word "pede" was used derogatorily for men who looked or acted feminine. However, Lam never felt he had to be "pede" to have a relationship with another man. At 19, Lam won a scholarship to visit a university in Singapore for two weeks. On his return, Lam met his first boyfriend while waiting in the airport. Ironically, they were speaking English and Lam assumed that he was Chinese since the man never told him he was a Vietnamese government official. The older man had given him a fake phone number so Lam had to wait four months before he called. "He was the first I ever had sex with." The older man lived in the North while Lam lived in the South, so over the next year they saw each other only about twice a month."

Viet Nam: Culture (1992): "In Viet Nam men touch other men and even hold hands with male (not female) friends in public without there being any homosexual implications.  Beyond the American overtone of homosexuality, there was a sense of a violation of the American’s individual person and space by someone with a more relational sense of reality." - Vietnamese paintings (including a gay artist, Truong Tan) (1997). - Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center Decries November Arrest of Gay Men in Vietnam. (2002, Alternate Link) - Vietname Part 1: A Guide for First-time Visitors (1999). - Vietnam Part Two: North of Saigon (2000).  - Police Raid Saigon Sauna (2002). - Two Saigon Men Jailed for Operating a Gay Brothel (2003). - La vie clandestine d'un homosexuel vietnamien (2000).

Nguyen Frienship Society N/A: (Archive Link) "We are a group of about 50 volunteers working to prevent HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual men in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. We are happy to have this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. Because there is considerable gay discrimination in Vietnam and because groups like ours are not considered legal, we work very quietly. Our friends abroad publish this Internet information for us, and act as our "Ambassadors" to the outside world. They also provide moral, technical and organizational support, carry information and materials, and raise money. - Gay sex and the risk of AIDS in Vietnam N/A. - HIV/STD Infection (2000): he following section describes the epidemiology, beliefs, and high risk sexual practices regarding Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) infection among Vietnamese residing in Vietnam and in the United States. It is based upon a literature review of published studies and interviews with key informants. Key informants included (1) a Vietnamese general practitioner who works at a Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning Center in Nghe-An province, the third largest province in Vietnam, (2) a Vietnamese Community House Calls caseworker/cultural mediator at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, and (3) a Vietnamese layperson who immigrated to the U.S. in 1975.. - Social construction of male homosexualities in Vietnam. Some keys to understanding discrimination and implications for HIV prevention strategy (2005). - Transsexualism in Vietnam.

Men who Have Sex with Men in Ha Noi: Who are They and What are their Sexual Health Needs? (Dinh Thai Son, Institute for Social Development Studies) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Since the late 1990s, the Vietnamese government has acknowledged the importance of men’s sexual health in its overall efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, MSM remains a reluctant area for discussion, not to mention intervention, for the reasons mentioned above. But as long as the silence surrounding MSM is not broken, the group will continue to be vulnerable to the epidemic, excluded from health education programs and invisible to health services, and their vulnerability will continue to pose a threat for HIV transmission to the larger community. It is important that efforts are made to meet MSM’s needs for improvement of sexual health and social well-being, and hence to ensure that their rights are respected and protected. This requires insights into the psychosocial world of MSM and their needs in order to raise awareness of researchers, public health professionals, society and the state, and to help designing appropriate policies and interventions."

Colby D, Cao NH, Doussantousse S (2004). Men who have sex with men and HIV in Vietnam: a review. AIDS Education and Prevention, 16(1): 45-54. PDF Download. PDF Download. PubMed abstract. Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam's urban centers are increasing in numbers and visibility. Although limited to a few surveys, the available data on MSM in Vietnam show that they are at increased risk for HIV infection due to high numbers of sexual partners, high rates of unsafe sex, and inconsistent condom use. There are significant numbers of male sex workers in Vietnam and these men are also at high risk for HIV infection. The lack of data on HIV prevalence among MSM and the fact that the media and public health prevention programs ignore MSM as a population at risk leads many MSM to mistakenly believe that their risk for HIV is low. The low perception of risk, combined with inadequate knowledge, may make MSM less likely to actively protect themselves from HIV infection. More research is needed on current behavior and HIV prevalence among MSM and male sex workers in Vietnam. MSM in Vietnam's larger cities could easily be targeted for prevention using peer educators to decrease their risk for HIV infection.

Social environment and HIV risk among MSM in Hanoi and Thai Nguyen (2012): However, homosexuality is still highly stigmatized in the general population in both cities. This stigma affects the number of partners and level of sexual risk of participants. Also, men generally reported little communication between partners about sexual risk. While stigma in the general community is difficult to change, social environments where gay men can openly communicate creates an opportunity for HIV prevention and social support. - The epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus infection, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in the Mekong Subregion and China: implications for policy and programming (2009): Twenty-four articles, reports and abstracts of research studies were identified for review. High levels of HIV, STI and associated risk behavior were reported among MSM throughout the region. The HIV prevalence among MSM in urban areas varied between 5.5% and 28.3% in Thailand and Cambodia and between 0.0% and 9.4% in Vietnam and China. No HIV/STI prevalence data were available for Lao PDR and Myanmar. - Down on the farm: homosexual behaviour, HIV risk and HIV prevalence in rural communities in Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam (2008): Rural MSM had fewer risk behaviours when compared with urban MSM in the province: they became sexually active at a later age, were less likely to buy or sell sex and were less likely to use drugs. However, they had poorer knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention and were less likely to know that unprotected anal sex was high risk for HIV. Condom use was high among both rural and urban MSM, but most MSM in rural areas had never used water-based lubricant. None of the 295 men tested for HIV were infected (HIV prevalence 0%). - Male sex work and HIV risk among young heroin users in Hanoi, Vietnam (2007, Full Text).

Berry S, McCallum L (2010, Draft). Reference Guide MSM and Transgender People Multi-City HIV Initiative. AIDS Projects Management Group for UNDP Asia Pacific. PDF Download. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: In 1998, a bestselling novel was published exploring the lives of MSM in Vietnam entitled “A World Without Women”. This groundbreaking book raised the issue and the profile of gay and other MSM in Vietnamese society. The novel became so popular that it was made in to a ten episode mini-series and since then emerging new Vietnamese writers have published novels and short stories on sex between Vietnamese men.23 MSM and TG social and informal groups are emerging across Ho Chi Minh City.24 MSM websites are now a common way in which city-based Vietnamese men meet each other for sex. The explosion of internet use in Vietnam is a social phenomenon that is transforming the ways in which Vietnamese people, especially young people, share information. But MSM of all ages are reportedly using the internet for sexual purposes and young men are said to be on the net asking tentative questions about sex with other men. Nguyen Van Trung, an activist with considerable experience related to MSM and TG persons services, describes sub-populations of bong lo and bong kin (the terms are Vietnamese) in an article for TreatAsia in 2007. Bong lo MSM he describes as effeminate and often include TG persons while bong kin MSM are described as masculine, living as men and may include those men who only have sex with other men as well as those who also have sex with women and may be married.25 Most MSM are said to hide their sex with men from their families and the broader society for fear of stigma and discrimination. Reported discrimination against bong lo (feminized men/transgender people) in health and social services is common26. Services for transgender people are included in MSM programming and there are no separate STI or other health services for TG people. 

AIDS and HIV in Viet Nam (1992): "Vietnam's health officials are also hobbled by some rudimentary misconceptions. I have been told by these officials time and time again that "because there is no homosexuality here, AIDS is not a Vietnamese problem."  Both tenets in this statement are equally absurd. While homosexual behavior may be culturally proscribed, a taboo of sorts, it would be ludicrous to suggest that it does not occur. Further, even in the presumed absence of  homosexuality, high risk behaviors engaged in by heterosexual couples are as high risk as these behaviors engaged in by homosexual couples." -  HIV knowledge and risk factors among men who have sex with men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2003). - 'Face up to the truth': helping gay men in Vietnam protect themselves from AIDS (1999). - Men who have sex with men and HIV in Vietnam: a review (2004, Excerpt). - Training HIV Counselors about MSM in Vietnam (2005, PDF Download). - 'Face up to the truth': helping gay men in Vietnam protect themselves from AIDS (1999, Full Text): Appropriate AIDS prevention information is not available in Vietnam for men who have sex with men. Current AIDS prevention messages can be misunderstood with potentially dangerous results. We outline some features of gay culture in a provincial city in Vietnam. We describe the activities of a peer educator who made contact with a small group of young gay men during 1996 and 1997. All the young men were ill-informed about AIDS. Their attitudes and sexual practices made them vulnerable to AIDS. The peer educator provided clear information and emotional support. The peer education was done without government endorsement and on a very low budget. - Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with HIV Infection Among Men Having Sex with Men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2008). - HIV Knowledge and Risk Factors Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2003).

HIV infection rate increase for Man who have sex with Man (2012): HCM CITY In comparation with injecting drug users and female sex workers, HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) is much higher. Lack of understanding about safe sex leads to unprevention himself, MSM is of on the reasons that make HIV-infected people in Vietnam rise to alarming level... In HCM City area alone, the number of MSM has reached 15,000. According to Nguyen Thi Hue, Head of Harm reduction department, HCMC Provincial AIDS Committee said, not only increasing in number, the risk of HIV / AIDS is also very large in MSM community... Not only in the city, the problem of HIV / AIDS in MSM are also common in other provinces. According to Nguyen Vu Tung, Chair of National MSM Technical Working Group, the reason that makes MSM not use condoms is that they think homosexual relationships are not at risk of HIV transmission through sex...

Pierce, Richard (2008, Editor). A Dialogue with Men Who Have Sex with Men: Their Perspectives on Behavior Change for HIV Prevention. Vietnam: Family Health International (FHI/Vietnam). PDF Download. The 2005-2006 HIV/STI Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBBS) measured HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. IBBS data indicated that high-risk behaviors persist among MSM and that HIV prevention programs, in some cases, are still limited in their impacts... Almost all MSM stated that they did not use condoms consistently with casual boyfriends or with male sex workers (MSWs), and almost never used them with sex partners with whom they had a relationship of trust and intimacy... Social barriers limit access to condoms, most notably MSM’s fear of social stigma and discrimination. Many MSM hesitate to buy condoms in the pharmacy, fearing discovery of their sexual identity and discrimination by pharmacy staff... The top reason MSM cited for not accessing VCT and STI services more frequently was fear of social stigma and discrimination. This fear was especially strong for many who self-identified as bong lo... Some clients said they did not go for STI check-ups because they could not afford the medicines for treatment. Some recommended that medicines be provided free as incentives for MSM to go for regular check-ups.

Ngo DA, Ross MW, Phan H, Ratliff EA, Trinh T, Sherburne L (2009). Male homosexual identities, relationships, and practices among young men who have sex with men in Vietnam: implications for HIV prevention. AIDS Education and Prevention, 21(3): 251-65. PDF Download. PDF Download. Abstract. Rapid socioeconomic transformation in Vietnam in last 15 years has been followed by more liberation of sexual expression and representation of sexual identity among young people. There has been an increase in the visibility of homosexual men in major cities of Vietnam who were largely an unknown population until the emergence of the HIV epidemic. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are now considered as one of the target groups in many HIV prevention programs. This qualitative study examines local identities, relationships, and sexual practices among young MSM aged 15-24 in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Our analyses were based on 26 in-depth interviews and 10 focus group discussions with young MSM recruited through public place intercepts and cruising areas. Data document the linguistic classification, sexual relationships and behaviors, identity and process of homosexual identification, and the potential linkage between sexual identity and sexual behaviors of MSM in Vietnam. Data also highlight the stages of homosexual community development in urban Vietnam and important differences between Vietnam and the West in the representation of homosexual identity, relationships, and practices. In light of the findings, we suggest that the continuing development and elaboration of a homosexual community in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offers significant opportunities for targeted HIV/AIDS prevention activities in the Vietnamese MSM population.

HIV/STD Infection [Vietnam]: One example is the subject of homosexuality. The Vietnamese technical terms for homosexuality, "nguoi dong tinh" and "nguoi dong luyen ai" (literally "people-same-love") are meaningless to most Vietnamese people. A group of researchers from Doctors Without Borders in Vietnam found that the term "men who have sex with men" when translated into Vietnamese, had no meaning, either to doctors, homosexual men, female sex workers, or members of the Vietnamese Provisional AIDS Committees (Wilson, 1999). The most popular term for men who have sex with men, "lai cai," reflects the association between perceived feminine traits, "walking like women, having soft hands, being talented in sewing, makeup, cooking, and singing," with homosexuality in that it literally means "half man, half woman" (Carrier, 1992). This lack of suitable terms for homosexuality reflects the strong cultural taboo against homosexuality. It also represents the official denial by Vietnamese government spokesmen that there is no evidence for homosexuality in their country. This is in spite of a published report by Doctors Without Borders who piloted AID/HIV prevention outreach to men who had sex with men and described themselves as "gay" or "be de," a slang word equivalent to queer.

Using Social Networks to Reach MSM for HIV Prevention in Vietnam (Must Scroll): MSM in HCMC can be categorized into two broad groups: bong kin and bong lo. Bong kin are outwardly masculine and due to social stigma often hide their sexual orientation. Bong lo assume a feminine gender; wearing female clothing, jewellery, and make-up, and using feminine mannerisms. Both socialize mostly within their own group. Bong Kin usually have other bong kin as sexual partners, while the sexual partners of bong lo are usually heterosexually-identified men. Both group engage in risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected anal sex or oral sex with ejaculation; and hold many misconceptions about their risk of HIV and STDs. Water-based lubricants are rarely used. Bong lo often face discrimination in society, such as not being allowed entrance to entertainment establishments and difficulty in finding a job.

Men who have sex with men in Vietnam - Sexuality & Prostitution (2002, Part 1): (Part 2) "(Synopsis of Men engaged in having sex with men in Viet Nam - a Hanoi snapshot - by S. Doussantousse, Ngoc Anh (researchers) and L. Tooke, (specialist writer and editor) Hanoi, April 2002.): The authors of this paper have conducted fifteen unstructured interviews with individuals, including prostitutes, clients and intermediaries, in Hanoi during recent weeks. All respondents were invited to speak freely in confidence, and did so with minimal prompting... The men selling sex that we contacted in Hanoi were mainly between 18 and 23 years of age, although there was some indication that boys in their low teens could be 'made available' for clients, particularly older foreigners... For the purposes of this paper, we have assumed that the clients of male prostitutes in Hanoi are homosexuals or bisexuals. However, we recognise that in many countries, masculinity is confirmed by marriage and parenthood rather than explicitly heterosexual behaviour. Affection between men, physical contact and sharing beds are socially acceptable and create opportunities for sexual contact as a pleasurable activity rather than an expression of sexuality. It is, therefore possible that some clients pay for sex with men because it is 'safer' (i.e. less likely to attract police attention), less likely to lead to HIV infection or more convenient than using a female prostitute... Around half the sexual encounters appeared to be for masturbation and oral sex. However, penetrative anal sex was commonplace. Typically, the prostitutes we talked to were forthcoming about anal sex with clients, but often emphasised that it was active - they penetrated the client rather than the reverse. However, some of those who had not identified themselves as homo- or bisexual were guarded in their responses when questioned about their experience of being penetrated. Their responses indicated that that they were unwilling to talk about the matter, suggesting that cultural imperatives, perhaps relating to 'face', might be operating. Self-identified homosexual prostitutes, on the other hand, appeared to have no inhibitions when talking about being the passive partner..." - Vietnam – Gay male escorts earn least of all sex workers according to Ministry of Labor (2012).

No Queers Here (2001): "But other results from UC Irvine’s World Values Survey in Vietnam indicate Little Saigon residents may   have much in common with their counterparts in the homeland. In the random sample of 1,000 Vietnamese across Vietnam, 82 percent responded that homosexuality was never legitimate, and another 92 percent   condemned prostitution. Other bad behavior: suicide (86 percent opposed), abortion (61 percent), euthanasia (51 percent) and divorce (50 percent)." - Gay life in Vietnam: There are no exclusively-gay venues in Vietnam, so do not waste your time if you are going only for the nightlife. Both Saigon and Hanoi have several mixed bars and discos that attract local gay people and Saigon has a restaurant where local gays go to see and be seen on Sunday mornings. The "scene" seems to move around every night, prompted by a flurry of SMSing. Unless you know someone these places  may be difficult to find. Nevertheless, most Vietnamese are very friendly and easy to meet, keeping in mind that people in the north are conservative and stony-faced until they get to know you. English is widely spoken. We will provide more information in our "Before You Go" information... 

MultiCulti: Hundreds of gays stage riotous parade in southern Vietnam (2002): "Hundreds of homosexuals flocked to a hotel in southern Vietnam's Ba Ria-Vung Tau to stage a gay fashion parade that an official youth daily dubbed a "monstrosity". Gays from several neighbouring regions turned out for the special fashion show and dance last week in Long Hai city, Thanh Nien daily said Monday. The evening was "highly frenzied" and the dances progressively degenerated with the gays sporting "very revealing" outfits, provoking wild cheers and cries among the audience, it said..."

Panel explores challenge of covering LGBT issues around the world (2002): "Binh Nguyen has three friends. Meeting via Internet in the United States, Austria and Vietnam, they had grown close sharing their experiences as gay Vietnamese men... "It's almost impossible [to be out]," Nguyen said, explaining the isolation of his gay friends in Vietnam. "Media itself over there is controlled by the government. It would be considered too liberal to be allowed to be out."

Vietnam Media Call Homosexuality "Social Evil," Vow Crackdown: "Vietnam's state-run media recently declared homosexuality a "social evil" on par with drug use and prostitution and proposed laws to allow the arrest of gay couples. A report by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of gay couples is on the rise, though it offered no statistics.

Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology: Index Page: Vietnam: - Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors. - Gender Conflicted Persons. - HIV/AIDS.

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made available as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Vietnam:  - - Sons and Lovers: Gay Saigon (Robert Don Adams, Florida Atlantic University). - Using Social Networks to Reach MSM for HIV Prevention in Vietnam (Donn Colby, Harvard University). - Men who Have Sex with Men in Ha Noi: Who are They and What are their Sexual Health Needs? (Dinh Thai Son, Institute for Social Development Studies).

Resource Links - Long Yang Club (Berlin): Vietnam (German) (To 2002). - Gay Vietnamese Alliance (To 2010). - Gay Vietnamese Alliance: News.. - Utopia: GLBT Resources. - Utopia: Lesbian Resources. - Utopia Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam : the Gay and Lesbian Scene in Southeast Asia Including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City & Angkor (2005, 1rst Edition, Full Text). - Infos Vietnam Gay Friendly (French, Translation). - Pridelinks. - Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Vietnam Resources (Country Index).

Global Gayz: Vietnam: Gay Hanoi. Gay Vietnam (Saigon, Hoi An and Hue): Crouching Love, Hidden Passion - News/Reports 1997-09. - Gay Vietnam News & Reports 2010-11. - ILGA Report. - LGBT rights in Vietnam.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Books: - Award-winning Vietnamese novelist breaks taboo on homosexuality: Anh Tan (2002): "It was a little bit difficult at first when I started writing this novel for it is the first book of its kind in Vietnam, so I am very happy that it was recognized with this award... Bui Anh Tan, a former crime reporter for the state-run Ho Chi Minh City Police newspaper, was awarded the 1,000 dollar "For the National Security and Peaceful Life" prize for his 400-page novel "A World Without Women" last week... he deliberately moulded his plot around the underground world of homosexual men because it was a taboo subject in the deeply traditional Vietnamese society. - Mot The Gioi Khong Co Dan Ba (A World Without Women), published in 2000, Bui Anh Tan’s book about gay men was the first Vietnamese novel to touch on the issue of homosexuality and it quickly became a bestseller... - Vietnamese TV crime series enters gay territory (2004). - Busting a Taboo: interview with Abh Tan in the Far Eastern Economic Review (2002): "Tan, a 36-year-old reporter in Ho Chi Minh City, sticks to plain prose in his tale of interlocking gay lives. The main character is a closet gay scientist who learns he has the HIV virus. Despairing, he arranges to be murdered by a gay hit man. Meanwhile, the handsome policeman investigating the case is also a closet gay. But at least he's in a loving relationship with a gay bar-owner, who gives voice to the author's appeal for tolerance: "People like me are also human beings," the bar-owner pleads at one stage. "We also want to be loved, to breathe, to live." - Prize winning author breaks Vietnam's gay taboo (2003). - Novel breaks Vietnam's gay sex taboo (2002).- Vietnamese novelist breaks taboo on homosexuality (2002).

Women of the world: A couple of years ago, even the action was thought merely as a good relationship, but these days homosexuality is an issue that cannot be ignored in modern society. One person who isn’t ignoring the topic is writer Bui Anh Tan. His book Les-Vong Tay Khong Dan Ong (Women Without Men) is now being published following the success of his first, Mot The Gioi Khong Co Dan Ba (A World Without Women), a book based on gay men, that was turned into a successful film series shown on VTV3. In this second novel, Tan follows the lives of five gay female characters from different social classes. His explorations of these sensitive topics, boldly brought to life with his sharp writing, are attempts to help the public at large understand the issues better...

Books: - The Men of Viet Nam: A Travel Guide to Gay Viet Nam - 1998 - by Douglas Thompson. - The Innocent - 1997 - by Robert Taylor (A Novel). - 

To "The SEARCH Section" For The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts... and The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available! 

THAILAND - Thailand To Support New UN Gay Rights Call (2011). - Thailand's new transgender politician vows to fight for rights of all (2012). - Gay Marriage: Thai Gays Demand It (2011). - Thailand's National Human Rights Commission to Back Gay Marriage Legislation (2011): Sexual Diversity Network representative Pongsathorn Chanreun said it would join with NHRC to push for implementation of this draft law, to give homosexual people access to social and human security rights such as heritage, childcare, insurance and medical care benefits, which were basic rights for all. - The 2011 GALAS International Prize for Gay Rights Activist of the year goes to Paisarn Likhitpreechakul of Thailand (2011): For five years, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul and the members of his organisation have fought against the Thai army’s practice of altering the personal records of transgender draftees to describe them as suffering from permanent psychosis. Recently his Mr Likhitpreechakul took a phone call telling him about the decision of Thai courts, earlier that morning, to rule against the practice... Mr Likhitpreechakul was in Dublin earlier this month to attend the Front Dublin Platform for Human rights Defenders where he spoke of how "Without equality, tolerance is just a myth.**There is a myth, especially amongst foreigners, that Thailand is "tolerant" towards gays and transgenders. After all, hardly a day goes by without one seeing a ladyboy or a katoey (male-to-female transgender). Most Thais also like to believe in such a feel-good story, as well as spin it to foreigners. Even long-term foreign residents are not likely to have heard about, for example, a bisexual woman who was burned alive in 2006, or the rape, murder and burning of a lesbian in 2008"... - Gays to get equal status under new Thai charter (2007). - Thai army to introduce ‘third category’ for trans-sexuals (2008). - Thailand OKs Gay, Transsexual Soldiers (2005).

Windows into domestic gay Thailand (2012): A exhibition of tender photographs of gay couples in their homes is showing in Bangkok, Gay Star News interviews the Thai photographer Piryarat Piyapongwiwat... Queerness, an exhibition at the Toot Yung gallery in Bangkok presents windows into the domestic lives of gay couples in the city. Piryarat Piyapongwiwat, the photographer behind the exhibition, and featured in one image of herself and her girlfriend, talks to Gay Star News about the whys and hows of these tender images. - Thailand: Gay Couple Sets World Record for Longest Kiss (2012): A gay couple from Thailand kissed each other for 50 hours 25 minutes and 1 seconds in Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya, setting a new Guinness World Record. (Photo/Ripley's... What's the most precious gift on St. Valentine's Day? Giving him/her world's longest continuous kiss! A gay couple from Thailand kissed each other for 50 hours 25 minutes and 1 seconds in Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya, setting a new Guinness World Record and bringing home two diamond rings, 100,000-Baht($3240) cash prize and gift voucher from Anantara Phuket that are altogether worth up to 200,000 Baht ($6481)... The gay couple, 31-year-old Nontawat Jaroengasornsin and 29-year-old Thanakorn Sittiamthong, who are from central Thailand's Chachoengsao province, have been living together for three years. This is their second time participating in the kiss competition. Last year, in Thailand's first longest continuous kiss competition, they made it to 22 hours 9 minutes and 17 seconds.

Newly-formed Thai airline recruits 'Ladyboys' as air hostesses (2011): A newly-formed Thai airline has recruited transsexuals as air hostesses, in a pioneering move it believes will be copied by other carriers. - Thailand's Transgender Flight Attendants: PC Air Takes On Groundbreaking Cabin Crew (2011). ‘Ladyboy’ Flight Attendants Begin Their Ascent with Thailand’s P.C. Air (2011). - Transgender airline staff make inaugural flight in Thailand (2012). - Thailand transgender Yollada Suanyotdiva runs for political office (2012). - Transgender woman wins provincial election for the first time (2012). - Trans woman wins historic seat in Thailand (2012): A transgender woman has become the first to compete and then win a seat in local Thai elections.

Thaïlande: La vie pas si rêvée des homosexuels thaïlandais (2011, Translation): « La société thaïlandaise est ouverte d’esprit. » « L’homosexualité y est monnaie courante et acceptée par la population. » Derrière ce tableau idyllique, la communauté homosexuelle subit aussi discriminations et stigmatisations... « Belle nuit pour partir en chasse. » Par ces quelques mots, ce touriste australien résume le point de vue de certains homosexuels occidentaux qui viennent en Thaïlande : c’est le paradis des gays. Un cliché du sexe facile. Avec Ratchada et Otoko, Silom est un peu la scène gay internationale de la ville. Mais cette image, beaucoup la regrettent. Comme Simon et son compagnon Michael. Ce couple d’Allemands ne supporte pas l’attitude de ces étrangers « irrespectueux » qui ne cherchent pas à comprendre « les sentiments et la vie des homosexuels thaïlandais » et se bornent à agir « comme dans un marché aux bestiaux »...  Comme nombre d’homosexuels thaïlandais, Nol Intanin ressent ce décalage. « Chez les plus jeunes effectivement, l’ouverture d’esprit est plutôt la règle. Mais chez les plus de quarante ans, et particulièrement dans les campagnes, on accepte mal l’homosexualité. » Issu d’une famille modeste de Rayong, à deux heures de Bangkok, il a d’abord caché sa sexualité. Seul fils de la famille, Nol a dû couper toute relation avec ses parents. « Il faut être lucide. Généralement, les parents s’en doutent mais ils se le cachent. Et ils ne souhaitent surtout pas que cela devienne officiel. » En Thaïlande, on ne parle pas de sexualité. Et, dans la majorité des cas, l’annonce de l’homosexualité entraîne une réaction familiale qui va de l’acceptation amère à la violence physique. L’enfant renié est accusé de leur faire perdre la face. L’incompréhension conduit certains à la dépression, et le suicide est plus courant dans la communauté homosexuelle (voir encadré page 49). Nol a ainsi déjà attenté à ses jours. « On s’interroge. Pourquoi n’êtesvous pas fier de moi ? Le regard de la famille est très difficile à accepter. » Nol a pourtant suivi des études et aide financièrement sa famille. « Pour elle, j’ai renoncé à mes rêves : une carrière artistique. Jusqu’à récemment, je travaillais chez Thai Airways. »... Tous les genres qui ne rentrent pas dans la norme hétérosexuelle affrontent des questions similaires. Ainsi, les lesbiennes. Leur identité sexuelle est moins affichée, à l’exception des tomboys. Moins visibles, elles n’en subissent pas pour autant moins de discrimination. Elles sont victimes de rapports sexuels forcés avec des hommes et supportent aussi le poids de la famille et la solitude (lire page suivante). Jai Arun Ravine est une Américano-Thaïe qui a étudié à Payap University à Chiang Mai. Cette artiste transgenre engagée dans la défense de la diversité sexuelle (1) s’offusque de cette vision tronquée du bonheur homosexuel en Thaïlande.

Transsexual Culture in Thailand (2011): As of 2008, Thailand boasted of between 10,000- 100,000 transsexuals. Transsexualism is simply a condition where an individual identifies him or herself with a gender that contradicts their biological sexual orientation.  In other words, a person feels the desire and urge to affiliate him or herself with the opposite sex. Kathoey is the term used to refer to a male-to-female transgender persons in Thailand. It can go as far as undergoing sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to alter one’s gender. Thailand is recognized globally as the nation that has accepted transsexualism and welcomed transsexuals with minimal prejudice or discrimination. The following discourse explores the history transsexual culture in Thailand, its social, cultural and religious impact to society.- Transgender 'Thailand's Got Talent' Contestant Stuns Audience (2011, Video). - The pageantry of the "Third Gender": Video: Man, woman, or something else? Take a walk on Thailand's wild side (2009). - Thailand: The Tale of the Pink Toilet - Transgender Rights in Thailand (2008). - Thai school offers transsexual toilet (2008). - Case Study: Testing and Counseling Transgender People in Pattaya, Thailand (2012). - The evolving situation for transgender people in Thailand (Part 1 of 5, YouTube, 2009): Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. - Hate stops gay Pride in Chiang Mai, Thailand (2009). Sex, drugs, stigma put Thai transsexuals at HIV risk (2012).

Transformations of Transgender: The Case of the Thai Kathoey (1999): Transgender males, called kathoey in Thai, are an ancient and widespread phenomenon in Asia and especially Southeast Asia. In this paper I consider Thai transgender males from a more contemporary perspective, focusing on changes in the definition and presentation of kathoey in the last two decades. These changes are related to alterations of the sex scene in western countries, the application of new medical technologies, and the development in Thailand of a new kathoey” c a -reer.” I base my study on in-depth interviews conducted in Thailand and the Netherlands. I discuss the inadequacy of conceptualizing kathoey as a category of homosexuals, arguing that kathoey first and foremost have to be seen as women. From this perspective, kathoey s' relationships with the partners they prefer become more understandable. I also interpret kathoeys' preference for farang(Caucasian) partners, the meanings they ascribe to having a sex-change operation, and their sexual behaviour from the perspective of considering them as women. I conclude with recommendations for social service work among kathoey and a reflection on the theory of sexual and erotic excitement.

Jackson, Peter A (2009). Capitalism and Global Queering National Markets, Parallels Among Sexual Cultures, and Multiple Queer Modernities. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 15(3): 357-395. Abstract. PDF Download. Early references suggest that these individuals [MTF transvestites] were associated with urban mercantile environments like small-scale trading, sex-work, and lower-class forms of drama, rather than with courts or rituals (Garcia 1996: 65 – 66; Peacock 1968; Proschan 2002: 445). . . . it appears that male transvestites in Southeast Asia are not legacies of prior “traditions.” Rather the available evidence suggests that male transvestites emerged as “commodified transgender” subject positions only in the late nineteenth century or early twentieth. As Drucker notes, such “commodified transgender [identities] differed from any [earlier] transgenderal sexuality in that [they were] largely urban, largely detached from rather than integrated into traditional kinship networks, more or less associated with prostitution for money rather than any kind of socially sanctioned marriage, and at odds with instead of sanctioned by the dominant religion.” In summary, new Asian transgender identities have emerged within the same context of market capitalism that Altman argues has supported the globalization of gay identities. Future historical research will need to abandon the mistaken association of transgenderism with precapitalist residues of tradition and instead trace how the market has provided a space for the modern Filipino bakla, Thai kathoey, Indonesian waria, and other transgender identities beyond the West to form around the commodification of modern norms of feminine beauty...

Guan, Toh Heng (2011, Draft). Constructing Masculinity in Southeast Asian LGBT Discourse. Paper presented at the ISA Asia-Pacific Regional Section Inaugural Conference 2011. PDF Download. Download Page. This one-sided focus on the transgressed male is also found in LGBT public discourse. A recent example can be drawn from an op-ed written early this year by Yanapon Musiket, the author of a column entitled ”Queer Eye” in the Bangkok Post. In his inaugural piece, Yanapon stated his intention to serve the “Thai LGBT community” by providing monthly LGBT stories on local scenes. 10 However, while Musiket has written about ‘policemen in ultra-tight uniforms’, ‘gay fashion designer Tom Ford’, “Lady Gaga’s parody, Lady Plara” and “ladyboys”, not a single story or news item about lesbians or bisexuals have been featured in his articles. Instances where transsexuals and kathoeys were mentioned in his pieces were all cases of MTF transsexuals.

Werakultawan S, Wannalak V (2008). Homosexual Space in Thai society: Media, ritual and daily life. PDF Download. Summary of the public discussion “Homosexual Space in Thai society:Media, ritual and daily life” held on 18 June 2008 at Lao Bookshop, Chiang Mai. The event was organized Heinrich Boell Foundation’s Southeast Asia Regional Office as part of its Gender Democracy program... Peter Jackson, Assoc. Prof. from the Australian National University, who has published a variety of works on gender and sexuality in Siam, began the discussion by tracing back to the time during the reigns of King Rama V and VI. Many adages in those days reflected succinctly the notion of homosexuality between men and men and women and women, i.e. “Mai Pah Deaw Kan (the same sexual persuasion)” or “Len Puan (“fooling around with the same sex”), “Len Swat (having sexual intercourse with the same sex)”...  As far as the link between identity and social space is concerned, Jackson had this to say; “At present, gays have gained more social space from appearing in media, pubs and bars. In the past when no one identified himself as a gay, there was of course no space for gays. In other word, our identity must be made known in society first through forming as a group, and then we shall gain our social space. In modern day villages, there are of course MSMs who do not identify themselves as gays. They may simply call themselves MSMs or just fall in love (with another man). There are also tomboys there. Asking if they know they are tomboys, they probably are not even aware of the term. They simply know they love those of the same gender. To ask if the space of homosexuality exists, one must be able to tackle issues concerning identity…”

Thailand military: the lovely conscripts (2010): Of the half million young Thai men facing military conscription lottery each year, most fear being drafted into grunthood. Best case scenario: Two years in a dull outpost. Worst case: Patrolling the southern Thai-Malay borderlands, where Islamic insurgents are notorious for beheading troops. But few fear the draft more than Thailand’s transgender “kathoeys.” Genetically male, mentally female, they regard conscription as a threat to their very being. Buzzing off a kathoey’s long locks and forcing her to go soldiering in the sun, Prempreeda said, is the cruelest of punishments. “No transgender would ever want to be in the army,” Prempreeda said. “They’ll cut your hair off. They’ll destroy your femininity. You will do everything you can to avoid it.”... Though Thailand’s Defense Ministry can still legally dismiss kathoey conscripts as mentally ill, Samart’s case has pressured the military into refraining from the most career-damaging classifications, at least in recent years. A September memorandum obtained by GlobalPost reveals that senior military officials are now recommending a new all-purpose phrase to reject transgender draftees. Translated, it reads, “This person’s body is not consistent with their birth sex.” The decision is not final. But many kathoeys are rooting for this phrasing. - Thailand's military struggles with a flood of transgender draftees (2010). - Thailand OKs Gay, Transsexual Soldiers (2005): Thailand has a draft but gays and transsexuals have been barred from serving under the "mental disorder" exemption. All Thai men at the age of 20 are required by law to register to serve. Recruits are selected through a lottery system, but each year thousands of LGBT draftees are rejected. Wednesday the military announced that it was removing homosexuality and transgenderism from its list of mental disorders following years of complaints from the LGBT community that the ban was discriminatory. The military said that the change was part of a program to keep up with a changing society. - How Trans Thai Kathoeys Escape Forced Military Service: Get Diagnosed With ‘Mental Disorder’ (2010). - Where the 'Ladyboys' Are (2008). - Kathoey Sex Workers and HIV Outreach in Thailand (2012).

Don't call me a lesbian: Tom-dee culture in Thailand (2010): Similar girl-girl couplings can be found all over the city. But please, don’t call them lesbians. They prefer less general monikers, more specifically 'toms' for tomboys and 'dees' for ladies. “A tom? You foreigners might call her a ‘lesbian’,” says Sudtida, while sweetly caressing Sujintorn’s palm. “But it’s different here. A tom is a woman who behaves like a man. They’re exactly like boys, only their bodies aren’t the same.” To be a 'tom' is to adopt the male gender role completely: wearing jeans and T-shirts, binding breasts to their chest and refusing, even in the bedroom, to disrobe and shatter the illusion of maleness. To be 'dee' is to girl-it-out to the max: lipstick, sparkly handbags and heels. A tom is like a guy -- but way better, say dees. Toms take them shopping, carry their bags and, in the bedroom, focus exclusively on pleasuring their dee. Returning an intimate touch to the tom is forbidden. 'The Tom will always win'. - Lesbian Chic: Gay women in Thailand push boundaries (2011): When she initially pitched the idea for Thailand's first lesbian movie, it was quickly shot down. Producers called the premise distasteful and said movie viewers would find the story line disgusting. After scrounging together funds for five years, director Saratsawadee Wongsomphet released "Yes or No" on an independent label to considerable acclaim. The film's recent success in outwardly tolerant but traditional-minded Thailand is part of a growing acceptance of lesbians under the influence of the Internet and fashion trends. These emboldened lesbians are not using Western-style activism. They are quietly pushing boundaries to find space for their lifestyle, harnessing pop culture and introducing a Thai variation of Lesbian Chic.

Thai Police Dismiss Murders of 15 Lesbians and 'Toms' As 'Love Gone Sour' (2012): "Love gone sour" is an unacceptable excuse, an easy dodge by the police to fulfill their responsibility to investigate and identify bias crime and persecute the offenders. To do so would bring justice for the victims and send a powerful message that discrimination and human rights violations will not be tolerated. Without this, the result is a message of disregard for the lives of LGBT people. - LGBT Human Rights Advocates Charge Thai Police Ignore Fifteen Killings of Lesbians and Toms, Dismiss as “Love Gone Sour” (2012): The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) this week wrote to the government of Thailand to express shock and outrage and demand an immediate investigation into the pattern of gruesome murders of lesbians and gender variant women–those who identify as toms, between 2006 and 2012. In a letter to Thailand’s Inspector General of Women’s Affairs and Family Development (which comes under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security), the Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, IGLHRC demanded that Thai police must stop dismissing the fifteen murders as crimes of passion, love gone wrong, or the fault of the victims. - Thailand: Violence Against Gay People (2009): The second annual Gay Pride Parade scheduled for February 21st in Chiang Mai, a popular destination in northern Thailand, was cancelled when the parade participants were locked in the compound where they were gathering and subjected to violence by the Rak Chiang Mai 51 political group, also known as the ‘red shirts’ for their attire. Parade participants were harassed, hurt, and prevented from leaving or entering the compound for 4 ½ hours while 150 police looked on. - Teaching Transgender Victims of Sexual Violence how to Access Legal Rights in Chiang Mai Thailand (2009, Video). - Thailand: Paradise Not  (on human rights and homophobia) (1998).

Cultural mainstreaming leaves MSM at high HIV risk (2011): Gay rights activists in Thailand say a unique combination of muted discrimination and cultural mainstreaming of the gay and transgender community is to blame for a dangerous lack of knowledge about HIV among gay and transgender persons, especially the youth. "There are no discrimination laws here against gay people, so a young gay Thai may feel like, 'My life is free, I can do anything I want,' when in reality, most gay people here live a double life, both with a straight male identity and with a gay identity," said Narupon Duangwises, a cultural anthropologist who works as a consultant with Bangkok Rainbow, an NGO that supports the gay community. Teenagers who identify as gay and transgender seamlessly blend with Bangkok's mainstream youth culture, spending their days at the city's popular, glitzy malls. At home, however, many find entertainment on the video chat service CamFrog, which they use to meet other young gay Thais, and sometimes as a platform to sell or buy sexual services. "Young people cannot go to bars, so they go on CamFrog. They don't know about HIV, because they don't learn [about it] in school," Nikorn Arthit, president of Bangkok Rainbow, which has begun an online HIV-educational campaign through CamFrog. "They are excited to be meeting people but they don't know how to protect themselves." - HIV-related risk behaviors among kathoey (male-to-female transgender) sex workers in Bangkok, Thailand (2012): Three quarters of the participants sent money to their families and 35% of the participants expressed their willingness to engage in unsafe sex when customers offer extra money. The qualitative interviews revealed that many identified as girl or kathoey in early age and had been exposed to transphobia and violence from father and brothers. Some reported support for gender transition from their mothers. More than half of the participants currently had difficulties in living as kathoey, such as challenges in the job market and relationship with family members. Family obligation for sending money and the Buddhist concept of karma were discussed in relation to risk behaviors among KSWs.. - Thailand: Male Sex worker needs support too (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 4, January-April): Phensiri Srichan, head of the AIDS and Venereal Disease Control Agency in Udon Thani, says the agency only recently included men in their pro-grammes. Previously, it fo-cused mostly on female sex workers, in this northeastern Thai province.

Trends in HIV Prevalence, Estimated HIV Incidence, and Risk Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Bangkok, Thailand, 2003–2007 (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 4, January-April): The acquired data sug-gest that after a strong increase from 17.3% in 2003 to 28.3% in 2005, the HIV prevalence among MSM attending venues in Bangkok may have begun to level off at around 30% in 2007. This pattern was consis-tent across all age groups and at all recruitment venues. This may imply that the increased pre-ventive interventions in the past several years may have been able to decrease HIV incidence... As for the risky behaviors, the proportion of men reporting anal sex and casual or steady male sex partners in the past 3 months significantly de-creased, whereas the proportion reporting drug use and drug use during sex signifi-cantly increased, and an increasing proportion of men reported ever having had an HIV test.. No in-crease was observed in the proportion of men reporting consistent condom use.

van Griensven F, Thanprasertsuk S, Jommaroeng R, Mansergh G, Naorat S, Jenkins RA, Ungchusak K, Phanuphak P, Tappero JW; Bangkok MSM Study Group (2005). Evidence of a previously undocumented epidemic of HIV infection among men who have sex with men in Bangkok, Thailand. AIDS, 19(5): 521-526. Abstract. PDF Download. HIV prevalence was 17.3% (194 of 1121). Mean age was 26.9 years (median 25 years), and university education was completed by 42.5%. Sex with men and women during the past 6 months was reported by 22.3%; sex with a woman ever, 36%; and unprotected sexual intercourse during the past 3 months, 36.0%. Alcohol use during the past 3 months was common (73.7%); drug use was rare (2.5%). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed lower education, recruitment from a park, self-identification as homosexual, receptive and insertive anal intercourse, more years since first anal intercourse, and more male sex partners to be significantly and independently associated with HIV prevalence. HIV infection is common among MSM in Bangkok. HIV prevention programs are urgently needed to prevent further spread of HIV in this young and sexually active population. - Why has the Thai HIV epidemic in men who have sex with men been so silent? (2005). - Same-sex behavior, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV risks among young northern Thai men (1995).

Chariyalertsak S, Kosachunhanan N, Saokhieo P, Songsupa R, Wongthanee A, Chariyalertsak C, Visarutratana S, Beyrer C (2011). HIV incidence, risk factors, and motivation for biomedical intervention among gay, bisexual men, and transgender persons in Northern Thailand. PLoS One, 6(9): e24295. PDF Download. PubMed abstract. A total of 551 MSM clients (56.1% gay, 25.4% TG, and 18.5% bisexual (BS)) were enrolled. The mean age was 23.9 years. HIV prevalence among MSM overall was 12.9% (71/551); 16.5% among gay men, 9.3% among TG, and 6.9% among BS. Consistent use of condom was low, 33.3% in insertive anal sex and 31.9% in receptive anal sex.

Tangmunkongvorakul A, Banwell C, Carmichael G, Utomo ID, Sleigh A (2010). Sexual identities and lifestyles among non-heterosexual urban Chiang Mai youth: implications for health. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 12(7): 827-841. PDF Download. Abstract. A focus of this paper is the blurred borders between normative and non-normative sex and gender roles among adolescent Thais. Here we report on a comprehensive analysis of diverse sexual/gender identities and cross-gender practices drawing upon a large questionnaire survey and on interviews with young people in diverse settings in Chiang Mai City. Stories from four non-heterosexual adolescents were selected to reflect their distinctive lifestyles and their problems as they saw them. Only one (Aom) had contact with a service regarding sexual health concerns. Ink and Linda mentioned that they received information on sexual and reproductive health from the internet and magazines. Consistent with previous research in Northern Thailand (see, for example, van Griensven et al. 2004), our survey results show that although most young Northern Thai people define themselves as heterosexual, a certain proportion of them are attracted to the same sex or to both sexes. Our study joins a growing body of research that shows that Thai discourses relating to sexual and gender identity are multiple (Jackson 2000, Sinnott 2004), fluid (Thaweesit 2004, Pramoj na Ayutthaya 2007) and relevant to Northern Thai adolescents. Moreover, our study suggests that non-heterosexual identities are more widespread among some categories of in-school adolescents and that young people are identifying with a sexual/gender identity which then influences their educational and career choices. However, the identities described by young people may be expressed without their having corresponding sexual experience.

Heterohomo: Thailand (Translation): En Thaïlande, des transsexuels rééduqués au monastère (2011). - Une compagnie aérienne recrute des transsexuels comme hôtesses (2011). Dudurcissement de la législation pour les transsexuels (2009). - Haruna, Miss transsexuelle, milite pour le respect des trans (2009). - Un touriste gay arrêté à Pattaya pour comportement obscène (2009). - Des cours de tenue bouddhique pour novices homosexuels (2009). - Les moines bouddhistes gay et trans rappelés à l’ordre (2009). - Les associations gay inquiètes des conditions dans lesquelles ont lieu les opérations de changement de sexe (2008). - La nouvelle constitution devrait finalement protéger les personnes LGBT (2007). - La Thaïlande a accueilli 2 000 gays pour une gay pride asiatique (2005). - Toilettes réservées aux transsexuels à l’université (2004). - Des policiers trop sexy (2003).

The Gay Scene in Thailand: Culture and Customs. - The "gay scene" as it related to gay tourists in Patong (2006). - Going gay after classes - Necessity forcing male students to sell bodies (Bangkok) (1999). - Pattaya Gay Festival. - Bangkok Gay Festival. .- Bangkok Pride Coalition: is a membership group made up of individuals, community-based organizations, and Bangkok businesses. The purpose the organization is to organize entertainment and information events that promote a positive image of the gay and lesbian community in Bangkok and to raise money for community needs. The group first organized in 2001 to plan events to coincide with the Bangkok Gay Festival and Parade.  - Bangkok's 2006 Gay Pride Festival. - Phuket hosts the biggest gay party in Asia. - Gay Rights in Thailand 2007. - A new dawn awaits Thailand’s gay & ladyboy community (2007). - hsts in Singapore (2004): In Singapore and most of SE Asia where I'm from... transgirls like myself mostly start off as gay boys first... and then later branch away from the gay community to transition as women. It is loosely termed as the sisterhood here because the girls here hang out together a lot, both for guidance from older sisters and friendship...

A Boy’s Journey to Sex Work (2007): Eak, a male escort, still appreciates what he gained inside the monastery. He learned the Thai language and started to read Buddhist scriptures, but most of all, he found shelter and refuge from two more familiar companions: fear and death. In fact, 10 years ago, before he fled across the border and became a monk, his hill village in the troubled Shan states of north-east Burma had already been forcibly evacuated, reducing his home to a makeshift tent in the jungle. “Since my childhood, I have little taste of freedom and happiness,” he says, gazing into a swarm of dirty scooters on the sun-bleached boulevard. He can still remember how as a small boy, he saw the killing and rape of his fellow villagers by Burmese soldiers. Local resistance groups in the Shan states were fighting for self-determination... Like many others in the Shan states, Eak’s parents rely on the cash he sends home from Thailand. Eak told them he is working in a restaurant. He last visited them three years ago -- as a shaven-headed monk, reunited with his family for the first and only time in 10 years. Eak’s girlfriend, also of Tai Yai ethnic origin, knows only too well that he is not waiting on tables. They met in Chiang Mai and, according to Eak, she feels all right about his occupation as long as he protects himself. “I remember to use a condom almost every time I have sex with clients,” he says. How often is “almost every time”? Nine out of ten, he says, and smiles. The male sex workers of Chiang Mai have an HIV infection rate of 11.4 percent, according to a 2005 survey. Nearly half are of Tai Yai origin and come from the Shan states. The Shan are in high demand for their unique physical features. Of the more than 30 boys at Eak’s club, about 80 percent, are Tai Yai... 

 Thailand wants to retain 'most gay-friendly' title (2004). - Thai Beau: Behind the door in gay Bangkok (1999). - Lesbians in Thailand Speak Out (1998). - Thai Lesbian Group to Campaign in Schools (2000). - The fluidity of Thai women's gendered and sexual subjectivities (2004). - Thai Gay Cultures (1999). - Mixed reviews for bangkok gay parade (2003). - Thaïlande, un paradis fragile (2004, Translation). - Talk About Sexuality in Thailand: Notion, Identity, Gender Bias, Women, Gay, Sex Education and Lust (2004, Book, Full Text, PDF Download). - From Transgender in Thailand N/A: (T0 2002, Archive Link) - Queer in Thailand (1999). - Thai Transvestites, Gays Protest TV Clampdown (1999). - Nightlife in Bangkok: Gay & Lesbian Scene. - The Prevalence of Bisexual and Homosexual Orientation and Related Health Risks Among Adolescents in Northern Thailand (2004, Abstract): The male had a slightly higher in homosexual contact than the females (10.2% vs 9.1%)... We conclude that HB adolescents in northern Thailand are at greater and different health risks than are their heterosexual counterparts. Differential health education messages for HB and heterosexual youth are warranted... - Sexual Behavior of Secondary School Students in Bangkok Metropolis. - Sexual coercion among adolescents in northern Thailand: Prevalence and associated factors (2003). - The prevalence of bisexual and homosexual orientation and related health risks among adolescents in northern Thailand (2004): Homo- or bisexual (HB) adolescents may have greater and different health risks than the population of heterosexual adolescents. We assessed sexual orientation and health risk behaviors in 1,725 consenting 15- to 21-year-old vocational school students in northern Thailand. Data were collected using audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing. Nine percent of males and 11.2% of females identified themselves as homo- or bisexual. HB males had an earlier mean age at sexual debut (14.7 years) and a higher mean number of lifetime sexual partners (7.9) than did heterosexual males (16.8 years and 5.8 partners, respectively). HB males (25.9%) and females (32.2%) were sexually coerced more often than were heterosexual males (4.6%) and females (19.6%). - Thai transgenders in focus : Demographics, transitions and identities (2006). - Bodies, beaches and bars: negotiating heterosexual masculinity in southern Thailand's tourism industry (2008).

Thai Sexuality Keywords (2007, PDF Download): Terms used in sexuality discourse are often taken from English, which can be problematic as it then excludes local concepts that may actually be quite rich and useful for sexual and reproductive health work in the region. The Southeast Asian and Chinese Key Words Project, led by Dr. Michael Tan of the University of the Philippines, aims to return to the basics and look at what is being said about sex and sexuality out in the streets, in homes and in places of worship. It aims to identify gender and sexuality keywords in local languages and map them out according to four categories: gender, sexual anatomy, sexual activities and sexuality. Additionally, the Thailand Key Words Project aims to provide an analysis of Thai key words in accordance with four thematic areas: one’s own sexual culture, cross-cultural differences in sexual cultures, social construction of sexual cultures and sexuality, and the power of language in reinforcing or in changing sexual cultures. A sample of Thai project findings can be presented in four pairs as follows: ... 4. From Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) to Chay Rak Chay (CRC). ‘Chay Rak Chay’ literally means men who love men and is used to replace the word MSM. CRC was initially created by activists aiming to advocate sexual rights of homosexuals and to change the sexual stereotype on MSMs and later was used widely among communities working to halt HIV/AIDS.

Laphimon M, Boonmongkon P, Sanhajariya N, Samakkeekarom R, Saithong S (2008). Thailand Sexuality Keywords. PDF Download. Each of the research team member conducted preliminary web-based study plus a review of local literature e.g. local newspapers, magazines etc. The researcher had then come up with list of frequently used terms and or controversial sexuality keywords in Thai for further study. Collectively, the research team had listed out the proposed keywords and mapped them out according to a set clusters: gender (as a term in itself) and gender categories, anatomy, sexual activities, and sexuality... 1. Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย)  1.1. Non-Stigmatized Term Preferred. According to Danai Linjongrat of the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, the term Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย), men who love men, is inclusive of heterosexual men who with conditioning have sex with men, gay men, male sex workers, transgender, and bisexual male... When this term “MSM” was firstly introduced, and translated into Thai, it was literally translated from the English to “Chay Tee Mee Ped Sampun Kab Chay (ชายที่มีเพศสัมพันธ์กับชาย)”. But Thai gay activists had advocated that such Thai translations failed to provide adequate, and accurate meanings of sexual relations among MSM. They had argued that the relations of MSM are not only limited to casual sex, but are also “filled with intimacy and commitment” as heterosexual relations pertained. Thus the first translation was dropped and shifted to “Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย)”. The term has then been used interchangeably with the loan word-MSM which is an English acronym of men who have sex with men.... Furthermore, the term “Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย)” is pointed out how the sexual rights and HIV/AIDS activists have successfully seized an opportunity, and utilized the power of language to embed a subjectivity dimension of meanings. Thus Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย) discourse has lessened the ‘otherness notion’, but displayed clearer a diverse humanism, and other aspects of various patterns of human relations e.g. romantic love, commitment, intimacy, sex etc. It helps recreate acceptability and positive attitude towards a so-called Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย). It helps to assert that Chay Rak Chay (ชายรักชาย) is a matter of sexual orientation, people’s choice, diverse life styles, and another aspect and meaning of human sexuality which exists in our society.

'I'm saving Thailand's gay history' (2007, Alternate Link):  In 1983 I [Isabel Berwick]was an Australian PhD student visiting Thailand to do research on Buddhism when, by chance, the first Thai-language gay magazine appeared on the newsstands. I bought it, and since then I have built up a personal collection of about 2,000 Thai gay magazines. Now, with funding from the Australian Research Council, I am developing an archive in Bangkok of gay culture and literature. I am doing this to give something back to the Thai gay and transgender community, whose members I have been interviewing and studying for the past 25 years. I am an associate professor in Thai history at the Australian National University, and the archive will help younger gay and transgender people in Thailand, now in their 20s and 30s, who want to study their own history. The magazines are a unique record of how gay culture has developed in Thailand. My aim is to develop the Thai Queer Resources Centre as an archive that can eventually be donated to a university in Thailand for safekeeping. There's a rich history in these magazines, and apart from a few private collectors in Thailand, no-one has kept them. The police regularly destroy gay magazines - as supposedly pornographic - and mount raids on newsstands. The previous political regime of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had conservative moral policies, and magazines and other gay businesses were often raided. Somewhat ironically, since the military coup that overthrew Thaksin in September 2006, the climate for homosexual people has improved markedly. There's been a boom in gay businesses, including new gay magazines... - Celebrating a diverse society: Gender-bending culture makes Thailand a unique place (2011).

Jackson PA (2009). Global Queering and Global Queer Theory: Thai [Trans]genders and [Homo]sexualities in World History. Autrepart (49): 15-30. Abstract. PDF Download. This study draws on recent research on Asia to revisit theories of global queering : the international proliferation of gay, lesbian, and transgender identities. Common misunderstandings about global queering are countered and accounts that describe new non-Western queer identities as radiating from the West are challenged. Globalising capitalism is not leading to an Americanising homogenization of world sexual cultures. Rather, transnational commonalities and cross-cultural differences are emerging together as equally salient effects of the spread of market economies. Studies of Thai queer history confirm the importance of the market but also reveal the strength of local agency in the emergence of new queer identities. Understanding the proliferation of queer identities beyond the West requires a reassessment of Western queer theory. A hybridised method drawing on Foucault, Trumbach, and D ’Emilio is proposed as a starting point for a transnational history of global queering.

Thailand, gayness, bar boys and sex tourism (2002). - Chiang Mai, Thailand - It's a Quieter Boys' Night Out (2001). - Condom cabaret in Bangkok: Gays in Thailand are finding humorous - and sexy ways of preventing AIDS (1989). - Thai AIDS Activists Win Round Against Bristol-Myers Squibb (2002). -  Male Sex Workers Face HIV Risks, but Get Less Attention (2002). - Homosexuality is not a disease, says Thai government (2003): The government of Thailand has belatedly agreed that homosexuality is not a disease. The recent statement comes after lobbying by Anjaree, Thailand's leading group campaigning for gay rights. - Bangkok gay activists defend city's gay destination reputation (2004). - Bangkok’s MSM HIV Explosion – Precursor for Asia’s Mega-cities? (2006) Part 1, Part 2.

Thai Buddhist accounts of male homosexuality and AIDS in the 1980s (1995, Thai Sexuality in the Age of AIDS: Essays in Memory of Robert Ariss) -  by Peter Anthony Jackson. - The Persistence of Gender: From Ancient Indian Pandakas to Modern Thai Gay-Quings (1996) - by Peter A. Jackson. - Performative Genders, Perverse Desires: A Bio-History of Thailand's Same-Sex and Transgender Cultures (2003). - Gay vs. ‘Kathoey’: Homosexual Identities in Thailand: PDF Download (2002, Alternate Link). - Thesis Abstract: "The Theme of Homosexuality in Thai Novels, 1973-1982" by Pinijvararak.

Gays No Longer 'Sick' In Thailand (2002). - Homophobia in Thailand (1997). - Sex Issues in Thailand (2001): ""While in general Thailand has one of the world's more liberal sexual cultures in terms of public tolerance of homosexual and transgender men and women, pockets of intense homophobia do exist. In conducting research on homosexuality in Thailand over the past decade, Dr. Peter Jackson found that Thai academia and areas of the public sector support rabidly anti-gay, anti-lesbian and anti-kathoey (transvestite / transsexual) attitudes and practices that are often out of step with the more tolerant attitudes of the general population.....While an overgeneralisation, homosexual people in most situations are free to lead private lives as gay men and lesbians without interference, provided they do not come out. However, when someone openly identifies as being gay or lesbian, then intense indirect pressures can be applied from bosses, colleagues, friends and family to make life very difficult or even intolerable." (From a web-site article by Dr Peter Jackson in connection with The Rajabhat Institutes decision (now rescinded - see below under Employment) to bar homosexual students from enrolling in teachers colleges). - Spurning Alphonso Lingis' Thai 'Lust': The Perils of a Philosopher at Large (1999).

Sex: younger and more often (2004, Alternate Link):  High rates of HIV infection (between six and twenty-seven percent) were also revealed, both among soldiers who had had sex with men and among male sex workers in Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, this information did not catalyse widespread information campaigns for men who have sex with men in the region – or anywhere else in Thailand - and even today little information on HIV/AIDS is targeted at gay men... But not only army recruits had experience. A 1999 survey of over 1,700 students between the ages of 15 and 21 in Chiang Rai showed that nine percent of the young men and eleven percent of the young women identified themselves as homo- or bisexual. It also confirmed that homo- / bisexual youths tended to have had more partners than their heterosexual counterparts - partners who were mostly of a similar age to themselves. Furthermore, there appeared to be much less pressure on them to "perform" with women than with the previous generation, for whom a girlfriend or a visit to a brothel was almost an imperative rite of passage. These figures suggest that young men are becoming sexually active earlier. Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence suggests other change. Thirty years ago in Chiang Mai, a friend tells me, young heterosexual men went to public parks to have sex with men because their girlfriends were virgins and they could not afford to pay a woman. Today, at least one in every two Thai girls under twenty has sexual experience, which would suggest that fewer young heterosexual men would seek sex with men. Nevertheless some still head for the parks, not from physical need but to make money for such "necessities" as a mobile phone or to pay off gambling debts. The Chiang Rai survey also reveals that one in four homo- / bisexual youths had been subject at least once to sexual coercion - and of these almost forty percent had been raped...

A 1999 Issue of The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services dedicated to homosexuality issues in Thailand. (Commentary): Abstracts for "Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand": A Panoply of Roles: Sexual and Gender Diversity in Contemporary Thailand. - Same-Sex Sexual Experience in Thailand. - HIV/AIDS Projects with and for Gay Men in Northern Thailand. - Increasingly Gay Self-Representations of Male-Male Sexual Experiences in Thailand. - Masculinity and Tom Identity in Thailand. - Transformations of Transgender: The Case of the Thai Kathoey. - Rehearsing Gender and Sexuality in Modern Thailand: Masculinity and Male-Male Sex Behaviours. - The Friends Thou Hast: Support Systems for Male Commercial Sex Workers in Pattaya, Thailand. - Between Money, Morality and Masculinity: Bar-Based Male Sex Work in Chiang Mai. Also published in book form:   Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand edited by Peter A. Jackson and Gerard Sullivan (Google Books) (Review) (Abstract). .

Transgenderism in the Thai Buddhist Tradition. - Why are there so many kathoey in Thailand? by Sam Winter (2002-2010). -  Transgenderism and northern Thai spirit mediumship (2002). - Male, Female and Transgender : Stereotypes and Self in Thailand (2002). - Phuket Plastic Surgery Center, Thailand: Articles (2002).  - Transsexual, Law and Medicine in Thailand by Sanguan Kunaporn (2001, Alternate Link, Journal of Asian Sexology). - The Lovely Ladies of Doctor Sanguan (2001): "Nestled in the tropical forest of Phuket is one of Thailand's best kept secrets-an international hospital which turns men into lovely women." - Jirayut Roddon won the man of her dreams by changing gender (2005): Thai transsexuals are pushing the boundaries of acceptance and are finding success, happiness and love.

Transgender in Thailand web site N/A. (Archive Link) (Site Contents N/A) (Archive Link) - Transgender in Thailand: Links. by Matzner, A. (Not dated, but to about 2008) - In the beginning: northern Thai creation mythology (1991). - The Politics of Re-Presentation: An Analysis of Western Academic Treatments of Male Transgenderism in Thailand (2002). - In Legal Limbo: Thailand, Transgendered Men, and the Law (1999). "Bodies, Choices, Rights": A Look at the Thai Lesbian Movement. (1999, Alternate Link) - Into the Light: The Thai Lesbian Movement Takes a Step Forward (1998).

Her Own Woman (2002): Does your body belong to you? For transsexual and renowned makeup artist Pansit Sukarom, aka Pok, it definitely did not. She experienced excruciating pain before the happy realisation that her body belonged to her - and not to society.. - Masculinity and Tom Identity in Thailand (1999): Thai lesbian women engage local cultural meanings of masculinity in the creation of personal identities. Lesbian identity in Thailand is largely framed in terms of “butch-femme” gender role-playing, with the masculine woman referred to as tom and the feminine woman dee. - Heterogeneity in Transgender: A Cluster Analysis of a Thai Sample (2005). - Thailand Intimacy & Healthy (Adult) Sexuality Research Report (1999). - An explosion of Thai identities: global queering and re-imagining queer theory (2000). - Drug-using MSM and transgendered Katoey in Thailand require culturally appropriate HIV and Hepatitis C targeted prevention (2005).

High HIV incidence for Thai men who have sex with men; many acquiring HIV in their early twenties (2010): Among young Thai men who have sex with men, 6 in 100 acquire HIV each year. With the average age at infection being 26, this explosive epidemic is affecting a far younger group of men than the gay epidemics in Western countries. These are the headline findings of the first three years of a study to monitor HIV incidence, reported by Frits van Griensven to the Eighteenth International AIDS Conference in Vienna on Tuesday. More encouragingly, a second study from Thailand, reported the same day, suggested that HIV prevalence could be declining in men who have sex with men, after having peaked at about 30% in 2007. - Adaptation of Venue-Day-Time Sampling in Southeast Asia to Access Men Who Have Sex with Men for HIV Assessment in Bangkok (2006). - Demographic and Behavioral Correlates of HIV Risk among Men and Transgender Women Recruited from Gay Entertainment Venues and Community-based Organizations in Thailand: Implications for HIV Prevention (2012).

Male Sex Workers Need Support Too (2007): But whether they get into the sex trade by choice or learn to accept it, these men need to be given priority in programmes that educate them on how to reduce risks of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), health experts and activists say... For instance, Phensiri Srichan, head of the AIDS and Venereal Disease Control Agency of the Public Health Office in Udon Thani, says the agency only recently included men in their programmes. Previously, it focused mostly on a large number of female sex workers, in this north-eastern Thai province. After a study showed a high incidence of HIV due to unprotected sex, the agency revised its policies and started including male commercial sex workers in its target groups. Most of them are Thais, but Phensiri says there are likely to be some also from nearby Laos. The men receive advice on how to protect themselves from infection, and are given condoms and information on where they could go for blood tests and other health needs. Still, the agency's health programme focuses only on commercial sex workers in gay bars, but not freelancers. Because freelance sex workers -- those who may accept commercial sex transactions in addition to other work like waiting on tables -- are not easy for health workers to reach, they often remain largely ignorant of safer sex practices and can inadvertently transmit HIV and other diseases. "It's hard to get to these groups. We’re trying our best although our office is only in its initial stages," Phensiri explains...  The other groups that are often left out of support schemes are members of ethnic minority groups and migrants. This happens in places like Chiang Mai, according to Montien Phromlatthisorn, who is manager of MPlus, a non-government group working with the gay community and male sex workers.

Peter A Jackson N/A, Home Page: History of the Thai Sex/Gender System N/A. - The Persistence of Gender: From Ancient Indian Pandakas to Modern Thai Gay-Quings (1996).- Gay-Quings (2006): Bangkok’s gay and kathoey (transvestite/transsexual) subcultures are among the largest and most vibrant homoerotic subcultures in Asia.But while pride in masculine homosexual identity is common to Western and Thai formulations of gayness, there is much about being gay in Thailand that Western gay men would find foreign and unexpected. In this paper I suggest that contemporary attitudes to homosexuality and transgenderism derive from an ancient and distinctively Thai cultural source. Historical linguistic evidence suggests that prior to the 13th century AD, when the Thais adopted Buddhism, Thai language and culture lacked a concept of non-normative male sexuality that did not at the same time involve culturally ascribed cross-gender behaviour. The Buddhist scriptures, often called the Pali canon, include examples of gender-normative male homosexuality among monks and among others, but in Thai these men are consistent ly misread as being kathoeys, transvestites or transsexuals. Pali, a close relative of Sanskrit, is the classical language of Theravada Buddhism. Indeed, it appears that Buddhist teachings have not had sufficient cultural power in Thailand to supplant indigenous sex/gender conceptions, and that instead there has been a consistent historical misreading of the Buddhist scriptures... In the past two decades, however, there has been an explosion of new bisexual and homosexual identities in Thailand, with a range of new nouns entering the Thai language to denote new forms of sexual and gendered being. These new identities include the bai (from ‘bisexual’)or seua-bai (Literally: ‘bi-tiger’, denoting a masculine bisexual male), the gay-king (denoting an active and presumed masculine homosexual male) and the gay-queen (denoting a passive and presumed feminine homosexual male). Since the late 1980s an intermediate category between the gay-king and gay-queen has also come into being, the gay-quing, whose identity is marked by his sexual versatility. All of these new terms draw on English sources, but they have been playfully reformulated within the Thai linguistic and sex/gender systems to mark distinctively Thai configurations of male gender and sexuality...

Nong Toom: Kathoey Kickboxer: "The idea of a "lady boy" beating the crap out of some bruiser appealed to the general public's appetite for incongruity, and Nong Tum quickly became a hot media item. Unlike the katoey volleyball players who had been denied spots on the national team because government officials feared what the rest of the world would think, Nong Tum appeared to be embraced by the Muay Thai establishment." - Cross-Dressing Kickboxer Is a Big Hit in Thailand (1998). - Thailand to turn out transsexual boxer film (2001). - Thai film strikes blow for 'lady-boys' (2003). - Katoeys - "Lady Boys": A Big Difference Between a Transsexual and a Transvestite. - Thai "Ladyboy" Kickboxer Is Gender-Bending Knockout (2004). - Man enough to be a woman: a Thai transgender kickboxer is at the center of an amazing true story that's now a movie (2005). - Kathoey. - Thailand's "Women of the Second Kind" (2002).

Building Kathoei and Gay Communities Rights Movement in Thailand (Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya, Independent Scholar) (2005, Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "In Thailand men who have sex with men (MSM) can be divided into two groups on the basis of identity, kathoei (male-to-female transgenders and transsexuals) and gay. In recent years many sectors have begun to support MSM in various creative activities. However, these activities are not varied or spread over the complete way of life of Thai MSM. For the example, activities with a health focus emphasizing HIV/AIDS prevention and the distribution of free condoms may reproduce negative stereotypes that MSM are sexually promiscuous people who spread dangerous diseases. Too much focus on this health activity (which is still important) may obscure other equally important issues, such as how to improve society’s understanding of kathoei and gay, the human rights of kathoei and gay, and the potential of MSM to provide benefits to Thai society. This raises the question: in Thailand what issue can motivate kathoei and gay to join together in useful activities to achieve the above goals? Today, kathoei and gay groups still do not join together in a united way. The issue of human rights and dignity is an issue that all MSM share in common. In this paper I will explore whether the promotion of their common rights and human dignity can become the basis for joint activism between Thai kathoei and gay groups."

Ambivalent Attitudes to Thailand’s Kathoey (Richard Totman, Independent Scholar) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Fag hags, women who associate with gay men and participate in gay cultural activities, have been part of Western and Filipino queer culture for some time. This paper discusses three research investigations that examine the fag hag phenomenon in the Philippines using various approaches. In one study using interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires, we explored the general development and dynamics of friendships between straight women and gay men. Another study utilized focus group methodology to examine the components that comprise the Filipino fag hag social identity. Finally, from the perspective of personality psychology, we constructed a profile of the traits that are shared by haggy women and that set them apart from other women. Based on the findings of these studies, we developed a tentative conceptual model which suggests that women with certain personality characteristics form a reciprocal attraction with gay men. This leads them to develop close friendships with gay men and in turn fashion a fag hag identity within Filipino queer culture. On-going work and further directions for our fag hag research program are also discussed, including experimental tests of our fag/hag reciprocal attraction model, a stereotype content study to compare cognitive representations of haggy women and of gay men, and other investigations of fag hag experiences in the context of Filipino and possibly other Asian queer cultures."

A problem of image: Life in Thailand's twilight zone (1998): Mention the word katoey and Thais immediately think of the slightly soiled image of the feminine end of the gay spectrum - the man dolled up as woman, the limp wrist and exaggerated postures of the lady-boy. But as Thai gays seek a higher level of social acceptance, so the country's transvestites and transsexuals are trying to cast off their image as the unacceptable face of homosexuality... Still, all is not well in the sexual twilight zone. Trapped in the wrong gender, sometimes desperate to make the change from male to female, katoey are often prone to depression, anger and rash behavior. A minority turn to prostitution, others to crime. According to Peter Jackson, author of Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality in Thailand, a large percentage of Thai transsexuals kill themselves."

Will Any Thai Guy Have Sex with Another Guy? N/A - "Now, on to your inquiry. Believe it or not, the question of whether Thai men, regardless of sexual orientation, engage in sex with other men more frequently than other populations has been raised for many years. Many Thai gay men, in fact, believe that even straight Thai men will have sex with another man, given the right circumstances. Gay men, whether foreign or Thai, are astonished that ostensibly heterosexual men working as freelance sex workers or as hosts in Thailand's gay bars can not only perform sexually but do so with breathtaking abandon." - More family men paying for gay sex: Thai study (2003). - Prostitution in Thailand. - Age and Attraction N/A. - “Love”: The Price of Education & Age Differences N/A. - Nasty Gays & Finding a Boyfriend N/A. (Uncle E Article Index N/A).

Research in Progress (1999):  A Night Out with the Boys: The discursive and sexual practices surrounding bar-based male sex work in Bangkok, Thailand... Set in the context of the Thai HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Thai Government’s bold response to HIV/AIDS prevention and care and the recent economic crisis in Thailand, this study focuses on the discursive and sexual interactions among bar-based male sex workers in Bangkok, the management of the bars in which they work and the workers’ regular male customers (2000: Annual Report 2000  -National Centre in HIV Social Research).

Grieger, Matthew T (2011). Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Sex Work, Exploitation, and Labor Among Young Akha Men in Thailand. Master's Dissertation, George Washington University. PDF Download. One intention of this thesis is to help steer some of the discussion toward the exploitation of young men since the trafficking discourse is overwhelmingly focused on women and girls. I argue that the respondents in my study have endured sexual exploitation, labor trafficking, and various forms of harassment and discrimination because their limited formal education, underdeveloped Thai language ability, and ethnic minority status greatly constrain their licit and safe economic opportunities... I spent one month in northern Thailand in July-August 2011 interviewing 12 young Akha men, between the ages of 18-25. The Akha comprise one of Thailand’s highland, or hill tribe, ethnic minority peoples. I employed a range of ethnographic research methods such as in-depth interviews with the 12 respondents, informal observation of them and their peers during their daily activities at their daytime drop-in center, and further observation in the target bars of Chiang Mai’s night bazaar where many of them engage in various types of work. I also interviewed staff at seven Thai and Akha organizations in Thailand that work on issues related to exploitation, human rights, and citizenship. The results of my field work yielded evidence that challenges four instances of conventional wisdom. To begin, my research demonstrates that members of this population do engage in sex work – a fact not always readily acknowledged or understood. In the first test to conventional wisdom I show that obtaining Thai citizenship is not a panacea for all of one’s problems. Second, I demonstrate that even though my respondents do not neatly fit into a dominant vision of an “appropriate victim,” they are indeed affected by exploitation, despite possessing great agency. Third, my research establishes that free public education itself does not reduce human trafficking. Lastly, this thesis suggests that there is a relationship between labor exploitation and commercial sexual exploitation.

Chemlali H, Sadat S, Smith H, Garcevic B, Bosboom C (2011). “Oh-ih, you sexy man, I fuck you for fif-ty baht!” - A study on the phenomenon of Lady Boys in Thailand. International Social Science Basic Studies, 2nd Semester, 2011 – Project Examination. PDF Download. The motivation for us to do this project is the fascination of how Thai men undergo a sex reassignment surgery; why they construct an identity completely different from the original and whether it is interconnected with the sex-tourism in Thailand. Our interest lies in the complexity of changing one’s body from your original gender, male-to-female, and how one deals with their everyday life. The interest also includes the urge for us to research the conflicts that they are having with their identity and how the huge annual influx of tourists keeps the phenomenon running, without any indignation and outrage, from both the locals, and the tourist. The phenomenon of ladyboys is considered a taboo in most parts of the world, which therefore is felt with prejudice and is a rather untouched subject... The ladyboys are testing our old-school classic perception of femininity and masculinity. Through the many phases of interaction they are sabotaging the otherwise usual framework and conceptions about sex and sexuality as being something natural given, eternal and that is defined in relation to the "father, mother and child" model. But paradoxically, this is done simultaneously without breaking with the traditional notion of the feminine and masculine. This form of “third gender” is not on academic theories or sexual political agendas. It is about sex, money, love, seduction, romance, dreams, masks, illusions and roles that at first glance resembles the usual and most accepted form of interaction between a man and woman, but underneath the surface has its own story.

Performing Sexual Identity: Naming and Resisting 'Gayness' in Modern Thailand (1999). - An American Death in Bangkok: The Murder of Darrell Berrigan and the Hybrid Origins of Gay Identity in 1960s Thailand - by Peter A. Jackson (1999): "Before the 1960s male homoerotic relations in Thailand were structured within discourses that ascribed masculine [phu-chai] and feminine/effeminate [kathoey] gender positions to same-sex partners. This gendered pattern was reinforced by a number of related oppositions, such as senior-junior and inserter-insertee, that established a power hierarchy between a masculine, senior "man" and his feminized, junior kathoey partner. Notions of class and social status were also important in marking the kathoey-"man" distinction; kathoey were commonly thought of as low-class social riffraff. In contrast, gay marked the emergence of a more prestigious form of male homoeroticism in which both partners assumed a masculine gender identity and to some extent participated in the higher status accorded the Thai "man." - GLBTQ: Bangkok.

Cinema and Homosexual Identity in Thailand: Discourses and Politics of Homosexuality (Tertsak Romjumpa, Independent Scholar) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Movies provide good reflections of local understandings of male homosexuality in Thailand. This is especially the case for movies made by male homosexual directors, who have grown up in the context of the construction of knowledge about male homosexuality in Thailand. In 1987 the movie Chan Phu-Chai Na Ya (I’m a man) was very popular and highly successful. This movie was a Thai adaptation of Mart Crowley’s Boys in the Band by Dr.Seri Wongmontaa, the most famous male homosexual in Thailand at that time. In 2003 the gay/kathoey cheerleader comedy Wai Boom, Cheer Kraheum Lok (Boom! The cheer that shook the world) by gay director Potch Arnonda cast famous stars. These two movies represent the changing self-understanding of Thai male homosexuals in the different decades in which they were made. In this paper I argue that the homosexual themes of these movies reflect the embedded knowledge of male homosexuality in Thai society that has been produced by three key institutions: Buddhist religion, the medical profession and academic research. The discourses of these three domains represent homosexuality as sinful, mental perversion and deviant behaviour, respectively. These discourses do not merely represent dominant explanations of the causes homosexuality. They have also been fundamental to the development of homosexual politics in Thailand."

An explosion of Thai identities: global queering and re-imagining queer theory (2000, Alternate Link): This paper reflects on recent research on Thai discourses of gender and eroticism in order to problematize some of the universalist assumptions that have dominated discussion of the international proliferation of forms of erotic diversity. By mapping the proliferation of Thai gender/sex categories from the 1960s to the 1980s, the paper shows that Thai homoeroticisms are not converging towards Western models and points to the cultural limits of Foucauldian-modelled histories of sexuality. In particular, it demonstrates the inability of Foucauldian history of sexuality, and queer theoretical approaches drawing on Foucault, to account for shifts in Thai discourses in which gender and sexuality do not exist as distinct categories. Only when current feminist theories of gender and queer theories of sexuality are integrated so as to offer a unified account of the eroticization of gender, and the gendering of eroticism, will Western theoretical models be capable of mapping shifts in non-Western patterns of eroticism. - Gender identities in Thailand (Wikipedia). - Kathoey (Wikipedia).

Sinnott M (2002). Gay vs. ‘Kathoey’: Homosexual Identities in Thailand. IIAS Newsletter, 29, November. PDF Download. Download Page. ‘Homosexuality’ (rak-ruampheet) is a mid-twentieth-century addition to the Thai vocabulary but islargely understood as existing within this model of gender inversion represented by the kathoey (Jackson 1997). Therefore, homosexuals are commonly understood to be emotional kathoey, such as men who feel they are women, or women who feel they are men. In the past three decades, some homosexual Thai men have formed a personal identity that distances itself from the transgendered kathoey. These men use the English term ‘gay’ as a positive self-referent in which they position themselves as extensions of a transnational gay identity. However, even within this gay identity are referents to gendered positions. While these distinctions may not be obvious to the general Thai population, gay men often mark themselves as masculine or feminine in terms of sexual roles, appearance, and mannerisms (Jackson 1995)...

Winter S (2003). Language and Identity in Transgender: gender wars and the case of the Thai kathoey. PDF Download. In this paper I will examine the conflict as reflected in four areas ( a ) the overall emphasis upon physical or mental reality in questions of maleness and femaleness, ( b ) perceptions of MtFs as male or female, or indeed a third category, ( c ) views of MtFs as homosexual or heterosexual, ( d ) notions of MtFs as ‘wrong’ minds or bodies, as well as disordered or different. In each case I will outline the viewpoints that are expressed in the West (to be honest, the English-speaking West), and then outline the viewpoints that one comes across in a culture very different to the West, unusual (if not unique) both in terms of the numbers of people living as transgenders (our observations indicate that as many as one male in every 170 may be living as a transgender), as well as in terms of the commonlyheld perceptions of what transgender is. That culture is Thailand. The transgenders there are called by many names (more of that later), but I shall refer to them by one of the most widely used – kathoey.

Altman, Dennis (2004). Sexuality and Globalization. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 1(1): 63-68. PDF Download. Globalization has an impact on all aspects of life, including the construction, regulation and imagination of sexuality and gender. This paper aims to suggest some of the ways in which this impact is occurring, primarily in the developing world, with some emphasis on questions of HIV, sexual identity, and human and sexual rights. In issues of sexuality, as in other spheres, globalization increases inequalities, acting both as a liberatory and an oppressive influence... Defenders of globalization claim that it is ensuring an increase in individual freedoms and affluence. An analysis of whether such an increase is apparent at the level of sexuality and gender is a significant test of these claims, and a reminder that massive social change almost always has both victors and casualties. It also reminds us that globalization does not necessarily mean homogenization. To end where I began: in Thailand, as in most Asian countries, one can find men who identify as “gay,” and there are numerous venues in Bangkok which are immediately recognizable as part of a global gay world. At the same time many other Thai men identity as kathoey, a particular sort of effeminate man who approximates, but is not the same as a “nelly queen,” as depicted in the very successful Thai film Iron Ladies. Globalization means greater diversity within as well as between nations, but it certainly does not eliminate cultural differences.

Khng, Russell Heng Hiang (2004). Gay Citizens and the Singaporean State: Global Forces, Local Agencies, and Activism in an Asian Polity. In: Documentations, Papers and Reports of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, No. 7: Asian Modernity – Globalization Processes and Their Cultural and Political Location. Documentation of a workshop of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, held on July 6th 2004 in Berlin. Published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. PP. 69-79. PDF Download. This paper on gay activism in Singapore addresses a larger theme of globalization and examines the premise that globalization leads to an oppressive homogeneity around the world, as the many critics of globalization have charged. Researchers writing on gay issues have engaged the question of globalization in a similar vein. They center their analysis on a distinctive homosexual culture with many common features of lifestyle and consumption that appears to be spreading around the world from its sources in Western metropolitan centers. They call this “global queering.” However, while acknowledging that some form of global queering is taking place, queer study literature is rather circumspect about extreme claims that this will lead to a homogeneous gay culture around the world regardless of local traditions and realities. For example, the works of Denis Altman (Altman 1995, 1996) on Asia, and Peter Jackson (Jackson 2001) on Thailand, and Chou Wah-Shan (Chou 2001) on gay communities in the Chinese-speaking world argue for a need to look below the surface mimicry in order to understand the local context. This paper on the Singaporean situation adds a few more empirical examples to the cautionary refrain...

Kaewprasert O (2005). The Very First Series of Thai Queer Cinemas: What Was Happening in the 1980sPaper presented at The First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies, Bangkok, Thailand, July. PDF Download. Download Page. It took more than half a century after motion pictures were introduced into Thailand for a Thai to produce a film that directly dealt with a queer character as a person, as in The Last Song (1985), followed by Tortured Love (1987) and I Am a Man (1987). Even though these three films allowed audiences to empathize with their characters, some characterization of queers in the films still replicated stereotypes of queer people as seen in other media; screaming, miserable, suicidal and so on. In this paper, the dominant images representing queerness in the first series of queer melodramas, The Last Song - the very first Kathoey or male-to-female transgender thematic film in Thai film history - and its sequel Tortured Love, will be analysed and studied as to how these films reflected the Thais’ attitudes toward queerness in the 1980s. A year after The Last Song was screened there was a successful stage play I am a Man, the Thai version of Mart Cowley’s film The Boys in the Band (1970). The success of I Am a Man resulted in it being made into a film by the same producer, script writer and actor, Dr. Seri Wongmonta, the dominant openly gay male in Thai society. I Am a Man provides significant case studies of queer lifestyles, with emphasis on masculine gay males.

Kahn S (2005). Assessment of sexual health needs of males who have sex with males in Laos and Thailand. Naz Foundation International. PDF Download. PDF Download. Sex between males, whether self-identified in terms of sexual or gender identity or not, appears to occur in all societies, often within frameworks that do not “fit” the heterosexual/homosexual paradigm that is predominant in western cultures and also within much of HIV/AIDS literature, despite the fact that the term “men who have sex with men” (MSM) was precisely invented to deal with this discrepancy. In reality, to often the acronym MSM is used as a synonym with the terms “homosexual” and/or “gay” , or as a term if identity, which actually invisiblises significant levels of male-to-male sexual behaviours and practices, and where often sexual practice is defined within gender roles and identities. Thus, as an example the penetrating masculine male does not perceive himself as a homosexual, gay or even as a man who has sex with a man, while the penetrated partner may well perceive himself as female, with a feminine identity, and not as a man who has sex with a man. The issues of curiosity, the gendering of age, body pleasure, coercive sex, sexual and political economies, constructions of masculinities along with male hierarchies in all male institutions, are usually ignored as possible drivers for male-to male sex...

Suwatcharapinun, Sant  (2005). Spaces of Male Prostitution: Tactics, Performativity and Gay Identities in Streets, Go-Go Bars and Magazines in Contemporary Bangkok, Thailand. PhD. Dissertation, University of London. PDF Download. Download Page. This research explores the spatial practices of male prostitutes meeting gay male clients in various urban environments in Bangkok, Thailand. The research focuses on the male prostitutes’ spatial practices in three meeting places: the streets around Saranrom park, the gay go-go bars in Surawong’s Boys’ Town, and the representations of space in local gay newsletters. Examining the male prostitutes’ spatial practices through ‘tactics’, this research suggests that male prostitutes use the meeting places differently as ways of responding to the ‘strategies’ of gay male clients. This research also suggests that the tactics of male prostitutes can be examined by exploring the relationship between spatial practices and subjectivities. By exploring how specific performative acts constitute male prostitutes’ subjectivities, this research suggests that male prostitutes ‘perform’ homosexuality.

Jenkins C, Ayutthaya PP, Hunter A (2005). Katoey in Thailand: HIV/AIDS and Life opportunities. Produced by the United States Agency for International Development. PDF Download N/A. The term katoey (or kratoey) has traditionally been used to refer to a third gender category, known in English as “lady boy” and in Thai as “sao praphet song” or “second type of woman” and other terms with similar meanings. It appears that all recognized homosexually active males were once called katoey and had a variety of roles in different sectors of society, including spirit mediums in the north (Matzner, 2002a). Over the last two decades, however, Thailand has seen the introduction and evolution of other identity terms for homosexually active males focused on gay identity and behavioral roles, such as “gay queen” and “gay king” (Jackson, 1996; Murray, 1999). Middle-class and urban life styles have become more associated with gay identity than with katoey identity. The public face of the katoey has shifted toward greater transgenderism and transsexualism, particularly as Thailand has a well-developed medical establishment ready to perform various forms of surgery to feminize the body. While these identity distinctions have at times led to discrimination against katoey by gays, gradual co-existence in certain venues and jobs is leading to greater chances for affiliation. In this study, the identity of katoey is self-defined and reveals a wide range of gender presentations as well as a crossover in self-identification (i.e., calling oneself both katoey and gay).

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Thailand:  - MSM Positive Prevention: Role of Males Who Have Sex With Males Living with HIV/AIDS in HIV Prevention (Robert Baldwin, Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Bangkok). - Public Perceptions of Tom and Dee in Thailand (Nerida Cook, University of Tasmania). - Thailand’s Gay Male Sexual Cultures and the Problem of Visual Representation (Brian Curtin, Raffles LaSalle International Design School). - Building Kathoei and Gay Communities Rights Movement in Thailand (Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya, Independent Scholar). - Cinema and Homosexual Identity in Thailand: Discourses and Politics of Homosexuality (Tertsak Romjumpa, Independent Scholar). - Ambivalent Attitudes to Thailand’s Kathoey (Richard Totman, Independent Scholar). - Provincializing Queer: Thai Sexuality in an Asian Context (Ara Wilson, Ohio State University).

Gillispie, Clara (2005). Kathoey: Transgendered and Transvestite Men in Thailand. PDF Download. Kathoey– the Thai word for transgendered and transvestite men – exist in a paradox that is exceedingly Thai: they live in a society that is both accommodating and denying of their way of life. Thai culture, while valuing non-confrontation and accepting tremendous private individuality, still continues to press that kathoey publicly conform. Within this context, though Buddhism and the law do not outwardly condemn or prohibit kathoey behavior, both social norms and the Constitution incompletely protect kathoey rights. Thus, problems related to a kathoey’s recognized gender arise not from direct intolerance or violence – as experienced in many other countries – but from passive, everyday discrimination and a lack of proactive efforts to codify kathoey legal status and rights. The Thai government could take great strides to rectify this problem by recognizing a third-gender category that covers many of the concerns that are neither male nor female, but uniquely kathoey.

Winter, Sam (2006, Draft). Thai transgenders in focus: demographics, transitions and identities. International Journal of Transgenderism, 9(1): 15-27, 2006. Word Download. Abstract. With regard to transition histories, we found that many participants had transitioned very early in life, beginning to feel different to other males, and identifying as non-male by middle childhood. By adolescence many were  living a transgendered life. Many took hormones, beginning to do so by a mean age of 16.3 years, and several from as early as 10 years.  Many underwent surgeries of various kinds, on average in the twenties, with one undergoing SRS as early as 15 years. As to identity, most of our participants thought of themselves simply as phuying (women), with a smaller number thinking of themselves as phuying praphet song (a ‘second kind of woman’). A small number thought of themselves as kathoey (a more general Thai term embracing a variety of gender non-conformities)  While most participants would prefer to be a woman, there were a few who seemed comfortable being transgendered. A few foresaw that they would not be living a transgendered life into old age. The vast majority expressed a sexual attraction to men.

Pipat, Kulavir P (2006). Gender and Sexual Discrimination in Popular Thai Buddhism. Paper presented at the 2006 Faith, Spirituality & Social Change Conference, The University of Winchester. PDF Download N/A. Abstract. According to my study based on the Thai Buddhist text, the findings make it clear that physiological sex provides no obstacles to achieving enlightenment because in meditative practice, one’s body is only a “form” without difference between male and female. Regarding karma and rebirth, to be born male or female depends on the individual’s powerful karma, whether good or bad. If one has no such powerful karma, sex will depend on the cultivated and accumulated sexual characteristics of the individual. Therefore, although the mind has no sex, it is possible for the mind to accumulate certain sexual characteristics or “genders” which are based on social and cultural contexts. However, it is not clear what causes humans to have different sexual orientations...

Nanda, Serena (2008). Sex-Gender Diversity: A Cross Cultural Perspective. - Trangender Asia: Research and Discussion Paper. Full Text. Kathoey and Gay: The Changing Sex/Gender System in Thailand: Thailand today is characterized by a complex and multiple system of sex/gender identities, which incorporates traditional cultural meanings, a Western biomedical view, and diffusion of various Western concepts of gay. Ancient Buddhist texts indicate that biological sex, culturally ascribed gender, and sexuality are not clearly distinguished. Traditional Thai origin myths describe three original human sex/genders -- male, female, and kathoey, or hermaphrodite, defined as a third sex, a variant of male or female, having characteristics of both (Jackson, 1997a). Linguistic evidence suggests, however, that kathoey may also have connoted “a person whose gender is different from other males" or a male who acts like a woman, a meaning consistent with the predominant contemporary usage. The system of three human sexes remained prevalent in Thailand until the mid-twentieth century. At that time, the diffusion of various Western influences resulted in a proliferating variety of alternative or variant sex/gender roles and gender identities, and a fluctuating attitude toward sex/gender diversity, which characterizes contemporary Thailand  (Costa and Matzner, 2007; Jackson, 1999; Matzner 2006a;  Morris, 1994). Today, the term  kathoey most commonly refers to a “deficient male,” or a male transgender category, that is, a male who breaches biological and/or cultural norms of masculinity (Jackson, 1997b, p.60).  Put another way, "a kathoey is [viewed as] a man who appropriates female form [feminine attributes and behavior] without becoming a woman and without ceasing to be a man" (Morris, l994, p. 25). This concept variously refers to hermaphrodites, transvestites, transsexuals, or effeminate homosexual men. Almost all kathoey cross-dress and undergo hormone replacement therapy; most have breast implants, and some also undergo genital reassignment surgery, as well as other surgical procedures to feminize their appearance, for example, reducing their Adam’s apple (Matzner, 2006a).  At the same time, somewhat contradictorily,  kathoey are still sometimes viewed as "midway" between men and women, or a second kind of woman (Jackson, 1997a, p. 312), a definition that contains cultural traces of the historical Buddhist position. This traditional concept is also reflected in the Royal Institute Thai language dictionary which defines a kathoey as "A person who has both male and female genitals; a person whose mind [ie, psychology] and behavior are the opposite of their sex/gender" which (theoretically) applies to males and females...

Yamarat. Khemika (2009). Thai college student challenge traditional sexual pattern. PDF Download. Appears to be an updated version of: Yamarat K; Archavanitkul K.  "Gender and Sexuality Among College Students : Case Study in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.", The 8th Conference of the Asia Pacific Sociological Association, Penang, Malaysia, 9-22 November 2007. Reference. Morris (1994) examines the co-existence of the kathoei 5 category with newer homosexual and bisexual identities and suggests that the contemporary Thai sex/gender discourse represents a complex of “two irreconcilable but coexistent sex/gender systems”. One system is original and based on gender, while the other is borrowed and structured around the Western sexuality. Morris applied Foucault’s model, proposing that the “man –kathoeiwoman” system of three identities was constructed within a system of gendered discourses, while the recent gay, lesbian and bisexual identities have emerged as products of the eruption of a new discursive domain of sexuality. Jackson (1997 cited in Jackson & Sullivan, 1999:5) has countered that Thai discourses have not borrowed the Western “gay”/“straight” binary. He suggests that the term “gay” has been borrowed but it has been reconstructed within a gender discourse based on “man”, kathoei and “woman,” rather than constructed in opposition to heterosexuality... Sexual diversity is apparent in Thai society and has been visible for a long time. During the past decade some words, magazines, associations, pubs, clubs, organizations for both gays and lesbians have become part of Thai culture (Jackson 1999, p. 3-6). There are some words showing the diversity of sexual identity such as kathoei, tom, di, gay, gay king, gay queen, and les, etc. There are so many words that some students themselves were confused and could not explain their meaning or the differences in meaning. They could explain only how they themselves identify and sometimes they did not call or identify themselves using these particular terms. This reflects the interesting reality that people are different; they act differently and feel different. Some students could not put themselves in any available categories, which may reflect that their sexual identities are not the same as others.

Li A, Varangrat A, Wimonsate W, Chemnasiri T, Sinthuwattanawibool C, Phanuphak P, Jommaroeng R, Vermund S, van Griensven F (2009). Sexual behavior and risk factors for HIV infection among homosexual and bisexual men in Thailand. AIDS & Behavior, 13(2): 318-27. PDF Download. Abstract. HIV prevalence and associated risk behaviors were examined among Thai bisexually active men (MSMW, n = 450) and men who have sex with men only (MSM-only, n = 1,125). Cross sectional venue-day-time sampling was used to collect data. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to identify HIV risk factors. HIV prevalence was 8.2% among MSMW and 21.2% among MSM-only. Consistent condom use with male partners was higher among MSMW (77.6%) than MSM-only (62.9%), and lower with female partners (44.4%). Lack of family confidant, migration, concern about acquiring HIV infection, and self-reported STD were associated with HIV prevalence among MSMW. Older age, lower educational level, residing in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, living away from family, recruitment from a sauna, increased frequency of visiting the surveyed venue, practicing receptive or both receptive and insertive anal intercourse, inconsistent condom use with male paying partners, and a history of drug use were associated with HIV prevalence in MSM-only.

Aizura, Aren Z (2009). Where Health and Beauty Meet: Femininity and Racialisation in Thai Cosmetic Surgery Clinics. Asian Studies Review, 33: 303–317. PDF Download.  In this essay I explore the implications of the intersections between race, beauty and gender in the beautification and gender transformation practices of subjects who, while they occupy the same geographical location and are interpellated into similar globalised politics of the body, nonetheless enact their relationships to those politics in very different ways. I began this article as a rudimentary exploration of questions that arose in the course of ethnographic research in Thailand on gender reassignment surgical tourism. This article is an attempt to trace the differences I saw between how Thai and non-Thai patients at the same clinics or hospitals, undergoing the same procedures, interpreted what they were doing. I began to think about the different racialised significations of surgical procedures obtained by different Thai and non-Thai gender variant populations in Bangkok. However, it has become apparent, in reading the desires for beautification of Thai transgendered subjects, that it is too simple to read this as a desire for Euro-American ‘‘whiteness’’. This complex question of racialisation will be discussed below...

Canotal, Eugene Espejo (2009). An Overseas Example of "Lighter is Better": The Implications of Colorism Among Male Sex Workers in Thailand. Master of Social Work Dissertation, Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass.. PDF DownloadDownload Page. Throughout history, the idea that lighter skin is better than darker skin has been found in many countries and societies. People with light skin were associated with being wealthy enough to remain indoors while people with dark skin were assumed to have attained that skin tone from working outdoors and being exposed to the sun. Colorism is a form of skin color stratification in which light-skinned people are privileged over darkskinned people, in terms of: access to education, work opportunities, and being perceived as attractive and possessing positive personality traits. European colonialism and slavery reinforced that not only having white skin was ideal, but that European culture was the highest form of culture and should be assimilated by the subordinated societies. This theoretical thesis aimed to explore how colorism manifested a dichotomization between light-skinned and dark-skinned male sex workers in Thailand. The emergent themes of colorism's impact on self-esteem, self-efficacy, and life outcomes among Thai male sex workers paralleled existing findings of studies done on colorism's effects in the African American community. Within a safe, therapeutic space, social workers are in a position to explore colorism's effects on the internal and interpersonal processes of clients – in particular, clients of color.

Berry S, McCallum L (2010, Draft). Reference Guide MSM and Transgender People Multi-City HIV Initiative. AIDS Projects Management Group for UNDP Asia Pacific. PDF Download. Bankok, Thailand: A fact which distinguishes Thai MSM and TG persons from other members of society is the stigma and shame associated with being MSM, TG and/or being a sex worker. Compounding this are those from low socio-economic and educational backgrounds who often feel they have insufficient authority to speak openly to clinicians and other professionals in the service and health systems. Prostitution remains illegal in Thailand. 30 MSM and TG sex workers in Thai society have little power or ‘agency’ either individually or collectively to advocate for themselves. Some may lack the self-esteem and self-confidence needed to navigate the service system, exercise their ‘right to service’ or seek information where they lack it. This may be particularly true for young MSM and TG people in Bangkok, where the burden of HIV is clearly evident.– Among those found to be HIV positive in 2003, 30.4% were below the age of 28 while in 2007 that figure had increased to a staggering 50.3% who were 28 or younger8. Building the capacities of MSM and TG with HIV to deal better with the situations they face requires their treatment literacy as well as their skills in disclosure and negotiation to be addressed. Specific and specialised services for transgender people were highlighted as a gap in the current response to HIV in Bangkok. It was noted that MSM services were not usually acceptable to TG persons and that further work needed to be done to identify and pilot specialized TG people’s services. Unfortunately, no representatives were present at the Orientation Meeting who could provide advice on where to further investigate the issue and more work on TG persons was recommended. The illegality of sex work in the Kingdom and the use of condoms by police as evidence of prostitution were viewed as a serious obstacle. Although sex between men is not illegal in Thailand, police practices are described as hampering HIV prevention efforts9. Civil society organisations report raids on bars, clubs and other venues where sex work is occurring. The fear of raids on clubs and saunas where men meet each other for sex is a barrier to encouraging condom use among sauna clientele. The contradiction between the Department of Health’s promotion of condoms versus police use of condoms as evidence of sex work is recommended by participants in this scan as needing urgent rectification. The legal status of sex venues in the city was also hampering efforts to coordinate HIV prevention efforts within these establishments. Participants in the Orientation Meeting said this was about the registration of these establishments; they may be registered as bars or clubs, as beauty salons, as karaoke bars or cafes and this makes coordinating HIV efforts difficult. Many are reluctant to acknowledge the true nature of their premises for legal reasons and therefore reluctant to accept the services of outreach workers. A clear registration program for these venues is needed. In a recent investigation most MSM and TG with HIV in the city were reported to be afraid to disclose their HIV status among friends and sexual networks.

Potiwan, Piyaluk (2009). Social Movement of the Transgender. Word Download. This research focuses on the social movement of the transgender in Thailand. The study aims to study the marginalization process of the transgender males, who are known in Thailand as ‘kathoey’.     The study also aims to study the social movement of the transgender and the impacts of the movements on the identities of the transgender and their power relations with other homosexual groups in the movement. In the studying transgender social movement, I will focus on the construction and contestation of identities, communities, social networks and social space.     I will apply qualitative research methodology and will conduct in-depth interviews with activists from four GLBT organizations and transgender straight and homosexual alliance... The failure of kathoey to organize, either politically or socially, across class lines is symptomatic of the class structure of organizing in general in Thailand. The strongest and most successful social organizing in Thailand falls along class lines, such as labor protest, the movements of democracy and environmental movements. Kathoey groups and homosexual organizes do attract interest from kathoey of all classes because they are need for any information and acknowledgement that kathoey like them exist. The newsletter form kathoey groups and homosexual organizes are sent to kathoey in rural areas as well as in Bangkok... Kathoey groups and homosexual groups are making a deliberate effort to challenge dominant norms and discourses in both mainstream society and among kathoey and other homosexuals. The organizations have challenged entrenched Thai middle class nations that same sex relationships are signs of psychological disturbance. The organizations have also deployed middle class discourses of human rights and attempt to translate transnational discourse of lesbian and gay rights into a culturally acceptable version. The organizations promotes use of the Thai phrase ‘Kon-Kham-Phet’ in order to assert an image of the cultural authenticity of homosexuality...

Sex and sociality in Thai gay saunas (2011): 728 questionnaires were completed. Mean age was 33 (18 to 61). 98% were Thai citizens. 84% were in full time employment. 58% had some tertiary education, and 39% secondary education. Median income was 200,000 Baht ($US 6,200)/ year. For sexuality/ Phet, 34% identified as Gay Both, 26% Gay King and 20% Gay. 8% live in the neighbourhood of the sauna, 35% in a nearby area of Bangkok and 50% in other parts of Bangkok. Reasons for sauna visits included: ‘to use the facilities’ (sauna, bar etc.) (68%); ‘to have sex’ (59%); ‘to relax’ (58%); and ‘to have fun’ (38%). 56% had sex with one and 28% with two men during this visit. For 11% the man was their regular partner. Of the 487 men who had sex, 87% had anal sex. Of these 420 men, 18% had only receptive anal intercourse, 43% had only insertive anal intercourse and 39% had both. 97% reported that they had used a condom during anal sex and 92% a water based lubricant. 76% reported that they had ever had an HIV test and 57% had had a test in the previous twelve months. Of those, 85% reported that test result to be HIV negative. The most common sources of HIV information were Media (78%), Internet (61%) and health care providers (49%).

Chemnasiri T, Netwong T, Visarutratana S, Varangrat A, Li A, Phanuphak P, Jommaroeng R, Akarasewi P, van Griensven F (2011). Inconsistent condom use among young men who have sex with men, male sex workers, and transgenders in Thailand. AIDS Education and Prevention, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 22(2): 100-109.  PDF DownloadPubMed abstract. Of participants, 33.1% were regular MSM, 37.7% were male sex workers (MSWs) and 29.1% were transgenders (TGs). Of MSM, 46.7%, of MSWs, 34.9% and of TGs, 52.3% reported recent inconsistent condom use. In multivariate analysis, receptive anal intercourse (MSM, MSWs), receptive and insertive anal intercourse, living alone and a history of sexual coercion (MSWs), not carrying a condom when interviewed (MSM, TGs), lower education, worrying about HIV infection and a history of sexually transmitted infections (TGs) were significantly and independently associated with inconsistent condom use. Interventions for young MSM are needed and must consider the distinct risk factors of MSM, MSWs, and TGs.

Guadamuz TE, Wimonsate W, Varangrat A, Phanuphak P, Jommaroeng R, Mock PA, Tappero JW, van Griensven F (2011). Correlates of forced sex among populations of men who have sex with men in Thailand. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2): 259-266. PubMed abstract. PDF Download. Of the 2,049 participants (M age, 24.8 years), a history of forced sex was reported by 376 (18.4%) men and, of these, most were forced by someone they knew (83.8%), forced more than once (67.3%), and had first occurrence during adolescence (55.1%). In multivariate analysis, having a history of forced sex was significantly associated with being recruited in Phuket, classification as general MSM or transgender (versus classification as male sex worker), drug use, increased number of male sexual partners, and buying sex. The findings in our assessment were consistent with assessments from Western countries. Longitudinal studies are needed to understand the mechanisms of the relationships between forced sex correlates found in our assessment and HIV acquisition and transmission risks.

von Feigenblatt, Otto F (2010). Resisting Universalistic Feminist and Queer Hegemonic Discourses: An Emic Model of Thai Gender and Sexuality. RCAPS Working Paper No. 10-1. PDF Download. PDF Download. "Where are the Masculine Gays in Thailand? Masculine homosexual men have been at the forefront of the “gay movement” in the West while they were invisible until the late 1980s in Thailand (Peter A. Jackson, 1997). This leads to the question of where are the masculine gays in Thailand? Needless to say there have always been masculine homosexual men in Thailand however their presence was hidden from view by prevalent cultural practices. Since homosexual actions were relatively accepted in the private realm, and those actions did not automatically determine the identity of the person, masculine gays were counted as part of the regular male population. Form is more important than essence in terms of gender in the Thai context and because of that, in the eyes of the majority of the population, masculine gays were performing the role of men in terms of dress and behavior. Nevertheless, it should be noted that masculine homosexual men were prevented from establishing long term relationships with other masculine men and appearing in public as a couple (Morris, 1997). The reasons for the previous limitation is that while homosexuality was permitted in the private realm, in the public realm everyone had to perform one of the two “master” roles of either mother or father. Due to the emphasis on the public performance of gender and the lack of a clear gay identity formed in opposition to heterosexual men, masculine gays were never at the forefront of gender rights in Thailand. Most masculine gays in Thailand identified with the traditional role of men even while engaging in homosexual acts in the private sphere. The result of this is that a “gay” identity never developed from autochthonous sources. When the “gay movement” was transplanted to Thailand from the West in the late 1980s it only reached a small minority of urban masculine homosexual men mostly involved in the entertainment business. Moreover, the movement was never able to gain the support of other subgender groups such as lesbians and kathoeys (Kamano & Khor, 1996)..

Five Thai Papers Summarized: Thai Queer Studies: (2007-08, Chair: Peter A. Jackson, Senior Fellow in Thai History, Australian National University): - 1. Back in the Spotlight: An Analysis of Recent Thai Gay Movies (Serhat Uenaldi, Humboldt University). - 2. Performative Places: Producing Thai Gay Identity in Bangkok (Nikos Dacanay, University of the Philippines). - 3. Self-Designed Sexual Relationship/Cohabitation and Sexual Diversity among Students in One Western Province of Thailand (Khemika Yamarat, Mahidol University). - 4. Diversity within Bisexuality in Thailand (Prempreeda Pramoj na Ayutthaya, Coordinator, the Thai Queer Resources Centre Project). - 5. Transpeople in Thailand: Acceptance or Oppression? (Sam Winter, University of Hong Kong).

Leksakun S. (2010). Chiang Mai: The Gay and the City. ASEAS - Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 3(2), 249-253. PDF Download. One striking example was the Gay Pride Parade in downtown Chiang Mai in 2009. During the parade, local politicians (including ‘gay politicians’) argued that ‘those people’ [gays] were ravaging the decent cultural heritage of the city. Also, Red Shirt demonstrators opposed the event, and finally the parade organisers decided to cancel it as they feared riots and violence... So what is the rationale behind this group of so-called ‘gay activists’, who ironically campaign against people who share their own sexual orientation in Chiang Mai? Apparently one reason is for them to publicly distance themselves from their own sexual orientation, and furthermore their criticism of other gays seems to be grounded in a general fear of oppression based on sexual orientation stemming from mainstream society. Even though there seems to be a widespread acceptance of gay culture in Thailand, sometimes gays are still demonised and scapegoated, have become victims of police brutality and housing isolation, and suffer from informal exclusion from and access to certain jobs... In contrast, the English word ‘gay’ positively embraces the idea of being a masculine-identified homosexual. For most Thais this sounds much more positive and not too effeminate like kathoey. However, the Thai language did not borrow the English notion of straight or masculine-identified to connote the concept of kathoey. Especially gays of a higher socio-economic or educational status are afraid of being called kathoey since they feel this term would stigmatise them in Thai society and complicate their lives. In the Thai media and television shows, kathoeys are portrayed as queer clowns who are noisy, rude, and inferior to ‘ordinary people’. So besides sexual deviance there is also an element of low social status linked to the term kathoey...

Tangmunkongvorakul A, Banwell C, Carmichael G, Utomo ID, Sleigh A (2010). Sexual identities and lifestyles among non-heterosexual urban Chiang Mai youth: implications for health. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 12(7): 827-41. Abstract. Using quantitative and qualitative data we explore perspectives on and experiences of sexual lifestyles and relationships among more than 1750 young people aged 17–20 years who reside in urban Chiang Mai, Thailand... Excerpt: In the questionnaire survey (Table 1), almost 90% of male respondents described themselves as heterosexual; others described themselves as gay (5.0%), kathoey (2.1%), bisexual (1.2%), still questioning their sexual identity (3.5%) or as members of other categories (such as tri-sexual, multi-sexual, and ‘I am what I am’). [Table 1 here] Young men from out-of-school and vocational schools were more likely than those from general schools/universities to define themselves as heterosexual ( p , .05). However, nearly half the young men recruited from one particular commercial school defined themselves as non-heterosexual (data not shown) and some revealed in interviews and group discussions that they were attracted to particular vocational courses there, such as accounting, marketing, hotel service and management. One-fifth of male university students also described themselves as non-heterosexual... In this context it is unsurprising that young people’s sexual lifestyles could contribute to negative physical or mental health consequences. Although some exhibited an awareness of safer sex, their stories suggest that they are still at risk of sexual and mental health problems. Rattachumpoth (1999) identified a dearth of services for nonheterosexual people in Thailand and noted that ‘Thailand’s sexual minorities are very poorly served in terms of counselling, health support and other areas’ (xix). The same can be said of services for young people based on their own reports (Tangmunkongvorakul 2009) and those of providers (Tangmunkongvorakul et al. 2006). We believe that Thai health practitioners, youth counsellors and policy makers need a sound understanding of, and sensitivity to, the lives of contemporary young people if they are to provide services and counselling appropriate to their sexual/gender identity backgrounds.

Intamool, Sura (2011). Meditations on Thai Queer Identity through Lakhon Nok. Master's Dissertation, Department of Theatre, Miami University. PDF Download. Download Page. This thesis investigates lakhon nok as a queer performative theatre practice that mirrors the relationship between Thai queer people and society. The interviews of lakhon nok performers are utilized as documents that reveal the recognition of homosexuality in Thailand. Due to the acceptance of theatrical tradition and social norms embedded within lakhon nok performances, which include cross-dressing and are marked with a high level of queer performativity, the performances are accepted in Thai society and, as a result, homosexuality, particularly the transgendered, has also been recognized in Thailand. This thesis scrutinizes and meditates on overlapping paradigms: historiography, post-colonialism, and queer theory. All of these accommodate a queer reading. Ultimately, the study highlights queerness in Thai society reflected through lakhon nok performances.

The Hegemony of ‘LGBT' (2011): There are countless examples of how the mainstream LGBT movement uses stigma to limit access to legal and policy agenda-setting to those who meet its narrow identity criteria. In this post I’d like to focus on two places in particular: the example of third-gender kathoeys in Thailand and the example of alternative queer genders and sexualities in the US. In Thailand, as Sonia Katyal describes in her piece “Exporting Identity” (14 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 97-176), there was an understanding before the Western mainstream LGBT movement showed up of three genders: male, female, and kathoey. If the word “gay” did come up, it would probably refer to a kathoey, but what Westerners would term “homosexual behavior” was generally private. When the Western LGBT movement arrived in the 1980s on the heels of globalization and the spreading AIDS crisis, a new masculine-identified image of the gay man showed up in Thai culture. “Gay” became public, seeking legitimacy through masculinity. The word “gay,” Katyal posits, may have come into common use in Thailand specifically to distinguish these masculine-identified gay men who aligned themselves with the Western movement from kathoeys. Whereas gender identity had not previously been regulated by the state, the adoption of the Western LGBT model in Thailand made private public. Thai gay men turned social stigma on kathoeys, alienating both kathoey identity and effeminate gender expression. They began to define themselves in opposition to the newly-stigmatized kathoeys, who were then socially and legally sanctioned due to their public visibility. Ironically, they also became an easy target for state actors who objected to the arrival of the LGBT movement in Thailand...

Chaiyajit NL, Walsh CS (2012). Sexperts! Disrupting injustice with digital community-led HIV prevention and legal rights education in Thailand. Digital Culture & Education, 4(1): 146-66. Abstract & Full Text. In addition to growing epidemics of HIV among men that have sex with men (MSM) and transgenders in Thailand, a low awareness of how to access justice increases their vulnerability. This paper presents unique case studies of how two community-based and led organisations used social networking and instant messaging to address this problem. It describes and analyses how online peer-based HIV education and prevention was integrated with access to justice through free university-based clinical legal education (CLE). It argues that re-designing HIV prevention and education through digital technologies with marginalised gay men, other men that have sex with men (MSM) and transgenders is a sustainable community-based and led approach. Furthermore digital media offer strategic opportunities to overcome on-going political violence alongside entrenched stigma and discrimination that disrupt denial of access to justice for populations disproportionately at risk of HIV.

Barea, Milagros Expósito (2012). From the Iron to the Lady: The Kathoey Phenomenon in Thai Cinema [The Iron Ladies: El fenómeno kathoey en el cine tailandés]. Sesión no numerada: Revista de letras y ficción audiovisual, Núm. 2 (2012): 190-202. PDF Download. Anyone who wants to study the subject of homosexuality in Thailand should first learn at least a few things about the language of the country. The main problem we found was that in Thailand the separation between gender and sex is almost nonexistent. Historically, the categories of sex and gender would be included in the term phet. These categories are three: phu-chai to refer to male/man; phu-ying for female/woman; and an intermediate category that is known as kathoey. The word kathoey denotes a person (man or woman) that expresses hermaphroditism or exhibits behaviours that are not considered appropriate to their sex. The kathoeys are called the third sex both in the academic speech and in a more popular context. This word is not only used to refer to biological males but also includes male women (tomboys) and their female partners (dee, from lady), bisexuals, queens, kings, ladyboys and any other words that refer to homosexuality (Jackson & Sullivan, 1999: 4)... Next, I will explore the field of gay films: how this type of cinema has increased since 2000; what its main themes are; its types of characters and the stereotypes associated with them... In conclusion I can assert that a significant number of gay-themed films have been produced in Thailand recently. We may contend that they mark the beginning of an open homosexual discourse within Thai society, or alternately they may be just an economic phenomenon in the local film industry. What is clear is that some of these films help the audience think or understand the different issues related to gender or homoeroticism; and, at the same time, gay viewers can see some positive images of homosexuals in contrast with the negative images they have to suffer daily, due to the institutionalization of certain stereotypes in Thai society.

Pongpanit, Atit (2011). The bitter–sweet portrayals of expressing and maintaining “non‐normative” genders and sexualities in Thai mainstream cinema from 1980 to 2010. PhD dissertation, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London. PDF Download. Download Page. This thesis explores and analyzes portrayals of Thai sexual minorities in relation to the practices of expressing and maintaining non-normative genders and sexualities. It examines how these practices affect the lives of sexual minority characters in three different genres of mainstream Thai cinema: tragedy, drama, and comedy... These three different genres reveal the degree to which sexual minority characters experience problems in expressing and maintaining their non-normative gendered/sexual identities in the heterosexual/heteronormative space that dominates the cinematic contexts. While homophobia and social sanctions against sexual minorities in Thai society are not as overtly practiced as in some other societies, the analysis of the films in this thesis provides strong evidence of the difficulty with which sexual minorities are visualised positively. This reflects ambiguous and ambivalent attitudes towards Thai sexual minorities in mainstream/heterosexual/ heteronormative Thai society as a whole.

Thai Queer Srudies (2008, Download Page, The 10th International Conference on Thai Studies): Chair: Peter A. Jackson, Senior Fellow in Thai History, Australian National University: Abstracts: Back in the Spotlight: An Analysis of Recent Thai Gay Movies (Serhat Uenaldi, Humboldt University): "However, in contrast to commercial kathoey "feel good" movies, the increasing number of dramas mainly watched by a gay audience hints at a new direction in Thai gay cinema. Whereas in the past, funny kathoey characters dominated the scene, now gender normative homosexuals are becoming increasingly visible on screen." - Performative Places: Producing Thai Gay Identity in Bangkok (Nikos Dacanay, University of the Philippines): "Drawing from three years of ethnographic research in the saunas, disco bars, and other gay establishments in Bangkok as part of my MA thesis, this paper views gay-identified Thai men in Bangkok as  products, and at the same time producers, of homoerotic places in the metropolis, seeing how these places configure and reconfigure this gay identity as much as being configured and reconfigured by Thai gays themselves." - Self-Designed Sexual Relationship/Cohabitation and Sexual Diversity among Students in One Western Province of Thailand (Khemika Yamarat, Mahidol University): "Transvestites were the exception as many of them do not have a steady partner. The sexuality, and even the gender, of these students, is dynamic and fluid. Some move from heterosexual to homosexual, while others move from homosexual to heterosexual relationships. Some change their sexual role and identity from feminine to masculine or vice versa. The meaning of cohabitation is also quite loose and fluid with regard to length of time and reasons for being together. Relationships can be based on friendship, the need for a lover or a partner, for physical, psychological, economic, or educational support." - Diversity within Bisexuality in Thailand (Prempreeda Pramoj na Ayutthaya, Coordinator, the Thai Queer Resources Centre Project): "In this paper I will look at how people in Thailand who label themselves as bisexual understand the meaning and practices of bisexuality (seau bai). Furthermore, I will consider what arguments they put forward to explain why they are not closeted homosexuals who will eventually identify as open gay men or lesbians after they “come out”." - Transpeople in Thailand: Acceptance or Oppression? (Sam Winter, University of Hong Kong): "Thailand is home to a large and vibrant community of transpeople and has a reputation for being tolerant, indeed accepting, towards them. In this paper I want to draw on eight years of research into transpeople in Thailand, and examine their position in contemporary Thai society. I will argue that Thailand, though in some respects a tolerant society for transpeople, is a place in which some of transpeople’s fundamental rights are denied. I will ask why this state of affairs persists."

Mekong Region Beginning to Act on HIV and MSM (2007): Purple Sky Network Helps Put MSM on National Agendas... Only a year ago, the Purple Sky Network held its first formal meeting in Bangkok. An association of groups advancing HIV prevention and treatment among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, the Network adopted immediate goals aimed at deepening communication between MSM groups across the region and strengthening MSM voices within their own countries. Confronted with societies and governments that largely ignored the issues surrounding HIV among MSM, Purple Sky members faced what promised to be an uphill struggle to gain recognition and support for stigmatized MSM. But the last twelve months have generated a remarkable shift in the landscape. Not long ago, none of the six countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region included MSM in their national strategic plans for tackling HIV/AIDS; today, all of them do but one. (China does not have a national MSM plan but the two provinces participating in the Purple Sky Network—Yunnan and Guanxi—now do.) A year ago, only Myanmar and Viet Nam had established a national MSM working group; today, every country but Thailand has done so. - Greater Mekong Delta Region HIV/AIDS Program (2007-2012): Pact partners in Thailand for men who have sex with men (MSM) include the following: HIV Prevention, Care & Support Services for MSM in Thailand: - Mplus (Chiang Mai) - PSI/Sisters (Pattaya) - TUC Partners (Phuket, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen) - Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand - Service Workers in Group (SWING) (Bangkok, Pattaya)  - Violet Home (Chiang Mai) - The Poz Home Center (Bangkok)Health and Opportunity Network (HON) (Bangkok) -  Initiated in October 2007, USAID/RDM/A's cooperative agreement with Pact for "Rapid and Effective Action Combating HIV/AIDS (REACH) Greater Mekong Regional Program" is a five-year associate award for work in Burma, China, Laos, Thailand, and regionally. - Study suggests more than 1 in 4 bangkok MSM HIV+ (2005).

Queer Media Loci in Bangkok: Paradise Lost and Found in Translation (2011, Excerpt): In the Western popular imagination, Bangkok is a "gay paradise," a city that affords cheap and easy access to exotic "boys." This reputation for sex tourism as well as a local cultural tolerance for homosexuality and transgenderism is a common representation of queer Bangkok in English-language media. This article juxtaposes Thai media and lived experience to displace, recontextualize, and expand the prevailing Western view. It argues that Western gazes that depict Thailand as especially tolerant of homosexuality and gender variance may in fact inhibit the free expression of Thai male-bodied effeminacy. Finally, this article argues that the hypersexualization of Thais and new regional alignments are molding local desires and subjectivities away from the West toward East Asia.

The 11th International Conference on Thai Studies (2011): Session-33 (Individual Papers): Situating Thai Queer (Dr.Narupon Duangwises): 1. Dr.Kittikorn Sankatiprapa “Tom” Space in Factories: Heterotopias or What? - 2. Sarupong Sutprasert Gay Men and Katoey, ‘Who Are We?’ in Thai Songs and Music Videos. - 3. Dr.Jenjit Gasigijtamrong The Third Gender as Seen in Thai Fiction. - 4. Saran Mahasupap Do Thai Gay Need to Come Out? : The Construction of Gay Identity in Thai Gay Autobiography. - 5. Witchayanee Ocha Not Yet Queer Enough: Revising “Gender” in Development. - 6. Sura Intamool Cross-dressing in Lakhon Nok: In the Company of the Queer.

Queer Thailand: A Unique Opportunity for LGBTQ Students - Course Offer (2010): Known around the world as a "Gay Paradise," Thailand provides an excellent location to study and explore variant gender identities and expressions. As anyone who comes to Thailand soon discovers, gender and sexuality are in a constant state of change as fluid, contingent and adaptable performances. Androgyny permeates and possibilities abound...

Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology: Index Page: Thailand: - Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors. - Gender Conflicted Persons. - Sexuality in Thailand: See HIV/AIDS. - Lost In Paradise: In Asia’s bleak HIV landscape, Thailand has long stood out as a prevention miracle. So why are Thai men who have sex with men on the verge of an AIDS catastrophe? - Traditions in Transition: Young People’s Risk for HIV in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Ultimate "Planet Out" Guide to Queer Movies (Country: Thailand). - Sporty Little Number: Thai audiences are lapping up a controversial movie that deals with gay and transsexual issues: "A box-office smash, Satree Lex, chronicles the country's gender-bending 1996 volleyball champion... the lead characters include a lesbian and five katoey - a Thai term that covers transsexuals, transvestites and effeminate gay men." - The Iron Ladies. - Heroes in high heels. - Ladyboys, Drag Queens, and Gay Men on the Thai Silver Screen N/A. - Petition protests negative depiction of homosexuality on s’pore TV. - Amazing Gay Thailand (2010, YouTube). - Thailand’s First Lesbian Movie “Yes or No” Is a Success (2011). - Thai ‘Yes or No’ Will Open Gay Film Festival (2011).

Dykes in Thailand (2009): If all this is just too confusing, consider taking an organized tour. Unfortunately, the only lesbian-owned tour company closed last year, so the best option is the Canadian, gay-owned and -operated OUT Adventures. This group’s eco-friendly philosophy allows only 12 travelers on any one tour and favors small, locally owned hotels and restaurants to maximize the chance to interact with local communities. It also operates LGBT family tours and, next year, will operate women only tours. - The Lesbian Scene In Bangkok (2007). - Nirvana: queer adventures in Thailand (2009).

Resource Links: - Pink Ink: Thailand's first free monthly gay and lesbian newspaper. - - In the News. - Utopia's Thailand Resources. - Dragoncastle's Gay Asia - Gay Thailand's Leading Website. - Dreaded Ned's Explore Gay thailand (To 2010). - Thailand Gay Scene. - - Bangkok Lesbian. - Gay Thailand's Number One Lifestyle Magazine - Out In Thailand. - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community in Thailand: Information for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in Thailand, including details of relevant laws, gay community events and LGBT associations and networks... - The Best Gay Community Magazine In Thailand: Thai Puan. - Thai Rainbow Archives: A Digitised Collection Of Thai Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Publications. - Bangkok Gay Nightlife.

Gayscape - Pridelinks. - Bangkok: Gay Events Listing. - Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Thailand Resources (Country Index).

Global Gayz: Thailand: Includes News & Reports to the Present. Thailand. - Gay Bangkok 2001 - Gay Bangkok 1999 (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 1999-2007. - ILGA Report. - LGBT rights in Thailand.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Amazon Books: Gay Thailand. - Books on Gay Thailand. - Gay Thailand Bookshelf N/A.

Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality in Thailand - 1995 - by Peter A. Jackson (Review).(Review) (Amazon) (Excerpts N/A). - The Men of Thailand (6th Edition): Thailand's Culture & Gay Subculture by Eric G. Allyn. (How to tell if a barboy is straight or gay N/A) - Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand edited by Peter A. Jackson and Gerard Sullivan. (Review) (Amazon) (Google Books). - Genders and Sexualities in Modern Thailand - 1999- by Peter A. Jackson and Nerida M. Cook (eds) (Google Books). (Review) (Review). - Intersections - Home Page. - Thai Scene (Gay Guide) - 1995 - by Michael Notcutt. - Thai Scene 1998 - by Damon Hammer. - Gold by the Inch - 1998 - by Lawrence Chua (A Novel). - Dove Coos II: Gay Experience by the Men of Thailand - 1993  edited by Eric G. Allyn. - Intrinsic Quality of Skin - 1994 - by Peter A. Jackson (Interview with author). - Male Bodies, Women's Souls: Personal Narratives of Thailand's Transgendered Youth - 2007 - edited by LeeRay Costa & Andrew Matzner (Amazon) (Review) (Review) (Review). - The Third Sex: Kathoey: Thailand's Ladyboys - 2004 - by Richard Totman (Review) (Review) (Review). - Sexual Culture Among Young Migrant Muslims In Bangkok - 2007 - by Amporn Marddent (Amazon). - Toms and Dees: Transgender Identity and Female Same-sex Relationships in Thailand (Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning & Memory) - 2004 - by Megan J. Sinnott (Google Books(Review) (Thailand' Toms and Dees N/A (2009): Lesbians are accepted in Thai society, even six-year-olds with mullet haircuts.). - AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities - 2008 - edited by Fran Martin, Peter Jackson, Mark McLelland, Qudrey Yue. (Google Books)  (Review) - Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights - 2011 - edited by Peter Jackson (Google Books) (Hong Kong Press) (Review, French, Translation) (Review) (Review) (Review). - Thai Sex Talk: The Language of Sex and Sexuality in Thailand - 2012 - edited by Pimpawun Boonmongkon and Peter A. Jackson.

To "The SEARCH Section" For The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts... and The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available! 

CAMBODIA - Gay Pride Week Tackles Stigma and Discrimination (2009): USAID helped organize activities for Cambodia’s fifth, and so far largest, annual Gay Pride Week .. The week also featured parties, a film and art festival, and a drag show. - No parade, but a Buddhist blessing: Cambodia Pride (2012): 'In Cambodia we don't have these types of parade yet,' Srorn Srun from RoCK told Gay Star News. 'We are not strong enough. We just started in 2009. Also, we understand the government. They will not allow us a parade. Not only about LGBT rights, but anything else. We don't want a parade or demonstration. We just want our parents, our friends and our community to start understanding our issue.' - Cambodia Prides Ends On Positive Note (2012): This year’s Cambodia LGBT Pride launched on May 12 with a variety of activities such as art shows, film screenings, live performances, and workshops about gay rights. Unlike Pride festivities in other parts of the world where revellers parade through public thoroughfares, though, Cambodia Pride was organised as a series of smaller affairs. - Cambodian ASEAN Pride Week 2012 (11th to 20th May).

Coming out in Cambodia: Women in same-sex relationships stand up for human rights (2012): A 2010 report from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights highlights that although same-sex relationships are legal there are many examples of lesbians being persecuted by the law. The report suggests that those in authority who discriminate and persecute LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] individuals may “conceive of such treatment as ‘punishment’ for not adhering to accepted social norms.” Srun Srorn, a key player in the struggle for LGBT rights in Cambodia, has met lesbians from all over The Kingdom with similar experiences of heartache, discrimination and forced marriages. He explains: “There are some [lesbian] couples that have died because their parents, family and local authorities have got involved with their cases. In Banteay Meanchay, one lesbian’s family forced her to marry a man and gave her some traditional medicine which resulted in her dying. When she died, her partner killed herself too.” ... Many Cambodian lesbians identify as neither fully male nor fully female but as third gender. A large number of women in same-sex relationships choose to express themselves using male pronouns and dressing in masculine clothes, thus transgressing gender norms. Women that express themselves in such a way find that they can be excluded from school, have limited employment options and may be excluded from their communities. As a result, many Cambodian lesbians find they are discriminated against firstly as women, and secondly as lesbians. Ly Pisey supports women in marginalised communities including sex workers, trans women and lesbians. Pisey explains that women in same-sex relationships are often isolated in their communities and that “homosexuality has not yet been understood widely by families, communities, work places, charity workers, government officers and society as an alright way of living. Many people cannot accept it…”

Gay Pride Cambodgienne 2012 - "Different but the same" (2012, Translation): Du 12 au 20 mai, la communauté LGBT (Lesbiennes, Gays, Bisexuels et Transgenres) se réunit à Phnom Penh afin de sensibiliser la population cambodgienne et de faire connaitre cette minorité encore dans l’ombre. Au programme des festivités : des débats, des projections de film, du sport. Retour sur l’évolution de la communauté LGBT et des difficultés qu’elle rencontre au Royaume, avec Srun Srorn, l'organisateur de l'événement.   L'idée de réunir la communauté gay du Cambodge se concrétise en 2004, à l'initiative de plusieurs homosexuels souhaitant travailler sur le thème du SIDA. A ce moment là, on est loin de l'événement que l'on appelle aujourd'hui la "Gay Pride phnompenhoise" : les hommes se réunissent en huis-clos, et cherchent à organiser des campagnes de sensibilisation dans le but de promouvoir une vie sexuelle saine pour les hommes homosexuels. Les parades sont alors à peine envisagées : il est encore trop tôt. C'est seulement cinq ans plus tard, en 2009,  que la communauté connaît une forte avancée en termes de reconnaissance : l’association RoCK (Rainbow Community Kampuchea) est créée, et accueille désormais les femmes homosexuelles. En 2004, ils n’étaient qu’une centaine ; en 2009, l'édition de la Gay Pride attirait déjà près d'un millier de participants.

SA SA BASSAC opens Thoamada (ធម#$) by Vuth Lyno (2011): Thoamada (ធម#$) comprises a suspended circle of nine large-scale color photographic portraits and audio. The exhibition questions the line between private and public, inner and outer: the same faces appear inside and outside the circle, but your relationship to them differs. Outside the circle, you can survey the portraits one by one; inside the circle, all the subjects gaze at you at the same time. A separate earphone accompanies each portrait— each participant talks candidly about his life. You can listen to each story one by one. Your relationship with each subject is one on one. The portraits and stories in Thoamada (ធម#$) derive from an intensive workshop with a professional facilitator and nine Khmer men who have sex with men (MSM) who exchanged personal stories over two days with the aim to build intimate public dialogue about, and among, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities... Vuth’s project is collaborative. His main concern when taking the photos was “about letting the participants be creators of their own stories, be artists themselves.” The artist aims to capture the individuality of each subject, who is part of a “homogenous yet very diverse group.” He adds, “I wanted the photos to be something simple—passport photos.” Vuth’s installation is a passport to complex stories and lives. Together you, the artist, and his subjects make the journey - the collaboration - complete... Thoamada (ធម#$) is part of Cambodia LGBT Pride 2011. Pride is a series of events aiming to provide opportunities for Khmer LGBT people to come together, celebrate who they are and be proud of their identities. It is also a chance for others to learn about LGBT issues and to promote understanding and respect.

LGBT Report From The Peoples’ Forum In Phnom Pehn, Cambodia (2012): LGBTIQ presence in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum was a success! The momentum and visibility of SOGI rights were maintained and strengthened by the increased number of allies from mainstream civil society organizations who clearly see LGBT rights as human rights. This growing alliance will be important in the months ahead. - In Cambodia, Gay Bar Attacked, Police Want Bribe (2011, Alternate Link): In the early hours of Sunday 15 May 2011 the staff and clientele of the gay-friendly Rainbow Bar on Street 172 in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district were subjected to a vicious and unprovoked homophobic attack by neighbors, which left several people badly injured and caused significant damage to the bar. The establishment had been hosting a drag queen competition as part of Pride Week 2011 celebrations. More worryingly, according to witnesses, police refused to intervene until they had been paid a bribe of US$500. - The realities of being LGBT in Cambodia (2011): Cambodia is not so different from other countries in the world in having stigma and discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). This comes from many aspects of society including local authorities and health service providers. Sometimes, when LGBT walk in public places at night they are charged with various offences by local police and only released if they pay cash. Some health service providers do not care if LGBT go for medical checkups, and react towards LGBT with stigma and discrimination... “We must struggle to get success. There is no them, there is no us. We must be brave and achieve success no matter what. Without struggle for ourselves, we will get nothing.” Looking at pictures of people around the world participating in LGBT Pride activities, Srey Toh adds: “They feel so happy walking in public and showing that they support LGBT. As the well known poem says ‘We can break a single chopstick but we cannot break many chopsticks who stick together’.”

Coming out in Cambodia: Women in same-sex relationships stand up for human rights (2012, Alternate Link): A 2010 report from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights highlights that although same-sex relationships are legal there are many examples of lesbians being persecuted by the law. The report suggests that those in authority who discriminate and persecute LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] individuals may "conceive of such treatment as 'punishment' for not adhering to accepted social norms." Srun Srorn, a key player in the struggle for LGBT rights in Cambodia, has met lesbians from all over The Kingdom with similar experiences of heartache, discrimination and forced marriages... Many Cambodian lesbians identify as neither fully male nor fully female but as third gender. A large number of women in same-sex relationships choose to express themselves using male pronouns and dressing in masculine clothes, thus transgressing gender norms. Women that express themselves in such a way find that they can be excluded from school, have limited employment options and may be excluded from their communities. As a result, many Cambodian lesbians find they are discriminated against firstly as women, and secondly as lesbians... The first Pride week. Organised in 2009 to coincide with International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, for many Cambodian lesbians it was the first opportunity to celebrate their identity and meet like-minded individuals and couples from provinces all over Cambodia as well as other countries. Since this event, the organisers have continued their work and formed Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK), an LGBT rights advocacy collective...  With so many socio-economic problems present in Cambodia, some may say that focussing on the rights of lesbian identities and women in same-sex relationships is of low importance. In fact, one could argue that the empowerment of a group that faces double discrimination due to their gender and their sexual orientation could be ground-breaking by challenging societal structures that favour both heterosexuality and patriarchy... Srorn and the RoCK team continue challenging deep-seated cultural beliefs that lead to discrimination: "Sometimes gays and lesbians are seen as almost sub-human by many people in our society. We want to tell those people that we are human beings- and we love who we are."

LGBT Pride Week in Cambodia: Reconciling Family Norms with Sexual Orientation (2011): Last week, Cambodia finished celebrating its third official lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride celebration, a week of movie screenings, workshops and other activities organized by Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK). The celebration of LGBT rights in Cambodia has come a long way. Between 2003 and the first official LGBT pride week in 2009, these celebrations in Cambodia were limited to just one evening a year... The struggle, however, is in having these basic universal rights enforced for LGBT individuals. She tells the story of a family who threatened to have their lesbian daughter’s partner raped. Another family paid a bribe to the police to have their daughter’s partner intimidated. One lesbian girl told Ly that her family threatened to have her killed. Had that happened, Ly doubts that the police would have intervened. Ly suggests that this type of behavior among law enforcement officials can be associated with a lack of information, “They do not understand what sexual orientation is and think it is unnatural.” - MSM, lesbians commemorate AIDS deaths (2012): Men who have sex with men met with lesbians at Dam Bok Kpos Temple in Phnom Penh Sunday to commemorate the lives of people who have died of AIDS... About 300 people attended the all-day meeting and the one-hour ceremony starting at 5 p.m. - Cambodge et Homosexualité - Voyagez sans inquiétude (Translation).

World AIDS Day in Cambodia highlights prevention issues for young MSM and transgender community (2011, PSN Newsletter Volume 7, January-March): To highlight the need to keep our communities aware of the ever present threat of HIV in the region the Purple Sky Net-work, World AIDS Campaign and MHSS collaborated for the first time to carry out significant awareness raising activities in Battambang province, Cambodia. Under the expert super-vision of MHSS Executive Director Mr Phal Sophat the day’s events brought together community, local leaders and gov-ernment officials to showcase and highlight issues affecting young MSM and TG in the local context. As this event was the first time such a collaboration had taken place it was exciting to see such a great turn out of observers and buy-in from local authorities and policy makers acknowledging their commitment to addressing the is-sues faced by the MSM and TG community. T-shirts and IEC materials were distributed and, in traditional Khmer style, a fun packed 'edutainment' agenda was the order of the day with games, karaoke and speeches made by local community leaders highlighting the key issues for pre-vention and the challenge of minimizing stigma and discrimi-nation within the community.

Cambodia Pride 2010 - “Love who we are! (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 5, May-August): Cambodia celebrates International Day against Homophobia [IDAHO]... Last year, Cambodians celebrated their fourth LGBT Pride celebration in May to coincide with IDAHO 2009. This was the first year we had a week of activities aimed to strengthen the LGBT community, build self esteem and provide a safe space for socializing. There is no law against same‐sex relationships in Cambodia; neither does the law recognize marriage between same‐sex partners... Pride was attended by LGBT from Phnom Penh and from Cambodia’s rural provinces and all participants enjoyed laughter, friendship, learning and sharing in a group of like minded people. Pride has also inspired NGOs to focus on right‐based approach for LGBT and has encouraged individuals to take action, advocate for their own rights and be proud of whom they are. - Cambodia:Meeting the real inner needs of MSM (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 4, January-April): HIV prevention for MSM in Cambodia has started, developed and improved in recent years, but how much impact can HIV prevention efforts have on reducing the rate of new infections when society consistently marginalizes MSM through stigmatization and discrimination? ... Returning to Maslow’s theory, people working to reduce HIV infections amongst MSM must address all of these needs before they will be able to address the need for MSM to practice safe sex. To a large extent, NGOs working with MSM are now addressing these needs by initiating incomegenerating projects, community drop in centre’s and counseling services, but to work with MSM is simply not enough. Perhaps the time has come to extend work to the wider community— to work on community education projects in order to eliminate stigma and discrimination, to advocate for equal rights and respect for sexual minorities. This can create the opportunity for all people regardless of sexual partners, gender identity or sexual orientation to meet their needs for belonging in their communities and have the self esteem and respect to make informed, healthy decisions regarding sex. 

To Protect or To Persecute?: The Relationship between Police and Sexual Minorities in Cambodia (2010, PSN Newsletter  Volume 5, May-August): In an ideal society, the police force should be an important asset to any community, preventing crimes, supporting victims, upholding the law and keeping peace. But what happens when the people that should be protecting us betray our trust and turn into the violators of human rights, abusing the power that society has given them? ... homophobic discrimination from the police drives MSM to hide underground and this makes it harder for health workers to reach them during outreach prevention efforts. Lesbians are a largely invisible group in Cambodia, unlike gay men and other MSM; they have not been supported by HIV/AIDS NGOs. Due to this invisibility, human rights violations have not been widely documented. But lesbians are the silent victims of homophobic abuse at the hands of the authorities who are meant to defend them. Nithi (pseudonym) a lesbian living in Phnom Penh described how “community leaders go to the houses of lesbians and force us to confess our sexuality and sign documents by using thumbprints that say we will not love women anymore.” ... However in reality, working with local authorities is perhaps proving more difficult than changing attitudes of national authorities and policy makers, and as it is local law enforcers who have the most contact and impact on local LGBT people‐ this remains a devastating source of abuse for them.

MSM: Is this inclusive term excluding the queer community? (2010, PSN Newsletter Volume 5, May-August):  A study in Cambodia showed that nearly all trans women interviewed identified as women, yet they are still referred to as long‐hair MSM. One has to question whether MSM is an appropriate term to classify transgendered individuals, who identify as women. This may be seen by some as a lack of sensitivity and respect towards their self‐defined gender identity. This lack of sensitivity often expressed by health care professionals may influence whether or not a trans woman seeks and adheres to medical treatment or HIV prevention efforts. Using the umbrella term of MSM loses delicate details about identity and roles in society. For instance in Cambodia there are many different terms used for male sexual minorities such as srey sros (charming girl), proh srolang proh (man loves man) and proh sa‐at (beautiful man). To simply deem them all MSM is factually incorrect and disempowering when there are valid terms already used by these groups in the local language.

Cambodia: Bloggers discuss LGBT issues (2010, Alternate Link): LGBT issues are not openly discussed in Cambodian mainstream society but they are being debated in the blogosphere. A leading example is Gay Khmer group, a website which was established to create a public platform for gay issues. This network is written in Khmer and English... The aim of GK is to raise awareness about gays and their rights, to unite in the fight against homophobia, to provide information access to gay and bi people about news updates on lifestyle, rights, education, health, sex, love…, and to serve as platform for experience sharing and solution exploration... Besides films, blogs have become venues that address LGBT concerns. Young bloggers belonging to Khmer Youth Writers also use their personal websites to highlight LGBT issues. “Boy Friend” is a 2009 Khmer novel written by Archphkai or Asteroid, a promising Cambodian writer. In his free book distribution campaign, the author asked the readers to answer an interesting question: What is your expression about same-sex love (gays/lesbians)? Most of those who responded have positive views on the issue...

High School’s Love Story: Cambodia’s Gay Film (2010): Cambodia's first-ever movie about gay love, but second movie about homosexual love... I was sort of amazed when I saw this new graphically designed poster of this first-ever movie about gay love “High School’s Love Story”. Cambodia nowadays seems to be into homosexual love, doesn’t it?  Another movie about homosexual lovers hit Cambodia’s film market not long ago in April 2009, drawing thousands of audience. It was entitled “Who am I?” Mrs. Poan Phuong Bopha, the film’s writer,  said that her film was successful beyond what she expected. And I was one of the audience. I like the theme and how she structured the story. However, the producing process and stars ‘ performance, in my opinion, have not improved much. But well, it was really nice to look into a new angle of society, rather than disclose it. - UK Appoints Openly Gay Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia (2011). - Cambodia to ban foreign gays from adopting children (2009): Gay people, single people, those on a “low income” and those who already have two children will not be able to adopt... If a proposed law on adoption is approved by the National Assembly it will codify these exclusions. It will also make it legal for parents to put their children up for adoption – at present only orphans are eligible for foreign adoption.

Being A Homosexual Under the Khmer Rouge Regime (2011): Gay men in Cambodia rarely have to be faced with direct hostilities on the part of their fellow-citizens, but are more often pressurised by their own family into complying with social conventions, most of the time by marrying a person of the opposite sex and starting a family. They often tend to conceal their identity but some simply cannot hold back their femininity. What type of life did they lead under the Khmer Rouge regime? How were they treated under the ideology of Democratic Kampuchea, which aimed at putting all Khmer people in a mould, destroying differences and imposing a morality and a way of life that resembled monastic life? Here are the stories of two survivors...Sou Sotheavy, who is now in his late sixties, was rejected by his relatives when they discovered he had had a love affair with another boy. It was before the 1970s and he was only 14 years old then. He ended up having sex with foreigners in the streets of Phnom Penh so as to pay for his studies. “At that time, people did not approve of gay relationships. However, I have never been so much exposed to discrimination and threats of all sorts as when I lived under the Pol Pot regime”, he recalled... “The Khmer Rouge were aware of the existence of love between men but did not really understand how it worked sexually speaking… At the beginning of the regime, they launched an operation for the extermination of gay men, because they considered them not only as ‘useless’ individuals, but also as potentially detrimental to the revolution. This was a proper dictatorship. As soon as the ‘black pyjamas’ caught us moving or behaving in a feminine way, we were labelled as enemies of Angkar [the supreme organisation which was a façade for all the leaders of the Communist Party of Kampuchea] and condemned to die”...

By Ancient Ruins, a Gay Haven in Cambodia (2010): Homosexual acts are not outlawed in Cambodia, as they are in a few Southeast Asian countries, but outward displays of affection and untraditional lifestyles are rare. Yet in Siem Reap, a small town that gets about a million tourists a year, gay visitors and locals are carving out a little haven. In the last few years, a small flurry of gay-friendly bars, restaurants and hotels has opened up in the city’s center and beyond, with wink-wink names like the Golden Banana and Cockatoo. The scene is bolstered partly by Web sites like Cambodia Out (, which started in early 2009 and is believed to be the first commercial site in the country devoted to the gay community. - Gay allure in Cambodia’s ancient city (2011, Alternate Link): Still, for young men like Savat, Siem Reap’s newfound gay flair has allowed him to live a life that simply wouldn’t fly in his rural home village. If Sat ever worked the fields, his callouses have long since softened. His hair is a perfectly tangled mop. And in a country where many scrape by on $1 per day, Sat, a hotel receptionist, has obtained an iPhone outfitted with “Grindr”: the globally popular application that displays GPS-tracked locations of gay men in the immediate vicinity. “There’s been a big change here,” Sat said. “I look back to when we had no open life for gay people. Well, look at us now!" “They’re happy,” he said, gesturing to the foreign clique of gay bar owners gathered for white wine at a downtown bar. “And we’re happy too.” Happy, perhaps. But Western gay men in Siem Reap are just as often confounded by Cambodia’s wildly different attitude towards male-on-male sex... In Cambodia, that is somewhat common, he said. “Not that I sleep with a lot of guys,” Williams said, “But I’ve been to numerous weddings of guys I’ve slept with.”... Many truly gay Cambodians avert controversy by blending into the milieu of straight guys who’ve fooled around with buddies. All but a small percentage defy their family’s wishes and settle with a same-sex partner... Among Siem Reap’s gay-owned businesses, there is Linga Bar, the flagship gay bar, which is staffed by sleeveless, copper-skinned young men. Just up the alleyway is Miss Wong’s, a more sedate cocktail lounge. The cosmopolitan Station Wine Bar is the newest gay establishment. As for gay-owned lodging, there is Viroth’s and the suggestively titled Golden Banana and Cockatoo resorts. So evident is Cambodia’s gay wave that regular guesthouses have started fixing rainbow flags on their doors. - Dragonfly embraces gay drop-in centre (2010): The need for a safe place for gay and transgender people in Siem Reap as well as a lack of information has prompted the opening of a drop-in centre in February. Dragonfly House manager Meghan Lewis said there were services for individual groups, such as gay men or lesbians, but no services which brought the groups together to discuss health issues. She said there were several problems the gay and bisexual community faced in Siem Reap, including lack of access to information about sexual health and a lack of health services in general.

Cambodia Launches Campaign to Welcome Gay Community (2011): Cambodian tourism businesses have launched a colorful, global campaign, Adore Cambodia!, to let GLBT travelers know they are especially welcome in the Kingdom of Wonders. - Katoey: The Margins of Cambodian Tolerance (2009, Video): Beneath a widespread tolerance in Cambodian society lays a world of exclusion for the country’s katoey, or transgender, population. Barred from many establishments and facing verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the police, discrimination has increased in recent years and daily life is filled with uncertainty as their incomes remain sporadic and arrests are more common. - Cambodian Prime Minister Publicly Cuts Ties with Lesbian Daughter (2007).

Cambodia's first gay town (2010): Along the train tracks in one of Phnom Penh’s ubiquitous slums, the noise never stops and everything is changing. Longtime residents are fearful that they’ll soon have to move. This place isn’t safe anymore, they say. It isn’t moral anymore. Along these same tracks, roughly 100 new residents, in search of asylum and community, have trickled in over the last several years and now lead lives of shocking desperation. Most of them only sleep during the day. Some perform acts of prostitution. Others dress as women. Almost all of them are homosexual men. And this place, Beoung Kak 2, has become a home: Cambodia’s first gay town. But this isn’t Boystown in Chicago, nor the Castro in San Francisco. This isn’t a place where homosexuals can celebrate sexuality, individuality, love. Make no mistake: It’s a place for survival.

Facing Double Discrimination: Cambodian Lesbians Are Breaking the Silence (2010, Alternate Link, Alternate Link): Cambodian society places a high value on family. Because of this, most gay men, lesbians, and transgender people feel pressured to marry a partner of the opposite sex. Society deems it acceptable for men to keep their autonomy and independence after marriage; they can go out at night, drink, stay out with their friends, and even have other sexual partners. In this way, many gay men who are married to women are able to have relationships with men outside the marriage. For women however, this is not the case. Women are expected to bear children, carry out housekeeping duties and often have less freedom to go out alone and meet friends. When lesbians do make the brave decision to come out publicly, they face discrimination from friends and family. Lesbians who are more masculine in appearance often have difficulties finding and keeping employment and housing... Sanh has lived her whole life experiencing discrimination from her family and her community. Speaking about one relationship with a woman she said, "We were so afraid, we contemplated committing suicide." Now she is trying to promote acceptance of lesbians in Cambodia so that the next generation does not have to suffer as she did. Women like Sanh and Sitha are taking action to change the way that Cambodian society views lesbians. "I have educated fellow lesbians to be aware of their rights. I persuade them to be brave and to take control of their lives," says Sitha. "We ourselves must be conscious of who we are. We must make society recognize us as human beings even though we are lesbians. Our hearts are created by blood and flesh as all others are. We do not destroy our country and do harm. We only want to live our lives with our families. Why does society discriminate against us?" It will take a long time for Sanh and Sitha to reach their goal of a society that does not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but small changes are already visible and they remain hopeful that more change is on the way. - Cambodia Lesbian Wrongly Jailed (2012).

Cambodian Center for Human Rights (2010, CCHR). Coming out in the Kingdom: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Cambodia. Cambodia: Cambodian Center for Human Rights. PDF Download, PDF Download, PDF Download. As a result of differences in language and culture, the concept of ‘homosexuality’ as understood in the West is not necessarily directly transferable and understandable in the Cambodian context. Rather, the Cambodian understanding of sexuality is derived from concepts of gender, character and personality. The focus on these character traits and outwardly visible characteristics instead of sexual orientation means that many Cambodians who are homosexual do not identify themselves as such... There are encouraging developments taking place in Cambodia that indicate the emergence of a nascent LGBT community. In 2003, international and Cambodian activists began ‘Pride’ in Phnom Penh, an annual celebration and recognition of LGBT rights which includes workshops, film festivals, art exhibits and social gatherings and coincides with the International Day against Homophobia. This culminated in the largest Pride event in Phnom Penh in 2009, with an attendance of over 400 people. Following the success of this event, its coordinators decided to establish RoCK. The purpose of this group is to support, strengthen and extend the existing LGBT community in Cambodia and to raise awareness and understanding of LGBT issues and rights. The organization is sub-divided into four working groups: Community education, LGBT rights and advocacy, Lesbian support, and the Pride Organization Committee 2010. The establishment of RoCK indicates a clear progression for LGBT people in Cambodia to actively pursue their human rights... LGBT individuals in Cambodia often face discrimination and abuse from not only their families, communities, and employers but also from state institutions such as local authorities and police. Although bigotry and harassment are commonplace, individual incidents are not usually documented due to the stigma associated with LGBT identities, which results in a lack of acknowledgment and support provided in response to such discrimination. Accordingly, LGBT individuals will often not report instances of discrimination and abuse and go without redress. Those that do report instances of abuse may be ignored or worse yet, face further abuse. As a result, LGBT individuals in Cambodia often do not know where to turn when victimized... - Related Newspaper Article: Little support for LGBT: study (2010).

First Cambodian lesbian film is a hit (2009): Cambodia's first-ever movie featuring a taboo lesbian love story has been a surprising hit during its first week in theatres, the film's writer said Thursday. Phoan Phuong Bopha said the two-hour "Who Am I?" about a Cambodian-American woman infatuated with a famous Cambodian actress has so far attracted some 4,000 viewers -- a blockbuster for the country's tiny movie industry. - Who Am I? (2009 film): Who Am I? (Khmer: ខ្ងុំជាអ្នកណា, Kyom Chear Nak Na) is the debut Cambodian lesbian-themed tragic romance film by writer and director Khmer novelist, Phoan Phoung Bopha. The plot deals with a taboo lesbian love story about a Cambodian American woman infatuated with a famous Cambodian actress. - Cambodge: Gays et lesbiennes s’affichent sans revendiquer (2009, Alternate Link, Translation): Deux mois après la “Phnom Penh Pride” organisée par les homosexuels cambodgiens et expatriés, la communauté affirme sa visibilité, mais laisse tout esprit de revendication au placard... Un soleil paisible se couche sur la plage idyllique de Sihanoukville. Roath, jeune Khméro-américaine aux cheveux longs et fins, s’approche de son amie Thida et l’enlace tendrement. Un étrange sourire aux lèvres, les deux filles goûtent les derniers moments heureux de leur amour impossible, avant que les familles ne s’en mêlent et que la romance ne devienne un drame. Cette scène, tirée du film Who am I, sera sur les écrans de la chaîne de télévision privée CTN, en septembre prochain. Une petite révolution dans le paysage audiovisuel cambodgien: il s’agira du premier film lesbien khmer diffusé auprès du grand public, quelques mois après sa projection dans le cinéma Lux, à Phnom Penh. «Je pense que le public est prêt pour ça, estime Poan Phuong Bopha, directrice de la société de production Cinq Fleurs, à l’initiative de Who Am I. Lorsque j’ai soumis le script au département des films, j’ai été surprise: seules deux scènes avaient été censurées, et celle qui suggère l’acte sexuel entre les deux filles a été laissée telle quelle.»... L’affaire fait les choux gras des magazines en khmer, et les lecteurs se posent des questions. «Tout le monde voulait savoir comment des femmes faisaient pour faire l’amour entre elles, explique Poan Phuong Bopha. Là, je me suis dit que c’était le moment de se lancer.» Elle demande donc à Pol Pisey, écrivain et poète cambodgienne renommée, de réaliser le script. Le tournage dure six mois et le film remporte un bon succès dans les deux salles de Phnom Penh, avec 25,000 entrées en deux mois...

Challenging homophobia in Cambodia (2009): Phnom Penh - MSI Cambodia is one of the few organisations in Cambodia responding to the service needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) by providing HIV testing and STI treatment in three locations: Phnom Pehn, Kendal and Siem Reap... Supported by the Global Fund, the project targets those at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS among the MSM population. In Phnom Penh, the risk is as high as 8.7%. Because MSI Cambodia recognises that MSM are a hidden population in Cambodia, and that many MSM are also often involved in bi-sexual relationships, this project takes a male involvement approach. Comprehensive SRH information and services are provided alongside general family planning services in the three centres. Discussions about sexuality – and particularly homosexuality - remain taboo in Cambodian society. To raise awareness about these issues, Cambodia held its biggest ever Pride Festival in May. The week long festival was a huge success and presented a realistic and nuanced picture of gay and lesbian identity in Cambodia. MSI Cambodia MSM Project Manager Srun Srorn helped to organise the event and spent the week promoting male involvement in SRH and the pioneering work of MSI Cambodia’s MSM project.

Focus on MSM and the spread of HIV/AIDS (2007): As dusk falls along the banks of the Tonle Sap River, opposite the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, Noun, 35, a married engineer, stops at his favourite vantage point on his route home each evening, a popular cruising site for Cambodian gays, where last month alone he met seven different partners. Noun's world is a complex one, riddled with deception and hypocrisy in this otherwise conservative Khmer society. "I'm not gay," he said. "I just like having sex with men." Such an assertion is not unusual in many South East Asian nations, including Cambodia. In less than an hour's time he will return to his wife and two children about a kilometre away - none of whom are any the wiser about his activities... Male-to-male sex is found in every culture and society, and is often defined as a social and behavioural phenomenon rather than a specific group of people. Although the description may include men who identify themselves as being homosexual or gay, bisexual or transgender, it can also include men who identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual and are often married, particularly where discriminatory laws or social stigma exist. The manner in which Cambodian MSM define themselves blurs this distinction even more: according to a 2004 study of 1,306 MSM by Family Health International (FHI), 'Men Who Have Sex with Men in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Population Size and Sex Trade', there are four times more of what are described locally as 'short-haired MSM' (masculine-acting MSM who have sex with each other) than 'long-haired MSM' (transgender MSM whose masculine sexual partners identify themselves as being from either group). Relations between the two groups are not always cordial. Short-haired MSM enjoy a degree of privacy by being less visible than long-haired MSM, who tend to be more conspicuous, have a great deal of difficulty in securing employment and are often thrown out of their homes. A recent report on 'MSM and HIV/AIDS Risk in Asia', by Therapeutics Research Education AIDS Training Asia (TREAT Asia), found that short-haired MSM were more likely to receive money for sex (20 percent regularly and 41 percent occasionally).

Cambodia Final Report - June 1998–September 2007 - for USAID’s Implementing AIDS Prevention and Care (IMPACT) Project (2008, Family Health International, PDF Download): Men who have sex with men:  Like MSM in other countries, men who have sex with men in Cambodia have little in common apart from their sexual behavior. Some are young; others older. Some have a university education; others left school at an early age. Some MSM are bisexual and have families and children. Some are openly MSM while others prefer to keep their sexual preference secret. In Cambodia, some MSM are considered “long hair,” which indicates that they are transgendered persons who prefer to be known as female. Others are “short hair.” Despite their differences, MSM may all face the same risk when it comes to STIs and HIV. A survey undertaken in 2000 of Cambodian MSM points to common levels of vulnerability. MSM are often a hidden population and therefore have not been on the receiving end of targeted health information. There are few health facilities that provide specialized services to MSM. Awareness on the part of MSM and health professionals with respect to the signs and symptoms of STIs (particularly those that affect the mouth, anus and rectum) is inadequate. One-third of MSM surveyed believed that they are at lower risk of HIV than heterosexuals. Unprotected anal sex and oral sex are common. Condom and lubricant use is inconsistent with both casual and regular partners. Alcohol, and to a lesser extent drug use, is associated with unsafe sexual practices. Family Health International has a mandate to work with people thought to be most at risk of HIV infection. The 2005 STI Surveillance Survey made it clear that MSM were in this category—with an alarming 8.7 percent of MSM in Phnom Penh testing positive for HIV. Accurate estimates of the number of MSM in Phnom Penh are difficult to come by because MSM and bisexual men are not easily identified. However, there is general agreement that by 2007 there were an estimated 4,000 men in the city who could benefit from a sexual health intervention aimed at MSM. FHI-supported projects reach more than 2,000 of them. Program planners face some key questions: “How do we design an intervention that will achieve the objectives? What training, what activities, what services do we need to ensure success?” In the case of MSM programming, four crucial activities became immediately clear: raising awareness of risks making condoms and lubricants easily available making MSM-friendly STI and VCT services available offering care and support for HIV-positive MSM. As a result, the program objectives include reducing the risk of HIV and STI transmission among MSM increasing the number of MSM reporting using condoms and water-based lubricants correctly and consistently increasing access to and use of “MSM-friendly” STI HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services building the capacity of the implementing agency’s staff and stakeholders to plan, implement, manage and monitor the program creating a more enabling environment for MSM around HIV/AIDS prevention and care. In order to accomplish these objectives in a meaningful way, MSM had to be reached and drawn into the program. A peer education approach was chosen. Today, well-trained outreach workers and peer educators from the implementing agencies can be found during the day or evening talking with men in parks, in cafes and discos, near the river, at karaokes, at gyms, and on the streets. They distribute small discrete cards with information about safer sex and about the location of MSM-friendly clinics. They invite men to visit the four drop-in centers in Phnom Penh in order to meet friends, get health exams from the mobile STI clinics, learn about safer sex and VCT, relax and make friends. This approach is bringing increasing numbers of men who self-identify as MSM to the drop-in centers.

Perspective: MSM policy implementation in Cambodia (2009, PSN Newsletter Volume 1, No. 1): In Cambodia, the general population has been using the word “katoey” to describe males who behave like females (and vice versa). Recently, a new term- “MSM” (men who have sex with men) has been used by public health and social workers. This denotes the fact that the MSM population in Cambodia is revealing itself at a steady rate. Based on an estimate conducted by KHANA in 2007, there are about 20 000 MSM in Cambodia. However, the real figure could be greater than the estimate as many MSM could be hidden within the general population. For example, it is difficult to distinguish the short-haired MSM from straight men. MSM is a vulnerable group to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Based on the HIV and STI Sentinel Surveillance Survey, 8.7% of MSM in Phnom Penh and 0.8% of MSM in Battambang and Siem Reap cities have HIV. The prevalence of STI among MSM in Phnom Penh is 9.7% as compared to 7.4% in Battambang and Siem Reap cities. - Casual sex among Cambodia's MSMs an HIV timebomb (2007): MSM -- men who have sex with men but who may not consider themselves to be homosexual or bisexual -- account for four percent of Cambodian men, according to experts, and represent a ticking HIV/AIDS timebomb. Pov admits that his wife in rural Cambodia, whom he sees a couple of times a week, has no idea about his trysts with two or more male partners a month. But he says he does not consider himself to be homosexual, or even bisexual, despite his predilection for sex with men. Health workers say this growing and largely unseen trend towards risky sex threatens to seriously undermine progress in tackling one of Asia's worst HIV/AIDS epidemics.

HIV Prevention Report Card for MSM and Transgender People: Cambodia (2011, PDF Download). The concept of ‘homosexuality’ as understood in the West is not necessarily directly transferable to the Cambodian context. There are no words in Khmer specifically describing sexual preferences and behaviour. The Cambodian understanding of sexuality is derived from concepts of gender and personality, rather than sexual preferences and behaviour. Cambodian society recognizes two distinct character types for males: the gentle, docile ‘charek srei’ or ’tuon phlon’ whereas the ‘chark pros’ or ‘reng peng’ character types exhibit what is considered a more traditional male personality. Another word that refers to gender is ‘kteuy’, which has a number of different interpretations. It is defined in the Buddhist institute dictionary as a person with both male and female genitalia. It is also commonly used to describe those who may be biologically a man or a woman, but display personality and behaviour of the opposite sex.23 It is considered a derogatory term... With a lack of information on the specific vulnerability and needs of long hairs and transgender people, they are often included under the MSM umbrella in HIV prevention work, which may be problematic in terms of their own self-identification.25 This may be a convenient categorization for those working with MSM, but certainly controversial for those with a framework of gender identities and other non-normative gender varieties. Cambodian MSM are also referred to according to their socio-economic class: low class MSM, middle class MSM and high class MSM. The extent to which the three classes mix socially and sexually is not known... The current National AIDS Plan was developed through a participatory process that included inputs from MSM and transgender people. • There are a few groups and coalitions actively promoting HIV prevention and the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of MSM, and others that address issues related to men and transgender people who sell sex.. • The major PLHIV organization in Cambodia has initiated a project that involves HIV prevention and positive prevention for MSM and transgender. • MSM and transgender people are not represented in national level policy making bodies for HIV. • There are two nascent initiatives trying to build capacity (through advocacy and networking) of MSM and transgender to stand up for their rights, as well as the sex worker movement advocating for the rights of male and transgender sex workers. • MSM and transgender people living with HIV rarely speak openly about their HIV status. • MSM and transgender people are not empowered to participate equally in the social and political life of communities. • MSM are involved in the design and development of HIV prevention programmes, but there is a lack of consistent participation and representation in high level bodies, such as the Global Fund country coordinating mechanism and the technical advisory board. • Peer educators are perceived to be a good source of information about HIV prevention for MSM, transgender people, and sex workers. • The national MSM network (Bandanh Chatomuk) needs strengthening to fully represent the MSM and transgender community in Cambodia.

Au Cambodge, le manque de visibilité des homos menace leur santé (2007, Translation): Même si le taux de contamination au VIH des Cambodgiens recule, l'invisibilité des gays dans la société rend la prévention difficile. Des initiatives récentes tentent d'y remédier... Le Cambodge est l'un des rares pays au monde à avoir inversé sa courbe épidémique. Malgré la très forte augmentation de la prévalence dans les années 90, le nombre de personnes vivant avec le VIH est aujourd'hui en diminution, passant de 3% en 1997 à 1,9% en 2003. Une victoire en demi-teinte, selon Guy Morineau, qui prévoit une nouvelle vague liée au homosexuels: "Les progrès sont dus à la prévention menée auprès des prostituées. En 2000, 15% des homosexuels de Phnom Penh étaient déjà infectés par le virus. Les gays ont davantage de partenaires sexuels et d'actes pénétratifs, sans pour autant se protéger davantage. La majorité d'entre eux sont persuadés que le sida ne se transmet pas par voie anale!" Le préservatif est loin d'être entré dans les mœurs. "Je n'utilise jamais le préservatif pendant mes rapports sexuels", confie  ainsi Sovann Kong, qui ne sait même pas dans quel cas il faut l'utiliser. Les autorités refusent de reconnaître l'existence de la communauté gay et donc toute prévention spécifique envers celle-ci. Les homos sont fondus dans la masse et la majorité des Cambodgiens ne soupçonne même pas leur existence. "Quand on a démarré notre campagne d'information en 2002, les gens ont seulement commencé à comprendre qui étaient les homosexuels. Ils voyaient des travestis, mais ne savaient même pas qu'ils avaient des rapports sexuels avec les hommes.

Cambodian king supports gay marriages (2004, Alternate Link): After watching television images of same-sex couples getting married in San Francisco, Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk said gay couples should be allowed to marry in Cambodia. . - Cambodia's King Says Gays Should be Allowed to Marry (2004).  I'm not gay, says 81-year-old monarch with 14 children (2004). - San Francisco Inspiration To World: Cambodia May Soon Have Same-Sex Marriages (2004). - Cambodia's Royalist Party Woos Transgender Voters (2003).  - Cambodge: le Roi est pour les unions homos (2004, Translation).

Cambodge : deux femmes en couple pour une famille heureuse (2004, Translation): Depuis près de trente ans, Sitha et Saroeun osent afficher leur homosexualité. Elles ont élevé trois enfants ce qui a fini par leur valoir la reconnaissance de leur entourage. Et elles ont reçu le soutien indirect du roi Sihanouk qui s'était prononcé en faveur du mariage homosexuel... Sitha balaie en toute quiétude devant sa maison d'une banlieue de Phnom Penh. Malgré ses 54 ans, elle ne porte pas le sampot (jupe cambodgienne) mais un pantalon et un T-shirt à rayures. Soudain, sa petite-fille l'interpelle, l'appelant "grand-père", pour la prévenir de la présence d'un bonze effectuant sa quête quotidienne. Sitha lui demande d'attendre le retour de "grand-mère" qui a l'argent sur elle. Depuis 28 ans, Sitha partage la vie de Sarœun, une autre femme. Si leur union n'est pas très orthodoxe aux yeux de beaucoup, la répartition des rôles entre elles est des plus traditionnelles. Sitha est l'homme de la maison. C'est elle qui s'exile si besoin est pour trouver du travail et nourrir la famille. Elle qui s'occupe des réparations en tous genres dans la maison. Sarœun, elle, s'est chargée des tâches ménagères et de l'éducation des enfants, trois orphelins recueillis en bas âge. Elles ont aujourd'hui deux petits-enfants. La longévité de leur couple et la réussite de leur famille ont fini par faire taire les mauvaises langues. Mais avant cela, les deux femmes ont dû affronter l'incompréhension et souvent le mépris de la société. Leurs familles respectives ont tout essayé pour faire échouer cet amour coupable qui, selon elles, allait "à l'encontre de la tradition khmère". Plus d'une fois, le couple a été en butte dans la rue aux critiques voire aux insultes. Sitha et Sarœun ont résisté ensemble.

Guillou, Anne Y (2002). Les enfants des rue et le probleme du SIDA au Cambodge: parcours feminin, parcour masculins.  Jeunesses marginalisées. La revue du GREJEM [Groupe de Recherche et d’Echanges sur les Jeunesses Marginalisées en Afrique et dans le Monde, CEA/EHESS], n° 1: 29-41. Download Page. PDF Download, Translation. En activité d'appoint et non pas, comme les filles, en activité principale, certains garçons pratiquent la prostitution occasionnelle. La moitié des garçons de plus de quinze ans dit compléter ses revenus de cette façon, tandis que, parmi les quarante-cinq jeunes de moins de quinze ans, trois seulement le déclarent16. Cette activité sexuelle commerciale est surtout le fait de garçons qui, vivant en permanence dans la rue, ont rompu les liens avec leur famille et il semble que le fait de vivre au sein du foyer familial constitue un important facteur préventif de l'engagement dans la prostitution. Comment se déroule ce commerce sexuel ? Il convient d'abord de noter, à cet égard, l'attitude très différente des garçons, en comparaison de celle des filles. Les premiers insistent volontiers sur leur liberté de choix, sur le fait qu'ils n'ont subi aucune pression de quiconque pour accepter des clients. Il s'agit, disent-ils en substance, d'un choix personnel. Dans les groupes d'enfants des rues, on observe en effet une certaine valorisation de la prostitution occasionnelle parce que cela demande une certaine bravoure — qualité masculine appréciée. Le courage est requis pour surmonter l'anxiété née de la rencontre avec un inconnu, souvent étranger, dont on ne connaît pas la langue, dont on ne connaît pas les attentes. Dans l'enquête, les clients sont, en majorité, des hommes occidentaux, suivis de Cambodgiens et, moins fréquemment, d'Asiatiques d'autres nationalités. Les garçons qui refusent ce commerce donnent des raisons à la fois pragmatiques (“les clients n'aiment pas les enfants qui respirent de la colle, comme moi”) et, plus rarement, des raisons morales exprimées en terme de “propreté”. Mais, dans tous les cas, les préférences sexuelles personnelles des adolescents ne sont pas du tout déterminantes dans ce choix... Les relations avec ces hommes sont de durée variable. Les rencontres peuvent avoir lieu avec régularité et certains adolescents ont même vécu avec un client avant d'être quittés par lui, lorsqu'il rentrait dans son pays. Cela renforce le sentiment d'abandon et de méfiance, particulièrement aigu chez les plus fragiles — ceux qui, manifestement, avaient attendu beaucoup de ce soutien et se retrouvent de nouveau seuls et à la rue. Mais la plupart n'ont que des relations limitées au seul rapport sexuel avec leur client et ne souhaitent pas aller au-delà. Cette prostitution occasionnelle varie de une ou deux fois par semaine à une ou deux fois par mois. Mais la chute des prix, causée par l'augmentation de l'offre — car le nombre d'enfants dans un état de grand dénuement ne cesse d'augmenter — pourrait pousser les garçons à accroître cette activité.

Report from Cambodia (2001, Alternate Link): Phnom Penh’s (PNP) gay scene is just emerging. Particularly during the last year or so. It is now easy to meet Cambodian men. Well, it was never too difficult really, but nowadays supply seems to exceed demand. And you may even meet some passionate lovers, even ones who seem to know what they want. In the olde days, a common complaint was that Cambodian men behaved like mattresses in bed. Well, those days seem to be over. The salient feature of the Phnom Penh scene is cruising. There is hardly any place resembling the "gay bar" we are so accustomed to in the West. Attempts have been made to create such an environment, but have failed. The reason is always the same: Cambodians do not go to such places, at least not yet. So, unless you want to meet other Westerners (inevitably, "rice queens") to exchange hunting stories, you will learn quickly to avoid such places. No problem!! You won’t need them anyway. At best, they qualify as "mixed", where the presence of straight couples is heavily evident. Nothing wrong with straights of course , just the kind of freedom to kick up your heels and let your knickers show will not be found in PNP. Despite the violent reputation of Cambodia, gay guys in PNP seem a very peaceful lot. Not necessarily honest, mind you (don’t leave your jewels unattended on the table!), and they invariably expect you to pay a "fee" of USD 10.-, but stabbings or shoot outs have never been recorded in connection with gay contacts. Some may ask for more money than the usual, but if you are not forthcoming they will exit without trouble.. - The Remaking of a Cambodian-American Drag Queen: PDF Download (2002).

Tan, Phong (2008). Ethnography of Male to Male Sexuality in Cambodia. Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh (Cambodia): UNESCO. PDF Download. PDF Download. Download Page. Recent HIV surveillance data (2005) found that the HIV prevalence among MSM is 8.7% in Phnom Penh and 0.8% in the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap. This is significantly higher than the prevalence in the general population in Cambodia. The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among MSM was 9.7% in Phnom Penh and 7.4% in the provinces. Behavioral data showed that consistent condom use is low and that many MSM have multiple sexual partners - including females... The goal of this research work that I had the good fortune to undertake was to gather the initial elements to understand the representations and mechanisms of men having sex with men in Cambodia. The study is based on the testimonies of twenty different persons1 of their life stories which were recorded in the Khmer language. The initial research report has been divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 discusses the way in which Khmers differentiate the sexes as well as the means established by society to regulate sexuality. Chapter 2 looks at the way in which Khmers define sexual identity and the correlation between this identity and sexual behavior, and then goes on to analyze the life profile of the interviewees. Chapter 3 studies the effects of changes instituted by the Khmer Rouge regime on sex life during that time and Chapter 4, in conclusion, contains the life stories of the persons whom I interviewed.

By the Ruins, a New Night Scene: (2005) Anchoring the top end of the alley, airy Linga Bar (855-12) 246 912, , is the town's first gay-friendly lounge-style bar. Opened last November by a hotel manager, it's now frequented by as many straights as gays...  Lingas and temples, bananas and cocktails - Gay Cambodia comes out (2007, Alternate Link): Although it is an open secret that Cambodia's king is a PLU (People Like Us) nobody talks publicly about the sexual orientation of king, who was before his coronation in 2004 in Phnom Penh a ballet dancer in Paris. Homosexuality is still a taboo in Cambodia. "They have no clue about homosexuality, thus they are not really biased towards gays", Ky says about his fellow Cambodians. "The attitude towards sexuality, though, is as relaxed as it is in Thailand." Only last October Sokha and his Thai boyfriend Oak have opened in the vicinity of the Royal Palace Phnom Penh's second gay bar "Blue Chilli" which is distinctly a hang out for local gay Khmer. Until then the trendy "Salt Lounge" at Sisowath Quay was the first and only gay bar, though not the only gay business in town. The hotel "Manor House" is gay owned and managed and so is stylish wellness spa and beauty paradise "OSPA"... - Cambodia PM slammed for disowning lesbian daughter (2007, Alternate Link). - Life's a drag at Phnom Penh's flourishing gay bar scene (2008, Alternate Link): For the glamourous performers in the increasingly popular drag shows at the capital city's Blue Chilli and Green Flame bars, hallelujah! It's raining men... For the boys who perform drag shows at another Phnom Penh bar, Green Flame, having fun is what it's all about. Green Flame owner Trung said they love it so much that sometimes they'll put on a show just for themselves. "Sometimes they can't bare standing around in guys' clothes, so they change [into dresses] and just put on a show!" Trung said. - Cambodia comes out (2008, Alternate Link): Cambodia and in particular Siem Reap - gateway to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex - is fast seeing an increase in gay tourism. Former Bangkok-based writer Robin Newbold checks out the scene and reveals what's in store for gay travelers... Also in the area is a smattering of gay nightlife, which emerged with the end of conflict around the turn of the millennium, evidence people are ready to have fun again. Blue Chilli Pub on Phnom Penh's Street 178, which runs right past the National Museum, is an enjoyable place after dark. They will also order in Western and Khmer food from the decent Ebony Aspara restaurant down the road on request, in fact I enjoyed the best cheeseburger in town here, along with one of the best views as the boys filed past later in the evening.

Borsobor at the Golden Banana: Yes, men had sex with men in Cambodia, but there were two kinds of such men: short hair and long hair. otherwise known as srey sros (“pretty girls”) and pros saat (“handsome men”). Pretty girls with their long hair and feminine mannerisms can’t hide in Khmer society, while short haired handsome men can pretend that they really love women. That much was agreed on – eventually – but other problems arose. Are short hairs really men who haven’t grown their hair long, as one informant suggested? Does “handsome men” refer to all men, or only the men who have sex with men, or only the men who have sex with men and are willing to admit it? And what’s this division between MSM (men who have sex with men – an acronym I have long disliked: read here) and “real men”, who also have sex with men? To try and cut through the confusion, I’d arranged to meet Chart. P…  Cambodia’s gay activist, the evening before coming to Siem Reap. Chart, a short, intense, energetic designer who has spent half his life in the US, surely had both the Western and Khmer perspective to explain the situation to me. So sitting in the Black Eagle, Phnom Penh’s (and Cambodia’s) only exclusively gay bar, half-watching the part time rent boys play pool, I listened to Chart’s explanation of terms. Listened, and had my suspicions confirmed. There is uncertainty over terms, because not only are terms new, but so is the concept. The idea of men having sex is new in Cambodian society. The closest Khmer can get to the idea is kteuy, a term close in meaning to transgender. Only kteuy is more of an insult than a statement or a compliment and those who would once be called kteuy now prefer the term pretty girl... So now we have a Khmer word for MSM, Sophat said. No! I said, you don't. There's a difference. Borsorbor are men who want to have sex with them. But lots of MSM only have sex with men for money, or because there are no women around...

Men Who Have Sex Sex with Men in Cambodia: HIV/AIDS Vulnerability, Stigma, and Discrimination (2004, PDF Download, PDF Download): "The report also uses the distinction often made in Cambodia between “MSM short hair” and “MSM long hair,” with the understanding that the former are men who present and identify as men with normative masculine gender characteristics, and the latter are men who present with more feminine characteristics and whose identity may sometimes correspond to the category of “transgender” used in some other cultures. The reason for this report’s use of the distinction between “MSM short hair” and “MSM long hair” is that focus group participants frequently used the distinction, which to some extent also informs the structure of programs targeting MSM and HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. However, the distinction should not be considered an immutable or, obviously, exhaustive categorization system... In Cambodia, the reasons and motivations for sex between men are several. Although they may prefer sex with another man to sex with a woman, some homosexual Cambodian men stop engaging in sex with other men after they marry. Some young unmarried Cambodian men have sex with other men simply out of the desire to have sex and because cultural norms concerning gender make it easier to find a male rather than a female sexual partner. Some men have sex with other men as a way of earning money..."

Morineau G, Ngak S, Sophat P (2004). Men Who Have Sex with Men in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Population size and sex trade. PDF Download, Download Page. During the first decade of the HIV epidemic in Cambodia, while prevention efforts concentrated on the risk groups and bridging population included in the surveillance system, the lack of information has prevented public health planners from acknowledging the MSM group as a target for interventions. A behavioral survey carried out in 1999 among students from Phnom Penh revealed that 8% of the male students reported having had sex with another male at least once (1). The mapping of MSM conducted in 1999 in Phnom Penh was the first study targeting MSM in Cambodia (2). Using a snowball sampling method this study identified the places where MSM met across the city and gathered some behavioral data on this group. This led to the identification of 12 open air spots and 15 indoor spots at which about 800 MSM used to meet either paid or unpaid partners (2). A MSM survey conducted in 2000 quantified for the first time the frequency of high risk behavior as well as the prevalence of HIV and STIs among MSM in Phnom Penh (3). This study measured a 14% HIV prevalence in MSM in Phnom Penh, which was as high as among indirect female sex workers for the same year (4)... Because ‘long hair’ and ‘short hair’ are distinctive groups of MSM which do not generally mingle, separate teams composed of members of the respective groups enumerated their own people... 78.2 % of the MSM were ‘short hair’ compared to 21.8% ‘long hair’. MSM were aged 15 to 62... Although 59% of MSM reported receiving money for sex, only 19% were paid for sex on a regular basis. Short hair MSM were more likely to be involved in paid sex than long hair MSM (61% versus 51%, p=0.004)... Selling sex - or ‘being bought’ - is seen as more desirable than buying sex. The participants like to be paid for sex as it triggers their pride and consolidates their social status in the group. Moreover, long hair MSM feel they cannot buy sex because they are women and Cambodian women from the general population do not buy sex... Occasional commercial sex is common and all participants are either selling sex or know someone selling sex. There are not many short hair MSM who make their living from selling sex because most short hair MSM have a job. Selling sex as a living is reserved to poor MSM. Therefore, few would aknowledge that their main source of income comes from selling sex as it classifies them as part of the lowest socio-economic class of short hair MSM...

Survey: Low Rate of Condom Use for Gay men (2002): "One of the first reports on homosexuality in Cambodia has revealed an alarming contradiction between the theory and practice of safe sex, in a group at high risk of infection form HIV/AIDS: Although the majority of gay men understand the risks of unprotected sex, very few are choosing to use condoms. The study, conducted the Khmer HIV/AIDS Alliance, or Khana, interviewed 370 men who have sex with men, or MSM, in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang in late September. The report is only the second to be conducted n the subject, and fills what health workers have described as a gaping statistical hole in their understanding of homosexual activity... Because most Cambodian homosexually choose to keep their sexual orientation secret and are often married, bisexual activity among the men surveyed was found to be very common: 40 percent said they had sex with both men and omen in the pas month. This is another cause for concern for health workers, as it means risky sexual behavior in the gay community has the potential to fuel a far broader HIV/AIDS epidemic. Overall, the report paints a picture of a sexual scene in which no easy boundaries or categories can be drawn." - HIV, STIs, and sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Girault P, Saidel T, Song N, de Lind Van Wijngaarden JW, Dallabetta G, Stuer F, Mills S, Or V, Grosjean P, Glaziou P, Pisani E (2004). HIV, STIs, and sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. AIDS Educatio and Prevention, 16(1): 31-44. PDF Download. Abstract See also: Sexual behavior, STIs and HIV among men who have sex with men in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2000: PDF Download.  A probability sample of 206 men who have sex with men from 16 sites in Phnom Penh were surveyed about sexual behaviors and tested for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). HIV and syphilis prevalence was 14.4% and 5.5%, respectively. Out of the total sample, 81% reported anal sex with any male partners in the past 6 months, and 61.2% reported having had vaginal sex. In the past 6 months, 82.8% of the sample reported having male partners who paid them to have sex. Self-reported sexual orientation did not match well with self-reported sexual behavior. Significant risk factors for HIV infection were anal sex with multiple partners, unprotected vaginal sex with commercial female partners in the past month, and any STI. Complex sexual networks indicate that men who have sex with men act as a bridge between higher and lower HIV prevalence populations. Better prevention efforts structured around behaviors rather than sexual identities are needed.

Focus on MSM and the spread of HIV/AIDS: (2007, Alternate Link) As dusk falls along the banks of the Tonle Sap River, opposite the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, Noun, 35, a married engineer, stops at his favourite vantage point on his route home each evening, a popular cruising site for Cambodian gays, where last month alone he met seven different partners. Noun's world is a complex one, riddled with deception and hypocrisy in this otherwise conservative Khmer society. "I'm not gay," he said. "I just like having sex with men." ... Penetrating Noun's world, and others like it, could be the most difficult challenge, but failing to do so could accelerate the spread of the pandemic among the country's 14.5 million people... Prevalence in the general population has also declined in recent years, but health workers warn there is little room for complacency. According to the latest survey by the Cambodian National Centre for HIV/AIDS Dermatology and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), the HIV prevalence rate among MSM in Phnom Penh is 8.7 percent, and their networking behaviour has become a serious source of concern. Of the 58 percent of men surveyed in three provinces - Phnom Penh, in the south, and Batdambang and Siem Riep in the northwest - who reported having sex with female partners in the past year, almost 25 percent also reported having sex with female sex workers, with 16.6 percent having had sex with casual female partners in the past month...

Utopia Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam : the Gay and Lesbian Scene in Southeast Asia Including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City & Angkor (2005, 1rst Edition, Full Text). - CambodiaOut is an LGBT community website. Our goal is to provide information about the vibrant gay communities throughout  Southeast Asia . We try to provide a service to the Asian, expat LGBT, as well as to the tourists that are visiting here. - Cambodia LGBT Pride. - Healthy and Gay in Cambodia: A website dedicated to LGBT health in community. The site is sponsored by Marie Stopes International Cambodia. MSI is here to help the Cambodia with HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, and counseling. Play safe and enjoy life!

Utopia's Cambodia Resources. - Phnom Penh GLBT Community Services & Resources. - Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Cambodia Resources (Country Index). - GK Network Official Blog: a social website which was created on Ning for Cambodian gay and bi guys. The network aims to create a good environment for guys who are looking for socialising with other open and hidden gay and bi guys nationwide. - Gay bars and clubs in Phnom Penh (2011).

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Gay Cambodia. Gay Cambodia to 2008 (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 2004-08. - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden. - LGBT rights in Cambodia.  

LAOS / LAO PDR - Gay Laos is worth a visit: Do not expect too much: If you think you will find Go-go Bars, massage parlors and gay saunas in Laos as you do in neighboring Thailand, you will definitely be disappointed. Everything is a bit laid back in the Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR) of Laos, one of the last communist states (nominally) on earth. PDR is often translated as "please don't rush" and you are well advised to be patient and a bit discreet, even though there is no overt hostility towards gays. But sex tourism is not encouraged. Before Vientiane became communist in 1975 the girly nightlife of Vientiane was legendary. But nowadays they have a clever law banning sexual intercourse between Laotian women and men who are not their spouses. Use common sense and gay-dar while traveling in Laos. - Luang Prabang: a UNESCO heterotopia and 'gay paradise' in Northern Laos by David Berliner - ARC-GS Lecture - 2011 (Video): In my current ethnographical research, I look at what I call the “UNESCO-ization” of Luang Prabang, i.e. the side effects of its patrimonial recognition. Among these varied effects, one is particularly underscored: Luang Prabang is described by many of its inhabitants and tourists as a town "being" or "becoming gay", a "gay paradise". In this paper, I emphasize how a heritage town, Luang Prabang can also be seen as a sexual heterotopia, an eroticized arena for diverse profiles of men sleeping with men.

Gay Life in Laos 2010: Vientiane. - Gay Life in Laos 2010: Luang Prabang. - A Side-Trip to Laos (2001): Despite the fact that there are no specifically gay establishments in Laos, finding gay Laotian boys, who are interested in "farang," is easy to do, and you will likely be approached... There are no gay establishments at all in Laos.  I asked my Laotian friend where foreigners can go to find other gay people.  He told me that you might be approached on the streets, and there are a few discos in town where you are likely to meet a "new friend." ... - Laid Back Laos (2001): After the Kok, Eng takes us to a gay-run, but mixed, disco/bar called Image, around the corner from the Anou Hotel. It is small, but loud and about a dozen people are dancing together in a circle on the floor. Around midnight a couple of lusty katoeys sashay in the door and immediately get feely-touchy with a couple of farangs. That was our cue to boogie out the door.

Lao govenment officially releases first ever HIV prevalence and risk behavior data among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vientiane (2009, PSN Newsletter Volume 1, No. 1):The Government of Lao PDR officially announced the results of the first-ever assessment of HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in Vientiane. The study was conducted in 2007 by the Center for HIV/AIDS and STIs- Ministry of Health together with Burnet Institute, with technical support of the CDCGAP regional program; other international NGOs and MSM groups were also involved. It shows that 5.6% of MSM are infected with HIV; this is more than 50 times higher than the HIV prevalence among the general adult population, which is estimated to be 0.1%. - Men who have sex with men are not all MSM (2006): Lao PDR has the lowest HIV/AIDS incidence in the region (0.05%), but infections are rising. Lack of information about ‘men who have sex with men’ (MSM) in Laos constitutes a challenge to HIV/AIDS programmers... This paper maps categories of MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in Laos, analyses their vulnerability to HIV infection and recommends interventions based on several recent studies conducted by the author... Laos has three groups of MSM: a visible transgender (TG) population, a discrete gay community and a larger, less visible bisexual population. Overall, tolerance is high but the fact that many bisexual men are married indicates pressure to conform in a traditional society. Sexual relations exist between different categories of MSM and with "hetrosexual" men. For example TG sometimes pay for sex with young Lao men who see the TG as a female and consider themselves heterosexual...

Looking for the other side of Laos (2008): Because of HIV, the government supports health-related organizations working with MSM and this has raised gay men's self-esteem and visibility in Lao society. Things are different for lesbians, who live in isolation; none of the gay men I've spoken to know any lesbians. Transwomen, of whom I've seen several in Vientiane, have some visibility because of their presence in Thai media, broadcast widely in Laos. The community can't organize social or recreational events without government permission, and clearance is mainly given for serious things like HIV prevention training and MSM drop in-centres where any man can go for counselling, workshops, English classes, games and camping trips... In Vientiane, it's almost midnight when the show begins at Pack Luck. The place is full now, with locals and a few falang (foreigners). More friends have joined us. Stage lights shine at the far end, and a series of female impersonators in elegant attire act out a full range of emotions as they lip-synch to American and Asian pop songs. I can hear Anan humming along. When the show ends and we get ready to go, a local woman strides up, sits on top of me and begins dancing. She offers me a dazzling smile and rubs her body against mine. I turn a little red and my friends smile. After a while she gives up and walks away.

Over in Laos, Still Taboo (2007): Some tourists keep coming back not so much for its well-preserved architecture and temples but for the young men who sell their bodies for a fee. “This is my third visit here,” a gay Thai tourist says.  “I love the quaint, small-town atmosphere.  The place is beautiful and the people are so kind and hospitable.  I particularly love the young men here.  They’re so cute.” He recalls having a beer in a bar one night when a “good-looking guy” approached him, “one thing led to another” and they ended up having sex. The guy asked him for some money, and from then on, going out with such men became a pattern for him. Sometimes he gave money, other times he "gets it in exchange for a beer”. The Thai tourist refuses to call these men prostitutes: “If they demand some money, I take it simply as an exchange that they deserve, nothing transactional.” He also would not stereotype them as “easy” or “promiscuous”, saying most of them were just experimenting or trying out something new”. For her part, Kham Soi (not her real name), a transvestite who is a wage worker by day but goes cruising in bars at night, says she prefers Western tourists because “they are usually loaded”. She adds: “I’m not too keen on Thais or other Asians because they tend to be stingy.  Westerners are also easier to deal with, although some can be stingy, too.” ... Another transvestite who calls herself O, interviewed in Vientiane, says it is easy to find sex in bars. “Most of the guys here don’t have any hangups about having sex with another guy or even ‘katoey’ (a transvestite) like me,” she adds. “It’s also probably easier than having sex with a woman since prevailing norms and morals here are still rather strict,” she remarks.

Laos tackles transgender taboos (2009, Alternate Link: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Laos Resources): A new drive to contain the spread of HIV/Aids in Laos is forcing officials to recognise a marginalised group - transgender men known as "katheoy". The BBC's Jill McGivering went to meet some of them in the capital, Vientiane... In Vientiane, I visited one of three new men's health and social centres which target katheoys and their male partners. The centres have free internet access, dance classes and a social programme - alongside education about safe sex and condom use, and a doctor's clinic which specialises in treating sexually transmitted infections. Rob Gray of the charity Population Services International showed me around it, and explained the particular focus on katheoys and other men who have sex with men. Last year, he told me, a government survey found the HIV rate amongst men who have sex with men in Vientiane was 5.6%. For Laos, that's very high - higher than the rate amongst other high-risk groups, including female sex workers... "The first time we really held a meeting about men who have sex with men, it was hard for policymakers and some government officials to recognise this. At the beginning, it was very hard. The issue was new and it was hard to explain it. Now we can talk about it much more openly." Wider Lao society seems far more in touch with katheoy culture - and generally tolerant of it...  Everyone I asked knew exactly what katheoys were. Many people described them as a "third" gender. One or two people frowned when they saw Khom and her friend pass. One man said he would rather not talk to katheoys. But most people seemed sympathetic... "It's their nature, they were born that way. They can't help it," shrugged one middle-aged man. I asked one man how he would feel if his son was katheoy. "I'd be disappointed," he said. "But I'd learn to live with it. It's not something you can change."

Laos: An LGBT Issue and Ally (2009): Guest blogger Nakhone Keodara is the Campaign Coordinator of A Peaceful Legacy: Campaign to Remove Bombs from Laos, and sits on the Advocacy Committee of Legacies of War. He is a community organizer and founder of the Gays United Network and Editor-in-Chief of SoCal Voice based in Los Angeles... I am an adult now, a gay man living in the United States. I have come to believe I was sent to this country for a reason--to help with efforts to erase the legacies of war that the U.S. left behind in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War-era. For Laos, this effort is focused on the removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO), including over 80 million unexploded cluster bomblets as well as large bombs, rockets, mortars, and land mines... This is a gay issue because the bombs were falling all around me when I was a child and it impacted my emotional and psychological well-being. My family is still dealing with it. My mom and two siblings are raising their families back in Laos. I don't want to see my niece and nephew become victims of unexploded land mines and I'm not the only gay person from Laos... Gays need allies to support our issues and Lao Americans need support in getting funding to remove UXO from Laos. Building bridges to the Lao community would benefit the LGBT community. A majority of Lao Americans are our natural allies as they are mainly Buddhists; a recent Poll4Equality poll revealed that Buddhists are in favor of marriage equality.

Winter S, Doussantousse S (2009). Transpeople, hormones and health risks in Southeast Asia: a Lao study. Journal of Sexual Health, 21: 35-48. Word Download. Cross-sex hormones, while often effective in producing some of the bodily changes desired by  transpeople, may also involve harmful side effect risks, especially when used against contraindications and precautions, and in the wrong dosages. Same-sex hormones blockers (interrupting the person’s own sex hormone production) may also have potential side effects. Yet there is evidence from Southeast Asia that transpeople commonly use hormones of both types without any medical supervision, often unaware of the risks at which they put themselves. This report, employing a sample of Lao transwomen, examines the degree to which participants using hormones also make use of medical supervision, as well as examining participants’ knowledge and experience of hormone effects and side effects.  The results suggest that large numbers of Lao transwomen use hormones without at any time consulting a medical professional, experience various minor (undesirable) side effects as well as (desirable) effects from hormone use, but are apparently unaware of many of the more major risks associated with these hormones. The implications for health services are discussed.

Lao: MSM Country Snapshots – Country Specific Information on hiv, men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people (TG) (2010, PDF Download). Many MSM in Lao PDR also have sex with women. Most MSM also have sex with women, and do not identify as homosexual. In 2007, 58% of MSM/TG had ever had sex with women, and 39.4% in the last 3 months. 3.5% of the MSM/TG in this study were married or had been in the past. In 2004, 8% of MSM had sex with both men and women in the past 6 months. In one study, just under half of the HIV positive MSM had had sex with women in the past 3 months... Published information about the MSM and TG community in Lao PDR is scarce. • There are a small number of specific social and entertainment venues for MSM/TG in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. • It has been estimated that 30-35% of MSM in Lao PDR are TG or “effeminate”, and the remainder are “masculine-acting gay and straight identified men”.

“The Cruisin’ Gate”: Or What Narratives Of Gay Bars in Luang Prabang, Laos Say About Narratives of Belonging in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Abstract for paper presented at the 18th Annual Lavender Languages Conference, American University, Washington DC: February 11-13, 2011. PDF Download. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2009 in Luang Prabang, Laos, this paper locates how gay personal and spatial identities emerge in the dynamic between international regulatory bodies and local conceptualizations of belonging. The agenda of UNESCO’s World Heritage program has cultivated a policing of spatial production cum identity formation that strives to delimit possibilities within a manufactured narrative of Luang Prabang as the epitome of traditional Lao cultures and heritage. However, as Luang Prabang’s World Heritage designation attracts global capital in the guise of tourist revenue, agendas of preservation merge and come into conflict with desires to modernize and conceptualize the city and population as doubly global and Laotian. Despite frequent overlaps and an incoherence articulated by both rubrics of desire, this underlying tensionbetween them pervades individuals’ projections of category construction in Luang Prabang. The emergence of contemporary gay identity in Luang Prabang after the closure of the city’s only gay bar, “The Cruisin’ Gate,” situates itself squarely within this tension. Conceptualizations of gay identities have become increasingly indexed by provincial and international agencies as “global” or “foreign” categories threatening Luang Prabang’s culture. However, through a creative meshing, co‐opting, and re‐narrating of circulating fragments of categories of sexual desire in combination with claims of belonging to Lao culture, gay men in Luang Prabang negotiate UNESCO’s policing of culture elements to articulate a form of identity that emerges from within this tension. Although the end result of this “gay category” initially appears incoherent and haphazard, its emergence and articulation demonstrates an instantiation of reconfiguring diverse assemblages in order to allow for individuals’ negotiation and understanding of complex political and cultural terrains.

Knounnasene, Alanh (2008). Men who have sex with men: stigma/discrimination, and risk of HIV/AIDS in Laos. Master's dissertation, Mahidol University, Thailand. Abstract. Results of this study revealed four distinct MSM identities: gay men, Kathoey, and non-gay men and women. Gender biases were found influencing MSMs in every sphere of daily life. MSMs who had long hair and wore dresses like women were more likely to face stigma and discrimination in public, workplace, and private life. Being MSM constrained them from receiving higher education and finding respectable jobs and required identity conflict management. MSMs look for love and long-term relationships, but yet ironically not from Laos men due to strong stigma on MSMs and the fact that MSMs were sexually and economically taken advantage of. MSMs have their coping practices, namely temporary migration to Thailand for freer expressions of their identities and desires. Strong stigma and discrimination result in unequal power relations and unsafe sex practices causing MSMs risks of receiving violence, HIV/AIDS, and STIs.

Lyttleton, Chris  (2008). Mekong Erotics: Men Loving/Pleasuring/Using Men in Lao PDR. Bangkok, Thailand: UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education. PDF Download. PDF Download. It is a scene that the research team has encountered often. Beauty shops are the prime locale associated with both work and sociality for kathoeys. It has been this way for generations. Although today wearing jeans and a tee-shirt, the evening before Suk had paraded a sequined gown while at a fashion show organized by a Population Services International (PSI) health programme that works specifically with kathoeys... Sex between men takes place in numerous different contexts in Laos. It is not simply that local ‘sexuality’ differs from Western notions of homosexuality. Nor is there a uniform version of nonwestern Lao male-male sexuality to which we can refer. There are multiple cultural logics that shape how men who have sex with other men understand and experience their lives. They entail intersections of localised belief systems and global sources of identification. One crucial issue is what sexual relations mean to the actors involved. At its most basic, how two people perceive their relationship will be a key determinant of whether HIV risk is also present, and on whether condoms are used or not. To uncover what relationships mean, the following report examines social factors of age, occupational role and economics, as well as more complicated issues of emotional needs and sexual desire. These are not easy topics to canvas comprehensively. They are, however, crucial to making HIV programmes more effective... This research has not sought to investigate female-female sexuality, although in discussions it did emerge often enough. By and large, lesbianism remains profoundly undisclosed and unseen in Lao society. The same cannot be said for male-male sexuality, where throughout Laos the commonplace presence of the kathoey symbolises non-normative ways of embodying gender and sexuality. Despite a general widespread tolerance of male homo-eroticism in Laos, most local men would agree that stigma remains an issue. Many men keep their sexual lives highly discrete, but for those who don’t, prejudice emerges in numerous and subtle ways. For example, slang terms such as maeng tai bua - a poisonous insect that can kill those it bites - is still a common derogatory label used to depict kathoeys. It is generally felt that women are jealous of kathoeys for their social and aesthetic skills. Their distaste is often more soft-edged than that from men, who feel more strongly that kathoeys have somehow relinquished their birthright as males (sia khwampenphuxai, sia xaat gert). Overt violence is not common, but nor is it entirely absent... Chapters 4 and 5 examine how sexuality is experienced in terms of love and desire between different parties: how this is embodied differently within different groups of men: how this creates certain possibilities for certain sorts of relationships and by the same token disallows others. The situation is not static – we demonstrate trends within a changing landscape of sexual relations... There is a growing sense that male-male relations are possible without adoption of overt femininity. Some men observed to us that, while they never thought they might be kathoey, they consider that they may well be gay because of the number of times they have sex with other men. There is a sense that masculinity is not so watertight and one can move along the continuum after multiple sexual relations.20 C, living outside Vientiane, tells us that he gets emotional pleasure from being close to male friends and enjoys sleeping with them. He talks of exchanging hugs and kisses, rather than more active sex, refuses to touch another man’s penis, and doesn’t want to sleep with a kathoey who might well touch him. He still regards himself as a ‘full’ man, and says he likes women 70% and men 30%. He says he could imagine a male partner and adopting a child, rather than taking a wife.

Laos: Keeping the lid on HIV (2007): Xay Boulommavong, peer education supervisor at the Peuan Mai or New Friend Centre, the only facility of its kind dedicated to supporting members of the MSM community, warned that young people, including gay men, were not only having more sex, but more partners as well. "There is a lot more freedom in terms of sexual behaviour in Laos than before," Boulommavong said. "Nowadays, everyone has a mobile phone and motorbike, meaning everyone seems to have a network of people they can tap into, any time, any place, for sex." MSM is a particularly high-risk group in need of further awareness, with condom usage perhaps even lower than among the general population. "Some MSM have limited understanding of HIV, and feel that if they are having sex with a man they aren't at risk of becoming infected. That's problematic, and that's why we are here," said the activist.

Longfield K, Panyanouvong X, Chen J, Kays MB (2011). Increasing safer sexual behavior among Lao kathoy through an integrated social marketing approach. BMC Public Health, 11: 872.  PDF Download. Abstract.Quantitative surveys were administered in November 2004 (n = 288) and June 2006 (n = 415) using time location sampling at venues where kathoy were known to congregate. Respondents were aged 15-35 and from three urban centers in Laos. UNIANOVA tests were used to compare baseline and follow-up survey data and to evaluate the impact of PSI's kathoy-specific interventions on items that changed significantly over time. Exposure to the intervention was associated with higher levels of condom use at last anal sex with casual partners and greater use of water-based lubricant. Exposure was also linked to improved perceptions of product availability for condoms and water-based lubricant. Knowledge about the importance of consistent condom use improved over time as well as the need to use condoms with regular partners. Some HIV knowledge decreased over time and the intention to use condoms with casual partners when water-based lubricant is available also declined. Study results demonstrate the feasibility of reaching kathoy with an integrated social marketing approach; combining product promotion, peer education, and other types of interpersonal communication. The approach was successful at increasing condom use with casual partners and water-based lubricant use, but the importance of using condoms along with water-based lubricant must be emphasized and modified strategies are required for improving condom use with boyfriends. Future messages should emphasize consistent condom use with all types of partners as well as improve knowledge and correct misconceptions about HIV and AIDS, STIs, condom use, and lubricant use. It is also important that authorities create an enabling environment to support such interventions and help foster behavior change.

Sheridan S, Phimphachanh C, Chanlivong N, Manivong S, Khamsyvolsvong S, Lattanavong P, Sisouk T, Toledo C, Scherzer M, Toole M, van Griensven F (2009). HIV prevalence and risk behaviour among men who have sex with men in Vientiane Capital, Lao People's Democratic Republic, 2007. AIDS, 23(3): 409-414. PDF Download. Abstract. Between August and September 2007, 540 men were enrolled from venues around Vientiane, using venue-day-time sampling. Men of Lao nationality, 15 years and over, reporting oral or anal sex with a man in the previous 6 months were eligible for participation. Demographic and socio-behavioural information was self-collected using hand-held computers. Oral fluid was tested for HIV infection. Logistic regression was used to evaluate risk factors for prevalent HIV infection. The median age of participants was 21 years; the HIV prevalence was 5.6%. Of participants, 39.6% reported exclusive attraction to men and 57.6% reported sex with women. Of those who reported having regular and nonregular sexual partner(s) in the past 3 months, consistent condom use with these partners was 14.4 and 24.2%, respectively. A total of 42.2% self-reported any sexually transmitted infection symptoms and 6.3% had previously been tested for HIV. Suicidal ideation was reported by 17.0%, which was the only variable significantly and independently associated with HIV infection in multivariate analysis. Although the HIV prevalence is low compared with neighbouring countries in the region, men who have sex with men in Lao People's Democratic Republic are at high behavioural risk for HIV infection. To prevent a larger HIV epidemic occurrence and transmission into the broader community, higher coverage of HIV prevention interventions is required. - Related news article: High HIV prevalence amongst men who have sex with men in Laos (2009): Attempted suicide [= error = Contemplated suicide] was reported by 17% of men. A history of symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection was reported by 42% of men; 81% expressed concern about contracting HIV, but only 6% of men had ever had an HIV test.

Assessment of sexual health needs of males who have sex with males in Laos and Thailand: (2005, PDF Download Part 1. PDF Download  Part 2) There is no information is available in regard to STI/HIV prevalence among ‘MSM’. A PSI Lao PDR qualitative report (2004) of the sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS risk among “transgender men and their partners” in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Savannakhet, stated that “no reported cases through homosexual transmission” had been documented among the “over 1,100 people reported to have HIV/AIDS.” This report goes on to say that “the incidence of HIV among this group (emphasis mine – do partners of “transgender men” form a group?) is thought to be increasing in the region,” adding “many MSM have [unprotected] penetrative anal sex. Here transgender means kathoey-identified males. What the current state of knowledge indicate, is that the sexual frameworks of male-to-male sex in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Vientiane, are complex and diverse, with differing sexualities, masculinities and gender frameworks, where desire, poverty and alcohol appear to be significant drivers of sexual encounters, and where increasing tourism, external communications, and media, are also bringing in an emergent gay framework. Further, anal sex is common, regular condom use varies considerably, and multiple partners, both male and female is not uncommon. In the literature review conducted as a part of this Assessment it was pointed out that the categorisation of a behaviour as ‘men who have sex with other men” and as a “target group,” is problematic, where such diversity and complexity exists. Further, while kathoey-identified males, along with gay-identified men, may well be visible in a range of settings, sexual partners of kathoeys and male sex workers may well merge into the general male population... It is essential that more knowledge is required regarding male-to-male sexual behaviours and practices in Lao, along with the contexts and dynamics of such behaviours. Further specific epidemiological data is also needed. Burnett Institute, along with perhaps the independent researcher, Serge Doussantousse, (who has access to a range of kathoeys in all the target cities), should be supported to conduct appropriate epidemiological, behavioural and sociological studies amongst MSM to gain more effective knowledge and evidence, and to develop an understanding of the dynamics of male-to-male across with all its complexity and diversity in Lao PDR...

Toole MJ, Coghlan B, Xeuatvongsa A, Holmes WR, Pheualavong S, Chanlivong N (2006). Understanding male sexual behaviour in planning HIV prevention programmes: lessons from Laos, a low prevalence country. Sexually transmitted Infections, 82(2): 135-138. PDF Download. Abstract. Sex with men: In all, 18.5% of men reported having sex at least once with another man, of whom 55% reported having had anal sex (fig 4​4).). In the first half of 2004, 8% of men had sex with at least one man and one woman. Reported condom use during last anal sex (74%) was similar to that reported for vaginal sex with non‐regular female partners (73%). Lubricant use with anal sex between men (44%) was higher than for men having vaginal sex with women (14%). Men in FGDs [focus group discussions] admitted that some “complete” men sometimes have sex with other men when they are drunk and unable to have sex with a woman; some occasionally do it for money. Most sex workers identify as “complete” men. Many come from provincial areas, have little family support, and may be from ethnic minorities. They engage in the work for financial reasons. (The term “complete man” is derived from the Lao phrase phuxay tem tua, which translates literally as “full bodied man” and is commonly used among young Lao men of all types to describe heterosexual or “straight” men.) Sex workers are usually the insertive partner and report having female as well as male clients. Understanding of the mode of HIV and STI transmission and prevention seemed to be poorer among sex workers than other men.

Doussantousse S, and others (2005). Male Sexual Health: Kathoeys in the Lao PDR, South East Asia - Exploring a gender minority. Research and discussion paper. Full Text. This paper will report on preliminary, exploratory work undertaken in Lao PDR in 2003, which provided an opportunity to begin mapping the Kathoey culture. The paper explores Kathoey’s social integration, firstly within the family and secondly within Lao society. It will therefore focus on the environment and individuals involved in the socialisation of children such as parents, schoolteachers, and the community at large. The Kathoey’s childhood is an important stage, as sexual preferences are determined at an early age, and it is also the beginning of the transition when a boy or adolescent chooses to wear female attire. Examining the range of occupations held by Kathoey’s will be used as another way to determine their position and integration within mainstream society. The health of Kathoey’s is the other main area of focus, both in terms of their sexual health (by examining their sexual practices and preferences, and their knowledge of sexually transmitted infections  HIV/AIDS) and also their physical health that may be at risk due to the consumption of drugs to bring about body modification. This paper aims to gain a better understanding of the position of Kathoey’s within a changing society, so that programmes which encourage safe sexual practices for example, can be more effectively directed at this group.

Doussantousse S, Keovongchith B (2005). Male Sexual Health: Kathoeys in the Lao PDR, South East Asia – Exploring a Gender Minority. Paper presented at The First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies, Bangkok, Thailand, July. PDF Download. Download Page. All the Kathoeys the research team interviewed stated that from their earliest recollections they associated themselves with girls. Therefore by the age of seven or eight and sometimes even younger the respondents started to identify themselves as girls. They mostly preferred to play with girls and didn’t particularly like to be with boys. Most of the respondents told us they liked to use make-up and cross-dress from an early age using either their mother’s or sister’s items. There was no secrecy related these activities and no peer pressure seemed to be evident at this stage. Complications do not appear to arise in Lao society when an individual insists that he or she adopts a manner of social expression (gender role) that he or she feels is inconsistent with what they are (gender identity)... None of the respondents remembered being stigmatised or being subjected to any parental constraints. However contrary to this information, we met one former Kathoey who had to revert to his original gender, because of parental pressure. One of our research team members knew a Kathoey who committed suicide, because of a lack of understanding of his wishes which conflicted with his family’s expectations.

Rice Paper Issue # 9: Page 11: Interview With Sunshine (1999): PDF Download. "To know Khamphan is to know his history. Our interview began with a discussion regarding his sexuality and what life was like to be gay in Laos. Born the sixth child in a line of nine children (five brothers and three sisters), Khamphan has always been secure of the love his parents had for all of their children. "Coming out to my parents was never an issue", he stated. "My parents knew since I was very young that I was gay. I used to dress and act like a girl and they treated me that way. My parents used to let me wear girls' clothes and make-up." His family's reaction is considered the contradiction of most other Asian nations? philosophies toward homosexuality. In countries like China and Vietnam, a homosexual child is considered a disgrace and a disappointment for one?s family, not to mention the social stigma. Paradoxically, Khamphan describes homosexuality in Laos as having the same openness and tolerance commonly found in Thailand. Not only did his parents cater to his feminine side, he states that their explanation was: "God made you this way. You were born this way and we, as parents, will accept you this way." Furthermore, his brothers and sisters are also supportive and his homosexuality has never caused issue or conflict within the family..."

Berliner, David (2011). Luang Prabang, sanctuaire Unesco et paradis gay [Luang Prabang, Unesco sanctuary and gay paradise]. Genre, sexualité & société, 5 (Printemps). Full Text. Translation. Luang Prabang est une ville du Laos qui figure sur la liste du Patrimoine Mondial de l’Humanité depuis 1995. De par ses moines en tunique orange, ses temples bouddhistes et la mystique religieuse qu’. elle respirerait, mais aussi la trame des architectures coloniales qu’elle donne à voir, elle jouit d’une réputation internationale et attire un nombre grandissant de touristes. Parmi les effets inattendus de cette consécration patrimoniale et du boom touristique qui en découle, et bien que les relations hommes-hommes aient existé depuis toujours au Laos, Luang Prabang est aussi décrite par ses habitants et ses touristes comme une ville qui devient gay. De fait, il existe une autre Luang Prabang, le « paradis gay », qui choque nombre de ces habitants et contraste avec la ville de la tradition, ses moines et ses femmes pures.

Gay Laos. - Utopia Resources. - Gayscape.- Laos: Gay & Lesbian Travelers. - Utopia Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam : the Gay and Lesbian Scene in Southeast Asia Including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City & Angkor (2005, 1rst Edition, Full Text). - Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Laos Resources (Country Index).

Gay Laos (Global Gayz) Gay Laos News & Reports 2007-11. Gay Life in Laos 2010: Luang Prabang. Gay Life in Laos 2010: Vientiane. - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden. - LGBT rights in Laos.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Books:A Thousand Wings - 1998 - by T. C. Huo (A Novel).

MYANMAR / BURMA  - Myanmar to celebrate first gay pride event (2012): Myanmar will hold its first ever gay pride celebrations Thursday, organisers said, as social attitudes liberalise in tandem with political reforms in the formerly army-ruled nation. Same-sex relations are criminalised under the nation's colonial penal code, and although it is not strictly enforced, activists say the law is still used by authorities to discriminate and extort. The celebrations are part of the International Day against Homophobia and Trans-phobia and will take place in four cities across Myanmar, according to Aung Myo Min of the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma. There will not be a parade, unlike at gay pride events in more liberal countries. Instead, music, plays, documentaries and talks by authors will mark the occasion in Yangon, Mandalay, Kyaukpadaung and Monywa, Aung Myo Min said, adding that the events have been officially sanctioned.Myanmar gay community to hold LGBT rally (2012): Thursday is the day that will highlight the first ever public presentation of the LGBT Pride where the rights of these people will be highly regarded. This remarkable event will coincide with the celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia. Not only are the officials of UN, writers, various artists and LGBT people from the entertainment sectors who are fascinated and engrossed with this activity but also are happy to talk about the rights of the LGBT all over the world, according to BM. - 106-year-old transgender woman speaks at Burma’s first IDAHO (2012): Burma publicly celebrates gay rights for the first time for yesterday's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia... The programme started with a speech by a well-known Burmese make-up artist. Ko Mar. He said that as a gay man in Burma he has struggled for acceptance. He encouraged young LGBT people to maintain a strong sense of self-worth and to fight for equality. Then author Atta Kyaw spoke about homophobia in Burmese society. He said the media presents stereotypes of LGBT people which reinforces dangerous misconceptions. In movies for example, he said, gay men are comic characters rather than multi-dimensional. The events in Rangoon and other cities in Burma went smoothly without any interruption from the authorities. - La Birmanie organise jeudi sa première Gay Pride, mais sans défilé (2012, Translation). - Les homosexuels birmans rêvent d'acceptation (2011, Translation).

Myanmar holds first gay pride celebrations (2012): Myanmar held its first gay pride celebrations Thursday, organisers said, in a sign of liberalising social attitudes paralleling political reforms in the formerly army-ruled nation. Around 400 people packed into the ballroom of a Yangon hotel late Thursday for an evening of performances, speeches and music to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Trans-phobia, an AFP reporter said. "I'm very happy to be with the same group of people," gay make-up artist Min-Min told AFP. "In the past we didn't dare to do this. We've been preparing to hold this event for a long time... and today, finally it happens." - Myanmar's First Gay Pride Event Breaks Taboos, Raises Sexual Health Awareness (2012): Unfortunately, the fact that the gay community has been compelled to remain largely underground has had grave consequences. A lack of awareness has led to a dearth of sexual health education, and now HIV/AIDS is emerging as a woefully unaddressed affliction. A 2010 U.N. report shows that the disease is most prevalent among men who have sex with men. "Little research has been undertaken to date to understand the scope and dynamic of HIV within this subpopulation," said the report. "Stigma and discrimination remains a major issue for people living with HIV."

A rainbow appears over Burma (2012, Alternate Link): Anna Leach of Gay Star News reports: A softly spoken TV presenter with a mop of honey-colored hair welcomes the audience before reading a news story about a Transgender day of remembrance. Don't let the low-budget appearance belie the significance of this broadcast. The show is a monthly program, broadcast on the internet since November last year, about LGBT rights in Burma (Myanmar), a country where until recently any kind of political self-expression was brutally repressed. The show, Colors Rainbow TV, is broadcast from Thailand, but the group behind the show are planning celebrations for the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 in Rangoon and seven other cities in Burma. This would have been unimaginable just a couple of years ago. - Gay people in Burma start to challenge culture of repression (2012, Alternate Link): Clubs, magazines and even an LGBT-oriented TV show are building momentum against institutionalised prejudice... Some expect the change to be rapid, such as Douglas Thompson, a gay activist who founded the LGBT-friendly travel company Purple Dragon 15 years ago and has been operating tours in Burma and other south Asian countries ever since. “If it’s anything like India or China or Vietnam . . . when things begin to open up, people meet and communicate,” he says. “Gay is an idea that people bring with them. It’s a lifestyle that is really for most people (in Burma) still completely alien.” Activists say the culture of repression that has long existed in Burma – thanks to an autocratic military junta that ruled the nation for nearly 50 years – prevents many LGBT people from coming out, for fear of being ostracised by their families as much as targeted by police... Yet slowly, Burma’s LGBT community is gaining ground. Last year Burma got its first LGBT-targeted TV programme, Colours Rainbow TV, which airs once a month online and focuses on LGBT news, interviews and features from Burma and the rest of the world. Aung Myo Min’s charity, which created it, estimates that it has 3,000 regular viewers within Burma, but admits the audience is limited to those who can afford internet access and have electricity – just 25% of Burma is on the national power grid. The organisation also publishes a quarterly magazine, Colours Rainbow, and distributes it free within Burma.

Myanmar's Gay Community Vying for Thai-Style Acceptance (2011, Alternate Link, Alternate Link: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Myanmar Resources): Tin Soe was just four when he realised he was different to other boys in his neighbourhood, but growing up in conservative and army-ruled Myanmar, he struggled to be accepted as gay by his relatives... A repressive mix of totalitarian politics, religious views and reserved social mores has kept many gay people in the closet in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Gay men have developed their own language as a "gaylingual" code to both signify and conceal their sexuality, said Tin Soe, who now works on HIV/AIDs prevention in Yangon... Many believe "we're gay because we did something in a past life, that in a past life I committed adultery or raped a woman. But I don't believe in that," he explained. - Burmese LGBT speak out at IDAHO event in Thailand (2011): Anti-homophobia activists from Burma who attended an event in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 17 May said that gays and transsexuals in the country are subjected to systematic abuse and ill-treatment in their country. - Myanmar gay movies (2010): Fridae's travelling professor has been in Myanmar, and to his surprise found camp 'gay' movies on offer. He reports: 2009 saw the first national transvestite pageant in Myanmar. Now, in 2010, there are two camp gay movies. In Swae Sar Mae, which my gay guide translated roughly as “Really Eating You”, the central character is a cross-dressing older Auntie, taking care of a Nephew and a Niece. The Nephew is a useless drunk. Sweet Niece wants to marry Charming Boy. Charming Boy, however, is the son of Auntie’s first husband – who dumped Auntie for a real woman... In the second movie, Tom Boy, thinks she is a male, and pedals a trishaw for a living (a male occupation). Flower Boy is a gay boy who sells flowers for a living. They fall in love, but both are troubled by this homosexual attraction. They work it out in the end, realizing that they are in a heterosexual relationship.

Violent murder prompts police warning to gay community (2011, Alternate Link): A GAY man viciously stabbed to death with a pair of scissors in May “created the opportunity for the murder to be committed” through his lifestyle, a Myanmar Police Force official said last week. The man, who The Myanmar Times has chosen not to identify, was stabbed 72 times in the attack. In an interview last week, Police Lieutenant Myo Myint Aung from Yangon Region Eastern District Police Office said the 32-year-old victim was a “lustful gay … the kind of person who made friends with young men he met on the side of the road without knowing where they were from or who they were”... Aunty Sein, a 77-year-old transgender beautician from Yangon, said it was common for gay people to be insulted in Myanmar, especially by heterosexual men. “Many people in Myanmar, when they see gay people, they say we are disgusting, unnatural, low standard – so many awful, discriminatory things. But I want to tell all of the people who speak like that: you are wrong,” she told The Myanmar Times last week. She said that while there were some encouraging signs, including the holding of beauty pageants for transgender people, the stigma attached to homosexuality remained strong.

Yangon, Myanmar (2011, PDF Download. Related to: Six Cities Scanning Initiative Implementation Guide): A Yangon City-Level Scan was undertaken between 6th and 14th September 2010 in order to begin debating and planning for further scale up and intensification of HIV programs and services for MSM and TG in Yangon. This scan was supported by USAID, UNDP and UNAIDS and involved three steps aimed to first orient key leaders to the scanning program and identify key ‘peak’ activities that may provide some new ideas for scale up and increased impact... Addy Chen was previously employed with the HIV/AIDS Alliance in Myanmar and now works with Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+). He describes at least five different sub-populations of MSM in the country.  Achouk are open and “effeminate MSM” who include TG persons who may dress as women and wear makeup. They are “confident” about disclosing their sexual orientation and about living openly as gay or MSM. Apone are those who have sex with men but who do not present as effeminate in any way. Apwint are “somewhere between Achouk and Apone”, they dress as men but are a little effeminate in their gestures and mannerisms. Offer are male sex workers and whether they prefer sex with men and whether they may also have female partners or not, they are engaging in sex with men for money. The Yangon Orientation Meeting described the sub-population Tha-Nge (the word literally meaning “young boy”) as teens and young men who may be both openly gay or not. Tha-Nge have become an increasing focus of HIV services in Yangon. Myanmar’s Ministry of Health proposed there are 240,000 MSM and TG persons while others suggest the figure may be as high as 400,000. The figure discussed by participants at the Yangon Orientation Meeting was 150,000 for Yangon alone. The participants in the Orientation Meeting highlight that there are many different ways to categorise these sub-groups and more work is needed here... The HIV/AIDS Alliance (which has been a significant INGO service provider in Myanmar for some time) has 16,000 MSM registered in its database. These are all best-guesses of population-size and do not represent results of any formal investigations in to MSM populations. Little is known about the behaviour and attitudes of MSM and TG persons in relation to sex and sexual health. Participants in the Orientation Meeting observed that there remains limited access to the means to prevent HIV and knowledge of HIV among MSM and TG persons remains dangerously low. From this Yangon City Scan it remains unclear to what extent MSM and TG person in Yangon understand that they are at risk of HIV and therefore we also don’t know whether MSM generally understand the need to know their HIV and where to go to test and treat for HIV and STIs. - MSM, sex worker health hotline launched (2011, Alternate Link): According to the Myanmar National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS for 2011 to 2015 there are an estimated 224,000 men who have sex with men. - Burma: HIV on the Rise Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (2010): Stigma against men who have sex with men (MSM) has complicated efforts to limit the spread of HIV in Burma (Myanmar). According to official data, HIV prevalence among MSM in Burma was 29.3 percent as of 2008, or 42 times higher than the national adult prevalence rate. The Department of Health and the World Health Organization estimate the MSM population in Burma at 280,000 as of 2007.

Gay in Rangoon (2007, PDF Download: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Myanmar Resources, Full Text, Full Text): While the world’s attention has been focused on Burma’s (Myanmar) bloody crackdown of human rights protests, judges in Hong Kong were considering whether to award the top prize of a new literary competition to a Burmese gay novel. Nu Nu Yi’s Smile as they bow narrowly missed winning – last week as the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize went to a Chinese book set during the Cultural Revolution – but her novel about a gay transvestite medium is a fascinating insight into Burma’s gay community. A winner of Myanmar’s National Literary Award, Smile as they bow which was first published in 1994 follows the lives of three young Myanmar people. It has been translated into English and will be published at a later date. According to Irrawaddy, an independent Burmese news magazine, the novel was originally rejected by Burma’s state censors in 1993 but was later given permission to distribute a heavily redacted version the following year. Attempts to create a film adaptation were blocked by Burma’s Motion Picture Censor Board. The author Nu Ny Yi was quoted as saying: "The authorities said the story was against the customs of Theravada Buddhism and Burmese culture. They also said being born a man is an honour, and that a person living as a gay man loses that honour." Smile as they bow describes nat-kadaws which literally mean “the spirit’s wives” in Burmese. Nat-kadaws are mediums who allow themselves to be possessed by spirits, called nats, at special festivals. For a price, these men and women dance crazily, act drunk and tell fortunes. One of the nat-kadaws has a female persona, and many gay men assume this role as it legitimises their status as homosexuals inside Burma. “[These men], while not envied, are respected for their roles as shamans and seers,” writes Eli Coleman, Philip Colgan and Louis Gooren in a 1992 paper, “Male cross-gender behaviour in Burma.” ... Meanwhile, DJ Bar, is a funkier and more upmarket venue. It also usually has a decent DJ and is popular with the expatriate population. “Any foreign gay men will get a lot of attention in Burma,” laughs Bowie. “They are all looking for someone ‘generous’!” And in a country where the average daily income is less than a US$1, who can blame them?

A Boy’s Journey to Sex Work (2007): Eak, a male escort, still appreciates what he gained inside the monastery. He learned the Thai language and started to read Buddhist scriptures, but most of all, he found shelter and refuge from two more familiar companions: fear and death. In fact, 10 years ago, before he fled across the border and became a monk, his hill village in the troubled Shan states of north-east Burma had already been forcibly evacuated, reducing his home to a makeshift tent in the jungle. “Since my childhood, I have little taste of freedom and happiness,” he says, gazing into a swarm of dirty scooters on the sun-bleached boulevard. He can still remember how as a small boy, he saw the killing and rape of his fellow villagers by Burmese soldiers. Local resistance groups in the Shan states were fighting for self-determination... Like many others in the Shan states, Eak’s parents rely on the cash he sends home from Thailand. Eak told them he is working in a restaurant. He last visited them three years ago -- as a shaven-headed monk, reunited with his family for the first and only time in 10 years. Eak’s girlfriend, also of Tai Yai ethnic origin, knows only too well that he is not waiting on tables. They met in Chiang Mai and, according to Eak, she feels all right about his occupation as long as he protects himself. “I remember to use a condom almost every time I have sex with clients,” he says. How often is “almost every time”? Nine out of ten, he says, and smiles. The male sex workers of Chiang Mai have an HIV infection rate of 11.4 percent, according to a 2005 survey. Nearly half are of Tai Yai origin and come from the Shan states. The Shan are in high demand for their unique physical features. Of the more than 30 boys at Eak’s club, about 80 percent, are Tai Yai... 

All Burma Students' Democratic Front Repeals Law Criminalizing Homosexual Acts (2001). - Lexical categories of homosexual behaviour in modern Burmese. - Male cross-gender behavior in Myanmar (Burma): a description of the acault (1992): Cross-gender behavior in Myanmar (formerly Burma) is reported. Western concepts of transsexualism, gynemimesis, transvestism, and homosexuality are not distinct categories by the Burmese. Males with cross-gender behavior are referred to as acaults. Although Myanmar is a profoundly Buddhist society, the people still have strong animistic beliefs with an elaborate system of 37 nats (spirit gods). One of these nats is a female named Manguedon who may take possession of males and impart femininity on them. The cross-gender status of the acaults is sanctioned by their spiritual marriage to Manguedon. The acaults, while not envied, are respected for their roles as shamans and seers. - Western feminisms through Asian eyes: reading English-speaking feminisms from the perspective of the 'other' (2001): "In Burma, homosexuality is illegal but men have sex with acault who cross-dress as women under the patronage of an animistic spirit.  The Burmese are 'perplexed' at the idea of acault having sex with one another (Califia 1997:147)." - Burma's leaders slowly moving to combat HIV (2005): But a 1999 study by Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist at the John Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, who worked with the World Health Organisation in Burma, suggests that at least 687,000 Burmese are HIV positive, or almost 3.5 percent of Burma's adult population, which would be the highest rate in Asia. His team analysed government figures at clinics and hospitals and narrowed the study to pregnant women, soldiers, sex workers, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), and blood donors, while excluding the nation's estimated 1.4 million drug users.  Heterosexuals account for 57 percent of infection rates in Burma, followed by intravenous drug users with 22 percent. Those who donated or received tainted blood are 4 percent, MSM make up 1.2 percent, and the cause was unknown for 13.5 percent, according to UNAIDS.

Going to Pagan: Gay slang in Burma (2009): In this article, the term ‘gay’ is used because it is a popular self-identifier in urban, web-accessible areas, as is the term ‘homo’, both loan words from English. The term denotes some men who have sex with men, who can be varying degrees of feminine or masculine. There are two broad categories of communication codes used among gay Burmese people. The first translates as ‘hidden language’, designed to disguise meaning from the straight world. It is only used when gay people talk amongst themselves. The second category translates as ‘slang’, which is more open and has been adopted by parts of straight Burma, even being used by some celebrities. Gay slang is subverting contemporary Burmese in subtle ways and demonstrates the growing visibility of gay Burmese, despite ongoing homophobia. Examples of vocabulary in this article fall into this category. Burmese gay communication codes are participatory. It involves giving new meaning to old words, and also changing basic words like ‘to eat’ so they are unrecognisable by those outside the community. - Differently Gendered People - a little history: "In Burma, a similar phenomenon exists in which male-to-female transgender people are believed to be possessed by a spirit of the opposite sex. They have a function at the temples and participate in (semi)-religious ceremonies." - The Third I: "And did you know Harrison, that transsexualism, is global in scope, and can be found in virtually all countries, cultures, and through out history. They are called the Acault in Burma, the Xanith in Oman, the Hijera in India, the Berdache among the American Indians from Alaska to South America, the Mahu amongst the Polynesians, the Sarombavy of Madagascar, and they are found amongst the aboriginal  of Siberia and Africa." - Male cross-gender behavior in Myanmar (Burma): A description of the acault (1992).

Ho, Tamara C (2009). Transgender, Transgression, and Translation: A Cartography of Nat Kadaws: Notes on Gender and Sexuality within the Spirit Cult of Burma.  Discourse, 31(3): 273-317. Abstarct & Excerpt. PDF Download. Burmese spirit worship offers a particularly complex case of translating transgression and transgendered identities. The Burmese nat kadaw, or spirit medium is, on the one hand, provocatively represented and constructed in variegated globalized representations highlighting the exotically queer and, on the other hand, often miscategorized and unevenly transposed into Western frames of language and epistemology. The challenge of speaking across cultures and languages is demonstrated in Gary Morris's review of the 2002 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: "Nats are spirits, channeled by Burmese queens, that can help with finances, love, etc., and 85% of the population believes in them. The queens who channel them (and it's mostly a "gay thing") are highly respected and feared by all, including Burma's brutal military. "Did you fuck the general?" one of them asks another. It seems some of the nats have "government sponsors" who give them presents, houses, and perhaps nights of hot military lovin'. Some of the spirits have names suspiciously similar to drag queens: Lady Silver Wings, Little Flute Lady." This summary of Lindsey Merrison's critically acclaimed documentary Friends in High Places: The Art of Survival in Modern-Day Burma (2001) conflates the U.S. figure of the "gay" drag queen and the Burmese nat kadaw, illustrating the discursive incorporation of nat kadaws into globalized discourses of queer/LGBT sexuality, agency, and transgression. The slippage between nat kadaw and "Burmese queen" confirms their transnational resonances as historically inspirational figures of queer defiance against institutionalized state violence and heteropatriarchy (e.g., nat kadaws standing up to Myanmar military could be likened to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City). Morris's film review also highlights how the variegated vocabulary surrounding nat mediums, gender (roles), and sexuality in Burma is too often lost in translation: not all Burmese nat kadaws are male, nor are the male-bodied nat kadaws all necessarily "gay" or drag "queens" in the Western sense. The Burmese nat kadaw functions as a professional ritualist, shaman, and entertainer, translating between the realms of the supernatural and human, usually for a fee. The term nat kadaw, literally "lord-consort," often translated as "spirit spouse" or "spirit wife," refers to people who are possessed or "loved by" one or more supernatural beings called nat, a flexible term with connotations of suzerainty. Signifying regional and local animistic beliefs predating Buddhist Burma, nat encompasses a broad range of capricious spirits considered "more powerful than man.

The HELP (2011). Situation of HIV positive men who have sex with men in central Myanmar/Burma [A report based on focus group discussion with HIV positive MSM, PLHIV, SW]  PDF Download. Focus group discussions using semi‐structured questionnaire were facilitated in Mandalay, Monywa, Shwebo and Lashio... For HIV positive MSM trying to access care and treatment services, besides facing the above challenges that all PLHIV share, they have to shoulder the added burden of dealing with the stigma of homosexuality and moral judgment on the part of health providers, so much so that some MSM decide to hide their sexuality from their care providers. This led to suboptimal care – e.g., checking up for STIs and per rectal examination... Insensitivity or lack of awareness of the health service providers is a major barrier to access, according to MSM participants. MSM participants feel uncomfortable to access health services at public hospitals. Many health practitioners are not well informed about how to care for MSM population, they do not understand enough about their sexual orientation, diverse gender identities, or the effect of stigma and discrimination on health. Either in public or private sector providers, most providers make assumptions and do not open up the space for discussing on the sexual practices of their patients. As a result, many MSM do not disclose their sexual risk factors due to fear of negative consequences. Participants had experiences that ranged from obvious negative attitudes towards MSM people living with HIV to medical neglect from health sector workers... Homophobia is something not openly talked about much in Myanmar society but practiced nonetheless in daily lives at family and community level. All the local language attributed to homosexual act/person has denigrating connotation (A‐chaut, Gandoo, Gipone, Mainmashar). Pressure to conform to mainstream “heterosexual masculinity” comes mostly from the male family members. Having no recourse but to conform, some MSM got married with women to please their families but the marriages usually fall apart at a later date. There are also some MSM who take on the role of home maker in the family to fit their desire of ‘wanting to become like a woman’. Though all MSM said they are not going to change their sexual orientation due to others’ opinion, they acknowledged public opinions’ impact on how they express their sexual identity and form relationships. Whether a homosexual man is accepted by his family and community depends also on his economic contribution to the family. MSM participants who identified themselves as breadwinners of their families reported little stigma and discrimination from their families and communities. In another case, one MSM reported of changing his feminised lifestyle and mannerism to fit the community’ expected role of the family breadwinner. All MSM participants reported to have received stigmatising treatment from their community ‐ mostly from male community members with name‐calling (a human waste, someone who’s not a complete human being, neither umbrella nor slippers), cruel teasing, ridiculing and sometimes physical abuse. MSM are considered shameless people and blamed for starting the HIV disease. Health care providers are also among the perpetrators of the stigma game... Though not as prevalent and obvious as in the past, many MSM mentioned they themselves or other MSMs suffer arbitrary violence (verbal, physical and emotional) from law enforcement. Cruising at night for sexual partners is particularly dangerous given the fact that there is antisodomy law, however dormant as it may be. Extortion for money, free labour and threat of arrest from law enforcement are the common problems among the socio economically disadvantaged MSM.

Unlikely Marriage? (2003): "The great hill, as it is known, is also a sanctuary for many of the country’s homosexual men... Myint Thein Oo has been a nat kadaw for 17 years. He makes a living from this tiny shrine on Mount Popa where he helps worshippers make offerings. He says he decided to marry a nat after discovering he might be gay. U Myint Thein Oo, a gay nat kadaw says: ” I was born a boy. But when I was about six or seven , I started to feel like I wanted to be a girl or a woman. So my parents asked one of the nats to be my guardian. Later, the nat possessed me and I became more and more feminine.” ... That feminine side is best seen at nat festivals… musical performances involving elaborate make-up, flamboyant costumes and theatrical dance moves... These performances, which can take place as often as six times a month, are staged in hopes of luring the nats to earth. Ordinary people can then receive their blessings and gay nat kadaws can indulge their richest fantasies. Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt says: ”It’s a good excuse for them to cover what they are. They like dancing. They like to behave like women. They like to dance. So the only chance to do is to become like Nat Kadaw. You can dance. There’s a freedom. So for a person who is gay but does not want to admit he is gay, he can just say… He’s a Nat! It possesses him and turn him that way. Yes, that is true.” ... Thein Zaw is also a gay nat kadaw. He says in the last 10 years more men have taken up the profession. Although homosexuality is not forbidden in Myanmar, Thein Zaw says gay men are better tolerated when they are nat kadaws. Marriage to a nat, it seems, can make an honest woman out of a man. Thein Zaw, a gay nat kadaw says: ” The reason why I chose this profession to feel more freedom as a gay person. As a Nat Gadaw I am not looked down by society nor am I an outcast. I also like dancing and I can earn enough money to support my family.”

Berry S, McCallum L (2010, Draft). Reference Guide MSM and Transgender People Multi-City HIV Initiative. AIDS Projects Management Group for UNDP Asia Pacific. PDF Download. Yangon, Myanmar: The movements of MSM and TG are restricted and their rights are regularly violated in Yangon through arrest and intimidation by police and other authorities. Homosexuality and prostitution are illegal in Myanmar and a man was sentenced to seven years in prison for committing homosexual acts in 2007. BCC materials cannot describe sex between men explicitly because of government censorship.63 Though there is no overt segregation of MSM and TG persons in Myanmar there is strong family pressure to conform to social norms and sex between men remains highly stigmatized. Peer outreach education and establishing ‘safe spaces’ for MSM and TG have been the major focus of HIV programs in Yangon because of the lack of safety and the closed nature of MSM and TG networks generally. At PSI’s TOP Centre in Yangon Achouk and TG people say that it is only at services like the TOPS Drop in Center and others in the city such as those provided by Medecins du Monde and Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI) that they feel able to dress as they really wish to. At work, at school and in other settings they feel restricted and feel they must conform to social expectations in relation to behaviour and dress. These individuals in Myanmar society have little power or ‘agency’ either individually or collectively to advocate for themselves.

National AIDS Programme, Department of Health, Ministry of Health (2012): Figure 14 revealed the trends of HIV prevalence among most at risk populations which have been slowly declining since 2000 and sharp decline were observed in 2007. In 2011, HIV prevalence among IDUs, FSWs, and MSM continued the slow declining direction that has started since 2009. A slight decline was observed in male STI patients. For MSM the sharp decline was observed for consecutive 2 years, this may be explained by a couple of facts that more and more new MSM have been captured; or/and sick MSM rarely joined the facility based activities/services; actual less infection transmission in the target group. Nevertheless, the limited sentinel sites leaded to uncertainty of the results; thus IBBS among MSM should be conducted to be able to triangulate the prevalence.

TREAT Asia Report - Young Activists Reflect on Identity, Community, and Diversity Among Asia's MSM (2007, Alternate Link): Reporting by Addy Chen (Myanmar):   It is complicated. Jack, how do you identify yourself? You would be considered a Long Hair MSM, right?...  That's why in Myanmar we end up having six categories of MSM, and with all these groups we need different outreach and education approaches...  I don't know about in other countries, but in Myanmar the gender imbalance within the gay community is still very high. For example, in most MSM couples, the breadwinner is the Long Hair. Long Hairs have to treat their husbands like princes or kings, they have to buy everything, and they may even put up with being hit by their husbands... In Myanmar, in the general population as well as among MSM, people don’t know much about STIs [sexually transmitted infections], much less HIV. People working on AIDS who are not MSM don’t know about the diversity of MSM communities or much about their sexuality - they don’t understand how vulnerable MSM are to AIDS and how high their risk is. Among MSM themselves, awareness about health issues is still very low. MSM who are more educated and informed often don’t want to disclose their status because they will face stigma and discrimination, so there are very few educated people who can lead the community. Also because of the situation here in Myanmar, we cannot form MSM-specific self-help groups... Doing peer outreach, it’s best to work through informal MSM groups or networks that already exist. A lot of the beauticians in Myanmar are MSM, and some are transgender. They have a group of young MSM followers and they have a big influence on them... Another way we can reach MSM is through certain transgenders called Nat-Gadaw who act as interpreters of the spirit... There are also drop-in centers for MSM, which provide voluntary counseling, treatment for STIs, and testing. At the moment in Yangon, we have two MSM drop-in centers. There they have monthly gatherings of around 400 people... What has also happened is that a lot of male sex workers who don’t identify as either MSM or gay have come to these gatherings. At first they might have been looking for clients or whatever, but they got services also and they enjoyed it. And so now they come and bring some of their friends who don’t identify themselves as MSM but who have sex with men. So it has been snowballing...

Khan, Shivananda (2008).Second country consultation and training meeting on male sexual health in Myanmar: A PSI/Myanmar workshop. PDF Download. PSI Myanmar is a major international non-government organisation working in HIV prevention in the country implementing an HIV prevention programme since 1996 through social marketing and educational mechanisms of a range of sexual health products and services to the general community. In 2003 it began to develop an MSM and HIV prevention, care and support service through its Targeted Outreach Programme, and initiated drop-in services, outreach and clinical services in Yangon in 2004 and Mandalay in 2005. It began a scaling up of services to other cities in 2006, and now covers 9 cities... In April 2007, PSI Myanmar organised the First National Workshop on Male Sexual Health, bringing together some 120 MSM participants from across the country to explore their issues, needs and concerns, while developing a number of recommendations for ways forward. One of the key recommendations that arose from that meeting was the felt need for process of national consensus and community networking and mobilising through regular national meetings of this nature. It was believed that such national meetings also provided an opportunity to representatives from local projects to share knowledge, experience, and skills, while developing a common framework of understanding, as well as ensuring appropriate replicability as a means of rapid scaling up of coverage. The Second National Workshop on Male Sexual Health is an outcome of that meeting... Bringing together so many representatives from MSM networks and projects across Myanmar presented its own unique challenges, but ultimately exceeded expectations in terms of achieved outputs because of the considerable development work over the last three years. These include the development of local MSM sexual health projects that included the availability of safe spaces for various types of MSM to meet and socialise, ready access to sexual health products and STI treatment, the provision of VCT services and psychosocial counselling, along with the considerable networking and community building that has occurred within cities where such projects exist, as well as within those townships and other cities where PSI Myanmar TOP hopes to scale up its MSM interventions. - Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) – Update for ICAAP, Bali, 2009.

Khan, Shivananda (2006). Review of the MSM Targeted Outreach Programme, PSI Myanmar. Naz Foundation International. PDF Download.This review of the Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar males who have sex with males (MSM) Targeted Outreach Programme (TOP) is the first following the NFI conducted workshop in partnership with PSI Myanmar held in Yangon, Myanmar between 8th – 10th February, 2006 for representatives from other PSI country affiliates in the region to explore HIV/AIDS programming issues to address the needs and concerns of MSM... The current MSM TOP programme has many strengths towards enabling and empowering MSM to take responsibility for their own sexual health and having ownership of the virus and taking responsibility for reducing risk. In other words, moving an intervention focus from passive recipients of information and resources, to a framework of active involvement in design, management and service provision. However, there are a range of issues that need to be addressed to enhance the sustainability of risk reduction over the long haul, strengthening the sense of community development and solidarity, as well as strengthen the capacity for scaling up across the country. Further there are some gaps in service provision that urgently need to be addressed.

Voices: Taking a Stand in Myanmar... (2006, Alternate Link) Addy Chen... After I took it, the airline managers called me in and told me that they had checked my test results twice and they showed that I was HIV positive... When I found out I was positive, I was really afraid, but I am an MSM and some of my friends knew a lot about HIV. Some were really supportive of me and helped me find a way to face the disease. At first I didn’t tell my family, but they found out when I really got sick. Eventually they accepted it and they have been supportive emotionally. So I’m kind of lucky... The Myanmar country representative for the International HIV Alliance also approached me and I started working with them as an MSM prevention consultant. Now we have the network for PLWA established and we’re starting to build our capacity to understand how anti-HIV drugs work, what is happening in the region, and how we can get access to treatment. The Global Fund pullout is the worst, worst thing for PLWAs in Myanmar. The current situation here is that there are 45,000 needing ARVs right now and only 2,000 have access to them...

Review of the socio-cultural research on HIV/AIDS in the greater Mekong subregion (PDF Download): The socio-cultural context of men having sex with men is investigated in two studies in Myanmar, with the research taking place during local traditional festivals. These studies show that men having sex with men is considered “normal” in these festivals and takes on a ritualistic aspect, as for example in the Nat festival (Kyaw et al 2004) where MSM play the role of intermediaries between supernatural and human beings. The second study documents significant risk behavior during the Taunbuyon festival, including many drunken boys having sex with the one male sex worker (Wrigley 1997),.

In Myanmar, novelist wins praise for tale of gays, ghosts: (2007, Alternate Link) Except for the books lining sets of old shelves, there are few luxuries in the home of Nu Nu Yi, an author from Myanmar who has earned international attention for her novel about a gay spirit medium. Like many writers in this military-ruled nation, the 50-year-old says she has struggled to carry on with her work without compromising her principles in the face of notoriously strict censors... She is one of only a handful of writers who dares to paint accurate portraits of life in this country, ruled by the military since 1962, but says that is the only way to fulfil her responsibilities to herself and her readers... Myanmar's military censors maintain complete control over everything that is published or broadcast within the country formerly known as Burma... The novel focuses on a 53-year-old gay medium who falls in love with a 23-year-old man brought to be his apprentice. The longing leads to heartbreak as the younger man tries to run off with a woman during the festival. Gay men are often sought out as fortune tellers or intermediaries to the spirit world, as they are seen to have the ability to channel the nats. Nu Nu Yi says she spent three years learning about their lives... Homosexuality is illegal here, and the military is somewhat embarrassed by widespread belief in the nats, which they dismiss as pure superstition... "When my novel came out, I was not fully satisfied as an author" because of the edits, she admits... Even some gay spirit mediums also took issue with her novel, which they felt revealed too many details about their normally secretive world...  - A Burmese novel about Gay Nat-Ga-Daws short listed for Man Asian Literature Award.

Joint Programme for HIV/AIDS: Myanmar 2003-2005 - Mid-term Review (2005, PDF Download N/A): A substantial amount of sexual transmission of HIV is also taking place amongst men who have sex with men (MSM)... STI services specifically designed for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are rare. Anecdotal evidence suggests that HIV levels are high in this population. MSM have not been prioritised within the Joint Programme. This needs rapid revision, for reaching them effectively will be critical to a successful response... No data on the percentage of MSM who accessed VCCT in 2004 was available from UNAIDS Myanmar or the central AIDS counselling centre in Yangon. None of the 522 male attendees at the Mandalay VCCT centre reported having sex with men. Some preliminary findings of an unpublished survey suggest that overall 2 to 3% of adult males acknowledge ever having had sex with other men... - The Cultural Queasiness Factor: Intersections of Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention in Burma/Myanmar (2011).

Prison experience in Burma (1994): "Homosexual activities: Homosexuality is also popular in prison. Young and handsome men were most susceptible to intimidation and pressure from convicts serving long term imprisonment. This is another issue which the authorities prefer to ignore."

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Utopia. - StickyRice. - Myanmar LGBT Society. - Myanmar Gay Education. - Utopia Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam : the Gay and Lesbian Scene in Southeast Asia Including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City & Angkor (2005, 1rst Edition, Full Text). - Sexual Minorities & HIV Status Myanmar/Burma Resources (Country Index).

Gay BurmaGay Burma to 2009. Gay Burma News & Reports 2003-11. (Global Gayz). - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden. - Sodomy Laws: Burma. - LGBT rights in Burma.

SOUTHEAST ASIA (Not Including Mekong Region)

SINGAPORE  - Homosexuality in Sangapore. - Singapore: It's In to Be Out. - Singapore is Asia's new gay capital. - Gay culture comes out in conservative Singapore. - Singapore opens first help gay community centre. - Do Gays Have a Place in Singapore? - Sex Education In Our Schools. - Singapore Laws Pertaining to Gays. - Gay Law: Emancipation And Emasculation. - Gays don't count in Singapore. - A Singaporean Lesbian Speaks Up. - Singapore's Community to Celebrate Nation's Independence. - Signaling Towards a Gay Future: SiGNeL and the Singaporean Gay Community. - Socially conservative Singapore bans popular gay-oriented Taiwanese film. - Singapore bans gay website. - Singapore bans gay Web site, fines another. (Alternate Link- Singapore gay party to be held in Phuket: Ban forces festival to switch venues. - Annual Singapore gay party moves to Phuket after police ban. - Thailand wins as Singapore's brief gay fling grinds to a halt. - 'Brokeback Mountain' to Open Uncut in Singapore, Which Bans Gay Sex. - History of homosexuality in Singapore (2000s). - Gay Sexuality in Singaporean Chinese Popular Culture: Where Have All the Boys Gone? - Go Home, Gay Boy! Or, Why Do Singaporean Gay Men Prefer to “Go Home” and Not “Come Out”? (2011).

Creating a home for all in Singapore, video launched for Pink Dot 2013 (2013):  The theme of this year's LGBT 'freedom to love' event in Singapore, Pink Dot, is 'home', as shown in the campaign video launched yesterday. The video shows LGBT people searching for acceptance - an older gay man is prevented from visiting his partner in hospital, a transgender teen is bullied at school and a young woman's parents shut-down communication when they find out about her same-sex relationship. The film ends with at Pink Dot, where LGBT people and allies have gathered for one day a year over the last five years to show their support by wearing pink. The highly-professional and moving campaign videos for Pink Dot have been much anticipated since 2011's video Support the Freedom to Love and 2012's Someday. This year's film, like the previous two, is directed by Singaporean filmmaker Boo Junfeng whose debut feature film Sandcastle (2010) was the first from Singapore to be invited to the International Critics' Week at Cannes Film Festival. - Campaign to donate LGBT book to Singapore social services exceeds target in one weekend (2013): here are still 20 days to go on a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to send a book of stories of survival from LGBT Singaporeans to social service centers, but the project has raised double its intended target already.The campaign to send I Will Survive to Singapore's Family Service Centres (FSCs) exceeded its initial $1,000 (US dollars, €756) target during its first weekend on crowd-funding website Indiegogo. 'As a social worker myself, I know the importance of social service professionals having the right skills to do their work,' said the book's editor Leow Yangfa. 'June is traditionally LGBT Pride Month worldwide, and in Singapore, we will be coming together to celebrate the freedom to love at Pink Dot on 29 June 2013.

6,000 at Singapore Pride despite ban on homosexual sex. - Is there room for gay pride in Singapore? The responsibility to educate our straight friends starts from ourselves. - Singapore Bans Gay Photos: Singapore - At the opening of Singapore’s gay pride festival “IndigNation”, censors have banned an exhibition of photographs showing gays kissing. - Singapore Bans Gay Kissing Photos. - Sir Ian supports Singapore Pride as gay exhibition banned. - Ian McKellen wades into Singapore gay rights debate. - Singapore authorities ban lecture on gay sex laws by canadian professor. - Singapore Authorities Cancel Another indigNation Event. - Singapore park forbids gay-rights picnic, jog; says politics not welcome in green spaces. - Singapore Gay Pride Begins As Police Close Gay Art Exhibit. - More gay events banned in Singapore. - Singaporeans’ Attitudes toward Lesbians and Gay Men and their Tolerance of Media Portrayals of Homosexuality.

Singapore transsexual battles culture of shame (2007): She loves children and her lifelong dream is to be a wife and a mother, but the raspy voice and masculine frame betray the fact that Leona Lo was born a man. Unlike many other transsexuals in Asia who prefer to live privately because of the social stigma of sex change, the British-educated, Singaporean transsexual woman has chosen to live a normal life, but in public. Smart, confident and articulate, the communications specialist who heads her own public relations company has embarked on a mission to help turn around the "culture of shame" surrounding transsexuals in Singapore and the region. "Somewhere out there, not just in Singapore but throughout Asia, there are lots of young people who are suffering the way I suffered years ago," Leona, 32, tells AFP in an interview.

Asian Gay and Lesbian Network Slams Singapore's Gay Sex Prohibition. - Why do Singapore politicians remain silent on gay issues? - Singapore leader: Decriminalize gay sex. - Singapore reconsiders gay sex ban. - Prominent Gay Opponent appointed to Singapore Parliament. - Singapore Churchies Seek More Anti-Gay Prohibitions. - Lost in a fog of fear: If you follow the English-language media, you may get the impression that there is solid opposition to the decriminalisation of homosexuality. I will point out here why we need to be careful how we read what we read (or hear)... - Half of younger Singaporeans consider homosexuality "acceptable". - Patrick's Gay Singapore 1965-1984.

Developing LGBT Affirmative Support Groups within Singaporean Postmodernity (Clarence Singam, Oogachaga Community Development) (2005, Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Singapore today, stands between modernity and post-modernity where contradictory narratives of identity battle for dominance. Two increasingly dominant narratives are that of the nation as a successful economic entity and that of Christian fundamentalism. The former asserts that Singapore’s survival requires her to become a creative society open to diverse ideas. However this requires celebrating diversity; including sexual diversity. Thus the issue of gay freedom of expression has been a focal point in the public debate on societal diversity. This push towards diversity has however thrown segments of Singapore’s population into identity crises. It has resulted in the growth of a minority though vociferous Christian fundamentalism that adopts the discourses of the religious right wing in the United States. Vocal segments of this population believe they are divinely mandated to stem the rise of lesbigay acceptance in Singapore. These battles are often fought in the public sphere via the discourses of Asian and family values, sexual abstinence as the primary anti-HIV message and allowing religious voices in the political space. This paper will trace the evolution of gay support groups within this terrain of meta-narrative conflicts. It will explore the types of support groups in existence, the strategies employed in planting and nurturing these groups, the obstacles faced and the impact these groups have had on the Singaporean discourse on diversity. The paper will explore the development of religious and social activity based lesbigay affirmative support groups as well as recent community experimentation on straight-gay partnerships."

Letter to the people of Singapore: I am a homosexual Singaporean who has been in a loving and committed same-sex relationship for almost ten years. My partner and I currently live overseas because we sought for ourselves a better life in a progressive society more accepting of us. Despite the pain of losing direct access to our dear friends and family, and the continued revulsion of our "chosen" lifestyle by the conservative religious community who also exist here, we have nevertheless found a new and happier existence in this foreign land. If nothing else, we are comforted by laws here that affirm our right to exist as equals, regardless of skin colour, creed or sexual orientation... As Singaporeans, we constantly recite a pledge to uphold ourselves as "one united people, regardless of race, language or religion". With the Women’s Charter having already been enacted by the time this pledge was composed in 1966 and the issue of sexual orientation yet to surface, additional dividers of egalitarian ideals such as gender, sexual orientation and physical ability were omitted, perhaps deemed unnecessary then. But 40 years later, they remain as valid in any mature society around the world. I want to believe that the Government and people of Singapore will become enlightened enough to provide homosexuals like myself with not just a place in its richly diverse, forward-looking, multi-faceted and humane society but also a legitimate and dignified existence. - Serving Singapore as a gay man - Part 1: A personal experience of disclosing homosexuality to the Singapore Armed Forces (Part 2).

Guan, Toh Heng (2011, Draft). Constructing Masculinity in Southeast Asian LGBT Discourse. Paper presented at the ISA Asia-Pacific Regional Section Inaugural Conference 2011. PDF Download. Download Page. Since the first Pride march after the Stonewall incident in 1969, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) discourses, from formal academic works and social movements to gay fashions and LGBT travel guides, have thrived in many parts of the globe. While some suggest that these movements have brought together an expanded space for the Southeast Asian LGBT community and improved the societal status and welfare of LGBTs in this region (Heng, 2001; First ASEAN LGBTIQ Caucus, 2011), this paper argues that, because LGBT discourses in this part of the world have remained largely focused on a male-based homonormativity derived from patriarchal heteronormative beliefs of the West and other cultural inheritances such as Confucianism and traditional values, these movements have reinforced the constriction of LGBT people rather than bringing them sexual or gender freedom. Via ethnographical surveys, analysis of LGBT-related official discourses (e.g. government stances), public discourses (including op-eds and magazine articles), as well as social discourses (such as Internet chatrooms and discussion forums), this paper attempts to chart the constructions of masculinity often hidden behind Southeast Asian LGBT discourses, and suggests potential directions for a more indigenous LGBT discourse in Southeast Asia by drawing upon a case study based in Singapore.

Hawking in the Creative City: Rice Rhapsody, sexuality and the cultural politics of New Asia in Singapore (2007): This paper critically examines how a regional queer Asian culture has emerged in Singapore as a result of its creative industry developments. Unlike the sex tourism of gay Bangkok or the social movement of queer Taiwan, queer Singapore is created by cultural and media policies, and gay and lesbian entrepreneurship. In a country that prosecutes homosexuality, queer commerce has flourished. The city-state is now recognised in the mainstream and the subculture as the new regional Mardi Gras centre of Asia. Queer Singapore shows how sexual recognition is constituted, not through the post-Stonewall politics of sexual rights, but through what I will argue as theFoucauldian ethics of identity.

Singapore rejects gay group: (Alternate Link, Must Scroll) "Singapore's Registrar of Societies refused to register the gay organization People Like Us on March 31 and ordered its members to cease activity..." Singapore bans gay seminars: Literature. - Gay lecture series in singapore cancelled. - Police refuse permit for public lectures on gays. - Singapore: Asia's new gay capital? - Boys Night Out: We're here. We're queer. Get used to it. Can Singapore accept its gay community? (Alternate Link). On the streets and between the sheets what it means to be gay in straight-laced Singapore. - Transgender people in Singapore. - Singapore: a woman with a past: As my friend Russell Heng remarked, "Even when Singapore does something right, nobody knows, and they don't get any credit for it." I suspect the Singapore government doesn't want anyone to know. They may think it embarrassing that there was ever a time when they were liberal-minded. In these days when the government takes pride in their homophobia, this stain on their past behaviour is best hidden away. Just like a woman with a past.

Singapore threatens gay magazine. - Manazine manacled. - Ministry warns gay magazine. - Man of Zines: Adriaan Nijen Twilhaar. - Outrage over gay exposés in s'pore tabloid. - fridae 'presents' Singapore's top lesbian icon. - No longer 'herstory': Herstory, Singapore’s longest-running monthly lesbian party is back with a new party on Dec. 22 after a brief hiatus and a brand new website. - Quietly, Singapore lifts its ban on hiring gays. - Singapore letting gays halfway out of the closet. - Singapore churches protest govt’s change of policy in hiring gays. - S'pore eases censorship rules for gay-themed films among others. - Sexual Morality Oppression.

Chasing the White man syndrome, part 1 (Part 2): The situation in Singapore is probably less evident than countries with a predominantly white population such as Australia or USA where gay asians face the situation commonly known as Sexual Racism. In these countries, some gay asians report facing sexual discrimination by white men who tend to date within their own race. Asians, on the other hand, shun their own race and go for Caucasians. The result is a situation in which young gay asians go out with older western men, whom the white younger gay men have lost interest in. In Singapore, some Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are also only attracted to white guys. They are tagged as SPG; and the acronym stands for Sarong Party Gay (Gay in this case could refer to bisexuals as well); and is perceived by certain segments of the community as a negative lot... - Minority Race Homosexuals in Singapore: We know what follows is a generalisation. It has to be. There is little research on homosexuality in Singapore; one has to rely on anecdotal evidence and one's own experience of belonging to a minority. We believe that negative feelings amongst the Chinese population as a whole towards minorities in Singapore, has influenced homosexual politics. There is no denying that in everyday life, Indians and Malays are stereotyped to an extent that is both derisive and insulting...

On Minorities: 'racism' in Singapore's gay community: It’s a common complaint you hear from some people who’ve been in chat rooms. After a few minutes of conversation, the other side doesn’t respond anymore, the IRC equivalent of a line going dead. “It happens when I tell them what race I am.” ... This is an issue that often plagues many minority and liberal communities. At stake is what can be termed a ‘politics of equivalence’? What this means is that members of different minority communities should be able to form coalitions based on shared experiences. Their similar experiences of marginalization should form the grounds of some kind of empathy. The key word here however is ‘should’. In real life, the distinctions take precedence, and very rarely the commonalities... Lest this whole article sounds as if I’m using Yusoff’s words as ventriloquism, I’d like to relate my own personal experiences. When first coming out, it was of course disheartening to encounter suspended conversations on IRC the moment I had mentioned my race. My initial excitement at membership into a community I could call home was replaced by self–consciousness: I had never been as constantly reminded of my ethnicity than in a gay chat room. I was, in effect, a minority within a minority.... Comment: ooohh... great conversation topics... i wish this written rite in front page of the local newspaper!...hehe... Yeah rite i have been reading of SG govt claiming to have "GRACIOUS" society?.. Such ridicule even foreigners are laughing their butts off!!!... We can't even say "please" and "thank you" pleasantly, forget about graciously?! ...haha... and you guys sure knows whom i refer to?...

Any boy bars in Singapore? - The leech on the trannie's bum - a Scottish newspaper does a feature on Singapore, and without fail, Bugis Street comes up. - Straits Times editorial: Gay tolerance. - The lack of accurate representation of gay males in the mainstream Asian Media: An Asiaweek example. - Peers called him "sissy", so boy killed himself. - Focus on the family to hold ‘reparative therapy’ seminar in Singapore.

ICAS3 - a conference in the quarantine zone: "Perhaps the 60 - 80 queer scholars who came in for the conference were the largest group of queer academics ever on Singapore soil at the same time. Many felt that the theme of sexuality and transgenderism probably had more papers than any other theme... " - Singapore's AIDS activist dies. - Web Cloaks AIDS Chat in Strait-Laced Singapore. - Results of the AfA (Singapore) MSM survey announced.- More HIV infections seen in MSM in s’pore. - Retrospective study on MSM patients in Singapore. - Survey to gauge sexual health-related knowledge and behaviour in s’pore MSM. - s’pore gay group plans forum. - First ever GLBT community centre in s'pore opens.

Fridae Magazine: Asia's Gay + Lesbian Network: Fridae speaks to Benedict Jacob-Thambiah: "We need a sense of belonging. I cannot speak for Asia but I think the gay scene in Singapore needs to accept the diversity of the community in terms of its cultural make-up,  sexual diversity eg transgendered persons etc. There is so much richness in all our identities. We cannot move forward as a people if we are disunited and ashamed or embarrassed of our community..." - Homosexuality: How the economics and politics of Singapore have shaped the Anglican Diocese and its role in the Province of South East Asia. - Interview with Glen Goei: "Glen Goei (pronounced "Gwee") born and raised in Singapore, graduated from Cambridge in England and won the lead role opposite Anthony Hopkins in M. Butterfly. He's produced and directed several stage plays, "That's the Way I Like It" is his feature film directing debut." - Gay movies still a no-go in s’pore. - Singapore bans film with gay theme. - First gay erotic art exhibition in Singapore. - Baby Dykehood in Singapore. - Singapore gay history (2012)

Is it true that consensual homosex is no longer prosecuted? - The arrests at One Seven and Section 20. - The nonsense about society defending itself from harm. - 'Asian' means we have to live with hypocrisy and paralysis. - Time is ripe to look at laws... after PM Goh’s remarks about the status of gays. - Remaking Singapore - the homosexuality thread. - A military intelligence report. - GLBTQ: Singapore. - Queer films come out behind closed doors.

The life of a gay Singaporean: Joehan's Web. - Growing up gay in Singapore is about standing outside yourself and watching a simulacrum inhabit your body, your actions, your words. - Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community [Journal of Homosexuality, 40(3/4): PDF Download]: Title of Paper: Tiptoe out of the closet: the before and after of the increasingly visible gay community in Singapore (Full Text). - Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community - 2001 - edited by Gerard Sullivan and Peter A. Jackson (Amazon). - Writing Singapore Gay Identities: Queering the Nation in Johann S. Lee's Peculiar Chris and Andrew Koh's Glass Cathedral.

Guan, TOH Heng (2011, Draft). Constructing Masculinity in Southeast Asian LGBT Discourse. PDF Download. Via ethnographical surveys, analysis of LGBT-related official discourses (e.g. government stances), public discourses (including op-eds and magazine articles), as well as social discourses (such as Internet chatrooms and discussion forums), this paper attempts to chart the constructions of masculinity often hidden behind Southeast Asian LGBT discourses, and suggests potential directions for a more indigenous LGBT discourse in Southeast Asia by drawing upon a case study based in Singapore... It seems undeniable that in Singapore a higher number of gay men than lesbian women adopt patriarchal heteronormativity as the ideal model of a same-sex relationship, and have experienced difficulty in finding a partner. Some of my informants told me that the entire Trevvy chatroom is full of “bottoms” and lack of “tops”. Some even feel that they would have to introduce themselves as “top” to even start a chat with anyone. Paradoxically, however, “bottom” is always associated with “effeminate” by Singaporean gay men, and “effeminate” is deemed as unattractive by gay men who like “men” only...If gays have demanded their sexuality be accepted and their right to love someone of the same sex, by extension, should not a bisexual’s concurrent love for a man and a woman be accepted? Or should they conform to the monogamous monosexuality of the homonormative order? My ethnographical survey thus far indicates that bisexuals have to blend into either the lesbian and gay world; there is no space specifically for bisexuals in Singapore’s LGBT community. Lesbians, however, seem to be more tolerant towards bisexuals, judging from the higher number of bisexuals in their circle compared to that of the gay men. As for transgenders/transvestites/transsexuals, according to my informant, they are even less visible in the LGBT community as most of them tend to assimilate into the heterosexual crowd after their gender transition, especially for transsexuals...

Tan, Kok Kee (2011). Stand up for Singapore? Gay men and the cultural politics of national belonging in the Lion City. PhD. Dissertation, Antropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. PDF Download. Download Page. This dissertation ethnographically examines how Chinese-Singaporean gay men articulate their aspirations for national belonging within a recalcitrant state and its nation-building programs. These men expose the artificiality of the nation and its categories of belonging. Even as the state compels them to submit to its call for economic and biological (re)productivity, it also chastises them for their allegedly excessive individualism. Yet, in the corporeal spaces of everyday life, they navigate a social landscape structured by the very real practices of an authoritarian state that criminalizes their sexuality. By ethnographically charting how gay men comply with and resist discourses and practices that position them both inside and outside their nation, I argue that the illiberal state achieves its political legitimacy by successfully convincing citizens that only it can secure Singapore's continuous economic growth. I further assert that within Singapore's strongly communitarian political framework, gay citizens who stress their commonalities with their non-gay counterparts tend to attain more social acceptance than those who focus solely on their sexuality.

Tan KP, Jin GLJ (2007). Imagining the Gay Community in Singapore. Critical Asian Studies, 39(2): 179-204. Abstract. PDF Download. Through an analysis of public responses to two separate but related events in contemporary Singapore - a church's claim that “homosexuals can change” and a former prime minister's published comments about openly gay civil servants in his administration - this article explores how a “gay community” has been imagined in Singapore, where homosexual acts remain illegal and where a “conservative majority” has been ideologically mobilized by the state and moral-religious entrepreneurs. A close reading of the debates within SiGNeL (the Singapore Gay News List) and the local mass media reveals ideological struggles - and, in particular, gay activists' role in these struggles - surrounding a basic contradiction between Singapore's exclusionary laws and practices and official state rhetoric about active citizenship, social diversity, and gradual liberalization. This rhetoric is aimed primarily at attracting foreign talent and retaining mobile Singaporean talent in a globally integrated economy that is increasingly dependent upon creativity and innovation.

Book Review: Singapore Queers In The 21st Century. - Book Review. - Review. - safe singapore: Look out for SAFE Singapore, a new support group for straight family and friends of GLBT people with an upcoming website launch on Saturday, Dec 9 at Mox Bar. Fridae talks to Dr Khoo Hoon Eng, a co-founder of the group and a supportive mother of two gay sons.

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Singapore: - Developing LGBT Affirmative Support Groups within Singaporean Postmodernity (Clarence Singam, Oogachaga Community Development).

Gender & Sexuality: Performance and Representations in Asia (Conference, Singapore, 2012): Abstracts: We ‘Other Singaporeans’:How can we talk about Queer Singapore and Queer Singapore Cinema without succumbing to the language of repression? Singapore is a repressive, autocratic society, seemingly, that denies the rights to full personhood of certain of its citizens through the prohibition of certain sex acts and censorship of certain expressions—especially in regard to gay male sex and popular film. However, by interrogating the intersection of the “377A debate”—the debate over the law prohibiting male same-sex relations—and the production, distribution, exhibition, and reception of two recent films—Female Games (Kan Lume/2009) and Solos (Zihan Loo and Kan Lume/2007)—this paper tests the assumptions of repression in the Singapore context. While 377A (and attendant laws) prohibit gay sex in Singapore, the government has stated it will not enforce the law. While the MDA film censorship code bans all “positive portrayals” of homosexuality on screen, it has approved Female Games (with positive images of a lesbian relationship) for public screening but banned all screenings and sales of DVD versions of Solos (with ambivalent images of a multi-generational gay relationship). Such contradictory responses have generated a good deal of local debate over State censorship and restriction, legal challenges of 377A and MDA’s regulations, and the growth local queer activities—such as IndigNation and pinkdot. In this way, the very prohibitions have worked to produce, rather than repress, a public discourse of sex in and around Queer Singapore and Queer Singapore Cinema. 

Resource Links: - SGBoy N/A. - Trevvy. - SGBoy Articles. - Singapore Queers in the 21st Century.- Articles from Yawning Bread (Singapore). - - Gay Singaporean Internet Community. - Susana Marques Transgender Directory for Singapore. - Singaporean Gay Teens. -'s GLB Resources. -  Southeast Asia Web's Gay and Lesbian Resources Page. - Search for GLBT Info. - GLBTQ Asian Books. - Google Directory: Singapore GLBT.

Gay Singapore 1996  - 2006 (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 1996-07. - ILGA Report.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Utopia's Singapore Resources. - Pridelinks. - Gayscape

Books:Peculiar Chris - 1992 - by Johann S. Lee (First gay novel by a gay Singaporean: Peculiar Chris by Johann S. Lee.) - The Rainbow Connection: the Internet and the Singapore gay community - 1999 - by Ng King Kang  (Related Article) ( Reference) - Bite Hard - 1997 - by Justin Chin (10 Sample Pages) (The Author) - People Like Us: Sexual Minorities in Singapore - 2003 - edited by Lo, Joseph & Huang Guoqin (Book Review) (Review: Breaking Taboos).

Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia: the Gay and Lesbian Scene in 60+ Cities Including Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Johor Bahru and the Islands of Bali and Penang - 2006 - by John Goss. GLBT Guide to Gay & Lesbian Life in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia: Which country is home to Asia's fastest growing openly homosexual sub-culture? Would you believe tiny Singapore? With more than 30 openly gay businesses in the tourist-friendly Chinatown neighborhood alone, Singaporean entrepreneurs are feeling free enough to fuel a huge boom in the city-state's pink economy... Commenting on the surprising abundance of gay life in a very conservative region, Singaporean gay activist, Alex Au, writes in the book's preface, "The reason for this contradiction may be because, despite the political or religious rhetoric, at the social level, the people of these countries are tolerant and hospitable." ... But despite growing advances in personal freedoms, activists in all three countries continue to encounter official obstacles. In 2006 Singapore government officials awarded a large grant of public money to a homophobic Christian group that attempts to straighten out gays. In March this year Kuala Lumpur police tried to crack down on businesses that cater to gay customers by fining owners for petty license violations, bringing criticism from local AIDS/HIV educators...

To "The SEARCH Section" For The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts... and The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available!  

MALAYSIA - Malaysia? No gays here! - 'Homosexuality is a Crime Worse Than Murder': Interview with Malaysia's morality police. - A "scary/gross" expose on gay cruising from the Malay-language newspaper. - Being Muslim and Homosexual in Malaysia; Gays and Moslem Society. - Malay responses to homosexuality. - Malaysians protest UN resolution on sexual orientation. - Mahathir attacks gays and ‘western’ culture. - Malaysia: A two-faced society. - A Malaysian transvestite talks about his life in heels. - LBTQ Lives:  Popho Earthwind. - The Malaysian Gay & Lesbian Club. - Malaysia to Block Planned Gay Church:  Muslim-majority Malaysia will block a plan by the country's first and only openly gay pastor to establish a church embracing homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals, a minister said Monday... - Malaysia's first gay film a box office hit (2011). - If Malaysia wants to be respected as a democracy, it must stop persecuting sexual minorities (2011). - Serial gang-attacks on transgender women in Malaysia (2012): At least 13 transsexuals have been attacked over the last six months in Kuantan, Pahang, according to a local media report.

Malaysia transsexual who lost name fight dies (2011): A 25-year-old transsexual who lost a court battle in Muslim-majority Malaysia to change his name to that of a woman has died, a report citing heart problems said Sunday. On July 18, a high court in conservative eastern Terengganu state ruled that a person's sex was determined at birth so Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz could not change the name on his identity card to that of a female. The Sunday Star newspaper said Ashraf was admitted to a hospital on Friday for low blood pressure and chest pains, having earlier suffered a bout of vomiting and dizzy spells. Ashraf, a former pharmaceutical assistant who underwent a full sex-change operation in neighboring Thailand in 2008, was born with an abnormally small penis, and died on Friday due to a heart problem, doctors said.- Malaysian transsexual vows to fight for her rights (2011). - Malaysian transgender singer fined for being ‘feminine’ (2012): Islamic court fines transgender woman after she ‘repents’ ... Malaysian transgender singer Hafiz Jeffri was fined by the Islamic Syariah high court for ‘dressing in women’s clothing and having feminine mannerisms’. The singer, also known as Kajol, ‘repented’ and had a prison sentence reduced to a 1,000 Malaysian Ringgit ($313, €250), government-owned newspaper The Star reported.

LGBT Rights in Malyasia. - Malaysia's laws on gay sex need to be amended: Anwar. - Malaysia stands by anti-sodomy law. - Gays persecuted in Malaysia - Singapore. - Anti-homosexuality law outdated but set to stay. - United Nations Ill-Advised on Homosexual Laws. - Group Against Homosexuality Formed in Kuala Lumpur. - Anti-gay movement in Malasia - to "educate" the public about the dangers of homosexuality N/A. - Malaysia says No to Brokeback Mountain. - Gay Asia News by Utopia: Malay Press Reports Fuel Police Crack Down on Gay Clubs:  Human rights in Malaysia took another downturn today as the English-language newspaper, The Malay Mail, used their front page to equate homosexuals with prostitutes. Referring to recent high profile police raids on Kuala Lumpur discos, spas and saunas popular with gay men, the paper used local slang to slur the country's gay citizens: "Round-up of the Day! Chicks [female prostitutes], Ducks [male prostitutes] and Gays." ...

Gay ministers barred, Malaysia tells UK. - Over and out: anti-gay Malaysian culture sent doctor to Sydney. - ..Anwar has engaged in homosexual acts - anathema in this predominantly Muslim nation [Malaysia], where sodomy is a crime. - Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim Sentenced to Nine Years. - Federal Court allows Anwar's appeal . - Mahathir sacked Anwar to prevent Malaysia having 'gay' PM. (Alternate Link) - Anwar sues Mahathir for gay 'slur'. - Malaysia court dismisses Anwar suit over Mahathir's 'gay' accusation. - Anwar's lawsuit over gay slur by former Malaysian premier is dismissed. - Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is an awesome gay city!

Gay Malaysia: Coming Out in the Open. (Alternate Link) - Comming out in Malaysia: "When Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was arrested last year on charges of sodomizing  his driver, shockwaves were sent through the gay communities in Malaysia.  Since that time, however, the action - which has proven to be political in nature rather than an honest effort to enforce Islamic laws - has backfired by strengthening the will of the gays in Malaysia and bringing discussions of homosexuality into the open - even on to the front pages of the nation's most respected and conservative newspapers." Gay Malaysia Articles: Anwar may be in jail for alleged sodomy, but Malaysia is growing more tolerant of its gay community. - "Homosexuality Is A Crime Worse Than Murder." Interview with Malaysia's Morality Police. -  ‘During the Anwar Trial it Was Easy to Get Lucky’; Interview with openly gay journalist Ashley Lee. (Alternate Link)

Women in Action: Moving sexuality rights in Malaysia into the new millennium. - Out Of the Closet And Into the Courtroom? Some Reflections on Sexuality Rights in Malaysia by AR: "Never before in Malaysia has homosexuality received so much press coverage, been so much in the public eye, as in the last few months. Thus, despite the best efforts of parents and teachers everywhere to shelter young people from knowledge of "unnatural sexual activities," it is likely that any one old enough to read the papers will have some idea of what sodomy or 'liwat' entails - and some idea, therefore, that straight or heterosexual sex is not the only mode of sexual expression." - Exiles in the Heartland. - "GLQ in Malaysia: LGBT Studies, Censorship, and Other Transnational Problems".

Malaysia - Demographic Characteristics of Adolescents (PDF Download): "Another study carried out nationwide at the end of 1996 among 30,233 secondary level students (aged 13-18) in 881 classes from 708 schools revealed that 1.8% were engaged in sexual activities (Second National Health and Morbidity Survey, Ministry of Health, 1997). Of these, 63.2% were heterosexual, 19.9% homosexual (male and male), 6.2% lesbian, and 8.4% had sex with both male and female sex workers." - Shall we dance? [Hopefully this proposal won’t end up being gay bars.But hey, wouldn’t this be a blessing for the liberalists and fundamentalists. Killing two birds with one stone.] Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has given the green light for the setting up of discos in the state, as long as Islamic rules — as stipulated by Pas state government — are adhered to. He said he was not opposed to dancing in discos but it must be between members of the same sex...

Why homosexuals marry but lead double life N/A: "THE fear of being stigmatised as a “pondan, bapok or Mak Nyah” has caused many homosexuals to lead a double life but secretly continue having lesbian or gay relationships, said Universiti Sains Malaysia Assoc Prof Ismail Baba. He said due to societal and family pressures, many of them got married to avoid suspicion but secretly continued to have homosexual relationships. Based on his case study of a gay couple, he said, Azlan, 38, a civil servant, and Ramli, 40, a mechanic, (not their real names) had been in a secret relationship for eight years. “During their relationship, Ramli had three failed marriages which were all arranged due to strong pressures from his “straight” (heterosexual) friends...Assoc Prof Ismail said such scenario could be found almost anywhere in Malaysia, especially big cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and Johor... “Homosexuals who are highly educated are more rational in their own thinking and assessment of what is right and wrong about being a gay or lesbian,” he said. - Cruising Mat Motor: Malay biker masculinity and queer desire in/through KL Menjerit.

Silent Runs Around the Sapphic Bush (Angela Kuga Thas, (KRYSS) Knowledge & Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces, Malaysia) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Young women who love women (WWLW) in Malaysia may not prioritise the need to legitimately establish their sexual identity in overt actions as in the demand for sexual rights, but they do persist in seeking opportunities to creatively negotiate the right to individual sexual agency in order to remain true to ‘who they really are.’ In a qualitative research conducted in 2004 with young urbanized and reasonably educated WWLW between the ages of 20 to 29, I found that their first same-sex relationship with a woman is usually with a fellow Malaysian, witnessing that sexuality of whatever orientation, evolves at home. The sexuality of young WWLW seems to lie on an interaction of continuums that constantly evolve. What we are usually shown are factors of influence, but the resulting outcomes of these influences which constantly vary due to the differing levels of closetedness, the levels of secrecy, the levels of silence, the levels of acceptance, the duality of the WWLW’s identity, the levels of discrimination are what determines the actions of young WWLW in exercising their individual sexual agency. The same-sex relationships of young WWLW were found to be more egalitarian than heterosexual ones, and gender inequality and unequal power dynamics manifested at a much lower scale. In reviewing existing frameworks and developing one to be more suitable for WWLW, the issue of gender becomes more central as a basis of formation and evolution for all of the other elements of sexuality."

Homosexuality And The Church Dialogue: "With the prevalent emergence of the homosexual culture seeking to gain social acceptance as a category of people who are different but normal, how do you think the church in Malaysia should respond to such a situation? ...Q. Is the homosexual dilemma reversible? To what extent can a person turn from such tendencies? Yes, change is possible. We have seen brothers and sisters who were once struggling and are now happily married. The recovery process depends very much on the individual?s motivation to change, their personal discipline and obedience in following God?s word. Some may take one to two years, others need longer time, and still others get done in eternity.

Transsexualism in Malaysia: Survey of prevalence; Efforts of Government to Provide Assistance; A Compilation of Recent News Articles.Angie Ng: malaysia cross dressing and transgender. - Malaysia won't certify transsexual's wedding. - Malaysia Voids Transsexual's Marriage. - Plight of the Third Gender: Transsexuals bemoan lack of acceptance.

The History of the Transsexual Community in Malaysia (Yik Koon Teh, Universiti Utara Malaysia) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "This panel will have three speakers discussing the development of the lesbian, gay and transsexual community in Malaysia from the British colonial period until present day. Each of the communities has its own unique development under the multiple influences of industrialization, urbanization, and globalization within the local socio-cultural and political environment. However, it is agreed that the political development of Malaysia, particularly its Islamisation policy, has the greatest impact on the development of the three communities as social and legal barriers are implemened based on this policy. The transsexual community, being the most visible, faces the most discrimination and challenges. This panel will also discuss the organisation of the three communities and the relationship between them. The PT Foundation (formally known as Pink Triangle), a non-governmental HIV/AIDS organization, will be specifically referred to as it was instrumental in bringing together the three communities under its organisation. The establishment of various virtual groups via the Internet will also be discussed. Despite the availability and the increase in the number of subculture groups, there is little contact and cooperation among the three communities. Moreover, majority of these social groups are situated in major towns and cities where access to the Internet requires computer literacy. As such, only certain sections of the communities have access to these facilities. The poor, rural and uneducated or those with little education are left out. Overall, the development/movement of the LGT communities in Malaysia is still behind when compared to their neighbours in Singapore or Thailand."

Teh, Yik Koon (2008). HIV-related needs for safety among male-to-female transsexuals (mak nyah) in Malaysia. Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 5(4): 177-185. PDF Download. This research, commissioned by the Malaysian AIDS Council in 2007, is qualitative and descriptive in nature. In depth face-to-face interviews were carried out with 15 mak nyah respondents from five major towns. The interviews were guided by an interview schedule that had seven main topics: brief background; hormone-taking behaviour; safe sex; health care; substance abuse; harassment from authorities; and HIV prevention. The HIV problem among the mak nyah, mak nyah sex workers and their clients is critical. Many do not have in-depth HIV/AIDS knowledge and do not practise safe sex. The problem gets worse when most mak nyah do not consider HIV/AIDS as a primary concern because of other pressing problems like employment and discrimination. There are also no HIV prevention activities in many parts of Malaysia. Mak nyah also face constant harassment from enforcement authorities for prostitution. This hampers HIV prevention work... HIV prevention work among the mak nyah community should not only be about having prevention activities, but include dealing with other mak nyah-related problems like discrimination, unemployment, persecution by authorities, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. As long as these other problems are not dealt with, HIV prevention work will never be successful among the mak nyah community. Besides this, the mak nyah community should not be singled out as one of the high-risk groups. The general public is also a high-risk group as they do not practise safe sex when they seek the services of sex workers. As long as the authorities do not accept these issues and address the problems, HIV/AIDS cases will continue to increase in the country.

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Malaysia:  - Mapping Awk(queer)ness in the 21st Century Malaysian Literary Landscape (Nasirin Bin Abdillah, University of Malaya).  - The History of the Lesbian, Gay & Trans-sexual Communities in Malaysia (Hang Kuen Chua, Universiti Sains Malaysia). - Dreaming of Mat Motor: Malay Biker Masculinity in a Queer Eye in/through KL Menjerit (Dr David Chong Lim, National University of Singapore). - The History of the Transsexual Community in Malaysia (Yik Koon Teh, Universiti Utara Malaysia). - Silent Runs Around the Sapphic Bush (Angela Kuga Thas, (KRYSS) Knowledge & Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces, Malaysia). - Sexual Citizenship and Transnational Mobility: A Sexual Minority Perspective from Malaysia (Yuen-mei Wong, University of Malaya).  

Resource Links: - Utopia's Malaysian Resources & Travel Tips. - Gay Places Guide - Malaysia. - Dragoncastle's Gay Asia: Malaysia Resources. (Alternate Link) -  Malaysian Gay & Lesbian Club. - Sticky Rice: Malaysia. - Gay Capital KL. - Grey Gay Guide - Malaysia. - Out in Malaysia. - Good As You(In 2004): News(In 2004). - MGLC's Selected Bibliography of Malaysian Authors.

Gay Malaysia (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 1998-07. - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden. - Sodomy Laws: Malaysia.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

QRD malaysia Resources. - Gayscape. - Gayscape Lesbian. - Pridelinks. - Google Links.

Books:Amazon to Zami: Towards a Global Lesbian Feminism (Sexual Politics) - 1996 - edited by M. Reinfelder. Contains: "Queering the State: Towards a Lesbian Movement in Malaysia." by Rais Nur and A.R: 169-177. - Female Desires: Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures - edited by Evelyn Blackwood (Home Page) and Saskia E. Wieringa (Abstract & Table of Contents) (Amazon) (Review N/A) Contains: "Women's Sexuality and the Discourse on Asian Values: Cross-Dressing in Malaysia" by Tan Beng Hui: 281-307. - The Mak Nyahs: Malaysian Male to Female Transsexuals - 2003 - by Yik Koon Teh and Teh Yik Koon. - Utopia Guide to Malaysia (2nd Edition): the Gay and Lesbian Scene in 17 Cities Including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and Langkawi - 2007 - by John Goss.

Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia: the Gay and Lesbian Scene in 60+ Cities Including Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Johor Bahru and the Islands of Bali and Penang - 2006 - by John Goss. GLBT Guide to Gay & Lesbian Life in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia: But which country do gay Singaporean's think has the hottest scene going? They point to their neighbor, Malaysia. Indeed, though still largely underground, Malaysia's gays and lesbians have a steadily growing number of restaurants, clubs, spas and gyms that openly welcome them and world-class venues are popping up in even small cities like Penang and Kota Kinabalu... Commenting on the surprising abundance of gay life in a very conservative region, Singaporean gay activist, Alex Au, writes in the book's preface, "The reason for this contradiction may be because, despite the political or religious rhetoric, at the social level, the people of these countries are tolerant and hospitable." ... But despite growing advances in personal freedoms, activists in all three countries continue to encounter official obstacles. In 2006 Singapore government officials awarded a large grant of public money to a homophobic Christian group that attempts to straighten out gays. In March this year Kuala Lumpur police tried to crack down on businesses that cater to gay customers by fining owners for petty license violations, bringing criticism from local AIDS/HIV educators...

To "The SEARCH Section" For The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts... and The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available! 

PHILIPPINES - Gay pride on the air. - Male Homosexual Culture of the Philippines. - Gay Group Gives Fernan A Mouthful. (Alternate Link) - Lesbian movement emerges in the Philippines. - Looking at lesbian life in the Philippines. - Closets Are Not For Us: Views From Five Lesbians. - Women Who Love Women. - A Response to Dennis Altman from Michael Tan in the Phillipines. - Philippines: Lesbians affected by religion - but are forging ahead. - Sexual Activity Among Homosexual Men in Metro Manila, Philippines. A study of 200 homosexual males N/A. - Cry from the marginalized: Filipino gay voters speak out. - Church clashes with gays in Philippines. - Growing up gay in the Philippines (Part 2). - Miss Teen Philippines says she'd try to change lesbian friend. - Putting You in Your Place: Culture and the Filipino Lesbian. - Homosexuality in the Philippines. - Philippines welcomes gay and lesbian police applicants.

LAGABLAB: fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered rights in the Philippines. - LGBT rights in the Philippines. - Queer and present danger: gay rights in the Philippines. - Philippine Congress Passes Gay Rights Law: Bill 6416 prohibits discrimination in areas such as employment, education, health services, public service (including military service), commercial and medical establishments. - The Philippines' House of Representatives last month passed a bill banning discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, and sent the measure to the Senate. - Philippines: Congress Should Stand Up for Basic Fairness: Bill Would Ban Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity. (New York, August 8, 2006) The Philippine Congress should move quickly to enact a landmark bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said today... - Filipino gay abused by cops.

A viral time bomb (2012): Eight Filipinos are infected every day with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – the virus that causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). With more than a 25 percent increase in HIV incidence between 2001 and 2009, the Philippines is one of the seven countries in the world with the highest rates of HIV transmission, the others being Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. HIV infections are spreading so quickly in the Philippines, it’s been declared by health authorities as an epidemic. But with public discourse on sex – or sexually transmitted diseases – still a taboo, the government has relegated the HIV/AIDS problem to the sidelines. It’s a decision we will all ultimately come to regret. According to recent data, HIV prevalence has gone as high as 45 percent among men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) and 52 percent among people who inject drugs (PWID). For over two decades, HIV/AIDS was spread predominantly through heterosexual contact, usually by having unprotected sex with female sex workers. Today, it has shifted to homosexual and bisexual transmissions, up to 80 percent in 2010. In fact, the mode of transmission of the AIDS virus among infected Overseas Filipino Workers is through MSM, a trend which health authorities attribute to the rise of social networking websites, which have made it easier for men to connect with each other.

The current role of gay in Philippines: Unlike to other countries that being gay is not a big deal anymore, gay society in the Philippines is still battling for freedom, repression and discrimination. Gay's in the Philippines are treated like they have diseases, contagious illnesses that others says we are not a son of god. Gay discrimination and degradation is very rampant here in the Philippines... - Ban on Homosexual “Marriage” Introduced in Philippines Parliament.- Proposed Marriage Legislation In Senate Discriminates Against Homosexuals And Transgenders. - Framing sexual conservatism among gay couples in the Philippines: intimate sexual relationships not lewdness. - Margarita Go Singco-Holmes: A Different Love - Being Gay in the Philippines. - Male Homosexuality in the Philippines: a short history (PDF Download). - Fag Hags in Filipino Gay Culture: Friendships, Identities, and Personality (PDF Download). - The queerest mall show on earth.

Bulatlat: The Philippine's Alternative Weekly Online Newsmagazine: Writing Lesbian, Lesbian writing: The silence surrounding the lesbian in Philippine literary history is appalling. Anglo-European lesbian critics can at least complain about the negative images of lesbians in the works of both male and female writers; they can have a party decoding the works of Virginia Woolf or Emily Dickinson, but I have not found a lesbian tradition of writing in the  Philippines. - Walterina Markova: The 'Comfort Gay'. - Gays, Lesbians Hit Gov't Inaction on Killings. - Oscar Atadero: Leading the Gay Life. - A Community of Their Own: Laughed at, insulted, discriminated, beaten up, oppressed and exploited, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders have been persistent in their struggle for their rights.  Slowly but surely, they have moved forward... - Global desirings and translocal loves : transgendering and same-sex sexualities in the southern Philippines

Baylan, Asog, Transvestism, and Sodomy: Gender, Sexuality and the Sacred in Early Colonial Philippines. - Gay Carnival Queen Contest: Mandaue, Philippines. (Related Information) - Mandaue City Gay Carnival Queen, Philippines. - LGBT Pride - Manila. - Is It Better to be Gay in the Philippines? (Alternate Link) "I was surprised to find that in the mostly Catholic society of my homeland, gay culture is more tolerated than in America. From nightlife to the media, baklas (Tagalog for gays) are the norm. The strangest part of the entire experience was realizing that although I'm a gay male, as an American I was uncomfortable with such tolerance..." - Identity, Mobility, and Urban Place-Making: Exploring Gay Life in Manila. - Do Heterosexual Men Misperceive a Gay Man's Friendliness as Sexual Interest? Evidence from Observers. - Tomboys and Lesbians: The Filipino Female Homosexual and Her Identity Development Process. - Filipino Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men: Secondary Analysis of 1996 and 2001 National Survey Data

Change your ways before drafting gays, Pro-Gay tells AFP. - Philippines welcomes gay and lesbian police applicants. - Sexuality, ethnicity and language: exploring Chinese Filipino male homosexual identity. - Alarm over high rate of suicide cases among Filipino homosexuals. - Gender and Sexuality: The Perspective of Male Homosexuals (Must Scroll): In an attempt to fully understand the situation of the Filipino Sexual Minorities (FSM's) in relation to the issues of Gender and Sexuality series of Focused Group Discussions (FGD) has been conducted... 

Playing with Fire: Sexual Risk Behaviors and Safer Sex Practices of Young Homosexuals in the Philippines:  The foregoing data, particularly those that directly pertain to unsafe sex practices, clearly indicate that the young homosexual males in the study are highly susceptible from acquiring and transmitting HIV... Unprotected receptive anal intercourse, unequivocally the most risky homosexual activity, was the norm among the young homosexuals in the study, engaged by two-third of the sample. This dispels the earlier contention that anal sex among homosexually active men is unpopular... These shortcomings indicate that the sexual health needs of the homosexual youth remain largely unheeded. ... Working with Sexual Minorities in the Philippines.

In the Shadows: Men who have Sex with Men: 1) The traditional “parlorista bakla” is the most visible.  These are effeminate men, who may use make-up and dress in women’s clothes.  They tend to be concentrated in certain professions such as working in beauty parlors (thus the term parlorista).  Some work as entertainers, and a growing number work in Japan as female impersonators.  Many of these bakla tend to prefer “lalake” as sexual partners. 2) “Straight-acting” bakla or gays.  This population is found more in urban areas.  These men are not effeminate and will not use make-up or cross-dress.  They are found outside of the stereotyped “bakla” professions. Sexual preferences vary with some willing to have sex with other gays while others will prefer “straight” men (lalake).  It is also interesting that many will self-identify as “bisexual”, even if they only have sex with men, “bisexual” having been redefined locally to mean “straight-acting”. 3) Call boys/service boys.  These are men who will have sex with men in exchange for money or other material rewards.  Most self-identify as heterosexual and often have families. 4) “Lalake”.  These are men who self-identify as heterosexual, or occasionally, as bisexuals, and have sex with other men without monetary or material favors.  Many have families.  This includes adolescents and young adults who have sex with men simply for sexual pleasure because of difficulties of accessing females for sex.  However, there are also older men, including married ones, who continue to prefer having sex with men, usually the more visible bakla, but do not self-identify as homosexual...

Philippine Memories of a Gay Adventist: " Bakla, Bading, Bayot, Binabae--those were the names I was called when I was growing up in Manila. I wish the Filipino language had an affirmative label equivalent to "gay." Instead, I was teased with the hurtful words--faggot, sissy. Even before I entered elementary school, I remember my aunt telling me not to walk like a girl. I was always teased in Sabbath School because my buttocks would sway even when I was running, and my wrist was limp... Maybe I just wanted to be like the other boys. Maybe I just wanted the whole church school to stop calling me a sissy. To be a "bakla" is a sin, according to my mom. She told me when I was eleven years old to be careful with a "bakla." He might even try to kill you. My best friend from elementary school recently mentioned to me that his parents forbade him to hang out with me when we were growing up because he might turn out to be "bakla." ...When I accepted myself, that I was born gay, I found my inner peace. I stopped suffering. But I continue to search for answers.

Philippines Trip 1999: "This might not occur till the their twenties or even thirties. Dating is generally just conversation, in full view of the parents.  Not that there isn't physical contact, but it is friendly rather then romantic contact between friends and relatives. And there is loads of it. You constantly see people sitting or walking with someone else who has their arms around them. Westerners may be starved for conversation and physical contact, but not Filipinos. There is no homophobia here. Touching is considered friendly here, not sexually provocative. On the other hand, if a son is a "bakla", a homosexual, it doesn't seem to matter. There are bakla celebrities and bakla teachers and no one seems to care. But, of course, there seems to be little that worries the Filipino..."

My Personal, Your Political, Our Lesbianism (Alternate Link): (Related Information) "Women who love women still face discrimination in Catholicism-dominant Philippines, and the lesbian movement has been fighting this discrimination since the 1980s alongside their heterosexual feminist counterparts. Although most lesbians readily subsume themselves under the women’s movement, they still have distinct concerns that can be addressed only by breaking out into another movement. Young lesbian advocates who started this struggle in the 1980s and 1990s have been lying low these days, focusing on other aspects of their personal lives and contributing to the political struggle when time permits. And while the younger lesbians have entered the scene to continue what was started, they basically come and go—a phenomenon that began at the start of this decade..." -  Putting You in Your Place: Culture and the Filipino Lesbian. - Locations of Silence.

Teachers Implied I Should Try to be Straight’: Exploring Heterosexism in the Classroom Experiences of Filipino Gay/Bisexual Male Students (Eric Julian Manalastas, University of the Philippines Dilliman) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "How has queer sexuality been taught in the Filipino classroom, according to learners who directly stand to benefit or lose from that education? We explored learner experiences and perceptions of teaching as well as bias using a model for assessing heterosexism (the belief and ideology that privileges heterosexuality as fundamental, normal, and good). Data from a survey of N = 121 Filipino gay/bisexual male college students indicated that being gay was discussed more negatively during high school, regardless of type of school (public or private), but more positively in college. Qualitative responses provided evidence for both forms of heterosexist educational practices: denigration (e.g., teaching that being gay was ‘abnormal’, ‘immoral’, or ‘unnatural’) and denial (e.g., avoiding discussions of queer relationships). Positive, queer-affirmative classroom experiences, particularly in college, were also reported. Focus group data provided further qualitative accounts of heterosexist and non-heterosexist classroom-based experiences of Filipino gay/bisexual students, which can be understood in the context of Filipino sexual culture and current dominant views about queer and non-queer sexualities."

Express Yourself: "Exclusive Discos in Manila": "I had been hearing about the existence of exclusive places for lesbians almost all my lesbian life, but it was only in 1997 when I actually entered one. At the time, "The Sports Zone" was probably the only place in the country where women-only parties were being held, once a week. It was a small bar in Mandaluyong, in the eastern section of Manila.After that experience, I started thinking seriously about lesbian spaces, and how these spaces empower lesbians amidst a heteropatriarchal society. Moreover, I experienced how visceral activities such as dancing play a role in expressing lesbian aesthetics within these spaces... This close relationship between lesbianism and visceral activities, particularly dance, is of course due to the body being a primary medium of communication both in these activities and in expressing sexuality. This is a preliminary study. While conceptualising and writing this paper I realised the lack of published sources and related literature on this subject. Thus, I had to rely on surveys, subject interviews, and my ethnographic researches and experiences in the field..."

Fag Hags in Filipino Queer Culture: Friendships, Identities, and Personality (Beatriz Torre, University of the Philippines Diliman) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Fag hags, women who associate with gay men and participate in gay cultural activities, have been part of Western and Filipino queer culture for some time. This paper discusses three research investigations that examine the fag hag phenomenon in the Philippines using various approaches. In one study using interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires, we explored the general development and dynamics of friendships between straight women and gay men. Another study utilized focus group methodology to examine the components that comprise the Filipino fag hag social identity. Finally, from the perspective of personality psychology, we constructed a profile of the traits that are shared by haggy women and that set them apart from other women. Based on the findings of these studies, we developed a tentative conceptual model which suggests that women with certain personality characteristics form a reciprocal attraction with gay men. This leads them to develop close friendships with gay men and in turn fashion a fag hag identity within Filipino queer culture. On-going work and further directions for our fag hag research program are also discussed, including experimental tests of our fag/hag reciprocal attraction model, a stereotype content study to compare cognitive representations of haggy women and of gay men, and other investigations of fag hag experiences in the context of Filipino and possibly other Asian queer cultures."

Hall of Fame:"While there is a sizeable Filipino gay community in and outside the Philippines, seldom you hear of it. Filipino gays would rather stand in the sideline, not stirring. The attitude most Filipino gays seem to have is, para que, we're tolerated naman by society." - The Presidentiables: "The Coalition of Humanist Lesbians and Gays held a two-day forum (21-22 March) on presidential candidates and their platforms for the homosexual community..." - Bakla N/A: "Gosh, I used to hate that word! "Bakla" is Tagalog (Philippine language) for gay or queer.  For the longest time, it sounded more like the degrading term, "faggot." However, just like the word, "faggot" it became more empowering to myself..." - The Social Construction of A Discreet Male Gender.

The Postcolonial State of Desire: Homosexuality and Transvestitism in Ninotchka Rosca's State of War - by Viet Thanh Nguyen: ""Postcolonialism" is now a contested term in critical discussions but in this essay I will attempt to demonstrate some ways in which we can ground our usage of the term. The context of my discussion will be the historical relationship between the Philippines and the United States; the focus will be the selected works of "exilic" Filipino writers;2 and the approach. will be through the discourse of homosexuality, which will hopefully allow me to unravel the postcolonial ball of confusion using a thread other than race, economics, psychoanalysis, heterosexuality, or gender..." (A Journal of Asian American Cultural Criticism, 2-2, 1995).

Performing Citizenship and "Temporal Hybridity" in a Queer Diaspora. (Published in Antithesis Volume 11, "Sex 2000: Scenes, Strategies," Slippages, Editors Daniela Brückner and PriyaVigneswaran. Australia: University of Melbourne Press, 2000): " The deviant postcolonial, the coloured queer, the "tomboy" dyke, the bakla (a term that designates a "third sex") . . . all of these subjects make up the artist-creators of alternative sexual practices and worldviews who survive by living consciously in this temporal hybridity to which DeSouza refers. These identities result in hybrid subjectivities that articulate the interstices of race, gender, sexuality, nationhood, and class, as well as the histories that are implicated by their postcolonial condition. Yet it is precisely at this intersection that a politics of coalition encounters obstacles; the multiplicity of hybrid identities becomes invisible to members of isolated communities who uphold a monolithic view of identity, and thus deny differences within community. In this article, I explore the Filipino queer diaspora and the performance of transnational citizenship...

Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology: Index Page: Philippines: - Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors. - Gender Conflicted Persons. - HIV/AIDS. - HIV/AIDS Campaigns Must Not Forget Gay People. - What Do Filipino Gay Male College Students Want to Learn in Sex Education? (PDF Download)

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to the Philippines:  - Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines: A Transgender Health Research Project in Manila (Edgar Atadero). - Redefining Man: Homo- and Hetero/sexualities in Philippine Cinema (Ronald Baytan, De La Salle University). - When Images Talk: A Question of Lesbian Aesthetics (Erma Eugenia Capucion, Women Supporting Women Centre, Quezon City, Philippines): "In my research work for my masters thesis, the question frequently came up about the validity of the lesbian as subject in the visual arts. I received very strong arguments that if my work as a lesbian artist contain this subject then it becomes propaganda. But no arguments were made about propaganda versus art. The problems that an art practitioner faces are multi-layered when one uses the label, lesbian artist...."  - The Postcolonial Perverse: Hybridity, Desire, and the Nation in Federico Licsi Espino, Jr’s Lumpen (J. Neil C. Garcia, University of the Philippines). - Between Women: Toward a Political Economy of OFW Sexuality (Odine de Guzman, University of the Philippines). - Inserting Lesbians in Non-Lesbian Spaces: Spectacularisation in Media Coverages of the Pride March (Lorna Quejong Israel, Women & Gender Institute, Miriam College, the Philippines). - ‘Teachers Implied I Should Try to be Straight’: Exploring Heterosexism in the Classroom Experiences of Filipino Gay/Bisexual Male Students (Eric Julian Manalastas, University of the Philippines Dilliman). - Coming Out, Sticking Out: Responses of Closeted Lesbians to a Sticker Campaign (Lyn Rhona Montebon, Women Supporting Women Centre, Quezon City, Philippines). - Self-Concept of Male Homosexual Educators: A Narrative View of their Life Chances (Efren John Sabado, Ateneo de Davao University).

The Ultimate "Planet Out" Guide to Queer Movies (Country: Philippines). - ‘Markova’ applauded at Toronto filmfest. - Pinoy pink film festival, June 15 - jul 11, 2004. - Manila's 2nd Pink Film Festival. - 2004 Pride International Film Festival - 2003 - Metropolitan Manila, Philippines. - 2004 festival. - Pink Film Festival 2006 Schedule. - Transvestites and Transgressions: Panggagaya in Philippine Gay Cinema. - Boys Don't Cry (or Shout) : The Masseur questions rather than protests

Resource Links: - Progressive Organization of Gay in the Philippines. - PinoyDykes N/A. (Archive Link) - The Library Foundation. - UP Sappho Society. - Pride Manila. - Gay Pinoy Pride. - Ang Tibo: Lesbians in the Philippines. -  Worldwide HK Gay Information: Philippines. - Gay Places Guide

Philippines Gay and Lesbian Resources. - Gay Philippines. - Utopia's Philippines Resources. - Alleba Filipino Directory. - Google Directory. - GLBTQ: Philippines. - GLBTQ: Philippines Literature.

QRD Philippines Resources. - Gayscape. - Gayscape: Lesbians. - Pridelinks. - Open Directory. - -

Gay Philippines - Cebu - Gay Philippines - Manila  (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 2001-2007. - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

The Filipino Book Barn: Gay and Lesbian Books. - GLBTQ Books: Philippines.

Books:Tibok: Heartbeat of the Filipino Lesbian - 1998 - edited by Anna Leah Sarabia ( Reference). - Slip/Pages: Essays in Philippine Gay Criticism (1991 - 1996) - by J. Neil C. Garcia. - Ladlad - 1994 - & Ladlad 2 - 1996 - (Anthologies of Philippine gay writing) edited by Danton Remoto and J. Neil C. Garcia. - Circuits of Desire: Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 1994 - edited by  Yukiko Hanawa (Table of Contents). - A Different Love: Being Gay In The Philippines - 1993 -  by Margarita Go Singco Holmes. - A Different Love: Being a Gay Man in the Philippines - 2005 - by Margarita Go Singco-Holmes. - Beauty and Power: Transgendering and Cultural Transformation in the Southern Philippines (Explorations in Anthropology) - 1997 - by Mark Johnson (17 Sample Pages) (Contents). - Bisexualities and AIDS: International Perspectives - 1996 - edited by Peter Aggleton (Review). Contains: "Silahis: Looking for the Missing Filipino Bisexual Male." (Abstract) (Full Text) - Philippine Gay Culture: The Last Thirty Years Binabae to Bakla; Silahis to Msm - 1996 - by Garcia, J. Neil C (Abstract) (Conclusion). - Male Homosexuality in Four Societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the United States - 1985 - by Frederick L. Whitam, Robin M. Mathy, Frederick L. Whitman. - Asian Homosexuality - 1992 - edited by Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson (Table of Contents). Contains: "Homosexuality and Transvestism in the Philippines: The Cebuan Filipino Bayot and Lakin-on," 43-80 & "The Covert Subculture of Male Homosexual Prostitutes in Metro-Manila," 153-159. - Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora - 2003 - by Martin F Manalansan IV (Review) (Review) (Review) (Amazon).

To "The SEARCH Section" For The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts... and The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available!   

INDONESIA -  Introduction to Indonesian Lesbian & Gay Network. - Third GLB Congress - 1998  - Additional  Information - Report of the 3rd Lesbian and Gay Indonesian Congress (KLGI III). - The struggle for gay and lesbian rights in Indonesia (Alternate Link). - Indonesia holds first gay pride parade. - Gay men in the reformasi era: Homophobic violence could be a by-product of the new openness. - Momentum itu akhirnya ditetapkan sebagai Hari Internasional Melawan Homophobia atau International Day Against Homophobia.. - Quo vadis, lesbians? Lesbians want to be themselves. - Kuliah Umum PSIK ITB: Dinamika Lesbian di Indonesia. - Ape Researchers Document Gay Relationship: Gay orangutans spotted in Sumatra N/A. - Gay life in Jakarta: defining the emerging community. - Being Gay, Muslim and Indonesian (2009).

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Homosexual Culture in Indonesia: PDF Download. - Gay life in Jakarta: defining the emerging community. - The emergence of political homophobia in Indonesia: Masculinity and national belonging. Indonesia Seeks to Imprison Gays. - Milestone for gay rights as Indonesia gets first pink guidebook. - Indonesian Lawmakers Seek Gay Sex Ban. - Jakarta's big secret. - HIV/AIDS prevention tough in a secret gay city. - Absolut-Badalu and the Divisions driving Indonesia to the Brink. - Muslim Communities Thwart Indonesian Protections For Gays: In granting local authorities the right to use Islamic law gays are reportedly being round up and prosecuted despite a federal constitution which has in the past guaranteed LGBT civil rights... - Gays & Sharia.- Indonesia: Gays Fight Sharia Laws. - Indonesia (Aceh): Torture of gay men by the Banda Raya police. - 'Pink Indonesia', a country within the country. (Alternate Link) (Alternate Link) - LGBT rights in Indonesia.

The Gay Plauge Lurks in Jakarta: In Indonesia, to be out and gay remains a taboo. Gay community members are straightforward about their sexual orientation among themselves. However, facing the social pressure of Indonesia's heterosexist society, they hide their sexual orientation when returning to the mainstream... "If people know that Grand is a gay place [a movie theater where anonymous sex occurs], some members of society might want to close it down. But that wouldn't make gay people disappear, because they are part of (this) society. (Closing these places down) would rather make it more difficult to identify them, making HIV/AIDS prevention harder among this group," he said. Islamic conservatism, even in societies like Indonesia which is apparently more enlightened than their Middle Eastern counterparts are not “kicking in” to stop the spread of these diseases, and worse, preventing education taking place which could save so many. Scarier still, the gay community has to remain underground, forcing them into heterosexual relationships and opening the potential spread of infection to a group who may otherwise have been considered low risk, that is to say, unsuspecting wives and girlfriends.....

Living In Rural Areas of Indonesia—The Experience of Gay Men (Ed Green, University of New South Wales). -  (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "In his recent doctoral study of Indonesian gay men, Richard Howard (1996) noted ‘that young men recognizing a same sex desire have moved from smaller villages to the city to explore their homosexuality and to avoid the pressure to marry’ (p.354). Howard also claimed that for the gay men in his study, ‘men may express both homosexual desire and behaviour’ but unless they married they were unable to see themselves, or be seen by others, as ‘real men’ (laki asli) (p. 345). This paper, based on interview data gathered from a small sample of Indonesian gay men living outside metropolitan areas questioned how they saw themselves and experienced their lives. How did they express and experience (gay) desire? Did they interact with, resist, or simply bypass the conformity and parochialism and the religious orthodoxy of the communities within which they live? The men in this study did come under pressure to marry or to see themselves as less of a man. But they did perceive themselves as men and they had no intention of conforming to the pressure from family and society to marry. Nor did they intend moving to the city to avoid such pressures. This paper asserts that not all gay men in Asia live in cities and that many chose not to forsake their non-urban lives and instead found strategies to live their lives in their own way."

Green, Ed (2008). The Important Forgotten - Men Living in Rural Indonesia Who Have Sex With Men: The Implications for HIV Education. Paper presented at the Conference: "Living on the Margins: Minorities and Borderlines in Cambodia and Southeast Asia," Siem Reap, Cambodia: March 14-15, 2008. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Center for Khmer Studies - Publishing Department. PDF Download. This paper arises from a research project conducted to explore the stories of men living in rural communities in Java who acknowledge that they have sex with other men. It is a project about discovering the meaning that these men give to their experience of seeking and having sex with other men, mindful of where they live and the social conventions that exist there. Men who have sex with men are one of the more vulnerable groups “on the margins” of society who have been systematically denied access to important social resources. They have been denied visibility, recognition, social status and honorability. But more importantly they have also been excluded from AIDS education and prevention programs, sometimes even by organisations and NGOs whose specific task it is to take HIV education to MSM. For too long, it has been assumed that MSM live only in the cities, with the result that those men living in rural areas who have sex with men have been largely absent from depictions of both rural life and representations of “non-heterosexual” life. The extent of the omission of these men from HIV education programs is underlined by a recent United Nations paper in which MSM were described as “the missing piece” in the HIV education and prevention jigsaw – a group that the paper describes as “…invisible … on our social or public health radar.”3 For rural MSM, it seems that they are not only “invisible,” but that they don’t even exist. Yet they do..

Impacts of HIV/AIDS 2005–2025 in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor: Final report of the HIV Epidemiological Modelling and Impact Study (PDF Download):  Indonesia... Homosexuality, while not a criminal offence, is considered to be a violation of public morality despite traditional tolerance for certain forms of male transgender behaviour such as that of ‘waria’ (Katjasungkana & Wieringa, 2003). Research shows the diversity of sexual networks in these subpopulations. Like other Asian countries, many men who have sex with men (MSM) also have sex with women. A Jakarta study (Pisani et al., 2004) showed that MSM are not isolated from other heterosexual networks. Risk behaviour is high and sex with women as well as men is common behaviour (Pisani et al., 2004). Eighteen per cent of self recognised MSM also had sex with women in the previous 12 months. The bisexual behaviour of these subpopulations implies that HIV infection spread through risky male-male sex will also be passed on into heterosexual networks, contributing to a wider HIV epidemic in Indonesia. Very few sexual health services are available for these populations.

Claiming gay persons' sexual rights in Indonesia: GAYa NUSANTARA was founded in 1987 as a gay support organisation. Its initial activities focused on publishing a magazine, gay peer counselling services and coordination of an Indonesian network of gay and lesbian organisations. With time, however, the NGO has taken up a leadership role in public advocacy, organising campaigns to raise society's awareness on gay and lesbian persons' sexual rights and emancipation. Its approach has been different in that it is more open and honest about sexuality and sexual health, without moralising the issues... Throughout Indonesian history, sexual and/or emotional relationships between men have been common in different communities and settings, such as in the context of intergenerational relationships, religious learning, the search for prowess, shamanism or medium priesthood and initiation rites for young men. Homosexual identity also has a place in modern Indonesian society...

Holy hatred: Homosexuality in Muslim countries. - Gay identities: Modern gay men in Indonesia learn to live alongside traditional concepts of homosexuality. - Sulawesi's fifth gender: What if there were not just two genders, but five? In Indonesia, there are. - Falling Leaf Under theBanyan Tree: Are lesbian and gay in Indonesia have suffered discrimination? Hard to answer this question, at least to me. Every day we have seen on TV's news or read on newspapers about human right tortures, but fewer exposes are about lesbian and gay discrimination. Can we concluded that the answer is no? I don't think so, but I'm not sure either. I guess there are two reasons why we have hardly ever heard about lesbian and gay discrimination cases... - Indonesia told to 'accept gays' to halt HIV: "Indonesia is a mainly Muslim country in which lesbian and gay people are often discounted or thought not to exist. However, along with China and Eastern Europe, it is being picked out by United Nations officials as a hot spot of HIV increases." - Indonesia urged to change attitudes towards gays in anti-AIDS drive. - HIV, syphilis infection, and sexual practices among transgenders, male sex workers, and other men who have sex with men in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Magic Begins to Fade: " Homosexuality is a delicate topic in conservative, Islamic Indonesia. But until recently that wasn't the case in Ponorogo, a small town east of Yogyakarta. One of the more prestigious occupations in the area has traditionally been that of warok. But the warok of Ponorogo are becoming a thing of the past. As modern times bring a new openness to gays in Indonesia's big cities, they have almost shut down one of the country's longest-running homosexual traditions... That double pressure has done in the old ways. Girls lead the procession now and many gemblak have packed up and joined the gay community in Jakarta. A few remain, though they now call themselves "foster sons." Gunopati, who had eight such partners, thinks something has been lost." - Reog Ponorogo Spirituality, Sexuality, and Power in a Javanese Performance Tradition. - Modern gay men in Indonesia learn to live alongside traditional concepts of homosexuality. (Archive Link). - Between Religion and Desire: Being Muslim and Gay in Indonesia. - Gender Transcendent Priests in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. - Transgender Priests and gender in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

First Indonesia Lesbian and Gay Congress (1993): "In 1981 Indonesia became the first country in Asia to have a gay movement organization.  But it was only in the past 2 years that the number of lesbian/gay associations increased throughout the Indonesian archipelago." - Gay Movement in Indonesia (1993): "Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, and has traditionally been part of the culture. However, even though it is not illegal, it is not socially-desirable in western-oriented modern, urban Indonesia.  Another interesting cultural aspect is the existence of "waria" (man-woman) which one would find in popular culture all over the country. Warias are mostly cross-dressers/transgenders working as entertainers, hairdressers, models, etc. and are very much accepted in Indonesian society without being frowned at..." - Regulation of sexuality in Indonesian discourse: normative gender, criminal law and shifting strategies of control. - Transnational Sexualities in One Place: Indonesian Readings. - Gender Transgression in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia. - Tombois in West Sumatra: Constructing Masculinity and Erotic Desire. - It's like one of those puzzles: conceptualising gender among bugis. - Gay Language and Indonesia: Registering Belonging. - Communism and women's same-sex practises in post-Suharto Indonesia.

Dédé Oetomo Talks on Reyog Ponorogo: "Let me start by making it clear what my position is with regard to the warok-gemblakan tradition in Ponorogo... I think what they do sexually, we have to call homosexual acts. This is widely known all over Java. Anybody who is in touch with the traditional way of life in Ponorogo, knows that there are these older men called warok who, instead of having sex with their wives, have sex with younger boys - eight to fourteen, fifteen..." - Dede Oetomo. - Waiting for Karila: Bending Time, Theory and Gender in Java and Bali (With Reflections for a Documentary Treatment). - Negotiating Gender: Calalai' in Bugis Society. - Sexual Transgression in the Autobiographies of Two Indonesian Women. - Beyond The ‘Closet’: The Voices Of Lesbian Women In Yogyakarta (Suara Lesbi Di Yogyakarta): Word Download. - Playing Back the Nation: Waria, Indonesian Transvestites (PDF Download).

Indonesia's Waria, Gay and Gay Dendong: Fluid Constructions of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation and Their Essentializations (Dédé Oetomo,  University of Surabaya/GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "The presentation will revisit the not always clear distinctions between waria (male-to-female transgenders), gay (male homosexuals) and gay dendong (cross-dressing male homosexuals) in Indonesian society, taking the perspective of the waria/gay communities themselves and that of the general public. The ubiquitous presence of gender-transgressive males in contemporary television and film will be used as an entry point in discussing the interfaces of mediatized realities, (pop pseudo-)science and lived experiences. An attempt will be made to understand the tolerance and sometimes acceptance of gender- and sexuality-non-conforming males in Indonesian society in the midst of strong heterosexism and increasing homophobia."

The Warias - Part 1 (Video): VICE heads to Indonesia to visit the Senin-Kamis School, an Islamic school for Javanese transvestites. Our host, Hannah Brooks, meets the school's founder, Maryani, and the rest of the ladies who call this place home. Then Hannah is taken to a local funeral, where Maryani speaks about the difficulties of living as a transvestite and a practicing Muslim.

The Warias - Part 2 (Video):In Part 2, Hannah spends the day busking with a few of the street singers from the Senin-Kamis school. At night, Hannah meets up with two other girls who work as prostitutes. Although the school has helped to create a supportive community for the women, many still have to contend with busking and prostitution as a means of survival. 

Tomboi masculinities and the transgression of gender in the Indonesian state - by Evelyn Blackwood (Draft paper for the IASSCS Conference, Melbourne, Australia, Oct. 1-3, 2001: Word 97 Download N/A). - Related to the Author: "My on-going research on female same-sex relations outside the West began with a study of female two-spirits in Native American tribes historically.  That work examined the intersections of gender identity and sexuality as well as the relation between two-spirit identities and gender inequalities.  I have also provided a critique of the anthropological theories and representations of two-spirit people and lesbians.  My work has informed a number of debates on sex/gender systems and third genders.  Together with my co-editor Saskia Wieringa, we produced the first anthropological collection of essays devoted to women’s same-sex sexualities and transgender practices, Female Desires.  My current work on alternative genders and sexualities in Indonesia focuses on the intersections of the state, Islam and the transnational lesbian and gay movement in the production and redefinition of the tomboi identity and women’s sexuality more broadly.  I am also interested in the colonial and post-colonial influences on transgender practices in Indonesia." - Female Desires Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures - 1999 - edited by Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa. - Culture and Women's Sexualities, Journal of Social Issues, Summer, 2000,  by Evelyn Blackwood.

Indonesia embraces first gay screen kiss. - Gay kiss unlocks ancient taboo. - Men, Masculinities and Symbolic Violence in Recent Indonesian Cinema. - 

Bright Light in the Darkness N/A: (Archive Link) A working group is a workgroup of Indonesian lesbians who voluntarily work in supporting the existence of lesbians in Indonesia. - Indonesian Lesbians' Homepage. - Swara Srikandi: Voice of the Indonesian Lesbiennes N/A: (Archive Link) (Archive Link) (Story Index N/A, (Archive Link) Ratri's Cpolums N/A, (Archive Link) Susan's Colums N/A) (Archive Link) Swara means "voice" while Srikandi symbolises "a woman with self-courage and is gentle." The main goals of Srikandi are: (1) to support Indonesian lesbians and embolden other women to learn more about their lesbian sisters; and (2) to serve as venue on how it is like to live in a homophobic society enveloped in fear that their sexual preference will be discovered. Srikandi clarifies its site is not designed to suggest a "coming out ritual." Its solidarity is expressed in managing the Website that seeks to encourage lesbians in Indonesia to explore and discover ways to embrace themselves as they are and proudly live their sexual identity. - 

Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology: Index Page: Indonesia: - Homoerotic, Homosexual, and Ambisexual Behaviors. - Gender Conflicted Persons. - HIV/AIDS.

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Indonesia:  - Living In Rural Areas of Indonesia—The Experience of Gay Men (Ed Green, University of New South Wales). - Indonesia's Waria, Gay and Gay Dendong: Fluid Constructions of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation and Their Essentializations (Dédé Oetomo,  University of Surabaya/GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation).

"Arisan" (2004) the first gay-themed Indonesian film to appear in the liberalized climate following the 1998 fall of Suharto.

Books: - Memberi suara pada yang bisu - 2001 - by Dede Oetomo (Personal Narratives. Yogyakarta : Galang Press Yogyakarta). - Asian Homosexuality - 1992 - edited by Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson (Table of Contents). Contains: "Transvestitism and the Religious Hermaphrodite in Indonesia," 89-98. - The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia - 2005 - by Tom Boellstorff (Abstract/Content) (Review) (Chapter 1). - Falling Into The Lesbi World: Desire And Difference In Indonesia - 2011 - by Evelyn Blackwood (Hong Kong University Press) (Review).

Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia: the Gay and Lesbian Scene in 60+ Cities Including Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Johor Bahru and the Islands of Bali and Penang - 2006 - by John Goss. GLBT Guide to Gay & Lesbian Life in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia: Singapore's other neighbor, Indonesia, while commonly known as having the world's largest Muslim population, also has some of Asia's longest-running homosexual activist groups and a wide variety of traditional alternative sexualities that are an integral part of Indonesia's cultural mosaic... Commenting on the surprising abundance of gay life in a very conservative region, Singaporean gay activist, Alex Au, writes in the book's preface, "The reason for this contradiction may be because, despite the political or religious rhetoric, at the social level, the people of these countries are tolerant and hospitable." ... But despite growing advances in personal freedoms, activists in all three countries continue to encounter official obstacles. In 2006 Singapore government officials awarded a large grant of public money to a homophobic Christian group that attempts to straighten out gays. In March this year Kuala Lumpur police tried to crack down on businesses that cater to gay customers by fining owners for petty license violations, bringing criticism from local AIDS/HIV educators...

Gay Indonesia - Java - Gay Indonesia - Bali  - Utopia. - GayRice. - Gay Indonesia - Sumatra (Global Gayz) - Gay Muslims 1998-2007. -GLBTQ: Indonesia.- ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden. - Sodomy Laws: Indonesia. - Gay & Lesbian Bali. - GAYa NUSANTARA.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Pridelinks. - QRD. - Utopia. - Gayscape. - Worldwide HK Gay Information: Indonesia 

EAST TIMOR - East Timor Assembly Rejects Gay Protections. - Timor Lorosae Journalists Association to Meet  7 Dec - 10 Dec, 2000: "The Timor Lorosae Journalsists Association (TLJA) was formed on 22 December 1999, in the capital Dili, as an independent, non-governmental organisation for the purpose of promoting press freedom and freedom of expression in Timor Lorosae. TLJA?s Aims and Objectives are: .. 6. To foster fair and accurate coverage of lesbian and gay issues and to oppose newsroom bias against lesbians, gay men and all other minorities..."

Sexual Orientation Clause Removed From Constitution: Debate continued Thursday in East Timor`s parliament on the future constitution of the territory, due to become independent next May. Members of the Constituent Assembly voted to remove the term "sexual orientation" from part of article 16 of the final draft constitution which deals with anti-discrimination. The relevant section of the Constitution prohibits discrimination based on: "color, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, social or economic status, convictions or political beliefs, religion, education and mental or physical condition. In voting on the controversial section, 52 out of 88 assembly members backed the removal of the term "sexual orientation", which in practice could affect the equality of homosexual couples in an independent East Timor. The term "matrimonial state" replaced the controversial phrase, with 57 members voting in favor of this substitution. The head of a Portuguese gay activist group, Antonio Serzedelo, said Thursday he thought it "very serious" that East Timor, which had "fought so hard against discrimination", had removed the "sexual orientation" proviso from the Constitution...

Down in Dili: Back at gay life... There may not be much of it, but it’s surprisingly open. On my first visit to the Dili Trade Centre I arrived about 10.30 and knocked back a couple of beers while watching expats from their late twenties to early forties, male and female, determinedly drink and dance to the band’s surprisingly good reggae. This was, I had been told, the centre of gay nightlife but apart from myself, I could spot no friend of Dorothy. However, by midnight the atmosphere had begun to change. A group of fashionably dressed young men entered; for the next hour I chatted with them and watched as the white-skinned couples left and the darker Timorese arrived. By one o’clock it was clear that the Dili Trade Centre on a Friday night was the place to find single men of every nationality, ethnicity and sexual orientation; it was also the place for single women in unnaturally tight clothing, although they did not seem to be doing much business. And don’t forget the single feto, a very masculine figure in a blouse and skirt. One of my new companions said this was the best place for gay people to come. I asked why. Because it’s less violent than the others, he said. In the other bars there are UN troops running amok with Kalashnikovs? I wondered. No, he said, just the locals with knives and fists. Okay, I thought to myself, I can live without that...

Final Report for the Implemenitng AIDS Prevention and Care (IMPACT) Project in East Timor (PDF Download): ... Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)... Nearly half of the men identified in the 2004 IMPACT/East Timor STI survey as having sex with men reported recent sex with women, and 12 percent of the “heterosexual” male groups and 5 percent of male students said they had had anal sex with another male in the last year... The results of a 2003 situational analysis of MSM, together with the findings of the STI survey, confirmed that MSM in East Timor fall into three main groups: (a) transgenders (waria), (b) gay men and (c) “hidden” men submerged in the general population. The first two groups probably only account for a small minority of the entire population of MSM... The advocacy workshop, for example, was “the first time (in East Timor) that MSM were given a chance to express themselves in public and hear about HIV being a threat for the MSM ommunity” (participant in the MSM workshop, 2004). Of the 63 MSM referred to VCT, none of them tested positive.

Impacts of HIV/AIDS 2005–2025 in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor: Final report of the HIV Epidemiological Modelling and Impact Study (PDF Download): East Timor... Men who have sex with men (MSM, including waria) were taken to be 5 per cent of the urban adult male population (J Rock, FHI, personal communication). In the absence of specifi c data, it was assumed that the rate of MSM in rural areas was approximately half the urban value. Average numbers of partners among MSM were taken to be 25 and 12 per year in urban and rural populations respectively. 46 per cent of urban MSM also reported heterosexual contact in the past year (Pisani E et al, 2004). In the absence of specifi c data, half this rate was assumed for rural MSM... - Basing policy on evidence: low HIV, STIs, and risk behaviour in Dili, East Timor argue for more focused interventions: Conclusions: A few sex workers are infected with HIV in East Timor, but the virus is not circulating widely among their clients, and sexual networking is limited. The risk of a generalised HIV epidemic in East Timor is minimal. HIV can be contained by the provision of basic services to the small minority of the population at highest risk, preserving resources for other health and development needs.

Young People and HIV/AIDS: East Timor (PDF Download): ... The study also revealed significant levels of unprotected non-marital sex and a high level of sexually transmitted infections among sex workers and MSM. Fifteen percent of female sex workers and MSM were suffering from different sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Levels of Type 2 herpes which helps HIV to spread quickly was found to be around 30% in MSM and 60% in sex workers... Data from the Dili study... The study revealed high levels of unprotected anal sex between men, including among students, taxi-drivers and the military. The average age of MSM surveyed was 23 years, 1% of whom were found to be HIV positive... A high proportion of MSM reported selling sex for money and some reported buying sex, most of which was anal sex without condoms. A majority of MSM had more than one partner and a total of 46% had experienced unprotected anal sex with more than one partner...

Leaflets: HIV/AIDS prevention targeting men who have sex with men (MSM), youth, sex workers (SW) and clients of SW. Promotion of Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). Self Test. Client: FHI/East Timor... MSM - 1 MSM - 2 Youth - 1, Youth-2, SW-1, SW-2, SW-3, Clients-1, VCT-1.

Sander Thoenes: In 1996 he went to Kazakhstan as the Financial Times's central Asia correspondent. He also contributed to the Dutch gay newspaper de Gay Krant, and the political journal Vrij Nederland. While covering events in East Timor he was riding pillion on a motorcycle taxi in the suburb of Becora. According to the driver six uniformed gunmen riding three motorcycles ordered them to stop. When they drove off the gunmen opened fire. Sander Thoenes died at the scene, and his body was recovered by Australian soldiers who also found his reporter's notebook and pen by his hand. His boyfriend survived him in Jakarta where they had lived together.

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country: - Asia: Afghanistan. - Bangladesh. - Bhutan. - Brunei Darussalam. - Cambodia. - China. - India.- Indonesia. - Japan. - Lao. - Malaysia. - Maldives. - Mongolia. - Mongolia. - Myanmar. - Nepal. - North Korea (DPRK). - Pakistan. - Philippines. - Singapore. - South Korea (ROK). - Sri Lanka. - Thailand. - Timor-Leste. - Viet Nam.

Gay East Timor (Global Gayz): - News/Reports 2002-04. - The Eastgarden.

GUAM / SAIPAN - Asian/Pacific Islander adolescent sexual orientation and suicide risk in Guam (2004). Full Text: PDF Download. - Molecular Epidemiology of HIV Infection in Hawaii and Guam: "Initial introduction of HIV to both islands is presumed to have occurred via infected homosexual men from the continental United States, and homosexual transmission of HIV still accounts for most new infections in Hawaii and Guam."

Gay In Saipan: - Til the Break of Dawn: The CNMI's First & Official Pride Dance named "Hairspray" had people dancing til the break of dawn. The event was held recently on June 28, 2007 in the Club V at the Saipan Grande Hotel.

Gay Guam? JAX isn't the only gay spot in Guam, but it's the best, from what I'm told. I've been there and have a pretty good time... There's another bar a bit away...

In the Closet: understanding teenage homosexuality on Guam (2003): " They must also endure strained relationships, as Sarah Thomas-Nededog, executive director for Sanctuary, Inc., explains. “Relationships are difficult in general, and relative to teenagers, sexuality is already a major issue for them. And if they have found that they are also not just dealing with their sexuality but dealing with homosexuality, which is an area still not acceptable socially in many areas, they would be more than likely be dealing with familial and social issues with their friends, with their parents, with the school, and with their family.”" - What I know now about queer youth: "Alexis grew up in Guam, and eventually moved to Oak Harbor, Washington. She didn't meet a single transgendered person in either place. When she moved to Seattle a few years ago and met other transgendered people, something clicked."

Forum offers youth a voice in teen issues N/A (2003): "This was one of dozens of games and activities yesterday at the second and final day of the Youth for Youth Conference at the Hyatt Regency Guam... Participants Mayan Sanchez, 13, right, and Bekka Lemons, 12, draw a picture of their notion of a "typical" lesbian couple during the homosexuality workshop Saturday at the Youth for Youth Conference."

Hearing scheduled for 3 teens in beating cases (2003) N/A: "According to court documents, the three boys were allegedly drinking alcohol and decided on the second night to look "for a (homosexual) to beat up." The man, whom they allegedly assaulted with a bat Sunday night, is a transvestite

Cruz control: newly appointed Guam supreme court justice Benjamin Cruz may be the nation's highest-ranking gay judge.

Gay Guam (Global Gayz). - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden.

NAURU - ILGA Report. - The Eastgarden

MSMGF News Articles & Documents Resources. By Region & Country:  Oceania: - Australia. - Cook Islands. - Fed. States of Micronesia. - Fiji. - French Polynesia. - Johnston Island. - Kiribati. - Nauru. - New Caledonia. - New Caledonia. - New Zealand. - Niue. - Norfolk Island. - Northern Mariana Islands. - Palau. - Papua New Guinea. - Pitcairn. - Samoa. - Solomon Islands. - Tokelau. - Tonga. - Tuvalu. - Vanuatu. - Wallis and Futuna Islands.

The "SEARCH Section" For...
The Best Search Engines & Information Directories, The Searchable Sites to Locate Papers & Abstracts...
And The Sites - Some Searchable - Where "Free Papers" Are Available!

Search Engines & Directories: - Google Scholar. - MSN Search.- Proteus Search. - Wikipedia Listing of Search Engines. - All GLBT Resource Directories. - Google's GLBT Directory. - Yahoo's Directory. - DMOZ: Open Directory. - BGLAD. - Wikipedia. - GLBTQ: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture.

Directories for Open Access Resources: - The Directory of  Open-Access Journals. - Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR). - Yahoo Theses Access Directory. - Google Directory: Free Access Online Archives.

Open Access Collections From Multiple Sources: - Australian Research Online. - hal: articles en ligne (French / English Version). - Archive Ouverte INRIA. - Hispana. Directorio y recolector de recursos digitales. - Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal- Pacific Rim Library. - OAIster: a union catalog of available digital resources. - - OpenJ-Gate: Open Access. many free full text articles and papers. -

Search for Free Papers / Book Reviews: - All Papers are free at BioMed Cental (Open Access) & PubMed Central. - HighWire Press (Numerous Free Papers).  eScholarship Repository:  University of California, e-books, journals and peer-reviewed documents. - DSpace Eprints: Australian National University. - DSpace@MIT. - Virginia Tech: Digital Library / Archives. - eScholarship: U of California. - University of Southampton CiteBase. - Eprints: University of Nottingham. - T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries.  - NTUR, National Taiwan University- Allacademic: Some free papers to either read online or download as PDFs. -  UNESCO: Articles, Report, Dissertations, Films, etc. - Kyoto University Research Information Repository. - Doctoral dissertations and other publications from the University of Helsinki- E-LIS: eprints in Library & Information Services. - CogPrints: eprints. - RePEc: Research Papers in Economics. - DiVa: Scandinavian University Documents. - The International Gay & Lesbian Review (IGLR): Book Reviews & Abstracts. - InterAlia, a peer-edited scholarly journal for queer theory

Search for Free Articles, Papers or - The Free Library. - France Queer Resources Directory. - Séminaire gai. - The QRD. - GLBTQ: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture. - Human Rights Campaign. - IGLHRC: The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. - ILGA: The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. - ILGA-Europe: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association of Europe. - Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. - Kinsey Institute Staff Publications. - Sexual Policy Watch Working Papers. NAZ Foundation International: Primary aim is to improve the sexual health and human rights of marginalised males who have sex with males, their partners and families in South Asia and elsewhere.  The World Health Orgazization. - The Body: The complete HIV/AIDS Resource. - POZ Magazine: Archive dates back to 1994.

Search for Papers, with Abstract Available (Some May Be Free): The National Library of Medicine (Free papera are highlighted). Abstracts from searches are available at: ERIC: The Education Resources Information Center (Many Free Documents). - Informaworld. - Oxford Journals (Some Open Access Content). - Springer Journals (Some Open Access Content). - ScienceDirect Journals. - University of California Press Journals on Caliber. - IngentaConnect. - Project Muse. - JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive. - Wiley Interscience. - Cambridge Journals Online: Follow Link. - Sage Journals. - Palgrave Macmillan Journals. - Emerald E-journals. - University of Chicago Journals. - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Journals. - HeinOnline (Access Free Content, Law Papers). - SSRN: Social Science Research Network.

Search for Free Theses / Dissertations, May Include Papers: Library & Archives Canada, Electronic Free Theses Download. - Virginia Tech: Electronic Theses and Dissertations. - DSpace@MIT. - Electronic Theses & Dissertations BYU. - OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Center & Worldwide ETD Index. - Australasian Digital Theses Program (Abstracts Given & Free Downloads). - Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (Abstracts). - PQDTOpen Dissertations (Abstracts & Free Downloads: ProQuest). DART-Europe: Free Access to European Doctoral Theses. - The British Library's EThOS service (British Doctoral Theses Abstracts). - DORAS: Free Theses,  Ireland. - TEL (thèses-en-ligne). - DiVa: Scandinavian Theses / Other Documents. - BORA: Open Archive, University of Bergen, Norway.  - Doctoral dissertations and other publications from the University of Helsinki. - LUP: Lund University Publications. - National Cheng Kung University Institutional Repository. - HKU Scholars Hub. - Biblioteca Digital de Teses e Dissertacoes (BDTD), Brazil. - OAIster: a union catalog of available digital resources. Free papers also available -

Full Text GLBTQ Papers / Articles by/at: - Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review. -  Archive of Sexology Full Text Papers. - Hawaii AIDS Education and Training Center: AIDS Education Project. - Arlene Istar Lev. - F. Kenneth Freedman. - Margaret Nichols & IPG Staff. - Michael Shernoff. - Gary Remafedi. - Susan Cochran & Vickie Mays (and Others). - Gregory M. Herek and others. - Esther Rothblum. - First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies: Index of Papers. (Related Book) - "Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries" Conference Papers. -  Sexualities: Bodies, Desires, Practices: Project Archives: 2nd Global Conference on Sex & Sexuality Papers,  2005,  3rd Conference, 2006: Probing the Problematics: Sex and Sexuality. Papers in one PDF + More Conferences. - Intersections: Gender & Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. - The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review - Special Issue, 1996: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Education (Many Authors, abstracts, articles). - The International Journal of Transgenderism (Many Authors, Official Journal of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association: HBIGDA). - Lesbigay SIGnals. - Self-Help Psychology Magazine. - Australian Humanities Review Archive Index. - Schools Out Document Resource. - All NGLTF Documents. - National Coalition for LGBT Health: Downloading Page For Full Text Papers and Reports.


Homosexuality: A Western Import: "The most visible gay movements and communities are at present found in Western countries. As a result, many people think that homosexuality is a Western import, a bad influence from there. If at all they ponder the question of indigenous homosexuality, they see in their minds transvestites, i.e. cross-dressers. If they think a little harder they may add effeminate males, albeit non-cross-dressing. In the view of the general population, these are the only kinds of indigenous homosexuality within Asian societies, a bad enough disgrace as they are. This popular view is plain wrong. Homosexuality has always been part of Asian culture, it was not imported. It has even been celebrated in poetry and writing, and the predominant part of our history is not the cross-dressing or effeminate variety..." - Homosexuals in Asia press for basic rights. - AIDS, Children, The United Nations & Southeast Asia. - Research and discussion paper: An Overview of TG in Asia. - Huge HIV uptick feared in Asia and Pacific. - Virtual Refuge for Gay Muslims. - Gay Asian American Male: Inter-Racial Dating. - Critical regionalities and the study of gender and sexual diversity in South East and East Asia.

Revolution by Stages (Asia Week) (Alternate Link) (Alternate Link): Things are gradually getting better for Asia's homosexuals - but acceptance is still a long way off.  - Coming Out: Gay and Lesbian Life in East Asia (BBC): "Standing out from the crowd is hard in any country. But what if your sexuality was outlawed and practising it could land you a lengthy jail term? And what if there was no word in your language to describe the very essence of your being? The breadth of gay and lesbian experience in East Asia is incredibly varied. It ranges from Chinese lesbians who call themselves 'female comrades' for want of a better word, to 'Muk nar' or transvestites in Islamic Malaysia." -  "Too Busy Studying and No Time for Sex?" Homosexually Active Male  International Students and Sexual Health: "Most of the students were from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and four had undertaken their secondary education in Australia. - The fetishisation of Asian and White.

Spelling It Out: From Alphabet Soup to Sexual Rights. (Alternate Link) - Nation V Gay and Lesbian Event in Phuket: Singapore threw them out; so Asia's largest Gay and Lesbian event decided to set up house in Phuket. Nation V, the fifth annual international Gay and Lesbian party, started today in Phuket, Thailand. This year's gathering includes events at nine venues on the island. Nation V is timed as a precursor to the Gay Pride week in Thailand and the November 13 Gay Pride Parade in Bangkok. - Coming Out in Dialogue: Policies and perceptions of Sexual Minority Groups in Asia & Europe (by the Asia-Europe Foundation: PDF Download). - Gay Asia Tolerance Pays: Special Report Coming Out, Cashing In-Why Gay Rights Make Economic Sense. - New gay guise to hostile Asia (2006): The editor of a new gay and lesbian travel guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia said he hopes the book will foster more acceptance of homosexuality -- which is outlawed in two of the three conservative Southeast Asian nations. The Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, launched in late April, is the first such guide for the three countries, Utopia Guides editor John Goss said.

Auntie Teck rendition of lesbian life in Asia: "Huge pressure to marry... In most Asian countries, there are no places where lesbians can meet... The absence of community distorts visibility and identity... Because of the strong visibility of the "butch" type, many women pursue this image in an effort to identify with the invisible community... Butch/femme couples appear to be the norm for lesbians - again with limited visibility it is  hard to know if this is true." - The Asian Transgendered Experience, by Sam Winter: ILGA's 2006 oreconference on trans issues (PDF Download).

Social Rape: Exploration of Implication of Forced Marriage of Lesbians in Asia (Popho E.S. Park-Lee, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) (Abstract, Must Scroll: PDF Download. Full text): "Social implication of rape has been vigorously discussed and debated by feminist scholars and activists through out the globe. The boundary between sexual act by consent or by force is yet not clearly understood. What is then the implication of such definition, law or declaration regarding sexual violence on LGBTQ community, especially on female? What about the situation where a woman who seems to be an ordinary heterosexual woman married to a man but in fact she is a lesbian who was forced to marry a man by her own family who could not accept her abnormal‚ sexuality but chose to put her into normal‚ life by force and even by physical violence? Can the sexual act take place between this woman and man be considered as to be by consent? If one sees this crime against her will in the as she was forced to marry him, how will be that committed this crime? My paper will explore this issue employing the concept of human rights and national policy such as law in Asian context from a feminist point of view."

Jackson PA (1996): The Persistence of Gender: From Ancient Indian Pandakas to Modern Thai Gay-Quings. Australian Humanities Review. - Homosexuality in Non-European Cultures. - Social taboos pressure lesbian love: Throughout South Asia, homosexuality has been a taboo subject. There are signs in some areas that gay people are now becoming more open - but that is not always the case. In the latest in a series of articles from the region, Sutapa Mukerjee looks at a problematic lesbian relationship in Allahabad, India. - Articles related to gay, bi, lesbian, transgender Asian/Pacific people.

Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade - 2001 - edited by Andrew Grossman (Editor Profile) (PDF Download from Haworth Press): Abstracts for Papers: ‘‘Beautiful Publicity’’: An Introduction to Queer Asian Film. - Japan’s Progressive Sex: Male Homosexuality, National Competition, and the Cinema. - The (Temporary?) Queering of Japanese TV. - Two Japanese Variants of the Absolute Transvestite Film. - Obscenity and Homosexual Depiction in Japan. - The Rise of Homosexuality and the Dawn of Communism in Hong Kong Film: 1993-1998. - Happy Alone? Sad Young Men in East Asian Gay Cinema. - The Cross-Gender Performances of Yam Kim-Fei, or The Queer Factor in Postwar Hong Kong Cantonese. - Farewell My Fantasy. - The Outcasts: A Family Romance. - Homosexual Men (and Lesbian Men) in a Heterosexual Genre: Three Gangster Films from Hong Kong. - Remembered Branches: Towards a Future of Korean Homosexual Film. - Queering Bollywood: Alternative Sexualities in Popular Indian Cinema. - Memories Pierce the Heart: Homoeroticism, Bollywood-Style. - The Changing Image of the Hero in Hindi Films. - Long Life of a Short Film (Full Text). - Transvestites and Transgressions: Panggagaya in Philippine Gay Cinema. -

Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community [Journal of Homosexuality, 40(3/4): PDF Download]: Titles of Papers: Pre-Gay, Post-Queer: Thai Perspectives on Proliferating Gender/Sex Diversity in Asia. - Survival through pluralism: emerging gay communities in the Philippines. - Gay and lesbian couples in Malaysia. - Let them take ecstasy: class and Jakarta lesbians. - Drink, stories, penis, and breasts: lesbian tomboys in Taiwan from the 1960s to the 1990s. - Asian values, family values: film, video, and lesbian and gay identities. - Homosexual rights as human rights in Indonesia and Australia. - Variations on a common theme? Gay and lesbian identity and community in Asia. - Homosexuality and the cultural politics of tongzhi in Chinese societies (Full Text: Word Download). - Becoming a gay activist in contemporary China. - Mapping the vicissitudes of homosexual identities in South Korea. - Tiptoe out of the closet: the before and after of the increasingly visible gay community in Singapore (Full Text). - Culture, sexualities, and identities: men who have sex with men in India (Excerpts, Related Papers). - Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community - 2001 - edited by Gerard Sullivan and Peter A. Jackson ( Reference).

Young Activists Reflect on Identity, Community, and Diversity Among Asia's MSM... The TREAT Asia Report Interview: One of the greatest challenges to slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia lies in the rich complexity of MSM communities across the region-and the necessity of tailoring prevention and education messages for each community. Recently, four young MSM from Southeast Asia-AIDS prevention and education advocates-spoke with the TREAT Asia Report about the issues of identity, community, politics, and stigma that they all encounter in the course of their work... Sovannara (Thaiy) Kha (Cambodia): There are many kinds of MSM in Cambodia. In the Khmer language we call them kteuy, like katoey in Thai, but in English we call them MSM Long Hair and MSM Short Hair, which is what Cambodian MSM call themselves. MSM Long Hair can be transgender or transsexual, or neither. When we say MSM, it doesn't matter whether in your heart you prefer men or not. If you sleep with men, we say that you are MSM. But MSM Short Hair do not want to sleep with MSM Long Hair, although if Long Hair pay money, maybe they will go with them. If someone is really gay-not just MSM but preferring men from the heart-most of them will not sleep with MSM Long Hair. I've asked and they say, "If I sleep with MSM Long Hair, why wouldn't I sleep with girls?" In Cambodia, most MSM Short Hair are married and they do not disclose their status... Jack Arayawongchai (Thailand): That's similar to our situation in Thailand. I have a friend who is identified as Long Hair MSM and she has complained to me many times, "Oh, I don't have a boyfriend." And I asked, "Why don't you go find one? There are all those gay men out there." But she said, "No, I am not attracted to gay men, I'm only attracted to straight men." Addy Chen (Myanmar): It is complicated. Jack, how do you identify yourself? You would be considered a Long Hair MSM, right? Jack: Well, I would identify myself as one of the Short Hair. In Thailand, there are MSM who look totally straight and MSM who look "out" a little bit but they still consider themselves Short Hair. Addy: That's why in Myanmar we end up having six categories of MSM, and with all these groups we need different outreach and education approaches...

Rao JVRP (2006). Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (PDF Download): The Missing Link in the National Response. Opening speech at Male Sexual Health and HIV in Asia and the Pacific International Consultation: “Risks and Responsibilities,” New Delhi, India, 23rd September 2006: Male to male sex is presently a missing link in national responses to HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific region. Services for MSM are almost non-existent. A 2005 coverage survey of major Asia-Pacific countries estimated that more than 90% of these men and transgendered people did not have any access to targeted prevention programmes. - MAP (2005). Male-Male Sexand HIV/AIDS in Asia. MAP (Monitoring the AIDS Epidemic) Report (PDF Download). The text and graphics of the report are based on AIDS in Asia: Face the Facts, a report issued by the Monitoring the AIDS Pandemic (MAP) Network in 2004, prepared by Elizabeth Pisani and Tim Brown. - Men Who Have Sex With Men Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Asia, but Widely Ignored. - HIV/AIDS in South & Southeast Asia... Abstracted from Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, May 2006.

No room for transgender people in HIV funding: In Asia, as in many parts of the world, men who have sex with men often hide their sexual preferences for fear of being harassed by police, ostracised by their families or discriminated against by their communities. But transgender people, who do not identify with the sexuality they were born with - known as "warias" in Indonesia and "hijimas" in parts of India - are less likely to hide their sexual orientation, and face even higher levels of stigma and discrimination than men who have sex with men (MSM). The result, according to presenters at a special session on transgenderism at the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), in Colombo, Sri Lanka, this week, is to push them further underground, making them extremely hard to reach with HIV prevention, care and treatment. They often suffer from depression as a result of rejection by family and friends, which can lead to substance abuse and other risk-taking behaviours, making them particularly vulnerable to HIV infection...

Strategy Report: Strategizing Interventions among MSM in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMR) CDC-GAP/USAID-RDM/FHI-APD Workshop. February/March 2005. Bangkok, Thailand (PDF Download): Fluidity of male-to-male sexuality... In our region, there is a huge variety and fluidity of male-to-male sexual behavior. Behavior seems to be less linked to identity – ‘indigenous’ identity labels are in short supply. Because seen as a behavior, male to male sex seems less linked to guilt / sin than in other areas of the world – easier to interpret it as a game or as release, like drinking alcohol or gambling. This makes the number of ‘MSM’ potentially huge... However in the past years some countries in the GMR have started to collect information on male-to-male sex. After years of programming neglect, this has yielded some unpleasant surprises: high levels of unprotected anal sex (commercial and non-commercial), low use of water-based lubricants, and, as a result, high levels of HIV prevalence: infection rates of 15% were found among MSM in Phnom Penh (Cambodia, 2000); 17% of MSM in Bangkok (Thailand, 2003); 8% of MSM in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam, 2004); 3% of MSM in Beijing (China. 2004). These findings have led to the implementation of pilot interventions in the cities where the research was conducted, but at the same time other possible “hotspots” with significant male-to-male sexual vulnerability to HIV/AIDS have been left unidentified, thus uncovered by appropriate interventions. In none of the GMR countries, strategies and guidelines to scale-up these initial interventions among MSM exist...

Closets Are Not For Us: Views From Five Lesbians: "In China, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people's communities started to emerge after the adoption of a new reform and open-door policy about 20 years ago. More information helped promote diversity in people's lives. Gay bars, lesbigay hotlines, publications, movies and other artistic works begun to appear and lesbigay groups were established. This was the report made by Yanhai Wan before the 4th Asian Lesbian Network Conference held in Manila in December 1998. In Korea, while lesbian groups were rumoured to exist, they were rarely acknowledged, if at all, by the mass media until the 1990s, according to another country report. In Malaysia, economic independence for many lesbians has been the key to attaining their own sexuality, reveals a report by Nadiah Bamadhaj presented during the same conference. In Thailand, a lesbian movement was organised in 1986, while in India, the first organisation of lesbian and bisexual women was formed in Bombay only in 1995..."

Conspicuous by their absence: Men who have sex with men – the missing piece in national responses to AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (PDF Download): "In the first two articles in this edition of Pukaar, we look at the significant donor, government and non-government agencies policy issues that are having a dramatic impact on MSM, HIV, risks and vulnerabilities. The increasing HIV burden being placed on MSM across many countries in Asia and the Pacific, arise from stigma, discrimination, social exclusion and denial, not only by local people, but also by governments, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral donors, along with international and national non-government agencies. As a consequence, there is an enormous under-investment in tackling HIV among MSM across the region, along with a extremely low coverage of appropriate HIV prevention, care, support and treatment services. Fine words are often spoken by all these stakeholders, but as the saying goes "the proof in the pudding is in the eating". What exists at "ground zero" is a terrible indictment of all concerned..." - Percent of active MSM who are married or report recent sex with women, various [Asian Cities &] countries (PPT Page). - TREAT Asia Will Coordinate MSM Interventions Network in Asia.

Taboos and denial in government responses:  The most striking fact about HIV/AIDS is that it continues to spread even when the means of prevention are well known and do not demand costly technology to implement. This article argues that the fundamental barriers to effective prevention are social and cultural, and that many authorities place more emphasis on preserving traditional norms and social arrangements than on saving lives. The case is argued with particular reference to the impact of globalization on sexual behaviours, and the attempts by conservatives to deny existing behaviours and vulnerabilities. Current debates around abstinence, homosexuality and harm minimization are discussed to demonstrate the deeply political nature of HIV prevention.

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper:   

First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005): Papers available for download. - The 2005 Conference Abstracts: Many of these possible papers were either not presented or not made avaible as full text papers (PDF Download) (Alternate Link). - Titles for abstracts of these paper: related to Asia Region: - Encountering Babylon: Pursuing Beauty & Sexual Justice at a Globalized Gay Sauna (Gary Atkins, Seattle University): "Today in Southeast Asia, one such bathhouse stands out in its reputation as a place of contact and communication among gay Asian men from throughout the region, as well as among Euro-American men. This journalistic paper examines the history and role within Southeast Asia of what has become one of the world’s best known gay bathhouses, Babylon...." - The Wedding Banquet Effect: Gay = Modern in Asian Cinema? (Chris Berry, Goldsmiths College). - Online Publication: The Experience of Intersections (Carolyn Brewer, Murdoch University). - Rice Sticking Together: Desire and the Cinematic Representation of Caucasian-Chinese Relationships (Kenneth Chan, Nanyang Technological University). - Globalizing Gay Culture in Virtual Space: the Case of the Virtualized Gay Identity (Nikos Lexis Dacanay, University of the Philippines). - Education on LGBT Issues in a Global Context: Opportunities in Asia (Peter Dankmeijer, Empowerment Lifestyle Services). - Towards Cross-Regional Dialogue: Perspectives from the Americas (Carlos Decena, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies). - Faking Gender: Violence and Baseness from 1970s Lesbian Pulp to 1990s Queer Gothic Fiction’ (Naifei Ding, Jen-Peng Liu & Amie Parry, National Central University, National T’sing Hua University). - Probing Pink Porn: The perceived value of sexual content for homosexual and heterosexual audiences (Andrea Goh, Melissa Say, Gerald Tan, Frederick Tong, Nanyang Technological University).  - Comparative Female Masculinities (Judith Halberstam, University of Southern California). - Reconsidering the Rice Queen (Dredge Byung’chu Kang, Emory University). - Social Rape: Exploration of Implication of Forced Marriage of Lesbians in Asia (Popho E.S. Park-Lee, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia). - Sexing the Cinematic Space: Films from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan (Sean Metzger, Duke University). - Queer Spectacles: Beyond the Legal Codification of Asian Homosexuality (Chandan Reddy, University of Washington). - When Sex Happens: Sexual Rights and Transnational Activism (Stephan Sastrawidjaja, International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commision). - Implementation of International Human Rights Standards on Sexuality within Domestic Courts in Asia-Pacific Countries (Hiroyuki Taniguchi, Chuo University). - The Pink Dollar: Limits of Gay Tourism Marketing (Daniel Tsang, University of California). - No More Déjà Vu: Western Nostalgia Meets Eastern Queerness (Huso Yi, Korean Sexual-Minority Culture & Rights Center). - Uniquely Positioned?: Lived Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Asian Muslims in Britain (Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip, Nottingham Trent University). - Governing (Diasporic Asian) Sexuality: Same-Sex Migration in Australia (Audrey Yue, University of Melbourne). - The Crossroads of Asian and Western Non-heterosexual Identity Construction (Voon Chin Phua, Gettysburg College).

An International Conference of Queer Asian Studies Convened by the AsiaPacifiQueer Network At the University of Technology, Sydney, City Campus, Sydney, Australia On the 22 & 23 February, 2007. - Second International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2007). - Confirmed Paper to be Presented (PDF Download).  - First Report on Conference: Word Download. Related Reports / Newsletters. - Sexualities and the National Body in Asia: an Interdisciplinary Symposium.

The Ultimate "Planet Out" Guide to Queer Movies (Subject: Asian Images). - Asian/Pacific lesbian/bisexual related films. - Images of Asian males. - Queer Asian/Pacific related films. -'s Gay Asian Films. - Asian Dykes Take to Celluloid: An interview with an organizer of the upcoming First Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival to be held in Taiwan.

Asian GLBTQ Film Articles: - Tsunami of New Queer Cinema from Asia. -  At an annual gathering of global queer film festival organizers, Asian gay and lesbian film festival programmers highlighted the challenges they faced.  - GLBTQ: Asian Film. - Lesbian and Gay Films Expand Boundaries of Asian Cinema. - Everything in Between: Queer Asians in time and space. - "Beautiful publicity": an introduction to queer Asian film. - Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade (PDF Download). - Queer Film in East Asia. - Focus on Asia at Sydney Film Festival. - Cross-Cultural Images of Queers in Film. - Thinking Queer in Asian Cinema. - What is the “Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival”? - Asian Dykes Take to Celluloid: An interview with an organizer of the upcoming First Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival to be held in Taiwan...

INTERSECTIONS (Journal): Gender, History & Culture in the Asian Context: Intersections is a refereed electronic journal conceived as an interactive forum for new research and teaching in the area of Gender Studies in the Asian region. It stems from Murdoch University's School of Asian Studies and was originally published with the financial assistance of the Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education. - Selected Bibliography from issues 1-14 collated by Ian Henderson:  This bibliography is a work in progress and contains references that are cited in articles in Intersections. - Transgenderism and gender pluralism in southeast asia since early modern times. Commentary.

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter 29: Asian Homosexualities (PDF Downloads):   Asians of the Same Intent. - Restless Longing. - Kamingu Auto: Homosexuality and Popular Culture in Japan. - Gay vs. ‘Kathoey’: Homosexual Identities in Thailand. - The Legacy of the Crocodile: Critical Debates over Taiwanese Lesbian Fiction. - Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Homosexual Culture in Indonesia. - Birthday in Beijing: Women Tongzhi Organizing in 1990s’ China. -  Homosexuality in India: Past and Present. - The Remaking of a Cambodian-American Drag Queen. - New Park: Gay Literature in Taiwan. - Who’s That Girl? -. Filtered Voices. -  Queer Mongolians: Is Isolation their Destiny?

Resource Links: - The Complete Guide to Gay Thailand & Gay Asia. - Asian / Pacific Gays & Friends Links. - Asia Views.  - Floating Lotus Resources and Links of Interest. - -  Utopia's Asian Resources. - Southeast Asia Web's Gay and Lesbian Resources Page. - Utopia's Asian lesbian Resources. - The New Lesbian Asia Web Ring. -'s GLBTQ Links. - Researchers in gender identity and transgender in Asia. - Thirteen General Statements about TG in Asia. - Asian AIDS/HIV Information Archive at Utopia. - Asian AIDS/HIV Articles/Reports. - Gay Asia News & Reports.- Asian Gay Travels.

Resource Links (Not Updated): - Asian Pacific Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Resources.  - Gay, bi, lesbian, transgender A/P youth resources.- Queer Asian Pacific resources. - Queer Asian/Pacific Web Resources. - Southeast Asia Web's Gay and Lesbian Resources Page

Gay Asia (Global Gayz) - The Eastgarden

QRD - Gayscape - Pridelinks. - Rainbow Query: Asian-Pacific. - Open Directory.

Resources - News: - Gay News & Gossip from Thailand and Around Asia. - Asian News Items from Long Yang Club, Toronto.: 2007. 2006. 2005. 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996.  - Fridae Magazine: Asia's Gay + Lesbian Network. - . 

Resources - Bibliographies: - Floating Lotus Books and Bua Luang Books Bookstore N/A (Archive Link). - Bibliography of Asian TG Studies. - GLBTQ Asian Anthologies. - Anthologies of Gay Fiction. - East Asia's Gay and Lesbian Life Revealed in Three New Travel Books

Resources - Books: - Ohio State University Library's GLB  Book list (China, Japan, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and other Asia and Pacific countries.) - Gay Asian Literature: Non Fiction. - Gay Asian Literature: Anthologies. - Gay Asian Literature. - Gay/Lesbian SA Literature. - Books by and for South Asian women. - Asian Gay Books-1 & Asian Gay Books-2. - Asian homosexuality bibliography. - GLBTQ Asian Books. - Books related to gay, bi, lesbian, transgender Asian/Pacific people. - Amazon: Asian GLBT Books.

Books: - Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China, by Bret Hinsch (University of California Press 1990). (Excerpts) - The Rainbow Connection: The internet & the Singapore gay community by Ng King Kang, 1999. - Sex, Longing & Not Belonging: A Gay Muslim's Quest for Love & Meaning - 1997 - by Badruddin Khan ( Reference). - Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade - 2001 - edited by Andrew Grossman (PDF Download from Haworth Press). - New book: Gay Chinese history. - Different Rainbows: Same-Sex Sexualities and Popular Movements in the Third World - 2000 - edited by Peter Drucker (7 Sample Pages) (Review: PDF Download) (Table of Contents). Contains: "‘The emergence of gay identities in Southeast Asia" (P. 137-156) "Dennis Altman, from Australia, and reknown for his groundbreaking book Homosexual: oppression and liberation in 1971, explores the emergence of gay identities in Southeast Asia."  - Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community - 2001 - edited by Gerard Sullivan and Peter A. Jackson ( Reference). - Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia - 2003 - edited by Chris Berry, Fran Martin and Audrey Yue (Review) (Review: HTML, PDF) (Amazon). - Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times - 2007 - by Michael Peletz. - A Lotus of Another Color: An Unfolding of the South Asian Gay and Lesbian Experience - 1993 - edited by Rakesh Ratti. - Same-sex Cultures and Sexualities: An Anthropological Reader - 2004 - edited by Jennifer Robertson (Review).

Search GLBTQ: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture. - Search BGLAD. - Search the QRD. - Search all GLBT Resource Directories. - Search - Search Google Scholar. - Search Google's G:LBT Directory. - MSN Search. - Search many full text articles and papers.

Academic Searches: Search IngentaConnect: The most comprehensive collection of academic and professional publications. - Search Project Muse: Scholarly Journals Online. - Search JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive. - Search The National Library of Medicine



Search all GLBT Resource Directories. - The "Proteus" Super-Search System is recommended (See also Proteus Original). - Best Search Engine on Proteus is: Google!  If you are searching for a string of word together, such as a title, forget not to place what is sought in quotation marks. Example: "Death by Denial". - Bing Search by MSN is also a good search engine. For all types of search engines, see Wikipedia listing. - Search the QRD.

  The development of these GLBT information web pages were made possible through the collaboration of Richard Ramsay (Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary) and Pierre Tremblay (independent researcher, writer, and GLBT children and youth advocate) who both recognize that often needed social changes occur as the result of knowledge availability and dissemination. Additional Information at: Warning, Acknowledgments, Authors.

These GLBTQ Info-Pages were located at the University of Southampton from 2000 to 2003, this being the result of a collaboration with Dr. Chris Bagley, Department of Social Work Studies, University of Southampton.

Graphics are compliments of Websight West. The Synergy Centre donated computer/Internet time to facilitate the construction of this GLBT information site. Both are owned by a Chris Hooymans, a friend, and former publisher of a gay & lesbian magazine in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Chris continues to offer his expertise whenever needed and he has supplied, free of charge, the hosting of the site - Youth Suicide Problems: A Gay / Bisexual Male Focus - where a smaller - GLBTQ Education Section - and the Internet Resource Page for this subject ( is located.

Computer time was also supplied by Rick Reist & Glenn Lynas, and Glenn also supplied other forms of assistance.

Many thanks to Wendy Stephens from The Department of Communications Media, University of Calgary.  She communicated with publishers of many academic journals (an ongoing time-consuming process) for permission to reproduce abstracts from papers and studies on these GLBT information web pages.


The information made available on this web page does not represent all the relevant information available on the Internet, nor in professional journals and in other publications.

This web page was constructed to supply a spectrum of information for individuals seeking to understand one or more of the many gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender issues.

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