Come through, Queens: the Tourism Authority of Thailand is set to bestow bottomless royal fun onto the LGBTQ+ community in celebration of Pride Month 2021, crowning ‘Thailand Insider’s Drag Superstar’ with the help of a celebrity host.
Got plans for Friday, June 25? Cancel them now. The latest search for a fierce and fabulous drag icon is taking viewers from around the world to Southeast Asia’s original holiday destination, and one of the queer-friendliest places to visit anywhere (we would know, remember our Amazing Thailand issue?). With their most recent initiative, the Tourism Authority of Thailand sets out to crown a new Drag Superstar among five contestants in an hour-long virtual spectacle. What’s in it for the winner? Nothing less than roundtrip flights to the Kingdom – convenient, seeing Phuket is set to reopen quarantine-free to fully-vaccinated travellers from July 1.
Staying tr-Ru to the drag format, the event will be hosted by a Goddess in glam, the one and only Suzy Wong (who’s also known under her alias, Chef Arnold from Top Chef), and a small number of judges who have been asked to respectfully provide their opinion on the performers’ elaborate song and dance numbers – though we use the term respectfully somewhat loosely here. One of the judges is the Beyoncé-esque Angele Anang, winner of the second season of Drag Race Thailand. Other than judging, Anang will also talk about life after her glorious victory, and how Thailand’s legendary drag queens continue to evolve and gain momentum.
Santi Sawangcharoen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand NYC office, said ‘We believe this event will speak on behalf of Thailand as a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community while building excitement for our full reopening to international visitors in the coming months’. If you ask us, it’s a wonderful – and fun – next step the country’s tourism bureau is taking. Thailand has long understood the importance of addressing diverse audiences and making sure every visitor can feel safe and welcome during their stay, and the Kingdom has even pioneered a dedicated platform for queer Thailand travellers. With all these efforts made towards greater inclusion and continued support of the LGBTQ+ community, you won’t need to ‘drag’ us in front of our laptops on June 25. Can we get an amen?