The Wheel and Axle

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Pluem at 23

by on May.21, 2020, under Film & TV, My Life, Queer

สุขสันต์วันเกิด, Nong Pluem! Happy 23rd birthdayPurim Rattanaruangwattana!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I watch a lot of Thai series, especially BL, and that Pluem Purim is my favorite Thai actor. Starting with Slam Dance, I followed him to My Dear Loser / Our Skyy, the critically-acclaimed Happy Birthday: The Series, and the recent One Night Steal. I’ve also seen many of his past works, including Grean Fictions, Greanhouse, Siam Square, and others.

I first met Pluem in person at Chiang Mai Airport during my birthday vacation in 2018.

Since then, I’ve met him again twice.

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Understanding BL

by on Apr.27, 2020, under Film & TV, Literature, My Life, Queer, Society, Travel & Culture

As is obvious from the last prior post I published, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. I’ve been busy at work, but the current quarantine situation has basically told me: no more excuses.

I’ve been meaning to post reviews about the massive number of Thai BL series I’ve been following as well as travel blogs about BL-related places I’ve been to from SOTUS, My Dear Loser: Edge of 17, TayNew Meal Date, and others in the last couple of years. Another overdue post would be about the Our Skyy: Fan Meeting in Taipei which I went to in July 2019. Watch out for those!

In the meantime, while I gear up to get into all of that, I wrote another article for Esquire PH, this time to talk about Thai BL: what its literary roots are, what its cultural context is, and how it has evolved.

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Pluem at 22

by on May.21, 2019, under Film & TV, My Life, Queer

Happy 22nd birthday, P’Pluem!

I remain a huge fan of this guy. After his birthday last year, I was fortunate enough to have met him in person in Chiang Mai during my own birthday trip. Hoping for that again later this year, fingers crossed.

And ever since both Happy Birthday the Series and Our Skyy ended, I’ve been looking forward to One Night Steal. That’ll be a hoot since it’s also got Krist, even if it’s basically Just My Luck in Thai.

Maybe in 2020, we can finally see a new #InSun-dedicated series. Our Skyy left us wanting so much more; perhaps a series that intertwines the “what happened in between” and the “where are they now.”

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Maganda Ba? True!

by on Oct.13, 2018, under Film & TV, Queer, Society

Mamu; And A Mother, Too may seem, on the surface, just another film about the lives of transwomen, one that could either be too inappropriately comedic or else much too maudlin and schmaltzy.

And yet, it carefully avoids these while still retaining humor and heart.

The titular Mamu is a veteran transwoman sex worker living with her long-time partner, Vincent. Due to her estranged sister’s death, Mamu ends up taking her teenaged niece – Bona, who is also trans – into their home. Amidst poverty and growing walls between her and Vincent, Mamu struggles to adjust to having an adopted daughter who is as strong-willed as she is but who is perhaps not yet as street smart. It is the comparison and contrast between Mamu and Bona that drives much of the film, and the question of the repeating cycles of life and the possibility (or impossibility) of breaking those cycles becomes increasingly critical.

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Consequences

by on Oct.13, 2018, under My Life, Queer

All of us want things.

Sometimes, we don’t need things.

But all of us want things.

I remember a time of utter selfishness, when I felt the pain of not getting the wants, of ignoring the needs for the wants, of reaching for nothing else but the wants.

It felt like a void.

A void where the wants multiply endlessly.

The void, I remember.

A thousand needles made their way into my psyche, like a heart that beat faster than the fluttering of a hummingbird. There was hurt, yes, but then surprisingly there was also numbness – one that came from realizing just how insignificant one truly was after it kept on hitting your head with a hammer.

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Art

by on Oct.05, 2018, under My Life, Queer

Sometimes, you just want the rage take you over.

It takes a hold of you.

It builds up within.

And it makes you want to… scream.

But you check yourself.

You keep it in because it may be the right thing to do.

May.

Still, it eats at you from inside, and you realize that there has to be a different way to let it out. There has to be a way to let the frustration take form so as not to let it drown you with it. There has to be a way for you to not let the power consume you and him and every single other innocent that stands in the path towards serenity.

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Rapture

by on Oct.03, 2018, under My Life, Queer

You get pulled in different directions by those imprisoned emotions.

There is a sense of fear and paranoia, of impending pain or loss if things aren’t handled right. As though everything needs to be perfect, and a single  – even minor – lapse of judgment feels like the world falling apart.

Then, there’s the excitement of possibilities, many which may not come to pass soon, but it is intoxicating because of the what might be’s. The what might be’s are a drug, you see, creating a feverish illusion that you know could not be good, but you revel in it, anyway. Illusion is reality in the mind, and mind can shape reality.

You listen to the voices of others whose perception of reality may be more acute than you wanted to give them credit for. Until you realize you want to give them that.

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Turmoil

by on Oct.01, 2018, under My Life, Queer

Recently, I asked my friend Evan whether he’s experienced the desire to just cry, to let it all out in a wave of tears, yet nothing comes out – no matter how much you try to force it all out.

He said yes.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m alone on that one.

I guess not.

The last time I truly wept was a little over six years ago. In hindsight, the reasons were cringworthy and pathetic. It was ultimately not worth the tears, and hell I never even wept that way over the ex with whom I had the most connection with.

But six years is a long time, and since then, I’ve never experienced any kind of major inner turmoil that would warrant a flood of weeping.

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Imprint

by on Sep.23, 2018, under My Life, Queer, Society

The year was 1998.

It was a time darker than I really acknowledged in the succeeding years. I have always considered it past me, that I’ve put it behind me, that I’ve learned my life lessons, that it was something I could easily shrug off, maybe even laugh off.

Apparently, it wasn’t entirely true, and all these years I’ve suppressed how much of an impact that incident really had in my life.

Recently, at the suggestion of my mentor Jessica, we visited Healing House. We did some alternative therapy, and during my session, I recalled that dark time – the only time I have ever really felt suicidal.

It seems so trivial now. I was an immature, barely-21 young man. Then again, what seems trivial now meant the whole world to someone so hopeful in life during that time.

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Undeclared

by on Sep.03, 2018, under My Life, Queer

I don’t know how I’ve been rendered speechless.

It’s not like me to be quite at a loss for words.

I pride myself in my capability to find the perfect sentence, the right turn of phrase, the exact word that makes things right or moves things along. Admittedly, I am stronger with the written word than the spoken, and yet despite this I’ve rarely found it difficult to express things to anyone, at least not in the last decade or so.

And yet here I am, rendered incapable of expressing my thoughts, of speaking my emotions, as though the mere act would consume me.

Overly dramatic, for sure, and perhaps therein lies the shame I feel for something I should actually be joyful about. But where is the joy in the thought of risking all that you want with just a mere utterance of a phrase or two?

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