As excited and optimistic as she can be for what the future will bring to the LGBTQ+ community in Thailand, Nok still sees the harsh reality hidden in the shadow of the Thai society towards the community. She shares the positivity and voices out how the PR industry can help raise awareness and understanding among people.
- Who are you, what are you doing, and what is your advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community?
You can call me Nok, short for Hathaichanok Sirisamatana. I am a proud bisexual, and I am currently working at PRCA as the Thailand manager. Thus, I’m all for equal rights and being a voice that speaks up against discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community—not just in Thailand, but all around the world. Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community have the right to be who they are, married to whom they love, and live proudly in a society without being in fear of discrimination or being perceived as weird or less worthy than heterosexual people.
- Living in Thailand, how do you see yourself as part of a better change for inclusive society?
In my opinion, the Thai society’s attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community is good, and it’s progressing in the right direction, people are more accepting, more understanding, and have more awareness about the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. As a person and a part of this community, I feel relieved and optimistic about what the future will bring. To answer the question, I see myself as a gear, that helps drive awareness, a gear that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights within the society that is constantly developing and progressing. I will advocate not just for the equal rights of the community, but also an open environment that is more friendly, less discriminatory, and less judgmental on all of us.
- What do you think that the PR & communication sector can do more to support and sustain LGBTQ+ movement?
PR should do what PR does best, which is being the voice for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Thai society’s attitude is progressing to a positive and good direction. However, the majority still lacks an understanding of what diversity is, let alone the struggles LGBTQ+ people faced daily. To illustrate, a male actor made an inappropriate, unhinged joke when he saw two males holding hands, or some of LGBTQ+ people still get rejected from jobs they applied to because of their identity. Despite the progress, the reality displays that people still disregard, disrespect and perceive the community as being flamboyant, people who have wild lifestyles, and as insolent characters used for jokes. All of this is far from the truth. To improve this situation and raise awareness among people, everyone in the PR community should have a campaign that positively voices out and represent the real, raw sides of the LGBTQ+ community. This will allow people to be more understanding and have more compassion towards everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, and will also help reduce prejudice, and discrimination in the society, especially in the workplace as well.
- What are the most important things you want to tell LGBTQ+ communities in Thailand and the world?
You are beautiful! Unique! And worth the love and to be loved! Do not let others tell you otherwise or sway the perception of yourself. Just be true to who you are, have integrity, and all I wish is to see you and the LGBTQ+ community around the world live their lives freely with joy and laughter every single day.
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Nok is a former content editor and graphic designer, who is now working actively as a PRCA Thailand manager. Nok is a Muslim and grew up in a strict environment where being a homosexual person is a sin. She grew up, fighting prejudice and judgment from others to be herself and embrace who she is. Nowadays, she is a proud bisexual person that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and their rights!