Year published :May 2011

Pages :318 (x+308) pp.

Size :15x23 cm.

Rights :Southeast Asia

ISBN: 9789888083053

Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights

by Peter A. Jackson

12 b/w illus.

The Thai capital Bangkok is the unrivalled centre of the country’s gay, lesbian, and transgender communities. These communities are among the largest in Southeast Asia, and indeed in the world, and have a diversity, social presence, and historical depth that set them apart from the queer cultures of many neighbouring societies.

The first years of the twenty-first century have marked a significant transition moment for all of Thailand’s LGBT cultures, with a multidimensional expansion in the geographical extent, media presence, economic importance, political impact, social standing, and cultural relevance of Thai queer communities. This book analyses the roles of the market and media—especially cinema and the Internet—in these transformations, and considers the ambiguous consequences that the growing commodification and mediatization of queer lives have had for LGBT rights in Thailand. A key finding is that the early twenty-first century processes of global queering are leading to a growing Asianization of Bangkok’s queer cultures.

This book traces Bangkok’s emergence as a central focus of an expanding regional network linking gay, lesbian, and transgender communities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other rapidly developing East and Southeast Asian societies.

What others are saying

“The myriad faces of Thai gender/sexuality culture have been an attraction for both pleasure-seekers and researchers/scholars/activists. Exploring the rapidly changing LGBT cultures and Thai queer identities, the essays collected here provide insightful analyses of historical continuities as well as developing variations within the highly complex erotic/economic texture of Thai society. A must-read for anyone in the booming field of gender/sexuality studies” — Josephine Ho, National Central University, Taiwan

“In the global imagination Bangkok is identified with sex, much as were Paris or Shanghai in previous eras. Peter Jackson has done a first-rate job of bringing together interactions with the full range of sexual others in the expanding worlds of Bangkok, underlining its significance as a regional inspiration and the ways in which Thai notions of sex and gender have interacted with Western images to create new communities, identities and political possibilities” — Dennis Altman, La Trobe University

“An impressive collection bringing together important and innovative research. This volume will be essential reading to those with scholarly and activist interests in South-East Asian studies, as well as sexuality and gender studies. It will also be useful to students of nationalism, postcoloniality, popular culture, urbanism, and capitalism” — Tom Boellstorff, University of California, Irvine


  • Traces the twenty-first century transformations of Thailand’s gay, lesbian, and transgender communities
  • Examines the impact of new electronic media, the rise of Asian gay tourism, the role of HIV/AIDS, and the expansion of local Thai gay and lesbian markets on Thai queer identity
  • Brings together a transnational range of perspectives, with essays by authors from Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Europe, Canada, and the United States


About the author

Peter A. Jackson is professor of Thai cultural studies in the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, Canberra. He has written extensively on modern Thai cultural history with special interests in religion and sexuality. He is editor‐in‐chief of the Asian Studies Review and founder of the Thai Rainbow Archives Project, which is collecting and digitizing Thai gay, lesbian and transgender magazines and community organizations and newsletters (see

Related files


Thailand | Asian cultural studies | intellectual history | anthropology | postcolonial theory