This issue of
Citylife

Your Say

Your say is an open forum for you the reader to express your opinions. Write to: [email protected],
subject: Your say. Letters can be on any subject and priority will be given to letters under 200 words.
Letters may be edited for clarity or conciseness. Name and contact details must be supplied.

• Civility Where art Thou?

Oh dear Mr. Leong, but did you really need to remind us expats about being civil and offering water to our workers/gardeners? Go into any Thai home or business establishment and you will always get, at the very least, a gloriously cool drink of water, yet we need to be reminded to be civil? What a sad statement that is on our expat society.
An acquaintance of ours purchased and was re-vamping his 5 million baht condo. A handful of workers were present as were an invited handful of friends to help out. The day wore on; the temperature rose higher and higher and our acquaintance went to the refrigerator, pulled out, a cold Pepsi Max for himself and left us all stunned, hot, and very very dry.
When did we lose it? When did we lose that code of civility that allows us to live peacefully while acknowledging the value of the other? When did an epidemic of rudeness of entitlemania take over?
Thank you Mr. Leong for the heads up. We could learn from our gracious and generous hosts, the Thais, on how to be, and the Thais certainly can learn from us….how not to be.

Anon

• Pink Support

A very brave issue this month, and I am sure also very controversial. As a matter of fact, I know it is, because I have heard a lot of debate about it. I want to add my thoughts to the debate. I would rather have a publication publish stories I don’t always agree with, but which I always react to, think about and remember, than one which publishes stories I forget in a minute. So, keep doing what you are doing. Every article in the Pink Issue had merit, and every article I know was well intentioned. Whether or not people took offence, is up to the individual, so don’t tone it down please.

S. Fernando

• Bridging the Gap

I would just like to comment about the Iron Bridge off Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road. I just wanted to say to the police to please keep up the good work of policing this bridge in the evenings. There are a lot of teenagers hanging there most of them are good kids just hanging out with friends but some not so good, parking their motorcycles on the sidewalk and people can’t get by.

I Care

• Pink Stinks

Your Mr. Average aka Phil Daring may think he is being ‘nice’ to gays in struggling against his inbred prejudices, but to me he emerges as simply condescending. Give me a crass homophobe anytime to those patronising pseudo liberals, who are milk and water apologists. Those who use such expressions as ‘I am told that…’ to shelter behind. One sentence in particular sums up his muddled thinking. Referring to Alan Turing, who was prosecuted, institutionalised and driven to suicide because of his homosexuality and has recently been ‘given’ an apology by the British Government, Daring writes: ‘Considering his achievements [they] were absolutely right in issuing the apology’. Sorry, but what has his war time record got to do with his deserving an apology? It was the way in which he was treated that justified the response. We don’t say sorry for slavery because some former slaves rose to eminence but because slavery is an abuse of human rights.

Mr. Daring also claims that despite possible temptations (an all-boys school and those butch bathing rugby players) he has never had a ‘gay’ moment in his life. So what? I’ve never had a hetero thought in my life but I don’t bleat on about it.

Until he and his ilk – and, sorry to say, Citylife – stop putting us into ghettos and feel that gayness is an ‘issue’ we will continue to be marginalised. He concludes; ‘I am ok being straight and as far as I can see, it is also ‘ok’ for people to be what their sexual orientation tells them to be’. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Average. Now take off your blinkers and let us get on with our lives without your help or concern. Until you see people as people, not gay or black or otherwise ghettoised you don’t get my attention.

Brian Baxter

• Seeing Red

Your interview with Kanyapak (DJ Aom) was so insipid and distorted it should be an embarrassment to Citylife. So many lies and self-serving accomplishments from the reds…’no funding from Thaksin’…please…everyone knows the red shirts get baht from Thaksin. ‘True democracy in Thailand’…it’s already here. ‘Show respect and protect people’…like the gay pride parade? ‘It wasn’t the red shirts’…’it was infiltrators’…hahaha. Climbing up pagodas and temples??? Where did this happen? ‘Reds never use violence’…what a joke…remember Bangkok? ‘We are peaceful like Mahatma Ghandi’…to even compare the reds to MG is an insult to his true beliefs and what he stood for. ‘The dark forces’…this is not Star Wars…this is Thailand – a country attempting to reclaim its identity in the free world. You and the reds are an insult to the monarchy and you have tarnished Thailand’s reputation to the rest of the world and it is one more reason why the tourist industry has plummeted and so many honest and good Thais have suffered emotionally and financially. Why do you think Thaksin has been ‘kicked out’ of so many countries? Because he’s such a good guy?

Richard

[i][Ed. To clarify,[/i] Citylife [i]interviewed a leader of the red shirt group in our September edition. Her opinions, and comments, not those of [/i] Citylife’s,[i] are what the writer of this letter are responding to.] [/i]

• Red-neck Rant

Shame on you for putting out a Pink Issue. This really isn’t a traditional Lanna colour. Red is far more representative, or brown, black even. And your editorial judgment last month really was crooked. Let’s have an editor who’s a bit more straight and well-red. As for that gay hotel you wrote about, it’s not good for the city, after all hasn’t Chiang Mai got an oversupply of empty rooms already? And while we’re about it, it’s high time we also did something about all these lose-moral foreigners settling here, stealing our Northern beauties and snapping up our rice paddies. Just look around you at all the half-caste children these days. Even those snotty nosed Bangkok people who make us all feel brown and stupid, they should be given 15 day visas at the airport and that’s it. As for the ‘Government of Occupation’, let one of them set foot here and I’ll personally escort them to Suan Prung Hospital to have their head red. And while we’re about it, could we also banish all those terrible Lamphun drivers from our roads, after all they weren’t part of the original Lanna people, clear them out from our orderly traffic. I bet they’re all gay anyhow.

Seeing Red

• Homosexuality is not Taboo

I’m writing as the managing director of the Chiang Mai Lanna Business Services Ltd., a company located in Chiang Mai since many years. Most of our staff are foreigners from overseas.

We have loved reading Citylife Chiang Mai for a long time. Your magazine helps us a lot with information. We most welcome your last edition of the magazine and want to say thank you for writing about such a difficult theme in such a nice, open and political way. Homosexuality shouldn’t be a taboo in our days. We appreciate that one of our favourite magazines stands up against the homophobia that started to spread out this year, as you described in your editorial.

We are happy and proud that such an open and modern magazine is in our city. We wish you and your team all the best and we look forward to the next issue.

With kind regards,
Jens Kronberg

• End on a High Note

As a regular visitor to Chiang Mai over the last thirty years and currently a resident of Isaan, I’d like to congratulate you on Citylife in general and in particular on The Pink Issue.

Advertising mags are usually anodyne and boring but this issue was outstandingly good on the difficult subject of how Thai society responds to homosexuality. I found it courageous, refreshing and informative. Well done indeed.

Now I’ll be sorry if I miss the next issue of Citylife!

Andrew Hicks