This was supposed to be the opening speech for the Chiang Mai gay pride march that was canceled by force by so called Red Shirt supporters of the ousted and exiled Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra .
The confrontation does not bode well for QGBLT rights in Thailand or the supposed rule of law as dozens of police stood by and did nothing as the gay community were intimidated by the thugs who prevented the peaceful march of community solidarity to take place.
Translation by Khun Tom of APN+ (thank you Tom)....
I'm delighted to see all of you in the second Chiang Mai Gay Pride this year.
All big cities in this world blend people from different places of origins, social status, beliefs and conviction. And Chiang Mai is no exception.
All these people, including gay, lesbians, transgender or bisexuals, have great contribution in turning Chiang Mai into a vibrant megalopolis.
It's hardly impossible that gay, lesbians, transgender or bisexuals will ever subvert the good culture deeply rooted in Chiang Mai because ALL of them are part of the culture all along for hundreds of years. They are our children, our grand-children, our relatives and our neighbors, who are usually the victims of discrimination and violence.
Chiang Mai Gay Pride's initial objective is to open the eyes of the society to see our brothers and sisters, who are by and large abandoned in the dark corner of the society. This Pride march consists of many groups and partner organizations who embrace gay, lesbians, transgenders or bisexuals and honor their equal rights. Their participation shows how different we are and it also shows that we can all live together, which hardly ever happen in our society.
A place that doesn't recognize how different people are and yet they can still walk hand in hand, is not worth being called 'city'.
And ignorance and disdain is far from being called 'refined culture'.
We all truly wish that one day, Chiang Mai megalopolis will ultimately become the city of diverse culture that all of us could take part in.
Shame that it just wasnt to be this year!