Keepin' it gay, as in fun and carefree
Looking for a fun, gay time out in the city? Ken Kreangsak Leing is your guy. While he runs his own company Theoxeny PR Agency, representing various well-known restaurants and other hospitality businesses, he manages to find time for his other passion: the cheekily named G-Spot Entertainment. Specialising in gay parties which feature drag divas like Drag Race Thailand co-host Pangina Heals as well as several contestants from the show, G-Spot Entertainment has just celebrated its fourth year and shows no signs of stopping. Ken's parties are known for creative themes, shirtless hunks, killer drag performances and tonnes of fun. How did it all start? Ken tells Guru.
Photo courtesy of Ken Leing
You're a self-made promoter and PR maven with your fair share of struggles. Tell us about this journey.
My parents brought me to my grandma when I was five and she raised me in Hat Yai. After she passed away, I moved in with my aunt in Bangkok when I was about 15. I always knew I was gay and my friend suggested Telephone on Silom 4 if I wanted to meet cute white guys. I went there to apply for a job when I was 17 and I worked as a bartender for a year. During that time, I completed a non-formal education because I wanted more from life. In the past 20 years, I worked at several companies and spent few years in America before I became the director for PR and marketing communications at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit despite not having a bachelor degree.
I saw a gap that yet to be filled -- a PR firm that specialised in hospitality. So I launched Theoxeny PR Agency four years ago, then a few months later I launched G-Spot Entertainment, which organises gay parties. By that, I mean parties with drag queens, hot men, drinks and amazing DJs and, of course, we welcome all genders. We started Sunday Gay Night at Maggie Choo's four years ago and it's still going strong today. The first year was the hardest because of the coup and no one knew what 'drag queens' were but we've been working very hard and trying our best to make sure our guests have a great experience when they attend our parties.
How did the Sunday Gay Night at Maggie Choo's come about?
Maggie Choo's said they would like to have a gay night on Sunday. I found out that there are many ways of promoting the new venue and having a G-Spot party is another way to promote it and the right way to reach the gay high-end target market. My job isn't just about greeting the customers but keeping every details in check, including dealing with difficult customers and making sure that my girls are at the top of their games.
Do you have any crazy stories from the more than 200 gay nights that you've organised?
Once, a couple was offended by a joke Pangina Heals made and they waited outside with four more men to confront Pangina. Fortunately, Pangina changed into his boy look so they didn't recognise him. Perhaps, what they didn't understand was that Pangina is an insult comic à la Bianca Del Rio [RuPaul's Drag Race sixth season winner] or simply couldn't take a joke. My team's safety is very important so we went to Bangrak police station to report the incident. Believe it or not, several hetero couples met at my parties. There are so many other dramas but I don't think it's wise to publish them here.
G-Spot just celebrated its fourth year last weekend. What else do you want to do with it in the next four years?
Hopefully next year G-Spot Entertainment will bring back Thailand Pride. Wish us luck and let's see! I think Thailand is ready.
You know a lot of LGBT talents. Do you have any favourites?
I have many. Pan Pan Narkprasert, aka Pangina Heals, one of the most famous drag queens in Thailand. This kid is so creative and talented and I look at her like a proud mama. You can see her every Sunday Gay night at Maggie Choo's. Woody Milintachinda, one of the most famous TV hosts in Thailand who married his husband two years ago. There's also "Pompam" Niti Chaichitatorn, the creator of Toey Tiew Thai TV show. I also love "Nong Poy" Treechada for her beauty and positive attitude on life.
Photos courtesy of G-Spot Entertainment
Are there challenges unique to promoting an LGBT event that you don't face when promoting other events?
When you say you're a gay party organiser, people always make a face as in their head when we talk about gay party they think it's just a guy dancing in underwear on the stage. That's our challenge. We have been changing views of our sponsors and clients for the last four years and it's getting better and better.
What do you find lacking in the way the LGBT community is treated in Thailand?
Our visibility definitely grew so much more in recent years. The public is more aware of diversity in humanity and as we are generally accepted and we don't have issues of hate crimes like other countries around the world. That said, we need to promote equality such as same sex marriage, as well as to promote PrEP [pre-exposure] medicine for HIV negative people to take daily to prevent HIV.
What other G-Spot events have you lined up for 2018?
Besides every Sunday Gay Night at Maggie Choo's we also have G-Spot Theme Party at Vertigo TOO, 60th floor of Banyan Tree Hotel Sathorn on the first Saturday of the month. There will also be a G-Spot Pool Party during New Year so please stay tuned at www.GSpotEnt.com or fb.com/gspot.ent!
Is there a motto that you live by?
Always know what you want in life. Then plan, learn and try your very best to achieve that. If you fail, shake it off and keep on walking. Life is way too short to be unhappy.