Pokponk J., APCOM
Sawasdee krub, I’m Pokponk but you can call me PK. I’m an ENFP person, which means I am a ‘campaigner’ – energetic and enthusiastic and very friendly. I love pets, gardening, martial arts, motorcycles, and I love to party. The Silom area of Bangkok is my favorite place to meet my people – it’s been my hangout place since I was 17. If you don’t know, the area is famous for its market stalls, shopping, bars and restaurants as well for the red-light district, and LGBT center. I have dinner, sing karaoke and hang out with my friends in the gay area of Soi 2 and Soi 4 there often. It is a place where I truly feel free and be myself.
Prior to joining APCOM, I was managing a pet shop selling pet food and pet grooming services. I was also project manager for Queer Riot – a gay event party organizer with a mission to advance LGBT rights discussion to our guests. I have always been an advocate on LGBT and HIV issues. Many of my friends are activists. I know APCOM from sponsoring some of the Queer Riot parties at Victory Monument and Silom, and within the circle APCOM is a well-known as a credible and quality organisation. Of course, during lockdown Queer Riot party has to stop too.
During lockdown, I am with my boyfriend, Stamp. We’ve been together for about seven months now. My dog Commence (meaning ‘start’ in French) is also in lockdown with us, he’s a Papillon and was given to me by a friend seven years ago. I am lucky to have them with me during this time, and get to spend more time with each other. Stamp and I talk about our future of having a big house and more dogs. I get to think and appreciate the things that matter in life.
At the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything has changed. My main change is that I cannot go and hang out in my second home – the Silom area. I was very sad to see photos of it being so empty, it was full of life before. I wonder about the people that work there in the entertainment industry, the hospitality industry, and the sex work industry in the area. The sudden adjustments to live in an unfamiliar world where everything is about COVID-19. Social distancing is making me safer but also more bored too. I was spending a lot of time on-line, learning about how other people are managing their lives and helping each other to get through the problems.
I am determined to not let time go to waste, and use the on-line space to learn new skills to help me personally and in my work. For example, I am an avid advocate for pets’ rights and currently working to get the public parks in Thailand to also be open to pets. I feel bad for Commence to be stuck in doors. I am also learning how to do on-line marketing as this is likely going to be one of the ‘new normal’. I am using Zoom for checking-ins with colleagues at APCOM, and Mural for collaborative brainstorming.
As someone working on the media side for APCOM, I want us to look ahead for the new normal and see what we could do better on the on-line spaces and the platforms utilized by social media influencers.
As Bangkok is opening up, I believe that if we make ourselves strong enough, we will be able to fully help each other, and walk together again.