Health agency publishes manual for LGBTQ children
A Thai government health foundation has published the Kingdom’s first manual for LGBTQ children, offering guidance to those affected by prejudice, bullying and stereotyping, and for their families who may be struggling to accept them.
“This House Has Gender Diversity” is a manual jointly prepared by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, which is an independent government agency, and the Foundation of Transgender Alliance for Human Rights (TGA).
Thailand has long had a reputation for LGBTQ tolerance. LGBTQ people are not unusual in media, entertainment, business and the professions. Even Thai sports have had some famous LGBTQ athletes, and the Kingdom elected its first transgender member of parliament in 2019.
However, societal attitudes are not always shared by every individual, and just as in every nation, LGBTQ people in Thailand can experience prejudice, discrimination and lack of acceptance.
Phoranee Phuprasert, Director of the Foundation’s Office of Vulnerable Group Support, said that the manual aimed to create a better understanding of LGBTQ issues. This is especially meant for parents struggling to accept their children’s different sexual orientations. She said she hoped the manual could contribute to making the family a ‘safe space’ for LGBTQ children and adolescents.
“We saw that many schools and other organizations had taken part in anti-bullying projects. So, we reached out to find another space that was still problematic, and we found out that the family is still the problem, even much bigger than school,” Phoranee said.
“Therefore, it is very important to open a conversation among family members with academic knowledge, not only one’s own experience and prejudice, and this could help the parents understand their kids,” she said.
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