The video opens with a trio of near-identical white men, all grinning broadly and kissing, hugging, and goofing off in front of the camera. The voice-over is chirpy and energetic, the way most TikTok VOs are: “If you would have told me one year ago that I would be going to Korea with my TikTok-famous gay throuple, I would’ve said, ‘yeah, that makes sense….for somebody else.’”

If nothing else, Vancouver-based TikToker Adam Joshua, one of the three men in the video, knows the power of a good opening line. “I said it as bait,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I thought it was a funny line. So I said it and I’ll say it again. I don’t mind if everyone’s all mad about it.”

“Mad” is not necessarily the right word to describe people’s reaction to the video, which went viral among queer social media circles earlier this week. A more accurate description would be mild amusement, coupled with derision (“Gays, no one gives a shit about your throuple videos unless you’re absolutely railing each other on OnlyFans,” one tweet put it).

The video documents the adventures of Joshua and his two partners, Derrick and Zeke, while traveling in Korea, including a birds-eye view of the boys canoodling shirtless in bed, a “traditional Korean tea ceremony,” and the boys twirling around with rainbow-colored umbrellas to “spread the gay agenda all around the country.” To make things even more surreal, the whimsical video isset to Phil Collins’ “Another Day In Paradise,” a ballad about the plight of unhoused people.

The video went moderately viral on TikTok, racking up a little more than 120,000 views. But it achieved second life on Twitter, where it was immediately subject to the memeification treatment — “the original TikTok-famous gay throuple,” one tweet reads, showing three characters from the Disney movie Mulan in drag — and mockery (“going to the Khmer Rouge killing fields with my TikTok-famous gay throuple,” one tweet reads, while another simply says: “feeling my homophobia creep up again”).

The attention, both positive and negative, has stunned Joshua. “I think it pisses people off to see that we’re really happy,” he says of the clip’s virality. “We’re being stupid in the video, right? We’re tickling each other. We’re putting headpieces on. We’re obviously just not taking things too seriously. And I think that the fact that we’re in a throuple and doing that just irks people for some reason.”

A Vancouver-based engineer, Joshua started his TikTok on a lark, posting primarily hiking videos and clips of himself and his first boyfriend, Zeke, whom he has been with for five years. (Both Zeke and their third, Derrick, declined to speak to Rolling Stone.) Following an impromptu dance-floor make out with a mutual friend, the two decided to open up their relationship. Soon, they met Derrick at a Vancouver Pride event, and the three started spending a great deal of time together. When Joshua did an Instagram post about his relationship with Zeke, Derrick “felt a little bit left out,” prompting a discussion where they all eventually decided to enter into a triad together.

“It was definitely really scary in the beginning,” Joshua says. “Because I know that this relationship was very unconventional. And prior to being in a relationship, I had a pretty traditional trajectory of my life. [But] I don’t think unconventionality is a good enough reason to not do something.”

Since coming out as part of a throuple — their group thread is, fittingly, called “Thrupz” — Joshua says he has largely faced support from his friends and family. He has also seen a spike in his TikTok following since pivoting to throupledom, particularly since posting the video. He says he finds the comments “hilarious,” particularly those focused on the “traditional” tea ceremony — he says that the Airbnb in Jeonju, where the three were staying, left him specific instructions for how to do so. (In response to accusations of cultural appropriation on Twitter, he says, “I’ve traveled to multiple countries in east Asia. I would say I’m fairly well-educated on the culture there.”) He’s also amused by those wondering whether a fourth cameraman was present to take the intimate bird’s-eye bed snuggle shot (he says he simply put his phone on a ledge above the bed: “I’ve seen a lot of gay couples on TikTok have a scene of them in bed. That was the inspiration.”)

Of the choice to underscore his quirky gay-throuple adventures with a Phil Collins song about homelessness, he says, “I will admit, I didn’t know the song was about homelessness. I still don’t know if that would have deterred me from picking it because obviously, it’s not related.… I’m not checking every single song meaning and making sure it lines up with my TikTok. It’s just not part of my process.”

One critique, however, bothers Joshua: the idea that his relationship is a poor reflection of the LGBTQ community in general, particuarly at a time when LGBTQ rights are under attack, thanks to an onslaught of state legislation from the GOP. “People want to hate on it because it’s different. But I just think that hate is misdirected,” he says. “I think that hatred should be funneled towards the people who are actually being homophobic towards them, rather than the more minority groups within the LGBT community. I’m not saying I’m a minority by any means. But I would say the relationship I’m in is a minority-type relationship.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Joshua says he has received dozens of messages from polyamorous people thanking him for his content. He sees his newfound TikTok fame as an opportunity for him to represent a lifestyle that is not commonly seen in the media. “I don’t want to say that I’m this big educator,” he says. “My content is funny. It’s just silly. But it does bring representation.” And hopefully, with increased awareness of the intricacies of throupledom, it’ll be easier for Joshua and his partners to solve one problem they encounter on their travels: finding a king-size bed to fit them all.


“There’s not that many places that have a king bed. And it is preferable to have a king bed,” he says. “But we make do. We do the stacking up if we need to.”