In a progressive trend, LGBT-themed bars and cafes have popped up around Southeast Asia over the years—and now Myanmar has its very own.
My Place café in Yangon’s Tamwe Township has steadily become a hub for the city’s LGBT community since it opened about one month ago. LGBT people are often discriminated against in Myanmar and can even be targeted under state law, meaning the café is a safe and welcoming spot for many.
Portraits of LGBT celebrities such as Sam Smith, Kristen Stewart, and Ellen DeGeneres are hung on the walls alongside quotes from industry leaders such as Tim Cook and Giorgio Armani.
The menu is Thai-orientated with salads, soups, noodles and barbecue for about 3,000 kyats per dish. Mandalay-based Coffee Win beverages are available, as are a range of cocktails and mocktails at the cage’s mini bar.
Half of the café’s profits go to the Khine Hnin Wai Foundation, a charity that supports orphanages, flood victims, and other good causes. Actress Khine Hnin Wai established the charity in 2014 and runs the café alongside her partner Junior Dennis, or Mg JD, who is transsexual.
“There are no laws to protect LGBT people in Myanmar,” said Mg JD.
“I am supporting our rainbow community in my own way to achieve what we want in Myanmar.”
Customers at My Place can also buy accessories such as shirts, rainbow flags and key chains, towels, and purses. The café has leaflets with helpful information and the staff are at hand to answer any questions. Plus, they also manage events such as birthday parties and make their own signature cakes.
Address: 28 Dagon Thiri Street, Ground Floor, Tamwe Township
Contact: 09250274324 , 09420124618
Hours: 9am to 9pm