American tourists don’t have the greatest reputation around the world, and now thanks to one San Diego gay couple, it’s even worse.
Joseph and Travis Dasilva, a married couple behind a now-shuttered Instagram account called @traveling_butts, were arrested at Don Mueang airport Tuesday night while trying to leave Thailand.
Their offense? They posted multiple photos of their bare buttocks taken at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), a Buddhist temple and popular tourist destination in Bangkok.
The men, both 38-years-old, dropped trou at the religious historical site, snapped some photos, and uploaded them to their account with 14K followers.
After receiving intense backlash online — some of it virulently homophobic — they deleted their Instagram account.
And the BBC reports that the two will likely be banned from ever returning to Thailand, and could be facing jail time:
Deputy spokesman of the Thai immigration police, Col Choengron Rimpadee, told the BBC the two had been on a watch-list after authorities had spotted the controversial social media post.
“Once they are through with the charges, the Thai immigration police will revoke their visas and push for deportation,” he said. “They will also be blacklisted from coming back to Thailand.”
He explained the two were brought to Bangkok Yai police station to be charged with public nakedness, an offence liable for a fine of up to 5,000 baht ($153; £115).
However, other Thai government and police officials have told media that the charges could be more serious.
“Though I am very disappointed in their actions, I am talking to U.S. government officials to see what assistance we can give them,” San Diego city commissioner Murray Ramirez told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
Was it a stupid thing to do? Yes, almost certainly. As a general rule, when traveling abroad you should be respectful of the culture you’re experiencing as a guest.
But prison doesn’t strike us as anywhere near appropriate. We wish them a speedy return to San Diego where they can hit up Black’s Beach and air out their cakes whenever they please.