Thailand has a fairly large gay scene. There are nightclubs and bars catering to gay singles and couples in all the major cities. However, Thailand's gay culture is mostly centred around the foreigners who live in and visit the country. As a result, the gay scene tends to be restricted to parts of the large cities that see many foreigners.
Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket are well known for their gay-friendly atmosphere and nightlife. In the country, away from the western mix of culture, it can be very different as many people are very conservative. Open displays of affection are considered impolite and disrespectful even between heterosexual couples.
Due to social pressures, it is still quite uncommon to see two Thai males in an open relationship together. There seems to be less pressure on gay females and it is not unusual to see two Thai women in a discreet but open relationship.
By far the most colourful characters on the gay scene are Thailand's ladyboys, or katoeys. Although transsexuals are still considered mentally ill by some of the more conservative of Thai society, they are generally widely accepted. Ladyboys are under much less pressure than gay men. Although often commented upon by other Thais, both straight and gay, they are generally accepted as a part of society.
Thailand is host to three annual Gay Pride Events:
For information on gay and lesbian life in Thailand:
For guides to gay and lesbian venues:
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