"Jealous! Thai gay lands farang husband hotter than Hollywood actor" screamed one particularly unhinged headline Friday, since shared more than 90,000 times on Facebook.
Between that and the news-fed snapshots, Instagram posts and other flotsam in the social media deluge, much has been made of a Thai man and his German boyfriend for doing nothing more than quietly holding hands on the BTS Skytrain, a moment that’s since swept the social network after it was surreptitiously photographed and shared by someone.
While some seized the opportunity to gay-shame the couple and few objected to the article’s racist and homophobic tone, the loudest response, oddly enough, was to cast it as some weird jealousy rant.
"Going viral right now is a photo of a Thai gay guy who looks so average but was holding hands with a hot white guy on the BTS,” the article read. “The photo caused jealousy among gay people, and even the bitches are slobbering over him!"
Online media such as MThai and Kapook wrote their versions of the story, focusing on a since-released video of the two talking about their love and how they found each other, highlighting a media obsession with same-sex relationships, where even a normal-looking couple is somehow unique and newsworthy.”
Perhaps predictably the story drew the openly ugly invective we can always rely on the internet for.
"Weird faces always get laid," Faii Anttpty commented under the MThai article.
Many singled out “Mond,” the Thai man.
"It's not surprising,” an anonymous user commented. “Most white trash get a partner who looks like a vagabond or a thief."
Others made attempts to be human.
"I feel sorry for Thai society. The person who took the photos was extremely rude, and the social network is supporting it,” Toto Sippapas wrote. “Whatever the topic might be, they are not public figures. This is a country with people worse than China and Russia.”
Mond, who works as the creative director of an international modeling agency, said he is “not okay” with the attention the couple has received.
“I won’t give any interviews to the media because I’m not okay with what happened, and I want to spend time with Throston before he goes back to his country,” he wrote. “We have become famous because I was criticized for having a ‘sh**ty’ or ‘ugly’ face. It is not funny.”
“We appreciate the attention and support y'all have been giving, but none of us has an interest to be in the spotlight,” he added.
Mond hopes it will blow over soon and isn’t interested in capitalizing on the infamy.
“Let them be the keyboard bullies,” he said. “They must have faced sad things in life. I’m not stressed out. I know it will be over soon. I have denied all of the offers from TV programs and magazines.”
This story was originally published on the Coconuts Bangkok website.