Tag Archives: queer

Thirsty, Angry, Grateful Gay Asian Pride

June marks Pride Month, and as a super emotional human I have a lot of feelings about it! Instead of putting in the effort to create a post with smooth transitions, a strong narrative flow, and a clear central idea, I will sip my Minute Maid Orange Juice, sit on my couch, and split this update into three emotions related to my gayness and Pride as a whole: thirst, anger, and gratitude. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

Stop Chasing Emotionally Unavailable Men and Create Rules for Healthy Relationships Instead

As a gay man, I learned a lot about unhealthy relationships through consuming queer media. I loved Justin and Brian’s relationship when I watched Queer as Folk in high school, though now I see how Brian’s character acted in abusive ways both toward Justin and his own friends. When I read and watched Call Me by Your Name as an early grad student, I felt repulsed by the relationship dynamics promoted by the narrative, the glorification of a relationship that entailed little to no healthy communication, boundary setting or conflict resolution, or clarity and mutual respect. I suspect that queer narratives may adopt these unhealthy relationship norms from toxic heterosexual/heteronormative relationships. So much media perpetuates the trope that we should chase a romantic flame – especially a man – even if they are emotionally unavailable, do not treat us well, or are outright manipulative or abusive.

I do not spend much time on romance and dating and men. That said, I have found myself within unhealthy relationships and relationship dynamics, ranging from my abusive mother and neglectful father, to the emotionally neglectful male friend I wrote about in an earlier post, to a few crushes I harbored on guys, to even a few former friendships with women. I feel so sad and angry that our society teaches us about valuing our work and careers and pursuing the heteronormative path of marriage and having children, yet it does not teach us much about what an actually healthy relationship looks like, between parent and child, friend and friend, or partner and partner. Since the fall out of my most recent crush, I have thought a lot about what my expectations for myself and others in healthy relationships. They look kinda like this list my therapist gave me several months ago: Continue reading

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To All the Three Men Who Taught Me to Trust Men Sometimes

I have had pretty bad luck with men. From neglectful family members to abusive professional advisors to subpar dates, I often want to throw my hands up in the air, climb a ladder onto the roof of a tall building, and scream “men are trash” at the top of my lungs. I once told the therapist I saw in my undergrad years, L, that if someone gave me a pill to swallow so I could stop feeling attracted to men, I would swallow it without a moment’s hesitation – not because I dislike my gayness, just because I dislike my attraction to a gender that is socialized to value stoicism and achievement over emotional openness and caring.

Over the past week I have spent time processing my most recent somewhat failed crush, perhaps my oddest one yet. While the support of my close friends, my therapist, and myself have helped, I still feel this tugging resentment, like a voice saying “ok, if this guy didn’t work out, I might as well declare a vow of celibacy, never try to invest in a man again, and channel all my love to the people who deserve it: Ariana Grande and BlackPink.” But, because I work as a therapist and have gone to therapy, I noticed my thought pattern (i.e., a cognitive distortion, if you want to get boring about it) and went, “wait a second, not all the men in my life have been trash, even if a large number of men do practice toxic masculinity and are subsequently trash.” I have had deep and healthy relationships with three men in particular aside from the fictional men I fanboy all the time, looking at u, Willem from A Little Life. Continue reading

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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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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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Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Although my parents are heterosexual, Between Mom and Jo still spoke to me personally. As someone who wishes to have children with a male partner one day, it was saddening to read about how Nick had to put up with the taunting and teasing of his peers.

Looking at it positively, at least he had two loving parents who supported him through it. All his life, he’s known Mom and Jo would be there for him. They’ve gone through tough times together, battling alcoholism, cancer, and death. Which makes it that much worse when Mom and Jo start having marital problems and Nick’s left with no one to turn to. How can he choose between the two people in his life whom he cares about the most? Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Truth About Gays

They’re going to get married. In every single state. Just like heterosexuals, and just like blacks. Eventually, they’re going to be treated how they deserve to be treated – as equal citizens of the United States of America.

Of course, there is one condition. But more on that later.

I’m sure you’re thinking, how can I come to this conclusion? How can I be so optimistic? So idealistic? How is it possible when kids are being bullied every day just for being gay, and when well under half of the states in the US still deny gays the right to marry?

Because it all comes down to this: time. As time passes, things change. People change. Cultures change. Societies change. Change in itself, is, well, inevitable.

Continue reading

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