Gay men holding hands on train bullied online

Raisa Serafica
Gay men holding hands on train bullied online
Offensive comments like 'Ano ba kayo, pet `yan' and 'Baka dadalhin sa prisinto si bakla' flood the post

MANILA, Philippines – “Love in a different view.”

This is how a netizen described the photos of a gay Asian-Caucasian couple holding hands on a train that went viral on Saturday, April 18. (READ: When two boys hold hands)

The photos uploaded by the BV Patrol Facebook page came with a caption that read, “Suporta para sa kanila! Bawal ang bitter!” (Support them! Bitter people are not allowed!) As of this writing, the photos have garnered 14,884 likes and 1,497 shares. 

The couple in the photos were later identified through their social media accounts as Naparuj Mond Kaendi, a Thai creative director and booking agent at Bacca Model Management, and Thorsten Mid, who appears to come from Germany. The photo was said to be taken at a Bangkok Sky Train. 

Negative comments

However, contrary to what the caption says, the post was not met with full support from netizens. Most of the negative comments anchored on the couple’s gender preference and Kaendi’s physical appearance. 

Offensive comments flooded the post: “Ano ba kayo, pet `yan” (What are you saying? That’s a pet),  “Bakit siya pa? `Di na lang ako?” (Why did he choose him? Why couldn’t it be me), and “Baka dadalhin sa prisinto si bakla!” (Maybe he will bring the gay man to the precinct!)

Based on Kaendi’s social media posts, they’ve been together for more than two years.

“To be honest I wasn’t so surprised when random people walked to us last night and showed us all these candid pictures of us that have been posted the whole evening. It happened to us before, same time last year and all the nasty comments left me nothing but worries and tears,” Kaendi shared in a comment posted on one of the viral posts. 

Support 

However, despite the negative comments, Kaendi is grateful for the huge support they are receiving. 

As fast as the negative comments came, many netizens were also quick to defend and praise the couple. 

Dinadaan lang ang mga to sa biro pero (They’re passing it off as a joke but), that’s precisely what bullying is. Do you really believe these two aren’t capable of having true love?” CK Espanol said online

Kaendi responded to netizens who expressed their support for the couple through a comment on Instagram: “This year though, on the other hand, Thorsten and I, unexpectedly, are so thankful and overwhelmed by the storm of your huge support. We never meant to try to be under the spotlight and all.”   – Rappler.com 

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Raisa Serafica

Raisa Serafica is the Unit Head of Civic Engagement of Rappler. As the head of MovePH, Raisa leads the on ground engagements of Rappler aimed at building a strong community of action in the Philippines. Through her current and previous roles at Rappler, she has worked with different government agencies, collaborated with non-governmental organizations, and trained individuals mostly on using digital technologies for social good.