Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Crazy Backstage or another great promotion?

Are we nuts? Ofcourse not...
at least when not everybody turns up at the same time with this one! ;-)

And ofcourse we will keep on doing our best to become a pleasant hassle free hang-out for gays and gayfriendly people between Paradise (the gay quarter here in Patong) and the gay beach, each within a few minutes walk from our location here in Patong Phuket (Ofcourse you can get hassled if thats what you wish for, but then only on your explicit request) ;-)

Well, hop over when here and try us out...

O, and we value our honest advice and recommendations, so when we say "delicious", it is so in our opinion, and in our customers sofar ;-)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

For the naughty ones among you readers a special Xmas greeting ;-)

Fist Me This Christmas

Think its really funny, heard it before though, so might you, but then it popped up again and I had same reaction as before, laughing...
and laughing is healthy, so I decided to share it this time with you guys, enjoy!!

Xmas Gift Party comming up on the 25th of December!!

The rules for our little Xmas Gift Party are as follows:

The gift you bring, and you can bring as many as you like, but a minimum of one is required, has to cost a minimum of 100 baht and should not exceed 200 baht.
Per person, ergo not per gift, one receives the free housecocktail ;-)

Everybody comming to our Xmas gift party with a gift will leave with a gift... but we will start handing out the gifts from 10 pm onwards.
O, and when due to circumstances you are unable to be at our place around or after 10 pm: we will keep your gift here at The backstage for you max 3 days, after which we will put all not collected gifts in a lucky draw ;-)

We chose the time, so everybody can enjoy whatever else might be on offer in (gay) Patong!

To all our friends who read or follow our blog:

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Nation, one of Thailands influential English newspapers condems Thailands role as chairman of the UN Human Rights Council !

Today, in its editorial, The Nation speaks out strongly against Thailands role as chairman of the UN Human Rights Council in its stand on rights for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders.
Thailands position comes just after the first time ever petition of GLBT-activist to Thailands governement on the rights of the GLBT- community end november in Bangkok (see our earlier 'report'!

It makes again clear the difficult road ahead for the GLBT-community here in Thailand as in a lot of other countries, IF they are indeed serious in their desire to try to get things changed for the better, because Thailand is less tolerant then we sometimes think and think we experience when on holliday, etc. in this Buddhist country.
Amazing Thailand all over again, sadly a missed opportunity !

But who knows, the editorial of The Nation also signals that maybe actually there's something better in the air for the GLBT community ;-)
Can't wait, because it would really simplify life here!
All of us non-Thai should support oour Thai brothers in their more then worthwhile struggle for equal rights in Thailand!!

Below the inegral text from the editorial as published today in The Nation!

There's nothing partial about universal rights
By The Nation
Published on December 17, 2010

Thailand has shamed itself at the UN and ignored its own Constitution on the issue of gender rights; there is no excuse for this intransigence

One would imagine that it should be easy for everyone to agree that taking someone's life because of who they are is reprehensible. One would also think that a predominantly Buddhist country considered by many as tolerant'would condemn the senseless killings of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) based simply on their identities. Sadly, that's not yet the world we live in, and that's not the Thailand many think they know. Last month 79 countries voted to successfully remove a reference to sexual orientation as a ground for protection in a UN resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The amendment effectively says it's permissible to kill LGBTs for no other reason than they are homosexual, bisexual or transgender.

Thailand, in its role as chair of the UN Human Rights Council, chose to abstain rather than vote against such a repugnant initiative like the 70 nations that do insist on the right to life of LGBTs - including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Timor Leste, Japan and South Korea. Fortunately for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders worldwide - whose lives continue to be threatened by homophobic traditions, laws and governments - the majority of people don't want a world that permits the killing of a minority group because of prejudice and ignorance. They remember the disturbing photographs of a public hanging of two gay teenagers in Iran five years ago. They are also shocked by recent developments in African countries like Uganda, which is pushing ahead with a bill imposing the death penalty for same-sex relationships. Is this really how far we have advanced in the 21st century?

"Today, many nations have modern constitutions that guarantee essential rights and liberties. And yet, homosexuality is considered a crime in more than 70 countries. That is not right," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a high-level panel discussion on "Ending violence and criminal sanctions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity" to mark International Human Rights Day last Friday.

Echoing Ban's remark, US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said she was "incensed" by the vote, announcing that the US will move to restore the reference to sexual orientation when the resolution comes before the UN General Assembly on December 20. Other countries are urged to join this important effort.

This is not the first time Thailand has sat on the fence on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity at the General Assembly, the UN's most important body. In 2008 our UN representation also chose not to endorse a statement affirming the human rights principle of universality and non-discrimination regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. At that time, LGBT activists met representatives of the Foreign Ministry to hear an explanation as to why the ministry thought it acceptable for LGBTs to be singled out as a group deserving of state-condoned violence. The excuse they received was that the abstention vote was made in deference to the country's relationship with the Organisation of Islamic States.

That excuse cannot stand up to scrutiny. If Thailand wants to keep criticism from Muslim countries at bay, the right way to do it is to promote accountability, justice and human rights in the deep South - not by condoning violence against another minority group in the name of cultural intolerance.

The Thai government is not being asked to side with one group of countries or another. It's only being asked to be on the side of universal human rights. It's being asked to abide by our own 2007 Constitution whose Article 30 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, which explicitly includes sexual identity, gender and sexual diversity.

As Ban officially said, "It is not called the 'partial' declaration of human rights. It is not the 'sometimes' declaration of human rights. It is the 'universal' Declaration, guaranteeing all human beings their basic human rights - without exception. Violence will end only when we confront prejudice. Stigma and discrimination will end only when we agree to speak out."

It is time for Thailand to speak out. And Thais - LGBTs and the many who support social justice - will be listening this Monday.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Another desert regularly on offer while at Backstage: Delicious Thai pancakes!

Yummie, very regularly another mobile desertcart enters our little soi (=street), the Thai pancakes guy!

And the Backstage & Superboy-staf like to enjoy the pancakes as much as our visitors!
Below: Our pancakeguy at work while Mos (Backstage) watches!

The menu with all the variations which are on offer, first in Thai and then in English:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Little report & pictures Max Quarter Century Party

The birthdayboy, presenting himself in the outfit of his choosing ;-)
Max celebrated his 25th or quarter century at our bar with a small but real fun party!

On birthdays its very common for Thai's to give money, though we also see that happen a lot in , what we call, the west, Thai though like to show what they received and or gave (and honestly just as happy with a smal gift as well as big ones!) and so when somebody celebrates ones birthday and brings money with him as a gift, one will most of the time find himself clipping it around the birthday boys neck as a necklace of money.
Like many Peter (some of the pics on this weblog entry are his) did the traditional thing and here he poses just after the fact with Max;-)

Max likes to sing, karaoke or otherwise, and here we see him doing just that! Singing for al his friends at Backstage!
Our karaoke installation functions excellently and one can even sing on the street (as, actually, customers seem to enjoy.
(The fun of our Backstage seems, for one, to be that in one part people can enjoy karaoke, etc. while other customers can still enjoy some quiete time with talk etc. but when having a special occasion we happily mix)

We all got really surprised, and enjoyed a big laugh, when one of our regular customers, Frederick, knowing about this tradition of giving money and hanging it around the birthdayboy, brought a T-shirt made of 20 baht notes. Now that's a cool idear!!

Ofcourse, at midnight, we also had the traditional birthdaycake ceremony. On this occasion sponsored by Uli, who also presented the cake to Max while we all sang "happy birthday" ofcourse!
Poor Max then had to try to blow out the candles, which proved to be way less easy then he anticipated ;-)

The table with all the regulars of The Backstage at the present moment, assembled around it.
Though Uli left for Germany allready while we write this and Frederick is of to Bali for a coupleof days (3d of the left).

Surprised though not unexpected: Joel is back in town!
We were very happy to receive Joel back among us on, of all days, Maxs birthday. Joel is dear and loyal friend from our former J&B-Bar and he is allready making our Backstage his homebase while in Patong!
(Third from the left!)

After a whole evening of happiness for Max, a last picture with him, while saying thank you and goodbye, hoping his new year will undoubtly be better then the year past!
Also, he is now wearing a crown, made out of twenty baht notes, made by the lady who cookes the (seriously wonderfull) food we serve at The Backstage ( from her own little restaurant opposite our Backstage)


Friday, 10 December 2010

This comming sunday, the 12th of December: Birthdayparty Max at Backstage!

The day after tomorrow, sunday the 12th of December, we all hope to celebrate the birthday of Max... one of our senior stafmembers aand one who is known to enjoy entertaining our customers (and us)!

I know Max for 3 years now, and in those years he has become a dear friend. Half October he called me that he wanted to leave Koi Samui for personal reasons, where he lived and worked most of his life and needed a radical change and if he could work for me/us.
We (Kik and me) did not need to think, and said enthousiastically YES.
In the short time since he has become one of our engines on which the Backstage presently runs and we haven't regreted one day since he arrived here!

Now, this sunday, Max will celebrate his birthday, his first one since a very long time, outsite Koi Samui and away from his known friends and family.
We at the Backstage would like to give him a warm feeling of welcome and that his chosen family here really appreciates him.

Right: Max (left) next to our friend Peter (right)...personally I am happy he changed his hair again, haha.. but then again, he likes to do crazy in a fun/positive way every now and then!

To hopefully achieve that, we would like all of our readers, if they are in or near Patong ofcourse, to come sunday evening to the Backstage to not only congratulate him with his birthday, but also to celebrate it with him and us!

Max is ofcourse typical Thai in that respect, so we'll try to give him a real Thai-style birthday party for which all of you are invited!!

At midnight ofcourse we hope to give him the birthday cake ceremony (rain or shine, lol) and free food will be available during the evening for all our guests, as is the Thai custom here ;-)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

New and english gay (GLBT) magazine OUT for Thailand will appear first time on, hopefully, 2d of January 2011!

Last saterday, representatives of the english speaking owners of gay businesses here in Patong on Phuket, met with Ian Chenoweth, Marketing Director, of the new gay magazine for Thailand, aimed at the foreign and english speaking visitors and expats here in Thailand. This magazine wil be named OUT Magazine.

After the fiasco of SPICE magazine, which went belly up last month under very strange circumstances, Ian had to overcome some sceptisism from all attending.
We all left though in a pretty good mood and believe the arrival of OUT and the way it sofar wants to work, is what is actually needed badly.

Thai Puan is now the only national magazine with reasonably up to date information and was/is far better then SPICE Magazine in that respect, BUT it also, totally justified, targets the Thai market and as such is not serving the same target group as a whole.
Partially the target group of OUT magazine and Thai Puan will ofcourse overlap but we feel they wil not seriously bite eachother.
They might though, keep eachother sharp in a positive way;-)!

The first publication of OUT Magazine, will take place on 2d of January 2011... this launch has been put forward several months not only because of the unexpected collaps of SPICE, but also because now its high season and two (!) Gay Pride festivals comming up (IN Pattaya as well as Phuket). It was the only way to fill a gap which needed desperatly filling-up on such short notice!

We at Backstage will support the efforts of OUT (ofcourse), hoping they will be a much better replacement of the now former SPICE, for all the visitors to Thailand and expats living here in Thailand!

Ofcourse we optimistically agreed to support OUT with a half page advertisament, which you find below ;-)

If for futur publications you have suggestions for our advertisaments, please feel free to sent us your comments!
After all we are no professionals at this and we hope, with your help/support we can improve our effectiveness over time!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Finally: Thai LGBT activists state demands to government

Very happy that finally some people start to try to get same sex issues on the agenda and in the end hopefully realised here in Amazing Thailand.
A report I copied without any additions or whatever from FRIDAE, a Singaporian based group for the empowerment of gay in Asia.
The content speaks for itself!

30 Nov 2010

Thai LGBT activists state demands to government
by Douglas Sanders

For the first time activists in Thailand have formulated a set of demands in the form of an "Open Letter" to government. The demands were launched at the end of November in two events in Bangkok. Douglas Sanders reports.

The Sexual Diversity Network held its second Rainbow Umbrella March in Bangkok on Saturday, November 27. 150 people with identical rainbow umbrellas snaked through the busy Siam interchange shopping area, ending on the plaza in front of the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center. There they read out their new "Open Letter to the Government."

On Monday, November 29, the letter was again formally presented, this time at a workshop at the offices of the National Human Rights Commission. The workshop may mark a new beginning of interaction with the Commission. The Commission was reorganised two years ago in ways that were sharply criticised by local and international activists. It has had a low profile. Two commissioners attended the workshop, and a few government officials. Observers came representing the embassies of France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, the Philippines and the EU. The speakers at the workshop were LGBT academics and activists.

Open letter to government

The government and/or relevant authorities must undertake programs of awareness-raising using educational systems, the media, appropriate policies, regulations and guidelines to promote, in a concrete and effective way, a balanced public understanding of the sexualities and identities of people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

The government and/or relevant authorities must stop stigmatisation and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The government and/or relevant authorities must foster free association of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in an environment that is safe, secure and free from threats and violence.

The government and/or relevant authorities must not deny or in any way hinder the access of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to public services, education, job recruitment and promotion.

The government and/or relevant authorities must stop employing notions of public morality, public security and traditions to discriminate against people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities or in any way impair their full enjoyment of all human rights.

The government and/or relevant authorities must play the leading role in providing education on human rights and sexual rights, put in place and into concrete action legislation promoting human dignity and equality including the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights standards in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The government and/or relevant authorities must amend or enact legislation to guarantee that people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities fully enjoy all human rights on an equal basis to heterosexual men and women. This includes, but isn't limited to, legal recognition of same-sex marriage which guarantees the same benefits as opposite-sex marriage.

The government and/or relevant authorities must take into consideration and guarantee the participation at all levels of people with diverse orientations and gender identities in all spheres of life - whether social, legal, political, economic, educational, public health, media, traditional or cultural – in a non-discriminatory, equal and fair manner.

Source: Sexual Diversity Network

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

For our Dutch readers and or visitors,this info might be usefull/handy!: Finally also the Dutch now have a Honorary Consul on Phuket! ;-)

Het onderstaande is zonder enige wijziging en nader commentaar door ons overgenomen uit de Phuket Gazet, internet versie, van heden de 1e december:

Netherlands Ambassador to Thailand Tjaco van den Hout (left) with Seven Smulders, the Dutch honorary consul for Phuket.

PHUKET: Netherlands Ambassador to Thailand Tjaco van den Hout last night praised the work of honorary consuls, saying it was a “thankless” job requiring the consuls to be available at all hours to attend to often “grizzly” affairs.

“I am so happy to have a consulate here to take care of an estimated 1,500 to 1,800 Dutch residents in this part of Thailand,” he said.

The number of Dutch nationals coming to Phuket and neighboring areas is continually increasing and is currently more than 200,000 a year, he added.

The ambassador was speaking at the official opening of the Netherlands Honorary Consulate in Phuket, marked by a party at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket last night.

Addressing Phuket’s top government officials, local Dutch residents and other honorary consuls gathered for the occasion, Ambassador Van den Hout voiced his high esteem for Seven Smulders, the Netherlands Honorary Consul for Phuket.

“It’s not just his great pedigree and fine experience which makes him suitable for this role, he has actually held a very prominent position in the field of national promotion and he has done that with great distinction,” he said.

“The role of honorary consul is a thankless one. It requires you to be available at any moment day or night and for very little reward, because it is an honorary position,” said the ambassador.

Mr Van den Hout pointed out that Mr Smulders had been acting as the de facto Dutch honorary consul for the past 18 months. “In that short time he has had to deal with some grizzly consular tasks, and he has done that in that very proper manner,” he added.

Mr Smulders passed the compliment on to his counterparts. “I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues, other honorary consuls. I feel privileged to be officially a part of this formal association and look forward to working with you in the future.”

The Netherlands Honorary Consulate is located at the Dara Hotel on Chao Fa West Road Tel: 076-304096-7. Mobile: 084-8529279. Email: dutchhonoraryconsulphuket@gmail.com

In response to the growing need for Gazette readers to contact their consular representatives on Phuket, the Gazette Guide now includes contact details for all 17 active honorary consulates on the island that co-ordinate through official meetings every three months.

If you want to read the 'original' publication, you can paste copy the link below and you get connected to the right page of the Phuket Gazet, and as such also give you opportunity to learn more about what goes on on Phuket.