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Pump up the rainbow: Stories from Asia's loud & proud scenes

6 party purveyors talk Pride celebrations & share about the LGBTQ rights situation in their respective countries

  • Amira Waworuntu
  • 14 June 2023

Extra love is in the air in the month of June, and we’ve got six collectives from around Asia to prove this statement.

As we head into the thick of Pride Month with more and more events being held, party purveyors and proud allies in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand share with us their plans for enlivening this already-colourful time of the year.

Ultimately, the essence of pride perfectly aligns with the underground scene’s spirit of community, love, acceptance and respect for all individuals that contribute to it. From the adored DJs soundtracking frolicsome nights out with their bangers to the dedicated punters exuding positivity on the dancefloor, the communities’ club nights have created safe spaces for one and all to slay in.

Meaningful, systemic movements do exist; we definitely applaud Taiwan for setting the precedent towards allowing same-sex marriage, plus we're excited for Thailand's forthcoming government that promises brighter things for the LGBTQ community.

Good news has also come out of Singapore this year with the repeal of Section 377A and decriminalising consensual sexual activity between men, advocated fiercely by Pink Dot SG. However, there's always room for more, which the non-profit movement also proves with its latest campaign to celebrate and accept all types of families — not just ones authorised by Parliament.

Though some parts of Asia are still grappling with a wide range of attitudes, legal frameworks and sociocultural and religious acceptance towards equal rights for all, we’re thrilled to see a number of homegrown initiatives advocating for inclusivity.

Here are six collectives and their events that embody the spirit of Pride by embracing diversity and showcasing the resilience, creativity and unity of the underground community...and are having a damn good time doing it.


Club Vixxxen is a club night created to celebrate queer and femme energy. Incorporating elements of fashion, beauty, and visual arts, inclusivity and freedom of expression stand at the heart of our parties. In a male-dominated Indonesian dance music scene, Club Vixxxen parties aim to create a safe space for women, femmes, and queer folks to have a good time together at a night where dressing up is encouraged and being yourself is mandatory.

What are you doing to celebrate Pride this month?

We actually threw a prom night-themed event! Growing up, us two founders weren't exactly comfortable being who we were nor was it safe to be, and unfortunately this was also the case for many other queer folks here back then. We decided to create a prom night we wish our younger selves had; an inclusive do-over where you can wear whatever you want, come with whoever you want, and show up as your most authentic self.

Any memorable moments from past events you want to share with us?

Our last video game-themed party was wild! We called it ‘Slaystation’ and we had a vintage TV and a PlayStation set up so people could take turns playing games in the club. It was also our first time hosting an international DJ on our floor (hi, DJ G2G!) and it’s always great to make new friends.

In your opinion, are LGBTQ rights changing for the better in Indonesia?

Honestly we’re far from getting better; everyday prejudice and legal challenges remain a problem for us. Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is everywhere in cyberspace and IRL, which is why it’s more important than ever to stick together as a community. Like our predecessors, clubs and nightlife are our sanctuary and we’re glad there are more inclusive parties popping up here.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

A tie between ‘After Like’ by IVE with the I Will Survive sample and SOPHIE’s ode to fluidity of the self, ‘Immaterial’.


SadoMasoDisco is composed of Karlo and Limsum who are both DJs in Manila. Ever since their first-ever event in December 2022, it's been full-steam ahead and no looking back! It prides itself as a rave that provides a safe space for any and all to express who they are and to dance freely. The parties have gained a cult-like following thanks to how it places importance on the local scene — some have even mentioned going to a SadoMasoDisco event as "like going to your weekly church" due to its devout community.

What are you as a collective doing to celebrate Pride this month?

We booked Nemo and Castro (Sound Metaphors) for our event this June 16 and we’re welcoming everyone to join the party!

Any wild moments from your past events you can share with our readers?

We got arrested during one of our events because of a rowdy person who persisted in smoking in the venue even if we told him he can’t. He made a scene and called the police on us and we ended up spending more time in the police station than at the party itself! Luckily, we were able to arrive just in time to catch Di Linh and finish our set!

Do you think LGBTQ rights changing for the better in the Philippines?

While the Philippines is more open to recognising LGBTQ rights, there’s still a lot that can be done. In particular, same sex marriage is still prohibited here, and it’s about time we change that.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

Duke ‘So in Love With You (Full Intention 12" Mix)’!


Bussy Temple is a collective of creatives organising raves centred around queers, trans, nonbinary and femmes. Organically formed through the shared frustration of the lack of non-cis-men queer spaces in Singapore, their parties serve as a social and political tool to activate the queer imagination and transformative potentials of gender, identity and being, as well as create and promote safe spaces for you to let go, glitch and expand your way of being.

How do you plan on celebrating Pride Month?

On June 17, Bussy Temple will hold the event Father's Womb with an all-queer and gender non-conforming line-up. We wish to celebrate those who do not find themselves settled on a single identity this pride season! Father’s Womb also invites you to the Sanctuary, an immersive space of togetherness and pre-rave activities for queer raves to rest, share, and explore queer kinship and rave intimacies. Partake in pre-rave activities and pre-rituals with us, bring your art and any personal items. Energise and bond collectively before the party begins!

Got any moments from your past events that you can share with us?

Some of our most memorable parties happened before we made our events open to the public. Bussy Temple began when our friend found an abandoned tunnel — we decided to hold a friends-only party with mostly queer and femme people in attendance. It quenched our thirst for a safe and expansive space.

We set up the space with a small DJ deck, big portable speaker, and candlelights. Everyone danced hard and moved freely, while also checking in with each other and sharing quieter moments from time to time. This sentiment of experimental spaces and installations, quality line ups from the queer community, and care for each other is what we always want to carry to all of our public events as we host bigger events.

In your opinion, are Singapore’s LGBTQ rights changing for the better?

Singapore has been fighting to repeal the penal code of section 377A that makes it an offence for a male person, whether in public or private, to commit any act of gross indecency with another male. There’s progress in terms of having this law removed in 2023 and arguably the trickled down of the social perception towards queerness with the removal of this. But this still does not translate to structural policies that protect queer and trans folks.

For example, things such as housing policies subsidies and legal marriage benefits are still centred only for heterosexual couples. Thus, it is crucial for queers in Singapore to carve out spaces for queer gatherings. For Bussy Temple, the rave space offers a one-night fantasy away from the realities we are frequently confronted with. By centering the expression of queer, trans and gender non-conforming folks, we hope that it encourages our community to look towards one another for affirmation instead of waiting for those who are not ready to accept us.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

Untitled Fantasy by TYGAPAW!


Kunst Kollektiv is a brand born out of their own event Candyland, the renowned LGBTQIA+ event they host at Studio 9. After seeing the growing success of Candyland, Edwin Yang created Kunst Kollektiv in anticipation of creating bigger and better city-wide parties in the future. By day, Yang works as a dentist, and little did he anticipate that this event — initially considered a hobby — would blossom into a resounding success, focusing on both the nice and the naughty.

What are you doing to celebrate Pride this month?

During Pride Month, Candyland is going out to commemorate and uplift the LGBTQ+ community. We have curated an exciting line-up that includes special theme parties on two stages, gogo dancer performances and art exhibitions. In the terrace area, food and desserts will be provided. The intense dance experience at Candyland is fuelled by curated music selections and the collective energy of the crowd. In sum, it’ll be like a mini festival with good vibes from night to dawn.

Candyland is more than just a party; it is a vibrant and inclusive queer collective in Taipei that aims to create a safe and empowering space for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. We aim to create a visually stunning and thought-provoking environment that celebrates diversity and encourages dialogue.

Any wild moments from past events you want to share with us?

Candyland has had its fair share of unforgettable moments that have added to the magical atmosphere of our events. One particular memorable instance was during our Wrestling theme party last year. The energy in the venue was electric, with attendees fully embracing the theme and they got naked and did whatever they felt like doing. The night was filled with fierce performances, dazzling costumes, and an overwhelming sense of unity and joy and desires!

In your opinion, are LGBTQ rights changing for the better in Taiwan?

Taiwan has been making remarkable progress in LGBTQ rights in recent years. In 2019, it became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, marking a significant milestone for LGBTQ equality. This milestone not only affirmed the rights of same-sex couples but also signalled a broader societal shift towards acceptance and inclusivity.

The government has also implemented measures to combat discrimination and promote LGBTQ rights in various sectors. While challenges still exist, the overall trajectory indicates positive change and a growing acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

Definitely DJ Daddy Trance's 'I'm Bringin' Sexy Back'!


METRØ is a collective of party enthusiasts based in Vietnam, which was founded in 2019. In 2023, METRØ is dedicated to expanding its identity within the local community by shedding light on the digger DJ scene; a fascinating aspect of dance music and vinyl culture, featuring stripped-down 90s house and techno that is both timeless and contemporary. Due to limited booking dates, the team behind METRØ strives to make each event count, continuously rising to the challenge of showcasing some of the most impressive talents around.

What is METRØ doing to celebrate this Pride Month?

Our events have always been catered for all minorities and a multi-racial audience, no matter what month of the year it is. A large part of our events are held at Savage, a club that is founded by a close friend and queer member of the community, Ouissam. The club is always open to everyone, gay and straight alike, and regularly holds a night named Snug dedicated to the LGBT community. We feel that it is only right for us to uphold the same views and in the world of music there should not be any boundaries

Any memorable moments from past events you can share with our readers?

We've definitely faced challenges with past events, such as the incident during our four-year anniversary with Antwork from Korea. Unfortunately, Antwork faced a delay at customs due to his vinyl collection. As Vietnam has strict views, vinyl may be considered a cultural risk to the country’s integrity which is led by the Communist Party — contents of the vinyl may be deemed unsuitable because of the possibility of containing anti-communist ideas.

With only a few hours left before Antwork’s performance, through several tense calls with customs officers, Antwork was forced to declare every single vinyl that he was bringing into the country. Needless to say, it was a tense few hours for everyone involved!

Would you say LGBTQ rights changing for the better in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 2000 and has never been criminalised in Vietnamese history. After an amendment to the Civil Code was passed in 2015, individuals in Vietnam obtained the legal right to change their gender and the country’s first gay pride parade was held in Hanoi in 2012. Since then, pride parades have been held in approximately 34 other cities and provinces.

Amongst the club scene in Vietnam, the LGBTQ community has gained an exponential amount of respect and notoriety with club nights such as Snug which recently celebrated its five-year anniversary at Savage. The Snug series collaborates alongside Vietnam resident drag crews, PEACH and Genderfunk, which is helping to embrace a truly queer environment.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

I.M.T. 'I M T Theme Free Yourself Miss Girl Hopes 2 Become Mix'.


NON NON NON is a women and queer collective in Bangkok with a focus on the underground music scene, representing quality dance music to the LGBTQAI+ community and welcoming all genders to be involved in the community. Simply put, it is a place of diverse music and genders for anyone and everyone to revel in.

What are you doing to celebrate Pride this month?

We typically organise monthly events to support Thai artists and our community. This month, we don't have anything particularly special planned. However, we’re thrilled to announce that we'll be hosting our debut event at Arcan, Saigon on June 17. It's incredibly exciting for us to have the opportunity to showcase our artists and music beyond the borders of Thailand.

Any wild moments from past events you want to share with our readers?

It happened at our recent Secret Rave. After the party ended, some people were still lying on the floor, chatting. Several of us joined them and chatted for half an hour before we went our separate ways. It wasn't a wild moment, but it was really heartwarming to see people appreciate what we do, and it was a bit sad when it was over.

In your opinion, are LGBTQ rights changing for the better in your country?

We are still in transition as we have recently held an election and are currently in the process of forming a new government. Last week, we had the Pride Parade, which highlighted the growing support for our community. However, it's important to be cautious as some of this support may come in the form of disguised promotions for products and services.

Our community still needs to be attentively considered. Next month, the significance of rainbow logos in various stores will likely diminish, revealing the true supporters of our community.

Give us a Pride anthem to dance to!

We've got two for you! Drazzit ‘You Will Respect Me’ and Stripe & Co ‘PSY JUST CAN’T GET U OUTTA MY HED’!

[Images of NON NON NON by Tar311]

Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Managing Editor, follow her on Instagram.

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