Tag Archives: asian american

Review of Front Cover: All the Ways a Gay Asian Man Can Hate (and Learn to Love) Himself

Well, this is embarrassing: I’m a 23-year-old gay Asian American man and I did not watch a movie with a gay Asian American man as a lead character until about a week ago. Thank goodness for Front Cover, a 2016 romantic comedy that centers openly gay Chinese American fashion designer Ryan (played by Jake Choi) and closeted Beijing movie star Ning (played by Ray Yeung). I had low expectations of the film going in, because a lot of gay romance I have seen mimics the heteronormative, patriarchal narrative of people feeling incomplete until a romantic partner – usually a man – swoops in and saves them. However, Front Cover surprised me. Though its tone stays gentle and sweet throughout, it tackles important themes of internalized racism, classism, and homophobia – and perhaps most importantly, features a gay Asian man who makes genuine progress in learning how to love himself. For the rest of the post I will discuss my reactions to the film, and I will warn you when I am about to reveal major spoilers. If you do not want any spoilers at all, go watch the movie and then come back so you can comment below and fanboy/girl/person with me unless you dislike the film which is fine too, we can still talk about it as long as you support my queen Ariana Grande. Continue reading

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Filed under Movies

No, I Don’t Care If White Gay Men Want Me

Racism in gay dating exists, and it sucks a lot. Studies have shown that gay men of color receive fewer responses on dating apps, and Asian American gay men in particular get written off as desexualized and undesirable and experience fetishization. As a gay Asian American man, I have faced my fair share of dating microaggressions and mishaps, ranging from being fetishized because of my race on Grindr to having (usually white) men lose interest in me when they realize I have strong opinions about social justice, instead of being a submissive Asian wallflower. While these instances have felt hurtful, over the past few years I have adjusted my attitude to come to a more empowering conclusion: I really do not care about what white gay men, as well men in general, think of me, because I can love myself outside of validation from men.

I started thinking about the pointlessness of pursuing love from gay white men upon seeing the prominence of gay white men everywhere. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

2016 Wrap-Up: Self-Care and Finding Your Community

Hello all! Wow, time sure does fly when you are disillusioned by the state of your country after it elects a racist, sexist, xenophobic bigot for president having fun. Over the past four months, I have taken leave from The Quiet Voice to apply to graduate school, conduct a senior honors thesis, maintain a full course load, work two part-time jobs, and volunteer. I missed blogging a lot, so I wanted to write this informal post about what I have been up to before I publish my annual bookish wrap-up later this week.

This semester, I focused a lot on self-care and cultivating a healthful work-life balance. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

A Lot of Girls in Chicago

I entered the Toyota Camry a confident gay man; I exited it a confidant man still, but one whose gayness had been put to the test. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

I Got Published! Also, I Can Drink Wine in a Week

Last year, I submitted one of my creative nonfiction pieces to a publication contest for young LGBTQIA+ writers. I did not have high hopes for winning just as I do not have high hopes that the men in my life will text me back. But I heard from one of the editors that they selected my piece – one of seven they chose out of almost 400 – and now it has arrived. As Patrick from SpongeBob would say, look at it (and check it out on Amazon here): Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Personal