When I first came across Okkar Min Maung, I was immediately captivated by his smoldering eyes and an unbelievable 8-pack! But upon looking further, I learned that the actor and model who is originally from Myanmar, is a public figure working toward the advocacy and support of gay men in Myanmar.
Born Ye Htoo Khaing Win, the 36-year-old who now lives in New York City is an activist who uses his voice in support of gay sexual health and HIV awareness through an organization called APCOM. Currently, Myanmar is experiencing terrifying political unrest with the military killing innocent people daily. Now more than ever, Maung’s work is crucial in bringing visibility to the plight of Burmese citizens. When I knew I had come across an openly gay man from Myanmar who is projecting himself into media in the name of representation and activism, I realized I had come across a Burmese unicorn.
Beyond Okkar Min Maung’s admirable humanitarian work, there is no doubt that the world traveler likes to steam up social media with his daily posts. If you follow Maung, you know he’s no stranger to the gym or sexy selfies.
It is for all of these reasons that Okkar Min Maung is this week’s Instinct Hottie.
Get to know Okkar Min Maung and his work through this interview:
INSTINCT: When did you first fall in love with travel?
OKKAR MIN MAUNG: Since I was very young, I travelled with my parents since I was 7-years-old to all over Asia as well as all over my country. Since then, I knew I loved traveling.
INSTINCT: What is your favorite location you have visited?
OMM: Myanmar, Bagan, which is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute Myanmar. I also love Spain. I have been to Barcelona and Madrid. I love the culture, food, wine, people and architecture. Very fascinating. I can’t wait to go back there and visit other cities in Spain.
INSTINCT: How did you get involved with APCOM and why?
OMM: I am a community ambassador of APCOM for Myanmar and South East Asia. APCOM is Thailand based non profit organization which is called Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health. APCOM works to improve the health and rights of gay men, other men who have sex with men, and SOGIESC people across Asia and the Pacific. They are in partnership with a host of brave organizations and individuals, APCOM works to advocate, highlight and prioritize HIV issues that affect the lives of men who have sex with men and transgender people, including rights, health and wellbeing.In fact, due to so many circumstances I have been missing to collaborate with that organization for a while now.
INSTINCT: What’s something about you that most people wouldn’t know?
OMM: I snore when I sleep. I like to pick my nose sometimes. I am very picky with my hair style. I am always hungry. I love to eat sweets a lot and sweet cocktails. And I eat so many times a day. I also dare to eat all kinds of exotic foods. I am very talkative and I am a big tease.
INSTINCT: What brings you joy?
OMM: Music. Dancing. Sleep. Spending time with friends and family. Cuddling with my dogs.
INSTINCT: What do you think is the most attractive part about yourself?
OMM: I really don’t feel comfortable talking about myself based on my physical look. There are so many guys way more attractive than me in this world. I am happy with what I have and how I look. People say differently how they see me and I appreciate all that. For me, someone who has a genuine, humble, respectful and honest personality are the most attractive traits. No matter how handsome a guy is, if they are arrogant, conceited, egotistical, cocky or with an overconfident personality, I don’t think that they are attractive. It is ugly and disgusting.
INSTINCT: What do you find you are physically complimented on the most?
OMM: My eyes. I love my eyes even though I am so blind without contact lens or glasses. Lol
INSTINCT: What, to you, defines sexy?
OMM: Cleanliness. Someone who takes care of their looks and is fashionable. Doesn’t matter if you are super fit. I like all types of body shapes. Someone who is family-oriented and has a loving, caring, protective personality. And I am very very into sexy and seductive voices. I think it is so sexy. But I don’t think that my voice is sexy. Lol
INSTINCT: What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?
OMM: Actually I’ve had so many. The moment when my movies were screening in theaters and when I got to see so many fans in person. Also when I graduate from Berkeley college. And when I won Mister Tourism World 2016 in the Philippines. That has changed my life. Whenever I could make my parents proud of me because of my effort, that’s a proud moment in my life. I will continuously work hard on my goals.
INSTINCT: What haven’t you accomplished, personally or professionally, that you are wanting to do in the next 2-3 years?
OMM: I really want to start my own swimwear and clothing brand called UNOKKARN since 2 years ago but haven’t accomplished yet due to so many reasons. Also, since I came out officially in Myanmar in 2018, my fans encouraged me to write about my biography into a book. I was writing my childhood life stories and my coming out story but still haven’t finished yet. I feel bad that my fans are waiting for it and I couldn’t finish it yet. I need to collect more childhood photos to put it in there. Also I was planning to establish a modeling agency in Myanmar, but due to Covid last year and the Military coup this year, I had to postpone it. Because of the Military Coup, I don’t think it is safe for me to go back to Myanmar anymore and do what I want to do.
INSTINCT: What is something that is important to you?
OMM: I have been participating in protests against the Myanmar military. They killed thousands of innocent lives and detained so many innocent people in jail. Thousands of celebrities and civilians are under warrant. So, for now, my focus will be to speak out for my beloved country as much as I can and help as much as I can from here. My country needs help due to Covid crisis too. I am planning to start fundraising to help people in need in Myanmar. I have so many plans and I will do everything step by step. No matter how my plans have changed, I won’t give up on my dreams.
INSTINCT: Have you found love? If so, what is the best part of your relationship and what do you love most in your partner(s)? If not, what do you look for in the ideal relationship? Or are you not looking?
OMM: I broke up with my ex last year in November. I am single for now and haven’t found love yet. But my heart is open to it and ready for a new chapter of my life. If I meet someone who I can trust on, who will love me unconditionally just the way I am, who will prioritize me and mutually respect boundaries.
All of my ex relationships were great, we were just not meant to be together. They all taught me different lessons and we both made mistakes in life. Nobody is perfect in this world, right? I will appreciate all the memories and I won’t let the same mistakes happen again if I fall in love with someone in the future. Nowadays, homosexual or heterosexual couples are in open relationship but I don’t think I can do that.
My husband passed away accidentally in 2016. I am mentally strong enough that nothing could be worse than losing someone I love who I married.
Rapid fire question time:
- What is your all-time favorite movie?
- The notebook
- Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
- Doctor Mike, Christian Hogue, Maluma.
- What is your favorite cheat meal or snack?
- I love Pork Belly even though it’s a lot of fat. I eat a lot of Rice. Jello. Chocolate. Cookies. Pastry and sweets.
- If you were stuck on an island for eternity, what music album would you want to have with you?
- Taylor Swift best songs selections album from all of her albums Fearless, Red, 1989, reputation, Evermore, Lover, Folklore and Speak Now. I can’t pick just 1 album. I love all of her albums. So I will pick my most favorite songs and put them into 1 selection album. Lol
INSTINCT: What does it mean to be featured as our Instinct Hottie?
OMM: It’s an honor and flattering to be featured in Instinct. Thank you! I really appreciate that I got to connect with new audiences from all over the world.
Follow Okkar Min Maung for your daily dose of empowerment, inspiration, but also HOT content!