The film “Yes or No” — Thailand’s first lesbian film — has been chosen to open the 22nd Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film festival in Hong Kong alongside the Vietnamese film “Lost in Paradise.” Festival organizer Joe Lam said that the Thai and Vietnamese films were chosen because, “for their countries’ first movies, they’re not bad.”
Despite that rather condescending under-endorsement, Lam believes that the spread of gay film making to new Asian countries can show the world how much opinions toward homosexuality are changing, even in Muslim countries.
Although gay-marriage is not legal in Thailand (where Muslims are in a minority), Thailand has a more liberal outlook on Gay and Lesbian rights than many other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A large number of ASEAN countries continue to place harsh restrictions on sexual minorities and regard homosexuality as taboo. The addition of the Thai film to the other 30 full-length and short films to be shown over the course of two weeks will attempt to shine a light on what it’s like to be gay in such cultures and will continue to seek to pave the way toward a better tomorrow for the gay community in Asia.
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