Joseph Erbentraut 「How Can Gay Asian Men Conquer Internalized Inferiority?」

Posted on August 29, 2010 commentaires
Last week, the first of this three-part series addressed anti-Asian bias and racism within the LGBT community -- particularly how “sexual racism” (in the terminology of gay activists) manifests itself for queer Asian men within an alpha male-obsessed dating pool. Facing a gluttony of derogatory stereotypes and misconceptions, many gay Asians struggle to find confidence, a community and romantic connections.

While gay Asian activists have made great strides in recent years, major obstacles to progress remain firmly entrenched in the LGBT community. Only some of them may include the external influences of the broader community discussed in part one.

Owing to the power of years of anti-Asian bias within both the LGBT community and society as a whole, the feeling of being “less than” has been directed inward for many gay Asian men. This makes organizing for change all the more challenging amid such internalized racism evident, as well as the language barriers that can impede outside acceptance of this vast and varied sub-community within the gay world. In this article, we more closely examine how these “internal” obstacles’ impact on the experiences of gay Asian men.


Note: In the interest of coherence and brevity, our story focuses on men within the Asian and Pacific Islander (or API) communities whose heritage takes root in Eastern nations of the sprawling continent including but not limited to China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Queer men from other parts of the continent, as well as women and transgender people, encounter social stigmas and experiences largely unique to their identity groups, though some overlap is to be expected. Still, for the purposes of this article, I have restricted myself to the Pacific Rim and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand), which does not include ethnicities of the Indian Subcontinent.

Obstacles to Organizing

The community -- gay Asians and Asian-Americans in general -- was galvanized by an offensive『Details』Magazine article titled 「Gay or Asian?」 in 2004, which managed to equate being an Asian man stereotypical feminine gay qualities. After that protest, which was successful in getting the men’s magazine to admit blame, queer Asian men bolstered their efforts nationwide to combat anti-Asian racism and bring their sub-community together.

Groups like New York’s Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY), Chicago’s Asians and Friends, and dozens of others have flourished in their efforts to foster a safe space for gay Asians engaging with their heritage in a queer-positive, non-fetishized ways.

GAPIMNY has been particularly hard at work as of late. They’ve initiated a project earlier this month to collect reports of discriminatory nightclub admissions policies, which spokesman Jason Tseng says are “on the rise” as some club promoters seem to fear a “white flight” from their clubs when men of color begin to show up.

The group’s goal is to ultimately bring the reports to the owners and managers of clubs that have discriminated against Asian men. The group also has made inroads of garnering queer visibility in mainstream Asian spaces by participating in this year’s the Lunar New Year parades, held in the traditional urban Chinatowns.

“The Details mobilization was a big move for us in the Asian community, because we have tended to shy away from being overtly political,” Tseng told EDGE. “But I think it’s important for queer Asian men to be connected with other queer Asian men for that sense of critical mass and having that safe space to meet, check in and support each other politically and socially.”

But organizing is not necessarily easy for a sub-community that’s been deeply “programmed” to feel inferior, according to Angel Abcede, spokesman for Asians and Friends Chicago, a group that sponsors gay-targeted monthly dim sum events and other gatherings. He said a lot of work has yet to be done in undoing the internalized racism gay Asian men experience.

“A lot of these issues are self-imposed because you have to accept you’re not good enough for someone else to have any power over you. You can enslave yourself to these vestiges or you can do things that will start and break them down,” Abcede said. “I think we can pull out of this, but we have to do so actively and with commitment. A lot of us are glamoured and don’t understand that. We’re living under a spell.”

What Attracts a ‘Rice Queen’? (& Vice Versa)

One dimension of that spell is what Tseng describes as the “paranoia” he’s felt attempting to cultivate a romantic attachment with an Anglo that doesn’t feel steeped in exoticism -- the notion that some men, described as “rice queens” in the gay world, are only interested in dating Asians as part of a sort of geisha man-on-man fantasy. It’s a paranoia so pernicious he says it can contribute to a competitive feeling toward other gay Asians as well.

“It’s a very difficult line to walk to find a partner who is not a fetishist, overly attracted to your culture or race to the point where it supersedes the other characteristics of your person and it can be really exhausting emotionally,” Tseng said.

“That air of suspicion can not only directed toward white or non-Asian men, but it was also directed against other Asian people in terms of who would be able to snag the one-in-a-million white guy who is non-problematic and genuinely interested in you,” he continued.

“Even the men who say they like Asian men usually like Asian men for all the wrong reasons -- the stereotypes of gay Asian men being more submissive, a docile femininity,” admitted Chong-suk Han, a leading researcher of anti-Asian racism within the LGBT community. “So it’s not a great honor for these sorts of guys to say they ‘prefer Asians.’”

The feeling of being in competition with other men also makes it difficult for many gay Asian men to build friendships and bond with each other, and ultimately manifests itself in the choice of many to avoid dating other Asians.

Patrick Cheng, an assistant professor of Historical & Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., who writes on queer API issues sees a direct linkage between that choice, the broader LGBT community’s cold shoulder to people of color and the feelings of inferiority many men internalize.

“We take in this message that we’re not as good or attractive and it gets translated into feeling bad about ourselves or preventing ourselves from seeing other APIs as being attractive too,” Cheng told EDGE. “When the message is sent that the queer API community is just not welcome or is not as attractive, you have to de-program yourself from everything you’ve learned.”

The Language Barrier

Language also presents an important factor in organizing efforts for queer Asian men, as the resources offered by the vast majority of LGBT organizations, API-centric groups included, are produced only in English. According to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s 2008 report on LGBT Asians, only 50 percent of survey respondents indicated English was their native language, which means a barrier to pertinent information may also be a factor for many members’ ability to connect with a group.

Further, language barriers reinforce the differences in experiences of many gay Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants. It is a matter Tseng said is often not addressed by LGBT groups, many of whom do not have the resources available to produce materials and create programming covering the vast array of languages Asian men speak.

“Gay Asian men who may not necessarily speak English are even more underserved than those who speak the language well,” Tseng said. “Not only do you face the obstacle of pure racism, but also the xenophobia of that language barrier and that is often overlooked.”

Jonipher Kwong, director of API Equality Los Angeles, a coalition that works toward progress on LGBT issues within Asian communities, also emphasized having strong English language skills is a major factor in many gay Asian mens’ sense of confidence within the dating scene and other facets of life.

“Many guys feel the better one’s English proficiency is, the better the likelihood of getting a white partner, as if that’s the ideal situation,” Kwong described. “This poses problems for our self image and feeling of desirability or even what’s erotic or beautiful or what isn’t. There’s a perception that there’s glass ceiling here to break through in order to get a job, date and find a partner.”

But through the work of groups like GAPIMNY and AFC, not to mention community role models including activist Lt. Dan Choi, actor George Takei and comedian Alec Mapa, just to name a few, gay Asian mens’ glass ceiling has been showing more and more cracks in recent years. And while the battle is certainly far from over, it seems our community are stepping in a more progressive direction.

In the final part of this series, running next week, we examine the impact the Internet, and specifically online dating and social networking, has had on gay Asian mens’ experiences of racism. Pointing toward possible solutions will be a discussion of what efforts can and have been made by a growing number of activists and allies to create a more supportive environment for gay Asian men.

Joseph covers news, arts and entertainment and lives in Chicago. He is the assistant Chicago editor for
The Huffington Post. Log on to www.joe-erbentraut.com to read more of his work.


Auteur : Joseph Erbentraut/Date : 29 août 2010/Source : http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=109662
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F1RST 퍼스트 「You Like Me, I Like You」

Posted on August 28, 2010 commentaires

F1RST 「You Like Me, I Like You」 - sorti le 28 août 2010.

On dirait un titre de porno... Un groupe coréen mixte assez terrible à voir et à écouter, il faut bien le dire. Des filles, des garçons et, regardez bien, un rôti ! La pauvre...
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2PM 투피엠 Calvin Klein Jeans

commentaires

Hi-hi ! Pas de mauvaise blague avec le tuyau d'arrosage !

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BIGBANG 빅뱅 「Beautiful Hangover」

Posted on August 25, 2010 commentaires

BIGBANG 「Beautiful Hangover」【ビューティフル ハングオーバー】- sorti le 25 août 2010.

Un titre bien dance, qui n'est pas sans rappeler la période bénie de Dance Machine en France (!), mais pas de chorégraphie alors que Taeyang en trépigne d'envie, trop dur...
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2AM 투에이엠 Americano Dutch

Posted on August 23, 2010 commentaires

C'est pour qui le café ?

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Joseph Erbentraut 「The Last Bias: How & Why We Tolerate Gay Anti-Asian Prejudice -- & Its Pernicious Effect on Our Community」

Posted on August 22, 2010 commentaires
In the first part of this multi-part story, EDGE examines the experience of one of the most common scapegoats of the gay male dating and socializing scene: gay Asian men. I’ve tried to reach beyond the various stereotypes and phrases sometimes applied to men of this ethnicity (e.g., “rice queen”).

Anti-Asian sentiment remains one of the last prejudices tacitly if not overtly condoned in the gay community. Even more than anti-fat, anti-aging or the other “anti’s” (racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, even geographic snobbery), prejudice against Asians seems to be endemic in the wider community, especially American gay urban affluent men.

What are the sources of this anti-Asian stigma? How does such sustained hostility affect the self-esteem of gay Asians? What other harm does this hostility wreak in our world? How do non-Asian gay men contribute to an atmosphere that is all-too often unfriendly to diversity?

As an article published here last month similarly addressed, LGBT communities, despite having long histories of themselves facing (and fighting) discrimination, isolation and inequality, are far from immune to the racism that permeates modern society. Bowing to a heterosexual, white upper-middle class-headed hierarchy that pits minority groups against each other in a “divide and conquer” strategy, queer white folk are not innocent in fostering a queer culture that turns its back on people of color -- when not being actively or at least covertly hostile.

The ways in which some gay men, in particular, continue to perpetuate certain racial stigmas can prove doubly dangerous to our queer brethren who share our sting of homophobia while being hit from the other side by an ideology that both overtly and subtly devalues or even rejects men of color from social spaces.


Note: In the interest of coherence and brevity, our story focuses on men within the Asian and Pacific Islander (or API) communities whose heritage takes root in Eastern nations of the sprawling continent including but not limited to China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Queer men from other parts of the continent, as well as women and transgender people, encounter social stigmas and experiences largely unique to their identity groups, though some overlap is to be expected. Still, for the purposes of this article, I have restricted myself to the Pacific Rim and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand), which does not include ethnicities of the Indian Subcontinent.

Rice, pandas and ‘Princess Tiny Meat’

Odds are, if you’ve been both gay and awake in the last decade, you’ve heard something like this quote somewhere before: “I know what they’re thinking [when they see us at the club]. They think that I’m a potato queen,” Jimmy Chen, a gay Asian man in a relationship with a white man explained to Tyra Banks on an episode of her talk show devoted to interracial dating back in 2006.

“A potato queen is,” Chen explained, “somebody who is like a gold digger who hates themselves and who, you know, is Asian,” Chen explained. “And they see him [his partner] as a rice queen ... An older gay white man who is ugly and fat and they are attracted to, like, people like me and objectify me.”

The name-calling Chen described is a common experience for queer API men. For Anglos, such terminology is seen not as hateful, but as playful -- as seemingly guileless terms like “panda hugger” would suggest. According to a 2007 study commissioned by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, however, the result is anything but harmless: 78 percent of API LGBT people experience racism within the predominately white LGBT community.

Anti-Asian racism manifests itself in varying ways. Asian men routinely confront the common “No Asians” disclaimers found on many profiles on gay dating and hookup sites. More publicly, some bars in large metropolitan centers resist the label of being seen as a gay Asian hotspot by limiting Asians or at least not making them feel as comfortable as their Anglo counterparts. It’s not uncommon on list serves that serve party boys to read disparaging about how a Circuit party or a particular bar has “too many Asians” or “has been invaded by Asians” or “there were pockets of Asians everywhere.”

And, of course, there’s the most common, widespread and perhaps pernicious stereotype of gay Asian men, which makes a broad (and ridiculous) generalization: disappointing penis size. According to sources interviewed for this story, such abstractions serve to emasculate gay Asian men who, via mainstream media depictions, are already painted as more feminine, scholarly and submissive. It paints them as universal bottoms and as in thrall to Anglo (and black) men’s presumably more massive members.

Such caricatures often make it difficult for the men to land a date, find a community and feel welcomed to the queer “table” and can lead to lowered self-esteem and an upped risk of isolation, opening the door to all the emotional and physical problems, like depression, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, that stem from these concerns.

Anti-Asian bias may even be a contributing factor to earning potential. A 2006 study on same-sex API couples from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation & Public Policy found that, based on 2000 U.S. Census data, couples comprised of two Asian LGBT people earned, on average, $3,000 less than non-Asian couples annually and over $20,000 less than inter-ethnic couples.

Discovering the (Deep) Roots of Anti-Asian Bias

Patrick Cheng http://www.patrickcheng.net/, an assistant professor of Historical & Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., has written widely on the experiences of gay Asian American men and partially faults a lack of positive media coverage of queer Asian lives in explaining the biases API men face.

“We’re often either completely ignored or completely fetishized,” explained Cheng, who is also ordained in the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Church denomination. “I think this issue of visibility -- and what’s being depicted as being attractive or not -- is real.”

Cyrus Hernandez, a 24-year-old blogger of Filipino heritage at The New Gay, has written about his own experiences reconciling his Eastern ethnicity and “Western” sexuality. He draws a parallel with the way in which Asian women are one-dimensionally fetishized in American media. But he believes that more forces are at play with the way queer Asian men’s sexuality has been presented.

“We are perceived as sexually passive, compliant and very effeminate men who seek romantic relationships with largely with Anglo men,” Hernandez said. “In furthering that perception, sexual agency for queer APIs is relinquished as not necessarily one’s own, but one defined in relationship to male access.”

Cheng notes the feminized depiction of gay Asian men simply doesn’t mesh with queer nightlife venues and media, which seem to place higher value on more “macho” depictions of gay life: Club posters and web ad campaigns are centered on bulky white bodies with chiseled abs. Gay club promoters or magazines were not the first to invent or popularize such images, however.

“I think all this stems from something larger than the queer issue, but rather this ‘Orientalist’ notion of East vs. West,” Cheng said. “In order for the West to assert its masculinity, it needs something to be feminized, and this ends up emasculating Asian men. We’re already seen as less masculine in movies where we’re either nerds or Zen masters, but never just the guy next door -- or a stud.”

This ties in with a much wider anti-Asian prejudice that is an integral part of American history. In 1862, California enacted the “Anti-Coolie Act.” As the name implies, it limited Chinese manual labor and immigration. In 1882, the U.S.’ “Chinese Exclusion Act” effectively became the first law to suspend immigration from a foreign population.

Ways in which “the inscrutable East” were shown to be anathema to the West European-orented Americans is graphically demonstrated in 1873’s “Pigtail Ordinance,” which forced prisoners in San Francisco to cut off their distinctive braids. Chinese were stereotyped as spitting, opium-using deviants.

The instances of Asian stereotyping are still very much with us. (Take a look at Rosie O’Donnell’s controversial Chinese imitation on 「The View」 circa late 2006.) But the most pernicious anti-Asian movement came in California during World War II, when Japanese-Americans were rounded up, their livelihoods taken away and they were placed in “internment camps” -- the only instance of a foreign population placed in concentration camps (comparable to our deplorable treatment of Native Americans).

Gay Asian Men in Media

Chong-Suk Han looks at depictions like a feminine gay Asian man on the 「Grey’s Anatomy」’s episode 「Where the Boys Are」 and a Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ad showing an Asian man as the spouse -- rather than the soldier -- with a critical eye. The assistant professor of sociology & anthropology at Middlebury College is one of the leading researchers of queer API men. Han said such images contribute to a cultural devaluing of gay Asian male sexuality.

According to GLAAD, 86 percent of the LGBT characters on the national airwaves in the 2008-’09 television season were white; only 19 were of Asian descent, usually playing more minor roles. LGBT media articles, like『Out』Magazine’s
How to Gab in Gaysian in February 2005 are also seen as perpetuating a perception of Asian gayness as foreign and outside the norm.

“The media is perpetuating an image of anti-femininity and the LGBT community has bought into this idea that being masculine -- and the way the straight community defines that -- will make us better off,” Han told EDGE.

“It reflects a deep-seated insecurity among a lot of gay men that there’s something wrong with not being just like the straight people we see walking down the street,” Han continued. “The problem lies much deeper than just with gay Asian men. It just happens to be that we often become the scapegoat of that line of thinking.”

All of these negative semiotics came to a head in 2004, when hundreds of LGBT New Yorkers were joined by Asians and anti-racists at the headquarters of『Details』. The men’s magazine published an article called 「Gay or Asian?」 that was meant to be funny. The protesters found it anything but.

A letter authored by Asian Media Watchdog and signed by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered student groups on several college campuses said the column “suggested Asian men cannot be both gay and Asian. Or that we are both and therefore should be mocked.”

The magazine ended up apologizing for its double insensitivity, and the incident eventually led to the firing of its then-editor. But the incident served to galvanize Asian-Americans and gay Asians into a new sense of activism. No longer, they said, would they be stereotyped as nerdy, slightly effeminate science whizzes who lacked a sex life and a normal-sized penis.

The battle was officially on. But gay Asian-Americans faced -- and are facing -- an uphill battle to fight what seems to be ingrained prejudice in the larger community.

In the second part of this story, coming out next week, we will take a look at the limitations and problems posed by cultural and linguistic barriers and how this internalizes inadequacy. Also we look at what might and what has already been done to foster a queer community that both accepts and lavishes in the varied backgrounds and traditions of its members, and the role that the Internet has played with this issue.

Joseph covers news, arts and entertainment and lives in Chicago. He is the assistant Chicago editor for
The Huffington Post. Log on to www.joe-erbentraut.com to read more of his work.


Auteur : Joseph Erbentraut/Date : 22 août 2010/Source : http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=features&sc3=&id=109413
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Narsha 나르샤 feat. Sunny Hill 너는모르지
「Mamma Mia」

Posted on August 20, 2010 commentaires

Narsha feat. Sunny Hill 「Mamma Mia」【맘마미아】- sorti le 20 août 2010.

Narsha des Brown Eyed Girls chante en français : "il fait très chaud, il fait très chaud" !
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Gene Kasidit จีน กษิดิศ 「The Embrace」

Posted on August 15, 2010 commentaires

Gene Kasidit 「The Embrace」【อ้อมกอดนั้น】- extrait de『Affairs』sorti en août 2010 - Réalisé par Gene Kasidit & Co - Installation de Teerapon Hosagana. Shot at WTF CAFE & GALLERY. Sukhumvit Soi 51.
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BoA 보아 「Hurricane Venus」

Posted on August 05, 2010 commentaires

BoA 「Hurricane Venus」 - second extrait de『Hurricane Venus』sorti le 5 août 2010.

Un morceau très efficace et une BoA bien raide...
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