Big hair, big gowns and big personalities.>>
>> This is Drag Race Thailand, the first international edition of American reality TV show who calls Drag Race. Just like its US counterpart, the show pits drag queens against each other every week with flashy performances and fierce lip sync battles.
But for people like contestant Natalia KAm who professionally runs a business selling coffins, it's about more than just entertainment.>> Natalia lives in a Chinese community and is a role model from any other Chinese son's where still living in a closet.>> The show hopes to bring greater acceptance to drag queens in Thailand were largely confined to working in clubs.
And as Reuters correspondent Propisia Tanaka Sempipot reports, it may be welcomed in a country widely seen as an LGBT haven.>> Thailand is home to a uniquely vibrant LGBT community whose culture is embraced by Thai society. A large number of Thais not only tolerate LGBT people, but also embrace and celebrate sexual and gender diversity.
So it makes sense that RuPaul's Drag Race would make its way here to this part of the world.>> Although traditionally Thailand is mostly conservative and Buddhist, it's also built a reputation as an OGBT friendly destination. Tourist industry insiders say there's been a recent boost in gay visitors.
But LGBT activists argue, many challenges stand in the way of real sexual equality.>> Same sex marriage for example is still not legally recognized nor can people change their gender on the identity cards. Gay men are not allowed to donate blood and some workplaces still discriminate against trans people.
The show runners hope that promoting this ability of LGBT people will promote inclusion and bring about equal rights.>> In the future, people working on the show like Natalia are hoping it will ultimately results in legal recognition. And are working towards that goal, one high-heeled step at a time.