Stepping Forward

an in-depth look at how far each KinnPorsche character has come and the power of words.

From week to week, the Thai BL KinnPorsche has been consistent with its storytelling, delivering superb and complex performances. Episode 13 was no different.

I’m going to start this by completely separating what’s happening in the series from the novel. Be On Cloud offers a beautiful interpretation of a story adapted for the screen, making it work in a way that people worldwide can relate to.

I’ve said many things about KinnPorsche over the last month, so much so that I expect my words are beginning to run together in a repeated mantra that may grow tiresome. So, this week, I will talk about each couple and the power they hold over their audience.

KinnPorsche

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Trust issues have always plagued the main couple, but while many initially believed Kinn to be the untrusting wall separating the two, the real obstacle is Porsche’s resolve. But that same resolve is also their strength. Kinn and Porsche have an uncanny habit of hurting each other while also trying to protect each other, and it always leads them to trouble. But it also leads them to healing and personal discovery. Porsche tends to push and pull, leaving Kinn to wonder exactly where he stands. While this leaves many viewers wondering why he doesn’t trust Kinn yet, the truth is, he does. Trust isn’t always about sharing every secret. It isn’t about revealing every move you make to someone else. It’s about being secure enough in your relationship to make choices others may question, but your lover doesn’t. The same faith I had in Kinn from the beginning is the same trust I have in him now. He may not understand what Porsche is doing, but deep down, he knows Porsche doesn’t step forward without reason. As for Porsche, trusting Kinn is one thing, but trusting Kinn’s family is entirely different. Even if Porsche revealed his need to discover the truth about his past, the first thing Kinn would offer to do is look into it. Looking into it for Kinn requires turning to the connections his family has made, and none of those connections can be trusted.

Strangely, in the end, it’s the man everyone trusts the least that Porsche needs the most. Vegas may have a bad reputation, but the main family can’t buy him off. And that creates an uneasy trust between Porsche and Vegas. It is the beginning of an awkward friendship I’ve been hoping they would develop. Both men have been raised under an umbrella of deceit, leading them to search for answers after falling in love with men neither expected to enter their lives. It’s a tenuous bond that has the potential to be a strong partnership, which brings me back to Kinn.

Kinn is not weak because he complies with his father’s wishes, caters to Porsche’s whims, and wants to remain in his father’s good graces. He’s taken on the responsibilities his brothers have shunned. He’s stepped into a leading role that places him in the line of fire while they’ve hidden in the shadows collecting information. He’s given away any future he may have wanted outside the family business, which requires a certain amount of trust in his father. But while Porsche’s resolve is one of our main couple’s issues, they also have to deal with Kinn’s insecurities. As I’ve written before, Kinn’s biggest trust issue is with himself. He struggles with trusting his instincts, especially after the Tawan incident and Pete’s kidnapping, both things Kinn suspected but convinced himself weren’t true. Kinn’s end game is learning to trust his instincts, while Porsche’s is knowing the truth. And there’s a lot of power in both.

KimChay

The KimChay story is so honestly heartbreaking. Both are the youngest sons of families caught up in a crazy, messed-up web. One learns to trust. The other learns not to. And they both break in the process. And now, they must find a happy medium to make a relationship work. Chay’s been lied to by everyone he cares about, leaving him lost and questioning what it is he truly wants from his life. Kim spent his life feeling paranoid about anyone who entered it. Chay’s honesty and innocence have broken through the paranoid walls Kim has built around his heart, but he’s left not only picking up the debris from those walls but the remains of Chay’s broken trust and broken heart. Despite this couple’s smaller screen time, they leave a big impression behind. Kim has finally found a reason to leave his home and rejoin the world as himself and not only as Wik. Chay’s done that for him. I don’t know how their season one journey will end, but I’m ready to delve into the more extensive story season 2 may give us. Their power is in their influence on each other and how that helps them both mature.

VegasPete

Vegas and Pete staggered onto the scene in an intense, intimate way that set the internet on fire. Bible and Build’s performances have been astounding. They’ve embodied the physical and emotional turmoil a victim goes through as they navigate the pain these two characters continuously face because of their pasts and present. Vegas has come a long way from the flirtatious playboy trying to manipulate Porsche into a relationship. His wounds have been ripped open for the audience to see, giving him the depth and emotional instability hinted at near the beginning of the series but truly explored at the end. The same goes for Pete. One of the hardest things an actor does is step into someone else’s shoes. A lot of soul searching happens when you take on a character, and you learn a lot about yourself in the process. Pete broke me this episode, and Build carried that pain. Pete is a victim of his past and his present with Vegas. There’s a part of him that wants to escape and part of him that can’t run away. Pain is a complex, often addicting human emotion that is as sought after for many as love. Combine the two, and it becomes an irresistible, tragically beautiful story unfolding on the screen in a heart-rending way.

I find it amusing and interesting that only Tankhun can see what everyone is going through and how each of the stories is truly unfolding. He is a pure, damaged example of how people should look at others. He doesn’t judge. He simply observes and offers advice, love, and even redemption.

As a writer with many personal scars of my own, I relate to Tankhun more than any character on screen.

This leads me to a very personal addition to this piece.

After much of my own soul-searching, Pete and the actor behind him have influenced me to get personal. I hope doing so doesn’t invite the hate I fear it will. Controversy has surrounded many of the actors in KinnPorsche, mainly due to dug-up words and pasts, tearing open wounds that never would have been torn open if it wasn’t for the fame KinnPorsche has found. It speaks a lot about the popularity of the series, but it’s also spotlighting how fame strips a person of privacy. And while Build’s controversy is shedding a recent light on this, it’s not the first time this has happened to celebrities in the last few years. Until now, I’ve avoided weighing in on it, and even as I write this, I hesitate. Much of it has to do with not knowing the extent of the culture it’s taking place in and the accuracy of the translated words I’ve seen. So, I’m pausing to add both a disclaimer and a trigger warning. Please feel free to stop reading beyond this point. And please note that what I write is based on my limited knowledge and encompasses more than Build’s incident. It touches on many similar such incidences.

Disclaimer: There’s been a lot of hate in the entertainment industry the last few years over dug up past words, and it’s taken a toll on fandoms, people, and victims. I think it’s important to note that victims are often in different stages of personal healing and how they react to something is indicative of that stage. They should not be shamed. So, what I’ve written is indicative of the stage I’m at mentally and speaks only for myself. I do not speak for other victims, and they do not speak for me. This is a personal opinion about words, not actions.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

I think a major issue in the entertainment world today is that people are so focused on educating others on their wrongdoings and viewpoints (which they should be), but then when a person has changed or attempts to change, many don’t or won’t accept the growth. To become educated is to grow. And I say that as someone who has been sexually assaulted. You don’t have to forgive someone for their past to wish them the best, be grateful they’re learning from it, and hope they become better.

We celebrate characters on screen who move beyond and grow as a person from their mistakes, sometimes even defending them in all-out social media drama wars. But when life suddenly mimics art, we throw the person away. Kindness begets kindness. We show them hate, and they suddenly find no reason to grow. We don’t have to forgive them to give them room to grow.

We can’t preach change and then not allow change to happen.

And this is where I’m going to get very vocally honest about something.

Words are powerful, powerful things. Once they’re put out into the world, especially in our digital age, it’s impossible to erase them. The quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword” by Edward Bulwer-Lytton is one of the best ways to express this. Even before the internet existed, just penning a thought or signing a document changed empires and people’s opinions. Words are why songs, books, and ideas leave such a deep impression.

But I think we also forget that the people behind words, who write and speak them, can and often do change. Writers have the biggest time with this issue. Because we may grow as authors or people, but we already have books and ideas that thousands of people have shared. For example, my first book, though fiction, has a lot of who I was in it at the time. The writing style says a lot about the young writer I started as. The style also spoke much about my transition from writing songs and poetry to complete novels. It was a challenging transition. The writer I am now almost twelve years later barely recognizes the writer I was then.

The digital world has turned us all into writers. Your thoughts are now written even if you’ve simply tweeted or made a Facebook post. They’re out there for people to do whatever they want with them, even if you are no longer the same person who wrote them.

And it’s even worse when there’s a language barrier, when the words sitting out there are being re-translated using tools that may not be accurate. And even if they are correct, they’re words you can’t erase. You can only say new words and forge new paths. And pray the new words and the new steps forward are enough to replace what you’ve said and done before.

And that brings me to my past as a sexual assault survivor. It’s easy for me as a victim to project my pain because it’s a vast hurt full of years of fighting an eating disorder and depression after being violated. Because I WAS violated. It was not my fault. I did not wear or do anything that made being ganged up on by three men when I was only thirteen years old remotely okay. I was a virgin, innocent, young, and terrified. I was not okay afterward, and there is a part of me that will never be okay.

So, I say this as a victim. I think that hurting is a thing I do, but I’ve also grown into an adult woman who, after years of therapy, can now look at where that anger is coming from and understand that words can become actions, but they can also become change.

I’ve been careful about weighing in on celebrity situations and past words because it’s okay to be angry. People are allowed to have opinions, especially victims. But I hope some also see how positive it is when a celebrity is willing to be different and ready to learn to be someone who thinks things through. I have a much easier time forgiving someone who hasn’t yet committed a physical crime and is apologizing for joking about those crimes and attempting to change who he/she/they are and what they can now become as a person than the people who gang assaulted me and never took the time to consider where those actions would put all of us today. I think it’s so important we make change happen before the attacks can take place. And I think being hateful towards someone willing to change makes that person less conducive to learning from his mistakes. Reform begins with allowing people to become reformed before it leads to violence.

And I say that for everyone who has ever said anything that may come back to haunt them in the future, famous or not. Because words do haunt us. They remain there in print as an open wound of who we were that can’t be taken back but can be rebuilt on.

I struggled after my assault. I attempted suicide at fourteen and entered a very dark world that only, strangely enough, writing could pull me out of. Because, again, words are power. Words nearly destroyed me, and they healed me. Because any victim of assault knows that the sounds of that moment never go away. The way they said my name made me want to change my name for years. It made me hate who I was. My name from their mouths stole my identity away from me, and it took me over fifteen years to regain it. It took a lot of years to rebuild myself as a person.

I say this to show that I am not defending any celebrity for saying things that demean other people, especially those celebrities who say these things after they’ve become famous because they’re abusing their platform. Those celebrities have a much rougher road to navigate. Instead, I am pointing out that if our past words at any point in our lives, written and spoken, defined us as people and we were stuck with that identity for the rest of our lives afterward with no chance to be anything else, that it wouldn’t be a life I, or frankly anyone, would want to live. People should be allowed to be better versions of themselves now rather than become the violence not being allowed to change could make them. Much of what we say in the past is based on the culture we are raised in, and the ideas we’ve been influenced by. And, for most of us, that changes as we grow, as we meet new people and become a part of new things full of new ideas and thoughts we hadn’t been exposed to before. Mistakes are things we learn from.

A person being famous and having a platform is not an excuse to cyber-bully them.

This does not mean I am advocating for the forgiveness of someone who speaks out of turn. You don’t have to forgive someone to hope they become a solution later rather than a problem someone else has to face.

My name is Regina. It was once a name I couldn’t stand to hear. It’s now one I’m proud to own. Don’t let someone steal your identity. It belongs only to you. But let’s also give people the tools they need to create better identities for themselves.

And remember, words are power. Be very, very careful about the words you put out into the world.

4 thoughts on “Stepping Forward”

  1. First of all, I honor your bravery, Regina, for speaking from your personal experience of sexual assault. For those who have never experienced it themselves, it is important to see that such assaults encompass not only the moments of the event itself, but also a long and turbulent aftermath that changes a person permanently, whether healing occurs or not. On a spectrum of aggression and erasure of personhood, physical violence, especially of a sexual nature, stands at one end of the spectrum. Somewhere in the middle stands words of aggression. Depending on their influence and the motivation for uttering them, they can range from extremely serious (especially if they are intended to incite others to take violent action) to moderately serious. We all live in misogynistic cultures, period. I don’t know much about the culture of Thailand, but I do know how alive and well misogyny is here in the US. This in no way excuses the words or deeds of any individual, but it is helpful to have context to see how common such attitudes are in any given circle and how flippantly they can unthinkingly be expressed. Is someone just repeating what they are hearing around them without learning the truth of the matter and questioning the words, the attitudes and worldview behind them? If the words were spoken years ago by a teen or young 20-something, do they still stand by them now? Or has their thinking and understanding changed as they have grown, matured, and gained life experience? I am in no position to know what beliefs the actor in question currently holds. One hopes that he has benefited from greater life experience and his questioning of the misogynistic attitudes common in too many societies, institutions, and individual families. We can hope these things, but we can never know. Human-beings are tricky creatures filled with contradictions. It is just this complexity and contradictions that, when explored in art, help us see ourselves and each other in a different and richer light. I, for one, am willing to give said actor an opportunity to respond at the appropriate time to this issue. His remarks 8 years ago, while deeply concerning, need to be held up against his current position before I, for one, am ready to “cancel” him. How he conducts himself henceforth is as important to me as his part remarks. If he truly learns from this past mistake, who am I, no saint, to condemn him in his present incarnation?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this response and for how deeply you’ve thought about this. It is such a hard situation, especially when we’re viewing it from an outside perspective. And, like you, I find it hard to cancel an artist based on comments he can reflect upon and grow from before it could transition into either an action or the desire to incite an action, especially when the person he was before is most likely not the same person he is now. I hope my experience inspires others to look at it objectively, so that Build can attempt forging a new path that may inspire others to change. But I also realize, as a victim, that pain can make it hard to be objective depending on where a person is at in their stage of healing. And for those victims, I hope they find some solace in knowing that change can happen if we all push for it in a compassionate way. A ton of hugs and love your way. Hopefully, Build and the fandom come out of this stronger and can forge a new, more hopeful path of words and actions that lead to healing. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story, Regina. ❤
    The reason why I love Vegas’ and Pete’s story is because it’s one of redemption. We want Vegas to change and make the choice to not inflict his pain on others anymore. So, how can we also not root for the people portraying those characters to grow and become be better people as well? If Build was denying or defending, that would be a different situation, but both he and BOC have taken responsibility. His words were not acceptable, but I want to give him room to grow and learn from this. May this situation help others to realize their mistakes, apologize and grow as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me as well. It’s definitely important that we give people willing to change a chance to do so, and I’ve been impressed with Build stepping into the Pete role, a role that I have no doubt gave him a lot to consider. Here’s to hoping for a bright future for all, and a wonderful journey forward into the second season together. Hugs and love ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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