Tag Archives: asian

On BlackPink: Bending Gender Binaries and Pulsating Confidence in “How You Like That”

BlackPink released a new single last week and I may have fanboy screamed about it a lot since then. When I reflect on why I like BlackPink so much, I think a lot about my childhood. Growing up, I received a lot of binary role models related to gender – my mother acted in a lot of toxically masculine and abusive ways, whereas my grandmother embodied nurturance, softness, and kindness. Though I knew they were both women, I came to associate my mother – because of her cruel behaviors – with masculinity and I viewed my grandmother as an exemplar of femininity. Of course, I wanted to be like my grandmother and not my mother, so I clung to femininity, emotionality, and gentleness all throughout my childhood and adolescence.

As I’ve written about before, later on I realized the perils of my hyperfemininity. As a more femme guy, I had become so scared of asserting myself and expressing any anger that I developed an eating disorder in middle school and early high school. I took out my rage on my own body instead of propelling it into crushing the patriarchy. I didn’t learn until therapy and my feminist friendships in undergrad to assert myself and that I could assert myself without acting like my mother.

I discovered BlackPink right after I graduated from undergrad. Continue reading

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Filed under K-Pop

Black Lives Matter

Hi everyone! This isn’t one of my usual posts. I’m gonna keep it short and not say much about me. I always joke that no one reads this blog, but just in case someone is, I’m here to say that Black lives matter, and we should all take action to show it.

This letter an acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook speaks to the importance of Asians and Asian Americans showing up for Black Lives Matter. There’s a solid list of tangible actions at the bottom of the article if you want to skip to that. As written in the article, we Asian Americans often side with whiteness and white people over Black people and we need to cut that shit out.

Here’s a quick Twitter thread with 10 steps to non-optical allyship, and here’s a list of books you can read to learn about being anti-racist. Please feel free to comment with additional actions and resources, or reactions. Until next post.

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Filed under Society

Being Smart, Priority #69

Sometimes I try to avoid coming off as a smart or intelligent person. For example, I am in a top-ranked Psychology PhD program, but I detest talking about my research or my academics with my closest friends. A few months ago, I realized that I had published some articles in top Psychology peer-reviewed journals like Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and Appetite and felt gross about it, to the point where I posted a dramatic Facebook status asking if researchers can indeed have hearts. When one of my friends entering a Psychology PhD program in the fall praised me on the phone the other day for being super smart, I felt a sliver of my soul shrivel up and ascend into the afterlife, aka, a land with unlimited Jeni’s ice cream and books and upbeat pop music.

After reflecting on it, I realize I dislike associating myself with intelligence because of all the emotionally undeveloped and/or cruel smart people I know. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

Dominate Me

I turn 25 in a couple of weeks so I have spent time reflecting on my growth as a person, including my sexual identity and romantic attraction to men. While I have unsurprisingly not yet met a man I want to date, I have learned something about the guys I’m generally into: I’m turned on by guys who can dominate me. In other words, I’m a bottom.

It feels weird to out myself as a bottom on the internet, though it feels weirder to claim that identity given the stigma I’ve internalized about it, especially as a gay Asian man. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

Queer Asian Boys Do Not Live to Suck White Cock

Yesterday in the middle of a Coronavirus-inspired haze, I found myself indoors watching dirty videos. It all felt fun and pleasurable until I came across this comment:

racist comment about gay asian men

In all honesty, when I first saw that racist comment, I just exited that webpage and found a better use of my time. I feel sad admitting this, but the comment did not surprise me. A lot of people have written about how queer Asian men are fetishized and perceived as subservient by white gays, and I’ve already written about how we as queer Asian men are socialized to desire a white man’s love. This racist comment made me roll my eyes but did not elicit more emotion than that.

Today though, I remembered this comment while out on a socially distant jog. And suddenly I felt pissed. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

Asian Frustration, Frustration at Asians

About two weeks ago I noticed myself judging and feeling frustrated with other Asian people. As someone who cares a lot about Asian American mental health and racial justice, I wanted to explore these feelings of judgment and frustration, because I like feeling my feelings and doing so helps me procrastinate my grad student responsibilities. Some incidents with fellow Asian Americans that have made me feel frustrated include: when I met a queer Asian American man last year who said he had internalized European beauty standards and is working to unlearn his automatic attraction to white guys; when I got dinner with an Asian American female friend who wondered about the truthfulness of reverse racism; all throughout high school when I saw other Asian American students obsess about grades and academic achievement and getting into prestigious schools.

When I sat with these emotions, I noticed a somewhat embarrassing thought emerge: you should all be better than this. I felt a literal judgment and I’m not proud of it. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

Racial Trauma, Asian Power

Today I got triggered when I learned that my most recent crush is dating a white man. Beforehand, because I have no chill whatsoever, I asked him outright over text if his boyfriend is white. I then texted my best friend “Bri if his boyfriend is white… I may ask for a literal 3 minutes during our [next] phone call for me to scream.”

Lo and behold, my queer person of color sense proved correct and he texted me back saying that yes, his boyfriend is white. On one hand, I could not have cared less, because men are irrelevant to my life and he can date whoever the heck he wants to and I had predicted this outcome with my closest friends anyway. And yet, after I got that text, I fell into such a funk; I felt sad and angry and disappointed all at once. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

On the Extremes of Romantic Love: A Reaction to Lan Samantha Chang’s “Hunger”

This past weekend I read Lan Samantha Chang’s novella “Hunger” and oh wow did it wreck me. The story follows Min, a Chinese woman who marries Tian, a passionate and mercurial violinist. They later have two children. To provide a short summary of what unfolds: Tian’s undealt-with family trauma and his failure to secure a permanent job – anti-Asian racism plays a huge part in him not securing a job – escalates to the point where he continuously verbally abuses one of his daughters and essentially neglects the other.

In the throes of reading this story, I literally struggled to sleep. Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Personal

Honoring My Red Hair, Doing Science While Valuing Compassion, and Other Bloggy Updates

This blog turns nine years old in December, wow! Who knew I would transform from a weird, dark-haired, not-yet-aware-of-his-gayness high school student into a weird, red-haired, very queer and femme grad school student? Time sure flies when you spend hours processing and healing from your trauma, breaking the hearts of thirsty men, and over-disclosing about your life on the internet have fun! I will now share some blog and life updates because I love the readers of this blog, all 2.5 of you, and I want to keep you in the loop.

First, I updated my “About Me” page to include a photo of me with my red hair! Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

As a Queer Person of Color, Making Space to Mourn

Today, I felt guilty for feeling my feelings. I felt guilty because I thought that I should work instead – put together a talk for an upcoming conference, write a research manuscript on masculinity and rape myth acceptance, organize a social justice brownbag series for my doctoral program. But then I played tennis for a couple of hours and in the middle of getting crushed by two white men, I thought, wait a second, not only is it sad that this tennis match is replicating the race dynamics of this country, I also just feel like, really sad right now. I need to make space to mourn.

Queer people of color often do not have the space to mourn. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal