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Gay Travel: Growing Up Gay in Thailand and Owning a Bar in Bangkok's Silom Soi 4

 Silom Soi 4: home to many of Bangkok's gay bars

This article was written by Stefan and Sebastien and first appeared on their Nomadic Boys gay travel blog.

Silom in Bangkok is home to quite an exciting gay scene, which we initially discovered with our friend Regina.

A pedestrian road, Silom Soi 4 is a staple for all gay travelers visiting Bangkok, for its large numbers of gay bars facing each other, heaving with crowds almost every night of the week.

Telephone and Balcony are the two largest ones where the tables are strategically placed so you are facing the ongoing people traffic coming in and out.

Stranger Bar is one of the smaller bars and our favorite. After many drunken nights here, we buddied up with its very charismatic co-owner Chakgai Jermkwan, to learn more about gay life in Bangkok and what is was like growing up as a gay boy in Thailand.

 The Nomadic Boys with M, the owner of Stranger gay bar in Silom Soi 4, Bangkok

Sawadeekrap Chakgai! Where are you from and what do you do?

Good afternoon you two, I am Chakgai, but you can call me “M”.

I am 29 years old, born in Thailand and raised in Bangkok. My husband and I have been together for over 8 years and in March 2012 we set up Stranger Bar in March 2012.


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Three Men In Thailand Become The World's First Married 'Throuple'

Throuple Thailand

In a move that will have conservative pundits champing at the bit to claim that they'll be forced to marry their dogs before the year is out, three gay men in Thailand have entered into what is thought to be the world’s first three-way same-sex marriage, reports The Mirror.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c737d130970b-800wiThe three men in their 20s - Joke, Bell and Art - exchanged vows on Valentine’s Day in Uthai Thani Province.

Art and Joke have been together since 2010. The couple met Bell and after he was hospitalized with a congenital disease, Joke and Art proposed a three-way marriage.

Bell said:

"Some people may not agree and are probably amazed by our decision, but we believe many people do understand and accept our choice. Love is love, after all."

Joke added that the three men "love each other and live together like brothers", something he hoped the world could understand.

Although same-sex marriage is not recognized in Thailand, the trio were able to marry under Buddhist law.

In January, we reported that an amendment to Thailand’s constitution will bring legal recognition for a third gender.

Gay Travel Dispatch of the Day: Diving in Thailand's Islands in the Andaman Sea


This new series features dispatches from LGBTQ travel writers, bloggers, and photographers who are on the road in far-flung places. If you know somebody who should be featured here, send us an email at

Stefan and Sebastien are currently "eating their way through Asia," scuba diving around Koh Lipe and Koh Hin Sorn Islands off the west coast of southern Thailand in the Malacca Strait.

Stefan and Sebastien write a travel blog called Nomadic Boys where they chronicle their adventures and offer travel advice. You can also follow them on Instagram.

Over the Christmas holiday they stayed for a month in Bangkok to plan for a trip to Myanmar in January, and offer some advice on their site for those planning to make that trip, and for those traveling on a budget to Bangkok:

We stayed at HQ Hostel for some of this time, which we found on Tripadvisor and recommend for its location to the gay life in Silom.

We had to first obtain a visa for Myanmar / Burma and then (as Lonely Planet and other online forums warned us) get brand spanking new, perfect condition dollar notes! The Burmese currency exchange shops are very particular about this and reject old notes with the slightest fold, rip or crease.

We found the best agency for the best rates for currency exchange in Bangkok is SuperRich International who can also provide you with new dollars for Myanmar / Burma (most Thai banks we checked couldn’t quite do this).

Enjoy a few more Instagram shots from their Thai islands adventure, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thailand Constitution To Legally Recognize A 'Third Gender'

ThailandAn upcoming amendment to Thailand’s constitution will bring legal recognition for a third gender. Though Thailand is widely known for its queer and trans subcultures, the country’s laws haven’t been the most inclusive.

Kamnoon Sittisamarn, a representative for the Thai Constitutional Drafting Committee explained that the legal changes were designed to ensure broader protections for Thailand’s substantial trans-identified and gender queer population.

"We are putting the words 'third gender' in the constitution because Thai society has advanced," Sittisamarn said to Reuters. "There are not only men and women, we need to protect all sexes. We consider all sexes to be equal."

Going forward the proposed changes will formally submitted to the National Reform Council in April before being approved by the ruling military political force, the National Council for Peace and Order. The NCPC came to power last May after a violent military coup that killed some 30 people.

The Gay Rights Push (And Push Back) In Southeast Asia: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 5.54.44 PM

For one day in June, the tiny city-state of Singapore brims with bright pink clothing, banners, and festivities to mark the annual "Pink Dot" gathering, a celebration in support of inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love. This year's celebration, the fifth such event, was the biggest so far; at 21,000 people it was the largest civil-society gathering in Singapore history.     

But for all Pink Dot's success, the Singapore government's official ambivalence regarding gay rights reflects a common hesitation among Southeast Asian countries when faced with this new notion of human sexuality. Like our own 50 state variety of attitudes towards LGBT rights, some Southeast Asian countries are beginning to take their first hesitant steps towards equality, while others seem to be reinforcing their disapproval of homosexuality.

Continue, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thailand Considers Civil Union Bill; Would Be First Country in Asia

Hundreds of people have turned out for hearings on a civil unions bill in Bangkok before the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the House committee on Legal Affairs, Justice, and Human Rights. The bill, if passed, would be the first of its kind across Asia.

ThailandThe Bangkok Post reports:

The House committee chaired by Pol Gen Viroon Phuensaen, a Pheu Thai Party-list MP, started drafting the bill a year ago after receiving a complaint from a gay male couple. The couple said they had been denied a marriage certificate.

Three more public hearings will take place at Chiang Mai University on Friday, Khon Kaen University on Feb 22 and Prince of Songkhla University on March 1, respectively. Opinions from the public will be gathered and used to amend the bill before being proposed to the cabinet for further consideration. If the cabinet rejects the bill, the supporters have pledged to collect 10,000 names of eligible voters or at least 20 members of the House of Representatives to forward to parliament for consideration.

The bill would give same-sex couples the same marriage rights as other couples, said Setthawut Rugsujitrat, a participant at the public hearing.

Supporters acknowledge that the bills chances are slim, but are hopeful that its consideration marks a new era for gay people in the region.


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