Dear Straight People,
Today marks the start of Pride Month, a month long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community that takes place globally throughout the month of June.
In the spirit of celebrating, we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on 5 victories for Asia’s LGBTQ+ community that happened in 2021.
1. Taiwan approved multinational same-sex marriages
This groundbreaking change meant that same-sex marriages in Taiwan between a Taiwanese national and a foreign spouse are allowed, regardless of whether same-sex marriage is legalised in the country where the foreign spouse is from.
This welcome change covers citizens of Hong Kong and Macau, but excluded citizens of China.
2. Singapore ad portrayed a lesbian couple in a positive light
NTUC Income featured an interracial lesbian couple in a positive light in its music video promoting the company’s financial planning services.
Published on 20 April, the two minute long music video is called ‘Made For The Moments That Matter’, and it looks like it was shot in one continuous take. It currently boasts over 1.5 million views on Facebook alone.
The music video caused quite a stir as it marked one of the rare instances in Singapore where the LGBT+ community was given positive media representation.
3. Japanese court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is ‘unconstitutional’
A Japanese District Court ruled that Japan’s ban on same-sex marriage is ‘unconstitutional’.
This groundbreaking ruling on 17 March was heralded as a major symbolic triumph for same-sex rights in Japan.
4. Former female athlete was legally acknowledged as male by Indonesia.
After retiring from sports in 2020, Aprilia Manganang joined the army and the Indonesian military fulfilled his wish to have corrective surgery and be officially recognised as a man.
5. Thailand announced measures to make families a safe space for LGBT+ children.
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation partnered with the Foundation of Transgender Alliance for Human Rights to produce a manual that aims to help parents of LGBT+ children better understand LGBT+ issues.
Best part is that the manual will be published online and available publicly for free.
Happy Pride Month!
Big or small, all these victories for Asia’s LGBTQ+ community are all worth celebrating.
Granted, there is still a lot of work left to be done in the realm of LGBTQ+ rights in Asia. But these victories are a step in the right direction, and will hopefully pave the way for greater victories in the years to come.
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