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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Thailand ... Boys' love: The unstoppable rise of same-sex soapies


    Image: Max Nattapol Diloknawarit (right) plays Korn in popular series Together with Me. (Supplied: Together with Me)

    In 2007 a film about two young men who develop feelings for each other in high school caught Thai audiences off guard.
    Shrouded in controversy, Love of Siam became an unexpected hit, bringing in over 40 million baht ($2 million) in its first month.



    At a time when it was a struggle to find a gay character on Thai television, the film's success sent an emphatic message to
    entertainment media companies: there was money to be made in same-sex romance.

    In recent years the genre known as 'boys' love' has spread fast across South-East Asia and is reaching cult status in some
    parts of the West, despite the anxieties of conservative parts of Thai society.

    "I think male-male romance or male-male homoerotic relations has now become a new normal in Thai pop culture.
    This seems to be unthinkable 10 years ago," says Thai political scientist Poowin Bunyavejchewin.

    He says the steady stream of boys' love television shows and feature films are triggering fundamental changes in Thai society.

    "Now young gay men can hold their hand in public and don't really need to hide their sexual identity," he says.
    Max Nattapol Diloknawarit, who plays a protagonist in the popular series Together With Me, has also witnessed a change in
    Thai society since the boy's love sensation took hold.

    "I think everyone can accept [homosexuality] … Thai society has changed in the last two years since Together With Me started," he says.


    Broader discussion is here
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    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

    .

  2. #2
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    A VPN is required to see that link at the end of your post.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    A VPN is required to see that link at the end of your post.
    Yeh ... sorry about that.

    I get most of my news from the Australian Government Website so I don't conflict with the Members who source
    from the Thai PBS BBC Washington Post etc.

    I try and put as much of the article into a post without it looking like a ...


  4. #4
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Didn't really think it was an issue. It is 2018 after all.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    Didn't really think it was an issue. It is 2018 after all.
    Can we expect an announcement from you shortly?

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Here is the rest of the article ...

    Big in Japan

    While Thailand has earned a reputation as the international hotspot for the genre, it can trace its origins to Japan, a country with a homo-erotic tradition that dates to the mediaeval period.
    In the mid-1970s a group of women in Tokyo known as the Fabulous 49ers (named for their collective birth year) began creating manga comics that focused on the love between young boys.
    "[The comics were] a way to explore sexuality in a way that was freeing from hetero-patriarchal systems of understanding love," explains Dr Thomas Baudinette, who lectures in Japanese studies at Macquarie University.
    It was in this form that boys' love reached Thailand in the early 1990s.




    In homage to its Japanese roots, boys' love is often referred to in Thailand as 'Y,' a shorthand for the Japanese word Yaoi which itself is a play on the Japanese phrase "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi", meaning "no climax, no point, no meaning".


    The soapies are not promoted as queer shows. In fact, the target market is primarily young women.
    American boys' love fan Gretel Gonzalez says she is drawn to the chemistry between the characters, regardless of their sexual orientation.
    "First of all, the guys are pretty hot usually," she says.
    "As I fall in love with them and their story, I don't really see them as gay or not. From my perspective that might be a little more exciting as a girl to watch. They're very sexy.
    "I think I'm a romantic. I want everyone to be happy and find their person. If it's a girl-girl, boy-boy, whatever."


    Australian fan Brad Nguyen likes the genre because it goes beyond the token "coming out" story.
    "They were just telling positive gay romantic stories that took joy in their relationships and their ups and downs, and you don't often see that," he says.
    "It's often just a coming out story or a really tragic story, and it was just nice to watch something that felt good."


    Younger fans 'watch in secret'

    YouTube: Trailer for Thai boy's love series Together With Me

    Despite the success of the genre, the gay community in Thailand still faces many challenges.
    Mr Bunyavejchewin describes the country as "a land of contrast".
    While homosexuality is not illegal, he says that "does not mean that Thai society accepts such sexual orientations".
    "Rather, they tolerate the presence of non-heterosexual people," he says.


    The Thai state rarely puts hard sanctions on masculine homoerotism, but often the production of such content is undermined via more subtle means.
    Recently conservative elements in the Thai Government introduced new guidelines to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission that allowed them to monitor and control local boys' love content that contained 'sexually explicit or suggestive' scenes.


    In late May the national broadcaster MCOT cancelled a highly anticipated boys' love drama Love By Chance in an act of self-censorship.
    There is also a generational divide: many younger viewers, including female fans, watch boys' love in secret because of fear of backlash from their parents.
    "Thailand is very conservative, so when two boys look into each other's eyes and the girls are screaming with excitement sometimes it's a big surprise for parents," actor Diloknawarit explains.
    Mr Bunyavejchewin says many young fans hide their viewing from their family.

    "This kind of thing's considered, to some extent, perverse.
    If you are good girls, good boys, you should not consume this kind of media," he says.

    But Diloknawarit points out that attitudes towards LGBT people have been changing quickly in Thailand, and minds are more open to the ideas that once shocked.
    "It has changed already," he says.


    "I think Thai people know that LGBT people are all around us… and everything seems good. People can accept that. Accept love."
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  • #7
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Can we expect an announcement from you shortly?
    I'll let you know in a few days

  • #8
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    It’s good to see a growing popularity in same sex relations, especially in the hidden polarity of the Thai regime.

    I just wish they wouldn’t hang it all on the foppish Hugh Grant style characters. Regular looking people do it too. Not all gay relationships are camp tokenism.

    Having said that, I don’t suppose ugly, hairy, or fat people are very attractive on camera, gay or straight.

  • #9
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    Come on Thailand, get with the play! It's way past time that girl on girl is normalised and serialised.
    While seing a couple of pretty boys smooching brings a little bit of vomit into my mouth (that's not to say I condemn them, just that it physically is the opposite of a turn-on for me), two lovely young women having a pash is nature at it's finest beauty.

  • #10
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  • #11
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    While seing a couple of pretty boys smooching brings a little bit of vomit into my mouth (that's not to say I condemn them, just that it physically is the opposite of a turn-on for me).

    Agreed. As natrual as it may be, it sure don't look it.

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    Agreed. As natrual as it may be, it sure don't look it.
    I think it's quite natural, as is rough walrus sex. Neither instance turns me on, but appears to me to be repulsive; I'm not into biting and bullying my partner nor am I into my partner being male.
    This, however, titilates.


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