This is an Other Sheep web page
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson
An Article by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson, Other Sheep
Coordinator for Thailand
"Here I am on the cusp of seventy
years of age . . . a Presbyterian
pastor and missionary" ministering to
fifty or sixty "queers and queens" in
"this northern Thai village context."   
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson
with Pramote, his Thai partner.
2012 ANNUAL REPORT FROM
THAILAND
Coordinator Kenneth Dobson
October 6, 2012
2012 Annual Report
The First Anniversary of the First Christian Marriage Ceremony of a Lesbian Couple in
Thailand

   The Other Sheep Board is scheduled to meet in St. Louis on the first anniversary of the first
Christian marriage ceremony of a lesbian couple in Thailand.  I conducted that wedding on
November 11, 2011 at 11 a.m.  A report and link to a video was sent to Other Sheep and was
posted.  

The February Consortium of NGOs on Religious Responses to LGBTIQ Human Rights

   On February 20, 2012, the second anniversary of the near-riot that erupted in protest to our
subdued gay pride parade here in Chiang Mai, a consortium of NGOs held a seminar on
religious responses to human rights for sexual diversity populations.  The responses from all
three religious faiths (Buddhist, Christian, Islam) were muted and disappointing.  The message
was that LGBTIQ people must form their own religious groups and conduct their own faith
activities without expecting agreement or support from established hierarchies.  Moreover, it was
obvious that religious establishments have no intention for taking a leadership role in society in
behalf of LGBTIQ people and their rights, nor even to speak out in opposition to abuses and
intimidation.

Authoring A Series of Editorial Essays on Gay Life in Thailand

   Throughout the year I have represented LGBTIQ concerns by writing a series of editorial
essays for an English language magazine that was launched two Januaries ago.  The editor in
chief and I have collaborated on this and another project to be mentioned later in this report.  
The thrust of the magazine is to elevate the level of discourse about gay issues and to
communicate the real picture of the scope of LGBTIQ involvement in Thai society, in rebuttal to
the notion mentioned in an international article published by the Associated Press, that there is
hardly any gay presence in Thailand except that clustering around commercial sex for tourists
from overseas.  My essays have come out about once a month in OUT in Thailand magazine.

Authoring a Book to Be Published Later this Year:  Ban Den Friends: Gay Experiences in
Thailand
      

    During the year I wrote, expanded and revised a book entitled, Ban Den Friends: Gay
Experiences in Thailand.
 It is a novel, reminiscent of Amistad Maupin’s 1970-80s series of Tales
of the City.
 Nearly a hundred gay persons are mentioned representing almost every sector of
gay life in Thailand.  The editor of OUT in Thailand will publish the book later this year.  He is
deciding whether to publish it as an e-book or to serialize it in the magazine.  

Networking with the hope that Thailand churches will take interest in LGBT people

   Recently I established contact with Mike Schuenemeyer, “Wider Church Ministries Executive
and Minister for GLBT Concerns and HIV/AIDS Ministries” of the United Church of Christ.  This is
another effort to do effective networking with the hope of creating momentum toward the
churches in Thailand taking some interest in gay and lesbian people and their issues.  People
exchanges come next.

Volunteer Positive helping HIV-impacted people in Chiang Mai

   Last January an exciting NGO named Volunteer Positive brought their first group of 10
volunteers to work for a week with HIV-impacted people here in Chiang Mai.  Volunteer Positive
is sending another group in November, about the time of your annual meeting.  

A Feasibility Study toward Translating and Publishing The Children Are Free in Thailand

   Finally, as a first step (rather like a feasibility study) toward translating and publishing The
Children are Free in Thailand
, I am writing an article in Thai tentatively entitled, “Can You Be
Gay and Be a Christian?”  
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Flemish House, Cedar Street, Chicago, IL, on  
November 15, 2012.
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