Katie Heaney 「Hayley Kiyoko Is Living Her Queer Teenage Dream」

Posted on January 11, 2018 commentaires

On the eve of releasing her debut album, the Disney actor turned quadruple-threat pop star is ready to take her unapologetically queer music to the mainstream.

On a warm New York City night in late March, Hayley Kiyoko tells a sea of screaming fans at the Bowery Ballroom that they’re pretty. Each time she sings the chorus of one of her 2016 singles (I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty, girl), she points at a different girl in the predominantly young, snapback-wearing, rainbow flag-carrying crowd. Even from the balcony above, you can see the hearts in their eyes. They are the chosen ones, singled out, blessed by their Lesbian Jesus.

Over the span of her still-young musical career, Hayley Kiyoko has mastered the sort of populist stage persona to which many young musicians can only aspire: sexy, but vulnerable, and shy, like you; a cocky underdog, indebted to her fans. The 26-year-old is a former Disney star and a present-day quadruple threat, at least – she sings, acts, plays multiple instruments, and directs her own music videos, each of them received like sacraments by the huge, devoted following she amassed well before the release of her highly anticipated debut album,『Expectations』, slated for release in March 2018.

At the Bowery show, mixed into her bouncy, gyration-heavy, platinum blond hair-whipping set, Kiyoko gives several short, warm-and-fuzzy speeches about how lucky she feels to be here. When she thanks the crowd for making space in the music industry for “someone like her” – gay, female, half Japanese – she starts to cry. She tells us how, as a preteen, she used to go home after school, take a nap, and imagine “Hayley’s World,” a magical place where the girls she liked liked her back. Now, years later, she is living in it.

A little over half a year after watching her lay glittery, gay waste to the Bowery Ballroom, I meet Hayley Kiyoko for breakfast at Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant, a much-hyped brunch spot on the Lower East Side. She arrives with crew in tow – her manager, her best friend-cum-assistant, her assistant’s friend, her label’s press contact, a photographer – but is encouraged to sit alone with me (“for privacy”) while her mini entourage gathers around a booth five feet away.

Though still in the infancy of her pop music career, Kiyoko has been around for a long time. As an actor she’s played Velma Dinkley in the early-aughts made-for-TV 「Scooby Doo」 movies, and guest-starred on Disney’s 「Wizards of Waverly Place」. In 「Lemonade Mouth」, a cult favorite Disney Channel original movie, Kiyoko played spunky drummer Stella Yamada. She also had a role in the short-lived 「CSI: Cyber」 and starred as Aja in 2015’s remake of 「Jem and the Holograms」. She still acts – she stars in an upcoming Facebook show called 「Five Points」, produced by Kerry Washington – but has gained more prominence, in recent years, for her music: synth-heavy, catchy, and unabashedly queer pop.

Kiyoko, a Los Angeles native, is tomboyish California cool. Today, she wears blue Adidas sneakers, socks with blue monsters on them, blue jeans, an oversized black NASCAR T-shirt, and an open Army-style green button-down on top. When I ask her to show me the T-shirt so I can do the profile thing and describe it, she tells me, “Don’t describe it too much, because it’s some random racer dude and I don’t know if he’s a racist.” Her shirt was chosen not due to any particular racing ardor, but for its place in today’s blue-toned color scheme.

“People are always like, ‘Yeah, you know Hayley, she’s a player,’ and I’m like, ‘Who said that?’”

Color is big for Kiyoko – she says it’s how she sees music. The video for her debut album’s first single, 「Feelings」, which she directed, was inspired by an orange gas station she once saw; she designed everything else in the video in service to that orange. “I start with a color palette and a mood board,” she says. “What color is the Jeep going to be, and what color should be on the wheels to accent the orange gas station?”

I embarrass myself by telling Kiyoko I thought the video must have been inspired by 「San Junipero」, the beloved queer love story told in the now-famous 「Black Mirror」 episode – the hazy nowhereness of the setting, the ’80s vibes, the Jeep... no? “That’s interesting,” says Hayley, in a way that suggests what I’ve said is neither very accurate nor particularly interesting. To save face, I begrudgingly tell her my girlfriend said 「Feelings」 reminded her of Michael Jackson’s 「The Way You Make Me Feel」 video. Kiyoko grins. Bingo.

“I’ve always wanted to do a video of me following a girl down the street,” she says. “Michael Jackson’s done it. Omarion’s done it. All these male pop artists have followed women down streets in videos – it’s kind of the classic thing. And I was like, there is no video of a girl following a girl down the street. I need to do this at some point in my life.” But because Hayley is Hayley – not just singer, songwriter, dancer, and performer, but also director and storyteller – her own girl-chasing video had to do more. The set design is all her, as was the decision to shoot it as a one-take. “Nobody’s done it as a one-take,” she explains. The choreography, too, is very deliberate, playful, and flirtatious and just this side of goofy. “What I love about it is that it still feels real, like that moment of meeting someone and kind of vibing, like, ‘Are you into me? Maybe? Yes?’” says Kiyoko. “Not in a forcible way – in a very consensual way.”

Though she plays a convincing lesbian Lothario, Kiyoko, who is currently single, emphasizes that her videos are more like self-starring fanfiction than autobiography. “People are always like, ‘Yeah, you know Hayley, she’s a player,’ and I’m like, ‘Who said that?’” she says. “I’m obviously the most emotional, sensitive, reserved person.” Still, it’s clear this isn’t exactly a reputation she doesn’t enjoy. (After the Bowery Ballroom show, Hayley tweeted, “To that gorgeous girl in the middle of the crowd with blonde hair... dm me. ;)”) And why shouldn’t she? In her relatively newfound status as a young lesbian sex symbol, Kiyoko embodies a sense of vindication (and hope) for all the queer kids who felt left out and unloved in middle school – herself included.

“I’ve been parading around, leading people, being loud, since forever.”

Kiyoko wasn’t out in high school, except to a very few close friends, but says she knew she was gay “since the womb.” In every other respect, though, Kiyoko was as visible and present a high school student as it is possible to be. She was elected president of her middle school and then her high school first-year class. She was given the title of “Commissioner of Pep Rallies.” She created and choreographed for the Agoura High Step Team. “I love that shit,” she says. “I’ve been parading around, leading people, being loud, since forever.” Given her upbringing, it isn’t especially surprising Kiyoko caught spotlight fever – her father is Jamie Alcroft, a comedian and voice actor, and her mother is Sarah Kawahara, an Emmy-winning figure skating choreographer who did the choreography for 2017’s Oscar contender 「I, Tonya」.

Kiyoko was first discovered at the age of 5, while attending a photo shoot with a friend (you know, typical 5-year-old things), and was subsequently cast in commercials for Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Slim Jim. Her music roots took hold just as early: She demanded drumming lessons at the age of 6. In 2007, when Kiyoko was 16, the artist and producer Vitamin C asked her to join a girl group called The Stunners (of which singer Tinashe was also a member). The group released a few singles, but disbanded in 2011 before they released a debut album.

Like Beyoncé, like Justin Timberlake, like George Michael, Hayley Kiyoko is not meant to be part of an ensemble cast. She is too ambitious, too much a perfectionist, too charismatic – too many of the things a person needs to become a star in her own right.

But that doesn’t mean she was always as self-assured as she is now. Some of the early music videos Kiyoko released as a solo artist, like 「This Side of Paradise」, feature male love interests – a move that was, says Kiyoko, partly driven by fear. “It was an extreme struggle,” she says. “I did not want to be the gay artist, and I talked to my manager all the time, like, I don’t want to lead with that. I didn’t want people to look at me like that’s all I am.”

“I did not want to be the gay artist ... I didn't want people to look at me like that’s all I am.”

But then came 2015’s 「Girls Like Girls」, which now has more than 82 million views on YouTube. The video depicts the kind of early high school love story most budding queer kids are familiar with: a best friendship which turns into something more. Previously, Kiyoko says, she wasn’t comfortable casting a girl to play her love interest, even though she knew that was what she wanted. The 「Girls Like Girls」 video, in which Kiyoko does not appear, was a way for her to test the waters. And as soon as Kiyoko saw the internet’s adoring, emotional reaction to the video, she felt moved to create more videos that spoke to who she really was – and to appear in them herself. “The fear that I used to have has now forced me to be like, you know what? No one else is stepping up, so I will,” she says. “I will be that person that I was afraid to be.”

Kiyoko has taken to her mission with aplomb, releasing, in the last year and a half, a series of sultry, heartache-y videos about falling in love (「Sleepover」) and falling out of it (「Cliff’s Edge」), all of which she directed herself. In what is perhaps her most famous video among diehard Kiyokians (the name by which Kiyoko’s fans self-identify), 「Gravel To Tempo」, Kiyoko dances through a high school, watched skeptically by a pack of pretty, popular girls. In sneakers and baggy denim shorts, she taunts them, climbs atop a cafeteria table to flirt with them, and eventually wins over a girl known to Kiyokians as Headphones Girl, a pairing to which many, many Tumblr posts are devoted. In the week leading up to the release of her video for 「Feelings」, Kiyoko and Headphones Girl (Chanel Celaya) kissed in a video on Kiyoko’s Instagram story.

“The fans needed it and they deserved it,” laughs Kiyoko. “They lost their goddamn minds.” The kiss was pure (and savvy) publicity, but where previous eras’ “gay for sweeps week” efforts seemed like cheap stunts – like the brief fling between 「The O.C.」’s Marissa Cooper and Alex Kelly, for a personally devastating example – when Kiyoko feeds fans’ fantasies, you can’t help but cheer her on. It is still novel to watch a young queer woman of color get exactly what she wants.

After we finish breakfast, Hayley Kiyoko and I get our auras read at Magic Jewelry, a tiny, popular crystal shop in New York City’s Chinatown. While we wait for our Polaroid-style aura photographs to process, Kiyoko peruses the crystals, asking to see any/all citrine spears the store carries.

『Citrine』is also the name of Kiyoko’s third EP, so named for the crystal she came to rely on after a 2016 accident that left her badly concussed. (She hit her head during a Road Rules/Real World-themed birthday party competition.) Of the aftermath, Kiyoko says, “I couldn’t think, I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t drive. I was fucked up. I take like five pills a day for my head, still.” Kiyoko was on tour at the time, crying before and after shows because the pain was so severe. She started resting with a piece of citrine on her forehead, and she says it helped her a lot. (So, too, have her regular appointments with the UCLA concussion clinic.) A seven-minute song on Kiyoko’s debut album is devoted to her concussion and the resulting struggle to heal.

Kiyoko picks up the citrine stones offered to her, examining them closely using criteria I can’t discern. In any case, they run about $300 apiece, and as she puts it, Kiyoko is not yet a “bajillionaire.” Aura photographs, on the other hand, cost only $20.

The clerk gives us a brief explainer: On these photographs, we’ll see ourselves surrounded by blobs (my word, not his) of color, which indicate energies associated with chakras. Sometimes, he tells us, when friends come in together, they see similar color patterns. Then, with a flourish, he rips the cover sheets off our photographs one after the other, and we ooh and aah at the twin purpley-pink halos around our heads. My aura does look very similar to Hayley’s, which I find flattering.

“What does that mean?” Kiyoko asks, half-jokingly panicked.

The clerk explains that our auras’ bright magenta means we’re in search of balance between the outside world and inside world, and also that we’re obsessed with feelings. In spite of myself, my eyes widen – without knowing it, this stranger has just invoked the title of Kiyoko’s new single, an ode to the dazzling, thrilling moment when girl meets girl and anything is possible.

There is something radical and refreshing in how plainly Kiyoko claims her sexuality and the language that goes with it. Many of today’s up-and-coming queer musicians still tend to avoid gendered lyrics, leaving their songs’ subjects open to interpretation in service of universality. (Not so long ago, Sam Smith told『Fader』he kept his lyrics gender neutral so they could be about anyone, whether “a guy, a female, or a goat.”) But ever since she released『This Side of Paradise』, her second EP, Kiyoko has been explicit: Her music was, is, and always will be about girls. And yet, she says she still encounters people who are surprised when girls are who she wants to write about.

“That’s the whole point of my trying to achieve success in mainstream pop – to have straight people sing to my music that has a ‘she’ pronoun in it.”

“I was in a writing session the other day, and a writer was like, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t use that pronoun because other people can’t sing to it,’” she says. “And I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve been singing to straight songs my whole life, and I’m just fine.’”

That Kiyoko is able to perform and sell explicitly queer music is, of course, thanks in part to predecessors like Tegan and Sara, who’ve made it a point to call out the homophobia and sexism they faced early in their careers. A lot has changed since they released their first album (1999’s『Under Feet Like Ours』), but as far as the wider music industry is concerned, love songs, even in 2017, are only considered universal when sung by a guy to a girl, or vice versa. Adam Lambert, too, has criticized the music industry’s refusal to let gay men sing openly about men. As evidence that there is still a cultural resistance to using same-sex pronouns in pop music, consider, for instance, the embarrassingly popular practice by which artists “gender-flip” the pronouns in their cover songs to, I guess, preserve their heterosexuality, the way Ryan Adams did on his album-length『1989』cover.

It is not entirely surprising, then, that Kiyoko still has to fight for those hers and shes and girls. “That’s the whole point of my trying to achieve success in mainstream pop – to have straight people sing to my music that has a ‘she’ pronoun in it,” she says. “Who cares? If it’s a good song, sing to it.” Who should care, indeed? But in a sphere dominated by winky, ambiguously queer pop hits like 「Cool for the Summer」 and 「I Kissed a Girl」 – songs with accompanying videos which, notably, don’t feature their lyrics’ suggested female love interests at all – Hayley Kiyoko stands alone. And while she is content to carry this mantle for queer girls everywhere, Kiyoko won’t be happy until she’s doing it from the top of the charts.

Toward the end of our session at the crystal shop, the aura reader points to a spot on the picture just above Hayley’s head. “Sometimes when the color is a bit cloudy like this, it means our head is spinning,” he says. “There is dissatisfaction at the moment. We know what we want, but we’re still searching.”

Kiyoko laughs. That sounds about right.

「TRL」 in 2017 is a surreal setting: a gleaming neon pink-white studio plunked in the center of Times Square, where TV screens play “throwback” hits like Soulja Boy’s 「Crank That」, and the backstage walls are painted jet black with caution tape-yellow accents. It all feels very 2003, with the added element of an industrious production assistant who thrusts a phone into every guest’s hand, urging them to record something for 「TRL」’s Instagram story. While Hayley’s team waits for her segment in the greenroom, the VJs chat with a duo called “the Dolan Twins,” famous for something I’m too old to understand. One of them (the bad boy, it seems) wears a dangly silver feather earring in one ear, like George Michael.

Later that afternoon, Kiyoko’s 「Feelings」 will be the first music video premiered by the second coming of 「TRL」, and backstage, she announces she’s going to vomit. (She doesn’t.) A few months later, in January 2018, she’ll return to the show to premiere yet another very sexy video (which you can watch below), for a song called 「Curious」, about a girl with a boyfriend and a lingering thing for Hayley.

But for now, Kiyoko is brought onstage to play a version of Pictionary with two female fans in their early twenties – one of whom, after being given the mic to introduce herself, speedily adds “I’ve-had-a-crush-on-you-since-I-was-five.” When Kiyoko hugs her, she mouths, oh my God.

After the game (which the girl with the crush tragically loses), Hayley’s team, the appointed 「TRL」 VJ, the camera crew, and I run – literally – out of the studio, down the escalator, and right into Times Square. It’s overcast, but the lighting crew fixes it so Hayley and the VJ glow gold. We form a circle around them and wait, and people start to gather the way they do when it’s obvious someone famous is nearby. Behind me, a couple of preteens stand on their tiptoes, and when they see who it is, they shriek. “It’s the girl from 「Lemonade Mouth」!!” Well, yes – but if all goes according to Hayley’s plan (and given her relentless, exacting pursuit of her every vision, that seems likely), that won’t be how you know her for long.

The camera crew counts down, and the crowd cheers. Now recording, the dark-haired, cropped sweatshirt-wearing VJ chats briefly with Kiyoko about her video and her forthcoming album. Or so I assume, because I can’t hear her – the mics they use are for the television audience’s benefit, not ours. Then Kiyoko introduces 「Feelings」, and the video of her chasing a beautiful, receptive girl down the street is projected onto a large screen outside the 「TRL」 studio, in the middle of Times Square. Once again, we can’t hear a thing, but Hayley dances along just the same, beaming, watching herself get the girl.

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Brut. 「Le racisme anti-asiatique « est vu comme moins grave parce qu’il est banalisé »」

Posted on January 05, 2018 commentaires

Suite à la publication sur les réseaux sociaux d’une comptine enseignée en école maternelle et jugée raciste, l’association des Jeunes Chinois de France s’est indignée. Elle a tenu à rappeler le racisme ordinaire dont sont victimes les Asiatiques.

« Chang est assis. Il mange du riz. Ses yeux sont petits. Riquiquis. » Ces paroles sont celles d’une comptine qui serait enseignée dans plusieurs classes maternelles en banlieue parisienne. Largement relayée sur les réseaux sociaux depuis sa publication le 26 décembre dernier, cette comptine été vivement critiquée car jugée raciste et réductrice. L’association SOS Racisme a rapidement dénoncé les paroles de la comptine. L’association des Jeunes Chinois de France a également fait part de son indignation et demande sa suppression.

« Il y a beaucoup de clichés qui circulent sur les personnes asiatiques »

Au sein de l’association, le président Daniel Tran raconte que cette comptine les « a beaucoup marqués et interpellés parce que ça véhicule beaucoup de stéréotypes sur les Chinois. » Cette comptine relance notamment le débat sur le racisme anti-asiatique en France : « Il y a beaucoup de clichés qui circulent sur les personnes asiatiques, des clichés propres aux hommes et propres aux femmes. La femme plutôt « gentille, docile », qui doit dire « oui » à tout. L’homme, aussi ce cliché de « gentil », mais aussi qui n’est pas viril, qui est informaticien, qui fait du kung-fu, qui fait des nems, alors que les nems ce n’est même pas chinois pour ceux qui ne le savent pas. »

Daniel Tran souhaite aussi souligner que, parfois, ces clichés ont des graves conséquences : « Il y a des clichés qui vont dire, par exemple, que les Chinois se baladent avec beaucoup d’argent sur eux. Il y a eu une agression en août 2016 d’un couturier chinois à Aubervilliers qui s’appelle Zhang Chaolin. Trois agresseurs ont essayé de voler l’argent qu’il avait sur lui. Malheureusement, il a succombé à ses blessures. »

Le rôle de la nouvelle génération
« J’ai 26 ans aujourd’hui, j’ai quitté l’école maternelle il y a à peu près 20 ans et je me dis qu’il y a toujours ce genre de stéréotypes qui sont encore véhiculés. » déplore-t-il. Pour lui, cela est du au fait qu’en 20 ans, « on n’a peut-être pas assez agi. C’est un racisme qui est vu comme moins grave parce qu’il est banalisé, parce qu’on ne l’a pas assez dénoncé. »

Alors aujourd’hui, « il faut agir davantage pour définitivement supprimer cette comptine ou d’autres stéréotypes sur les Asiatiques. Ça fait depuis les années 1980 qu’il y a beaucoup d’Asiatiques en France. La première génération n’a pas pu dénoncer ces choses-là, mais c’est la nouvelle qui va prendre le relai pour les dénoncer et, au fur et à mesure, j’espère que la société française va prendre conscience de la gravité de ces actes. »

Brut. 「Les Asiatiques, victimes de racisme ordinaire ?」 - posted on January 04, 2018.

Association des Jeunes Chinois de France (AJCF)
Official Website: http://www.lajcf.fr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lajcf/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajcf_fr

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Zio Baritaux 「‘Nancy’ is a podcast for queer people of color」

Posted on December 27, 2017 commentaires
Photography Amy Pearl

Hosts Kathy Tu and Tobin Low share pivotal LGBTQI+ stories on their heartfelt show.

Kathy Tu and Tobin Low sound like a lot of other podcast hosts: They’re curious, witty, and instantly likable. It seems like they’re like two best friends having a conversation because, well, they are. But unlike most podcasters – who, with some notable exceptions, tend to be straight and white – the 「Nancy」 hosts are “super queer.” “Oh, and by the way, we’re both Asian,” Kathy says at the end of the preview for season one. “You thought you were listening to white people this whole time,” Tobin laughs, “and that’s on you.” That clip set the stage for the provocative first season of 「Nancy」, a production of WNYC Studios, which started with their own coming out stories, and included episodes on the queerness of the Harry Potter franchise and the usefulness of The L World for discussing Trump’s trans military ban and being out at work. But whether amusing or emotional, 「Nancy」 is an essential listen. Each episode is an honest portrait of people on the LGBTQI+ spectrum and their myriad experiences. “Inclusiveness is something we talked about at the very beginning,” Kathy and Tobin explain in the following interview. “[We wanted] to try to include as many different voices into the show as possible.”

How did the two of you meet? How did you decide to make a podcast together?

Kathy: We met at a radio bootcamp called the Transom Story Workshop, where we spent every day for about two months working on radio stories.

Tobin: And after the workshop was over, we both went home to our respective coasts, but we knew we wanted to work together. So, I reached out about doing a podcast featuring queer stories, and Kathy was into it!

Why did you choose 「Nancy」 as the title? Was it a way to reclaim that word?

Tobin: Absolutely. We wanted to reclaim this word that was used in the past as a slur against gay men. And if you’re in the know, then you know what this word used to mean and what we’re trying to do. And if you don’t, then maybe it’s sort of intriguing and fun so that you’ll check out the show.

Why start the podcast with your own coming out stories?

Kathy: Our show started at coming out so our listeners can get to know us a little better, and then we moved on from there.

Toward the end of that episode, Kathy, it seemed your mom made some progress. But then, in the follow-up, it seemed like she fell back: “I just wish you would be... be normal,” she said. Why was it important to re-visit that conversation with your mom? Is it important to show that coming out can be a process rather than a one-time conversation?

Kathy: I think I’m always going to be curious what kind of progress my mom has made, even if it’s very little progress. It’s important for people to know that coming out can be a long process, and I guess I use my own relationship with my mom as a way to show people that. I don’t know that my mom regressed as much as I am coming around to understanding what she’s trying to tell me. Coming out this many times to my mom has shown me that there are just some fundamental concepts that we each hold that the other will possibly never understand. For my mom, it’s the concept of what’s “normal” in society. For me, I can see what she means by that, but I don’t care about what’s considered “normal” in society and I’m happy to be outside of it. And unfortunately, that’s where my mom and I will always miss each other.

How important is inclusiveness to you? Do you worry about leaving someone out?

Kathy: Inclusiveness is something we talked about at the very beginning. We didn’t want to just make a queer show, we wanted to make a queer show for people of color. We’re both East Asian, and it made sense to us to try to include as many different voices into the show as possible. We’re always thinking about gender, orientation, race, class, location, etc. when we look at a story.

Tobin, what episode have you most related to?

Tobin: I did an episode to start Season 2 about my own body issues, which is something I still have trouble talking about openly. What ultimately made that episode feel very special was folks reaching out to talk about how that episode resonated with them, and how they had very similar experiences with growing up overweight or feeling unattractive. I also related to a more recent episode we did that featured a story by Lewis Wallace about his relationship with his grandmother. That story really digs into what it means to be a queer person with family that doesn’t necessarily “get it.” I have people within my family who are still on that journey towards understanding me, so to hear Lewis talk so candidly about it was really moving.

Can you explain the 「Ring of Keys」 episode a little, and why you think it was your most popular episode?

Tobin: So if you’re unfamiliar, the queer graphic artist Alison Bechdel wrote this amazing graphic novel called『Fun Home』, which later got turned into a Broadway musical. In both the book and the musical, there’s a moment where young Alison Bechdel sees an adult queer woman who is wearing a ring of keys on her belt loop and it’s like a bolt of lightning. She can suddenly envision who she is meant to be as an adult. So the story on our show was about a woman named Sarah Lu who tracked down her own 「Ring of Keys」 person, a woman named Maura Koutoujian. And they ended up having this really beautiful conversation about the influence Maura had on Sara, and how she was an inspiration without even knowing it.

Kathy: I think what hit people so hard is that moment of recognition that can feel like a lifeline. Growing up queer can be difficult, and there are moments like the one described in the story that help you make it through. We heard from so many people who heard the story and wanted to talk about the people in their lives who helped them figure it all out. It was one of those stories that seemed to open people up to sharing.

Where did the 「Out at Work」 idea come from?

Kathy: We wanted to do a project that really featured our listeners in the show, and the thing that we landed on is that everyone has to do work, but not everyone has the ability to be out at work. So we wanted our listeners to tell us to what degree they were out at work, and what obstacles they come up against. And it was interesting to see that there was a real spectrum in the ways people are out at work. Everyone’s situation is different and the way they choose to be out is unique.

Tobin: I think we also wanted to address a couple misconceptions that people have about being out at work, the first being that it’s just a matter of being out or not. Like Kathy said, there’s a whole spectrum of experiences that we wanted to highlight on the show. The other reality we wanted to talk about is how our protections as queer folks in the workplace are a patchwork, and in a lot of cases, very tenuous.

What do you hope will happen or change because of this podcast?

Kathy: From the beginning, my goal for the podcast has been to make people feel less alone and seen. It’s tiring to constantly be othered by society, and I hope those people can find a home in our show, or to find community in our listeners. We’re here to tell stories, elevate voices, and build community. And hopefully, someone will find a home with us.

Tobin: I’ve always hoped that people listening to the podcast would feel like they were hanging out with friends. We’re always trying to be as authentic as possible on the show, and that means being real with the emotional range of how friends talk. Maybe one minute you’re laughing, and then suddenly you’re in an emotional place. I think that’s how a lot of people are with their closest friends, and if we can capture that authenticity on the show, then we’ve really accomplished something.

Author: Zio Baritaux/Date: December 27, 2017/Source: https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/7xexkx/nancy-is-a-podcast-for-queer-people-of-color

Kathy Tu
Official Website: http://www.kathytu.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_ktu

Tobin Low
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tobinlow

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Frankie Dunn 「Mac Demarco and King Krule help EYEDRESS through his separation anxiety」

Posted on December 11, 2017 commentaires

Watch how in his new video.

27-year-old musician EYEDRESS is very cool. Born in the Philippines, raised in the US, and now back in Manila, after a stint playing in a local jazz band, the multi-instrumentalist has found his own spaced out genre-mashing solo sound. With a synth-led EP already out on XL, his well-named 2017 album『Manila Ice』soundtracks his ever-evolving homelife well as the political situation in his hometown. Recorded in his home studio around the birth of his first child, EYEDRESS (DIY king) writes, sings, plays and raps the whole thing himself.

Good news for existing and potential new fans: today we’re happy to share with you the video for what we believe to be the highlight of『Manila Ice』. A love song disguised as a trippy nighttime adventure, 「SEPARATION ANXIETY」 is a documentation of EYEDRESS’s life on tour away from his family. London's calling and boy does it look fun.

“I filmed everything during my tour in the UK this November,” EYEDRESS told『i-D』in an email. “We were staying with my friend Sonny who directed a music video of mine that should come out early next year. I asked him if I could borrow his camcorder so I could film during my tour and he agreed. I filmed a bit of it on his camera then eventually I bought a tape camera for a hundred quid off of gumtree from this sweet Jamaican man who met me while I was in line at the Supreme store!”

“The video is basically just me and my bandmate Julius smoking up and hanging out. One night at my gig at Omeara in London, I fell asleep in the green room and when I woke up, my friend King Krule was there along with his mate Rago who plays in his band. We also filmed some bits with my label mate MIKE and his homies. We played a gig together that night then afterwards saw my bud Mac Demarco in the crowd and we kicked it with him. The video kind of ends with us at the Mac Demarco concert in the Coronet.”

EYEDRESS 「SEPARATION ANXIETY」 - from『Manila Ice』released on June 02, 2017.

Author: Frankie Dunn/Date: December 11, 2017/Source: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/pazaa7/mac-demarco-king-krule-eyedress

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Aaron Gettinger 「‘Falling For Angels’ Explores Asian Men Leaving Gay Racism Behind」

Posted on December 08, 2017 commentaires

Asian men falling in love and discovering themselves – outside of the idealized white stereotype.

Blessed with an abundance of Art Deco architecture and excellent access to mass transit, Koreatown is one of the hottest and most densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Though it endured the 1992 riots, “With the influence of three generations of Korean and Latino immigrants, these once-mean streets have become a picturesque and prosperous 「Blade Runner」-ish warren of ethnic culinary hot spots imbued with an East-meets-West sense of fun,” gushed a 2015『New York Times』travel feature.

It’s the setting for this week’s episode of 「Falling For Angels」, a new series that explores intersectionality and gay love in Los Angeles.

(WATCH: 「Falling For Angels: Koreatown」)

Steven Liang 「Falling For Angels: Koreatown」 - released on December 08, 2017.

Koreatown stars Ty Chen as Kevin, Dale Song as Gino and Jennifer Yun as Lisa

Kevin, a young Taiwanese-American, who grew up in a traditionally white American neighborhood begins to have a different understanding of his heritage after meeting the much older, Gino, an adopted Korean-American...

I hasten to call the opening scene depicting an app-spurred hookup “refreshingly honest” because there aren’t many popular depictions of this activity to begin with. It is neither intimate nor glamorous, but it is immediate, hot and, initially, relatively anonymous. One partner will not let the other kiss him. “Did it get messy?” the bottom asks, spurred by the top’s post-release reaction. No: The condom broke. “You have nothing to worry about,” says the top. “I’m clean.” A pause, then, “The Cedars-Sinai emergency room has PEP. I’ll call you an Uber.” The top offers to accompany the bottom, who is apparently not on PrEP. The bottom declines his offer and leaves.

In out, in out.

Except Kevin (Ty Chen) left his keys with Gino (Dale Song). They meet at a karaoke bar to hand them over, and Gino convinces Kevin, fresh from the hospital and nervous, to have a drink on him. It turns out that Kevin has stumbled into a meeting of Gino’s monthly “Korean adoptee support group” and that Gino is set to leave L.A. in six hours to find his birth parents in Seoul. Kevin, a Taiwanese-American, keeps obtusely mentioning the novelty of him hanging out in an all-Asian environment.

This is the episode’s crux. Gino sought out a Korean-American community to connect with his racial identity. Writer Steven J. Kung based the episode on the time he spent walking Koreatown’s streets with an adopted friend who did just this: “He played lacrosse. He grew up in Boston and has that accent. When he went to L.A., he felt like he wanted to get in touch with Korean culture, and the way he accomplished that was going into Koreatown and just being.”

Kevin, on the other hand, was raised in an all-white neighborhood and, as a result of being bullied, minimized his racial identity. He continues to do so, but he speaks Mandarin, a result of having parents who enrolled him in Chinese school, and visits Taiwan with them every few years. “I never had that,” says Gino. “It started turning into this aching pit.”

This is a meditation on how gay Asian men live in the United States. Gino won’t kiss for fear of attachment or doesn’t send face pics, but who’s to say Kevin would have come over had he known his trade was Asian? The bit of tit-for-tat reading the men do of each other is impeccably written and acted. There is much to be said about racist anti-Asian sentiment among gay men – who among us has not seen a Grindr profile bluntly stating, “No fems, no fats, no Asians”? Even though Gino and Kevin live out their racial heritage differently, this is reality every time an app is opened.

「Falling For Angels」 is a show about queer people of color living in the whiteness-idealizing LGBT community in a multi-ethnic city. Its half-hour run time and anthology structure encourages impressionistic storytelling, and the plots are nothing new. What is new and important is that the characters are queer men of color living out situations that only queer men of color experience – experiences that can alternatively wound, bring joy, or inspire understanding. Gino speaks of learning to love himself when he looked into the eyes of his first Asian boyfriend – they looked like his own. “Well, now you know why I wanted to kiss you,” replies Kevin.

“One of the reasons I was really interested in this script is because it conveys Asian American men as attractive – not only to other races but to each other,” said director Steven Liang.

Ultimately, this episode reminds us of one of the better things that can result from a one-off hookup: A genuine connection, however brief. A reminder that you are not alone. Healing.

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