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November 14, 2014

Bangkok-based agency has 18 girls in its trans division

A Thai modeling agency has launched the first transgender model division in the world.

The Bangkok-based Apple Modeling Agency annouced the division on Tuesday (11 November) and has 18 transgender girls on its books.

Apple is one of the leading and largest modeling agencies in the southeast Asian country.

Draq queen Pangina Heals interviewed ten of the models for Coconuts TV on a photo shoot for Lips magazine.

'We have three physical types of transgender models,' said Siwaporn Hotarapawanond, director of the agency.

October 22, 2014

More than 80 others were detained at the unlicensed club

Thai Police detained more than 80 people on Sunday night in a raid on an unlicensed gay bar in Bangkok.

Hijack Sauna in Lat Yao district was operating a gay bar without a license and was raided after complaints about noise from local residents.

Police entered the venue at 4am, blocking the front and back exits and turning on all the lights.

October 22, 2014

More than 80 others were detained at the unlicensed club

Thai Police detained more than 80 people on Sunday night in a raid on an unlicensed gay bar in Bangkok.

Hijack Sauna in Lat Yao district was operating a gay bar without a license and was raided after complaints about noise from local residents.

Police entered the venue at 4am, blocking the front and back exits and turning on all the lights.

May 15, 2014

Thailand’s School Rainbow campaign will seek to draw attention to the plight of young LGBTI people this Saturday with a campaign that will see chalk rainbows drawn on the ground at school gates on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

A new campaign against the bullying of LGBTI young people kicked off in Thailand yesterday with students at Bangkok’s Thammassat University drawing gay pride rainbows on the footpath to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The event launch for the School Rainbow campaign saw a colorful performance by a Rainbow All Boy Cheerleaders squad as students colored in the rainbow and wrote messages of support in chalk.

April 7, 2014

New Thai HIV campaign TestBKK is targeting men who have sex with men to get more gay Thai men to know their HIV status in the capital Bangkok

Community organizations in Bangkok, Thailand have joined forces to launch the ‘TestBKK’ campaign targeting gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) to increase HIV testing in Bangkok.

Using the slogan ‘Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat’, TestBKK will use its website www.testbkk.org, Facebook, popular websites and mobile applications used by gay men, to spread information and messages designed to encourage more gay men in Bangkok to test for HIV and to be more aware of HIV risks and the importance of using condoms.

December 31, 2013

A group of local gay men show Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp through the Malaysian capital during Ramadan, offering a warm welcome in a city with a dicey anti-gay reputation

I won't usually visit a country where me and my kin can face severe penalties for being who we are and doing what we do.

But this time a booking stuff-up of my own making means I'm spending less than two days in Malaysia enroute from Bangkok to Sydney.

And part of me likes the idea of spending even a short time alone exploring a new city, although I realize this isn't a choice everyone has the privilege to make.

December 31, 2013

Leave the sex tourism and moon parties behind for night-dives and jungle raves in Koh Lanta, an untarnished beach paradise where the ocean teems with whale sharks, manta rays and bioluminescent algae

Swimming in the sea at night always has a certain magic about it.

Perhaps because you can see less, your sensation of touch is heightened and a warm tropical sea feels even more welcoming. The warm blanket of the sea is simultaneously matched with the possibility of danger of what might be lurking beneath the surface.

That opening scene from the film Jaws is always difficult to forget.

Tonight, my swim left me spellbound.

December 19, 2013

Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp contemplates his future as he concludes a Thailand tour in the dreamscape that is Phuket

What story about travelling in Thailand would be complete without mentioning Phuket?

December 17, 2013

From free vodka nights to rooftop infinity pools at skyscraper level, we lead you to most popular gay circuit parties, club nights and hotels from Bangkok to Taipei

If you want disco balls and flashing lights on your travels through the Orient, an epic boogie in Asia is not a difficult task.

The Far East offers travellers stunning beaches for relaxing and unique cities for exploring, but of interest to the club-bound, the gay party scene in many Asian countries has long been a force to be reckoned with.

Freedom from sexual labeling makes many Asian countries an attractive destination for LGBTI travellers, who contribute to the growing visibility of local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

December 13, 2013

Navigate the sands and waters of Thailand's beach gem with Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp in an exclusive series for Gay Star Travel

Koh Samui, about an hours' flight from Bangkok, provides the serenity Pattaya will most likely never know.

There aren't any high-rises on Koh Samui due to planning regulations; the tallest things you'll see here are the palm trees, and most hotels have exclusive beachfront access.

Don’t stay near Bophut unless you like feeling you can reach up and touch planes landing as you swim, but visit the area for it’s amazing restaurants.

November 21, 2013

One of the world's most lucrative and controversial drug trades originated in this sleepy town in northern Thailand

Over the past week, Gay Star Travel has taken you around Thailand to an island with only one road, an island with a shipwreck and a turtle-shaped island you can walk around in one hour.

November 20, 2013

Koh Tao may have some sleepy beaches perfect for lazy sun gazing, but the island’s true beauty is said to be underwater

The smaller islands off the coast of Thailand may not be typical gay destinations, but there’s much on offer in terms of rest, relaxation or adventure, and occasionally a small LGBTI presence. 

November 18, 2013

Koh Samet, A short ferry ride from Bangkok, Thailand's less-frequented island destination Koh Samet has an intimate gay scene and beaches favored by locals

Phucket and Bangkok deserve their reputation as the go-to destinations in Thailand, but there's no shortage of less-trodden destinations to visit for different local flavors.

Travellers able to depart from the hustle of Thailand’s most-frequented destinations can access the country’s unspoilt beaches and get to know locals who’ve made their home on the land for centuries.

Gay Star Travel looks at three close-to-uncharted islands and one hidden city to discover why these are Thailand's four hidden gems.

November 18, 2013

Koh Samet, A short ferry ride from Bangkok, Thailand's less-frequented island destination Koh Samet has an intimate gay scene and beaches favored by locals

Phucket and Bangkok deserve their reputation as the go-to destinations in Thailand, but there's no shortage of less-trodden destinations to visit for different local flavors.

Travellers able to depart from the hustle of Thailand’s most-frequented destinations can access the country’s unspoilt beaches and get to know locals who’ve made their home on the land for centuries.

Gay Star Travel looks at three close-to-uncharted islands and one hidden city to discover why these are Thailand's four hidden gems.

November 8, 2013

In an exclusive series for Gay Star Travel, Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp reports on his travel adventures in Southeast Asia

It's hard to do justice to Pattaya simply by writing about it.

Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it's hard to do an injustice to this city, which is known as the Brothel of Asia.

You need to visit Pattaya, about two hours’ drive from Bangkok, to even start to comprehend how huge the sex industry is here - miles upon miles of bars filled with workers selling sex to millions and millions of tourists.

Go-go bars - gay, straight and trans (ladyboy, katoey) - are more animal auction than beauty pageant.

October 31, 2013

In an exclusive series for Gay Star Travel, Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp reports on his travel adventures in Southeast Asia. He starts off in Bangkok, Thailand

One night in Bangkok is definitely not enough.

Christmas is near and the Thai capital is full of farang (Thai for Westerners), shopping for gifts by day and sex by night.

Me? I'm trying to meet up with a friend (let's call him A) from Essex a city not too far London, who's had a little work done.

For the equivalent of ฿50,000 (€1,169, $ 1,608) a top cosmetic surgeon waved his laser wand to remove excess fat under A's eyes and gave him a Botox top-up.

October 31, 2013

In an exclusive series for Gay Star Travel, Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp reports on his travel adventures in Southeast Asia. He starts off in Bangkok, Thailand

One night in Bangkok is definitely not enough.

Christmas is near and the Thai capital is full of farang (Thai for Westerners), shopping for gifts by day and sex by night.

Me? I'm trying to meet up with a friend (let's call him A) from Essex a city not too far London, who's had a little work done.

For the equivalent of ฿50,000 (€1,169, $ 1,608) a top cosmetic surgeon waved his laser wand to remove excess fat under A's eyes and gave him a Botox top-up.

October 11, 2013

Asia’s Regional Meeting on Community-based HIV Testing summit has heard that there is not enough information being gathered about testing levels among men who have sex with men and transgender women across Asia despite being in at risk groups

Bangkok, Thailand this week hosted the Regional Meeting on Community-based HIV Testing this week, with the summit ending today.

The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) joined with other groups to hold the conference to highlight that health officials in the Asian region needed to do more to gather information on testing rates among at risk groups – particularly transgender women and men who have sex with men (MSM).

August 25, 2013

Rife corruption in interim government sees WHO funds misused to turn Bangkok meet into junket for officials

Nepal’s interim government ignored the country’s growingly visible LGBT community and instead sent three officials to a crucial meet on HIV in Bangkok in a rampant misuse of World Health Organization (WHO) funds, the LGBT community says.

The three-day regional meeting in Bangkok from 21 August was to be an interaction of experts on men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, people working with the community, and MSMs and transgenders living with HIV.

July 26, 2013

Activists hope TV show, university debate and discussion at influential Bangkok Foreign Correspondents Club will move Thailand closer to legal partnerships for same-sex couples

The debate into legal recognitions of same-sex partnerships is heating-up in Thailand, with a major TV show focusing on the issue, a discussion at one of the country's oldest universities next week and at Bangkok's Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) last week.

Two programs on LGBTI issues in Thailand, including discussion of equal marriage, anti-discrimination and gender identity law, have already been recorded for mainstream TV station Channel 9 and will be shown on Friday 9 and 16 August.

July 21, 2013

HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men in Thai capital shootsup to 30 percent from 17.3 in 2003; in 2012 gays accounted for 41 percent of all new HIV infections

Despite the Thai government’s success in controlling the HIV epidemic in the 1990s, the virus has continued to spread sharply in risk groups, especially men who have sex with men (MSM). In capital city Bangkok, gays have shown around 30 percent HIV prevalence, up from 17.3 percent in 2003.

May 22, 2013

New report finds 49% transgender people in Delhi, India, 37% in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and 34% in Jakarta, Indonesia have HIV

A new report highlights the 'serious threat' that HIV remains to transgender people in Asia and the Pacific.

Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) released the report on Friday for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia).

March 10, 2013

GSN meets the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Association to find out about its clubs and tournaments across six continents

Do you want your chance to serve a ball or two on the same tennis courts that host the US Open? Or perhaps you just fancy a knockabout with some friends. Wherever you are in the world, there is a good chance there will be a Gay and Lesbian Tennis Association (GLTA) club for you.

We met up with Daniel Merrithew, commissioner of the (GLTA) to find out more about the association and the opportunities it gives its members.

What is GLTA's background?

February 21, 2013

Former police chief, who is ahead in the polls, releases campaign ad appealing to gay and transgender vote

A former deputy commissioner general of the Thai police who is running for the governor of Bangkok election on 3 March has released a video appealing to gay and trans voters.

'Our modern world increasingly accepts varied genders,' says Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the video, Global Post reports.