PHOTOS: Orlando recognizes Jazell Barbie Royale with city proclamation

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the current Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale with a proclamation to the city declaring it “Jazell Barbie Royale Day” in the city of Orlando on April 11.

Dyer and Royale were joined on the steps of City Hall by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens, Orlando Police Captain Jim Young, Bliss CARES Medical Director Dr. Roberto Ortiz and many of Royale’s family, friends, fans and supporters.

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Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale to be recognized by City of Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | The City of Orlando will recognize Parliament House entertainer Jazell Barbie Royale, who made history as the first black transgender woman to be crowned Miss International Queen in Thailand, with a ceremony at City Hall on April 11.

“We always see trans rights in such a hostile way,” says Darcel Stevens, Parliament House’s entertainment director. “There’s so much brutality in the community, so it is wonderful to see trans issues in such a positive light.”

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Parliament House’s Jazell Barbie Royale crowned Miss International Queen

By : Jeremy Williams
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Jazell Barbie Royale—a performer at Parliament House in Orlando—was crowned Miss International Queen on March 8. Kanwara Kaewjin from Thailand and Yaya from China were named first and second runner-up, respectively.

The Miss International Queen Pageant is a worldwide beauty pageant for transgender women held every year in Pattaya City, Thailand.

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Taiwan seeks to become first Asia country with same-sex marriage

By : Victor Maung OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A bill that Taiwan’s Cabinet has introduced seeks to make the island the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, despite voters’ rejection of in a nationwide referendum last November.

Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the bill, which was introduced by her government’s Cabinet on Feb. 20, respects the referendum results. But activists says the draft law falls short of expectations and does not fulfill the rights as full marriage.

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Civil partnerships bill sparks debate in Thailand

By : Victor Maung OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Thailand could become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage after a bill that would allow same-sex unions was approved.

The country’s Cabinet approved the civil partnership bill on Dec. 25, which has sparked debate among members of the LGBTI community. The move is seen as a milestone in efforts to improve legal rights for the estimated 6 million LGBTI people — an estimated 8 percent of the country’s total population — who live in Thailand.

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Gay U.S. couple arrested in Thailand for exposing their butts at Thai temple

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A couple is facing jail time for exposing their butts at the Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand.

Travis and Joseph Dasilva, both 38, run the Instagram account “Traveling Butts,” which features pictures of the couple exposing their butts at international locations. The Instagram account has since been deleted.

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Thailand separates LGBTQ inmates, considers segregated prison

By : Wire Report
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PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) – Theerayut Charoenpakdee was terrified when police stopped her outside a mall in Pattaya, a Thai resort famous for its sordid nightlife. A urine test on the spot revealed meth coursing through her veins.

“I thought I was going to be thrown in prison with all the men because I still have the title of Mr.,” the transgender woman said. “I was afraid. News and TV tells us that being sent to prison is scary.”

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Thailand first in Asia to eliminate mother-child HIV spread

By : Wire Report
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Thailand (AP) – Thailand has become the first country in Asia to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, the World Health Organization announced June 7.

The milestone is another step in Thailand’s aggressive campaign to reduce new cases of the AIDS virus, but experts warn many other problems still exist – including a rising rate of new HIV infections among gay men and transgender people.

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Transgender people in Thailand face discrimination, challenges

By : Wire Report
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Bangkok (AP) – The most dangerous place in high school for Jetsada Taesombat was the boys’ bathroom. Her makeup, her lipstick, her accessories became signals to fellow students who targeted her with cruel jokes, insults and physical abuse. But Jetsada refused to hide her transgender identity.

The visibility of transgender people, especially in Bangkok, might make Thailand appear more liberal than other countries regarding their identity. But the reality, they say, is that transgender Thais face deep discrimination, scorn and aggression. Often, it happens in bathrooms, where closed doors and expectations of privacy ensure secrecy for the perpetrators.

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Same-sex couple wins custody battle with Thai surrogate

By : Wire Report
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Bangkok (AP) – A same-sex American-Spanish couple won a high-profile custody battle against a surrogate mother in Thailand who gave birth to their child but then decided she wanted to keep the baby when she found out they were gay.

Bangkok’s Juvenile and Family Court ruled April 26 that the legal guardian of the 15-month-old child, named Carmen, is her American biological father, Gordon Lake, said Lake’s lawyer Rachapol Sirikulchit.

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Gay parents begin legal battle against homophobic surrogate in Thailand

By : Wire Report
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Bangkok (AP) – An American-Spanish same-sex couple opened a high-profile custody battle in Thailand for a baby girl born to a surrogate mother, who decided she wanted to keep the child when she found out they were gay.

The case is complicated by the fact that Thai law does not recognize same-sex marriages and also by a new law that bans commercial surrogacy, which took effect after baby Carmen’s birth.

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Thai ice cream company apologizes for Facebook gay slur

By : Wire Report
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BANGKOK (AP) – A Thai ice cream company owned by Unilever has apologized for using a derogatory term for gay men in a Facebook posting marking the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, a spokeswoman said June 29.

The post on the Facebook page of Wall’s Thailand, which was quickly removed, showed black bean-flavored ice cream with the caption #LOVEWINS – the hashtag used by supporters of the court verdict. “Black beans” is a demeaning slang term for gay men that originated from a famous pedophilia case in Thailand.

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