On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall Riots kicked of the gay rights movement in the US. In 1970 the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago – today prides are happening all around the world. TQU wants to know who the people are that are organizing todays prides and what the marches mean to them. See all Faces of Pride.
Faces Of Pride:
Kenneth J. Miller || Phuket Pride
What’s your name and age? My name is Kenneth J. Miller, and I’m 62 years old.
Since when have you been involved with Phuket Pride? Since 2011
Why do you think Phuket Pride is important? Pride is important because it puts a face of the community out to the generate public. Pride shows that those in our community who are dealing with being LGBT that they are not alone. Pride shows the inequalities that our community experiences on a daily basics. Pride brings together those who want to help in address health or social issues. Pride empowers our youth to be leaders in our fight for equality. Pride shows hope.
What is one (or two) remarkable thing(s) that has/have happened at Phuket Pride? When we first started producing Pride, we determined that HIV/AIDs was and sadly is still a major health issue. There was no compensative prevention program offered. Mobile testing was only done once a year for individuals to know their HIV Status. There was no free condoms available, Thai sex workers needed to purchase their own. Through hard work, we got a Condom sponsor to donate over 100K condoms and lube each year. For four years, we funded three additional HIV Testing in the gay area. The rate of HIV was 25% in 2012 and by 2017, we saw the rate drop down to 11%. With Prep being introduced in the Gay community, there is now no compensative prevention program. The feeling now is that with Prep, you can treat the disease away.
What do you do when you are not organizing Phuket Pride? I am the General Manager for a Gay Friendly hotel.
What do you like to do in your free time? I volunteer for a NGO who works to provide a safe home for Thai women and children who are affected or infected with HIV/AIDs
Is there something you would like to say to the rest of the LGBT+ community? Never stop fighting for your rights. We are all family now get over it.