Pride Cambodia Organization (PCO), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating the lives and achievements of LGBTQ+ people in Cambodia, announced its official launch on Thursday.
The PCO’s mission is to provide support, resources, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ individuals. The organization also aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ people in Cambodia.
Pride West is PCO’s flagship event and the largest LGBTQ event in Cambodia. It brings together members and allies to celebrate diversity and promote equality.
Founder and president of the organization, Ath Rattanack, said, “We are thrilled to launch PCO to provide what people need, and we believe that everyone deserves to live their lives authentically and without fear of discrimination and violence.”
Rattanack added, “This organization is intended to motivate homosexuals to accept self-recognition as well as promote the variety of achievements that homosexuals have achieved.”
He said in Cambodia, despite much progress in the lives of same-sex lovers compared to 10 to 20 years ago when they were beaten upon, they still face discrimination.
Rattanack gave examples of derogatory comments, especially online on social media platforms such as Facebook.
One of the major events on PCO’s calendar is the Pride Festival. This year’s event is expected to attract thousands of revellers to mark the event at Olympic Stadium on May 27. Pride aims to provide a platform for the LGBTQ+ community to gain support from communities.
He added, “We will also raise money to give opportunities to talented LGBTQ+ people to show off their skills and we will give scholarships for art or design to those who love to learn.”