Mark Guiducci 「Joseph Altuzarra and Seth Weissman’s Wedding at the Rainbow Room in New York City」

Posted on November 20, 2014 commentaires
“The hora was another highlight of the evening! There was so much joy in the room, and everyone participated!”
Photo: Rebecca Walker & Angi Welsch for Ira Lippke Studios

While our federal government and more than 30 states now agree that a same-sex marriage is wholly equivalent to any other, the autumn nuptials of designer Joseph Altuzarra and his boyfriend, Seth Weissman, were evidence that things are still a bit different, at least in their case. Most bridegrooms, for instance, do not create mood boards for the hair and makeup of their “groomsmaids,” as Altuzarra calls them. Neither do most married-men-to-be outfit the wedding party in evening­wear of their own design, as Altuzarra did for Vanessa Traina Snow and Mélanie Huynh, who, respectively, wore a dress from his fall 2014 runway done in navy-blue panne velvet and the resort look in which Rosamund Pike appeared at the premiere of 「Gone Girl」. (Including Weissman’s own six groomsmaids, the event was virtually an Altuzarra retrospective.) Neither does the typical groom fret that a dear friend “is going to show up in leather shorts and a T-shirt,” an anxiety much relieved by the sight of groomsman Alexander Wang wearing a tuxedo on the big day (sans bow tie, of course).

In other ways, the nuptials were as traditional as could be. Inadvertently, theirs included something old (Seth’s grandfather’s pen, used to sign the marriage license), something new (a Saint Laurent bow tie that Altuzarra purchased that very morning after misplacing his own), something borrowed (Seth’s father’s studs and cuff links), and something blue (Seth’s midnight Tom Ford tuxedo). Even without a bride to speak of, there was still a critical dress moment. “We got ready at Joseph’s parents’ house in Tribeca,” Traina Snow remembers (Altuzarra says that his mother – and board chairman – served “chicken salad, so nobody fainted during the ceremony later”), “and Mélanie, Joseph, and I squirreled away into the bathroom so he could zip us up. Coming out together, it felt like the big dress reveal, and it felt like family.”

Perhaps the most classic component of the wedding, however, was its spectacular Manhattan setting: the newly reopened Rainbow Room, atop Rockefeller Center. “It felt both romantic and festive, very Frank Sinatra, very New York,” Altuzarra says, emphasizing that it’s the city where he and Weissman met nine years ago. “And we wanted to find a place that wasn’t too feminine.” As for the famed spinning dance floor, Altuzarra confirms that “there was plenty of revolving.”

But were there any Rainbow Room puns? Altuzarra’s brother, Charles, was the first to point out how aptly named the location was. A physicist who works on quantum photonics, Charles noted that rainbows are made by the deflection of sunlight through rain. “Alone, light is white and rain is just water,” Altuzarra explains. “But together they create a myriad of colors.” That’s a metaphor that knows no gender.

Author: Mark Guiducci/Date: November 20, 2014/Source: http://www.vogue.com/4470507/joseph-altuzarra-wedding-seth-weissman-rainbow-room/




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Grace Wang 「This Artist Is Changing China's Canvas, One Butt Plug At A Time」

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Looking at the work of Chinese artist Tianzhuo Chen, one would think that he, a bespectacled, congenial guy, was oblivious to the notion of political correctness. From butt plugs to weed leaf prints and huge sculptures of 「South Park」 character Eric Cartman, his many performance art pieces, installations,​ and​ collaborations with Shangguan Zhe of ​Xiamen-based clothing label ​SANKUANZ (a label that is equally tongue-wagging with its neon-pop color and cartoonish, phallic graphics), all push the envelope until it rips. ​Tianzhou is genuinely fascinated with the subversive and aggressive, from drag-queen get​-​ups to rapping midgets.

Being from a country that has only in recent years started to soften its various restrictions, he has the advantage of looking at these Western cultures with a fresh, unbiased eye; instead of being force-​fed pop culture, he can selectively absorb whatever takes his interest, and comprehend them in his own way without existing social structures.​ Here, an edited transcription from Opening Ceremony's Skype chat with the artist, in which we touch upon religion,​ anti-elitism, and​ ​“hip-hopera.”

Shop all SANKUANZ here

GRACE WANG: ​You moved to London from Beijng to study design at Central Saint Martins then Fine Arts at Chelsea. What was that like?

TIANZHUO CHEN: ​From London​,​ I started to realize that I wanted be an artist. London is really different — it’s got lots of artists and people from different cultures. That diversity really influenced me: I’m really into queer culture, I’m really into the drag-queen stuff, and I really like street art, so I just kind of pull them together into my pieces.

Your work does draw on a variety of cultures. Can you talk about this mix?

I’m just really into different kinds of dance, and how they express feeling and soul through movement. For example, the Butoh dancer is trying to reach their soul; they’re trying to express that feeling after World War II. You can put different cultural elements and different dances or different art together, and it can actually start something new.

Can you talk a bit about your “hip-hopera?”

Hip-hop is just part of it. It has traditional opera and, like, a drag-queen performance. [It’s a] fictional religious story, about how to create a god. So it’s like putting some more contemporary elements into a really traditional story. I’m still planning it because I haven’t got enough funding...

You’ve said in past interviews that religion plays a part in the opera. Are you religious?

Yeah, I’m a Buddhist, [but it] references different religions. I wanted to make the main character dramatic, playing different gods at the same time. It’s kinda this religious country that has lots of different gods. One day he realizes that there is a divine real god so he starts questioning the belief that they have. So yeah, I think the story’s more about questioning yourself, what you actually believe, and what’s real and not real.

You also said in your other exhibition 「Tianzhuo’s Acid Club」 that you wanted to create a crazed feeling in your audience, like what people feel toward religion...

I think I feel a little bit lost, especially in China or Beijing where people don’t really have religion, so I just wanted to make people feel a strong, religious experience. They walk into the space, a church-like or a temple-like space, with a giant eyeball, lots of creepy installations around them, almost like a temple in Tibet. I want to make them, like, emotionally reflect the environment; make them think about their religious side of life and the fragility side of life.

What was it like?

It’s just like a place to really release yourself. People kinda got trippy, lots of people smoking weed and taking drugs, which is actually quite dangerous in Beijing. I think this is the only way you can find your freedom [here], 'cause it’s been forbidden, so you don’t have the chance to do that all the time.

In this interview you said, “I can’t just stay in one thing; I can’t just paint the same thing again and again. I’d lose my passion.” Could you elaborate?

I started painting when I was in college, and after a year I felt really bored. I thought I hated my work. So I started making installations to bring new blood into [them]. Then I thought installations are just too contemporary, too “art,” — people can’t really interact with an installation. I wanted to make my work more emotional, more sensational, so I started making performance art and videos.

When you say “too art,” are you poking fun at the elitist nature of the art world a little?

Yes, indeed. I guess there is a bit anti-elitism in my work. I like my work being absurd​ and aggressive.

Author: Grace Wang/Date: November 20, 2014/Source: http://www.openingceremony.us/entry.asp?pid=10649

Tianzhuo Chen 陈天灼
Official Website: http://tianzhuochen.com/
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/tianzhuo
Instagram: https://instagram.com/asian_dope_boys/


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Awkwafina 「Daydreaming」

Posted on November 18, 2014 commentaires
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Zak Cheney-Rice 「16 Stunning Photos That Shatter Society’s Stereotypes About Asian Men」

Posted on November 17, 2014 commentaires
Retour sur la fameuse série de photos d'Idris + Tony, qu'on vous avait rapportée précédemment (c'est ça les « 16 Stunning Photos That Shatter Society’s Stereotypes About Asian Men » !), par Zak Cheney-Rice pour le site Mic.

What makes a man handsome?

Americans have debated this question for years, whether in magazine pages, online listicles or more intimate wars between themselves and the mirror. Scientists have weighed in with equal verve: Is attractiveness measurable, a matter of facial symmetry and body fat percentage? Or is it subjective in ways that are much harder to calculate?

Whatever your opinion, few can argue that these metrics are inclusive. The American beauty standard is undeniably a white standard, and people of color are bombarded with words and images that celebrate features they, as a matter of genetics, do not possess.

It’s part of why Idris + Tony, a Brooklyn, NY-based fashion photography duo, embarked on the 「Persuasian」 project earlier this year.

Originally conceived as an outlet to depict Asian men in a way most American media won’t — i.e. as unabashedly masculine, sexual and desirable — the series was featured on Models.com in July and garnered significant buzz among fashion industry insiders.

But 「Persuasian」 is more than just a feel-good story about diversifying beauty standards — it’s a deeply personal and empowering testament to the importance of self-esteem.

“I grew up in a very rural town,” Tony Craig, one half of Idris + Tony, said in an interview with Mic. Growing up with an Asian mother and a white father, he explained that the perception of Asian maleness in his community was one of “complete [inferiority].”

“[Asian] masculinity wasn’t acknowledged,” he said. “It was stripped away... And the way Asian men are depicted in popular culture, [we’re] never the object of desire... we’re still very much ‘just a friend.’”

Evidence for this claim abounds in American culture. Asian men in the U.S. are saddled with a troubling range of stereotypes: Whether framed as docile and submissive or rigid and emotionless, the perception is of a group so devoid of intimacy as to be certifiably sexless. Meanwhile, attempts to challenge this haven’t been well received. The first TV show in recent memory to depict an Asian man in a romantic lead, ABC’s sitcom 「Selfie」, starring John Cho, was recently cancelled after 13 episodes.

Yet by framing Asian men as objects of desire, Idris + Tony aim to flip this narrative on its ear. These men are indeed sexual beings, they insist, and undeniably worthy of intimate attention.

“We wanted to show that you don’t have to be a white person to be revered in this culture,” Idris Rheubottom, who is black, told Mic. “Any culture that’s not the majority here is seen as inferior, so it’s cool to hear people [now] talking about which guy is good-looking, not just which Asian guy.”

One could argue this objectification route fails to address a larger problem, that fixating on physical beauty can distract us from more substantive engagements with our fellow humans. However, as the photographers suggest, there’s something to be said for valorizing a group that’s traditionally been marginalized in this realm — even if its marginalization doesn’t intersect with a comprehensive range of issues.

Case in point: “I’ve always had negative self-image because of my Asian heritage,” Tony said, “even though I started out as a male model ... I would not give Asian guys the time of day, nor was I attracted to them in the same way I’ve been attracted to other races.”

The 「Persuasian」 project, then, was cathartic for him: “These Asian men [mostly models born and raised in countries like Taiwan, Korea and Japan] are coming in, and we start shooting them to put them on file... [and] there’s something I noticed in them that I hadn’t seen in Asian men before, or even myself... I think this work [can persuade] Americans to look at Asian men differently.”

Ultimately, the series remains a work in progress, but Idris + Tony are encouraged by its reception so far. They see it as a potential challenge to the entrenched and often subconscious racism plaguing the fashion industry as a whole, which they say privileges whiteness in the name of demand economics.

To date, it’s unclear if fashion tastemakers are actually as committed to diversity as recent trends suggest. But 「Persuasian」 strikes a powerful blow against the existing paradigm: The more people see it, the more opportunity it has to imagine a more inclusive standard of beauty, and the revived notions of self-esteem and positive self-image that come along with it.

All images courtesy of the photographers. You can see more of Idris + Tony’s work on Instagram, online, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Their upcoming project, the『BASTARD』Fanzine, can be viewed here.


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Angry Homosexual 「The Jack’d Racism Study: Asians are as Racist as Whites」

Posted on November 15, 2014 commentaires
It’s a well known fact that gay white guys generally prefer to date other gay white guys. Gay Asians know it all too well, but we’re mostly complaining in our own echo chamber while white guys party on.

But there’s another form of subtle racism that we rarely talk about – gay Asians discriminate against themselves in favor of whites.

I’ve seen many an Asian stricken by potato fever, but I wanted more than just anecdotal evidence. So I dug around for some data, turning to Jack’d, one of the most popular gay mobile dating apps. After going through 200 profiles, I was shocked at what I found.

Jack’d is a treasure trove of data
Ok, so where is this Jack’d data? As an unpaid user, you only see other guy’s reply rates, however if you cough up the dough for a Pro subscription, you get access to statistics showing which age groups, scenes (twinks, bears, etc.) and races another user is interested in. There are two features in Jack’d that are used to tabulate a user’s racial preference: Match and Favorite.

For Match, Jack’d shows you random profiles of people in your city and you either click Interested, Not Interested or Skip. The Favorite button bookmarks guys you like while you’re browsing. When you Favorite a guy, he’ll be saved in your Favorites folder and he’ll get notified of it.

Methodology
I randomly picked 100 Asian guys and 100 white guys who were last online in San Francisco.

San Francisco, the gayest city in the US, was a natural choice for this study. The city is 34.4% Asian and 41.6% non-Hispanic white. Because both races are roughly equally represented in the city, one can study their preferences for each other without having to account for Asians being a small minority, which they are in most of the US.

To ensure a reliable sample, every profile needed to have a face picture and a plausible age (i.e. not 99). They also had to have an interest in at least two different age groups and two different scenes in order to select for people who’ve used the Match and Favorite features extensively. I wanted to target only San Francisco residents so I excluded anyone whose profile said they were visiting.

Diversity of Jack’d Users
I picked a random point in central San Francisco and counted all Jack’d users within a one mile radius. This one mile radius covers a diverse array of neighborhoods in the city, with bits of the Mission, the Castro, the Haight, SoMa and the Tenderloin.

I counted the number of Jack’d users of each race within a one mile radius of a random point in San Francisco


You might be wondering how well Jack’d users represent the whole rainbow of races out there. It turns out that Jack’d users in central San Francisco form quite a colorful rainbow.


One might say that Asians are over-represented on Jack’d, which isn’t surprising given Jack’d’s reputation as an Asian-heavy app. If anything, the over-representation of Asians is a good thing because if we observe a bias against Asians, it can’t be attributed to their low numbers.

Determining Racial Preference
For each of the 100 Asian and 100 white guys I studied, I recorded their age, reply rate and the ethnicity distribution of guys they’re interested in.

For example, we can see in the following example that 92% of the guys Freddie’s interested in are Asian, 5% are Pacific Islanders, and the remaining 3% are split between Middle Eastern, Mixed and Other. He’s never Favorited a white, Latino or black profile.

Example Jack’d Insight Race Data for a user


After recording the ethnicity preferences of 100 Asian and 100 white profiles, I analyzed the data to see if I could find any obvious patterns. It didn’t take long...

Asians and Whites both avoid Asians
It turns out that both white and Asian men are somewhat allergic to Asians.


Not many rice eaters
There’s a strong bias against Asians. A significant proportion of white guys (40%) and Asians (29%) are never interested in Asians. That jives with OkCupid’s data showing that 43% of gay whites preferred to date their own race.

Plenty of potato love
Whites don’t have many haters. The vast majority of white and Asian guys are interested in white guys to at least some degree. I’ve heard many white men complain about sticky Asians, but the fact is that 93% of Asians are open to dating a white guy.

Whites prefer whites, but Asians prefer whites even more
A person prefers a race if 51% of the guys that person is interested in are of that race.


Asians have a stronger preference for white guys than white guys have for each other
The majority of gay Asians, 57%, prefer to date white guys. By contrast, only 45% of white guys prefer to date other whites. Also remember that 40.1% of users are Asian and 28.2% whites. The supply and demand dynamics are incredibly unbalanced and quite frankly sad. Why do Asians have such a gravitation towards potatoes?

Quantifying Rice Queens and Potato Queens
Let’s raise the bar even higher and see what happens when we try and pick out the rice queens and potato queens. A rice/potato queen is someone who prefers Asian/white 70% of the time or more.


Can you say potato addiction?
41% of gay Asians are potato queens. Gay Asians really, really love white guys. Almost half of gay Asians love white guys to the point where it’s an obsession. Compare this to only 18% of gay white men are rice queens. This is great news if you’re a white guy who eats rice.

Rice queens have the upper hand
A couple weeks ago I argued that the Gaysian dating world is stacked in favor of rice queens. Now we have the numbers to back that up. For every rice queen, there are 2.3 potato queens. White guys have their pick, but Asians have to settle for whatever they can get.

The only way all those gay Asians will settle with white men is to lower their standards and date older and/or less attractive white men. There’s no other way all those gay Asians’ desires can be accommodated.

I’ve put all the numbers we’ve seen so far onto one chart.


Notice that Asians and whites both prefer white guys by a substantial margin: the white guy is always more desirable than the Asian by a factor of 1.5-2x.

If you remember my Asian vs. White Grindr Experiment from a while back, you’ll recall that a hot white guy can expect 1.5-2x as many Grindr messages as a similarly endowed Asian. That’s almost identical to the margin by which Jack’d users prefer whites over Asians.

Asians are racist too
We often think of racism and discrimination as something whites are guilty of. But it turns out Asians are equally guilty of discriminating against themselves. You might write off the racism of whites as simply a preference for dating people who look like themselves, but how do you explain the preferences of gay Asians?

At least in the minds of gay Asians, white men are the gold standard of beauty and desirability. Maybe it’s an unavoidable consequence of growing up in American culture, where seeing almost nothing but whites on movie screens and fashion runways has indoctrinated us to the idea that only whites are attractive.

You might think that gay Asians, having grown up with the dual stigma of being both a racial and sexual minority, would be more open-minded than your average person. Some certainly seem to think they are:

Oops. I guess he meant to say he’s open-minded unless you’re Asian. ;)

I once said that gay Asians have no realistic chance of dating a hot white guy their own age. It turns out they might have the same struggles finding a hot Asian their own age too.

Author: Angry Homosexual/Date: November 15, 2014/Source: http://angryhomosexual.com/jackd-racism-study/
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Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 「Gentlewomen」

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Jolin Tsai 「Gentlewomen」【第二性】- from『Play』【呸】released on November 15, 2014.

Un clip « madonnesque » et très joli, réalisé par Scott Beardslee & Kitty Lin, avec un très joli garçon dansant en porte-jarretelles et bas !


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Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 feat. Namie Amuro 安室奈美恵 「I'm Not Yours」

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Jolin Tsai feat. Namie Amuro 「I'm Not Yours」 - from『Play』【呸】released on November 15, 2014.

Duo de DIVAS ♡




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Beatrice S. Paez 「Gay Asian youth still struggling for acceptance」

Posted on November 14, 2014 commentaires
It’s not easy being gay under the nosy, critical gaze of social media. Not even on social networks designed to facilitate encounters with like-minded communities.

Fellow gay individuals can be just as hurtful as gay bashers in expressing their distaste for others, but on the basis of race, said Meza Daulet, the co-ordinator of the youth program at Toronto’s Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS).

“Cruising” apps, or social networks like Grindr are notorious for their participants’ unfiltered, unrestrained statements of their preferences, he noted. “There are a lot of people who say, ‘No Asians, please.’”

ACAS has been at the forefront of issues affecting the East and Southeast Asian queer community, since its inception in 1994, providing them with services and safe spaces to speak openly about these types of dispiriting interactions.

While it is common practice to list specific preferences in other dating or matchmaking websites, Daulet said people should be more sensitive to the experiences of others.

For many gay youth still caught in the liminal headspace of admitting their sexual orientation even to themselves, “cruising” becomes one way to try on this sexual identity.

“They haven’t come out, but they may want to explore that [identity], and that’s the first thing they see,” said Daulet. “…It has a huge effect on them, that they’re not accepted because of their race or skin colour. Our objective is to build self-esteem and self-confidence.”

As damaging as coming out to the world on social platforms can be to one’s confidence, others are using these public channels to speak out against discrimination, as seen in a video featuring members of ACAS’ Queer Asian Youth (QAY) group.


Rice Roll Production/QAY 「Voices of Queer Asian Youth」 - posted on August 28, 2013.

Five years ago, it would have been unthinkable to expect 10 people to participate in a video, said Daulet. “I remember when I joined this group [in 2008], most of our youth were not yet out and were careful about a lot of stuff regarding confidentiality.”

Produced by QAY and Rice Roll Production, a group that tells stories of the Asian community, the video shows gay youth talking openly about their relationships with their families and peers and moments when they’ve felt excluded.

One youth spoke in the video about how he felt about the culture on Grindr, “I don’t understand why someone would limit a whole race, ethnicity of people. Not one person of all, any Asian descent looks attractive to you.”

Another youth shared his experience living at home with, what he called, a “traditional and strict Chinese family.”

“A lot of the topics I talk about with other people, I would not be comfortable talking about at home, specifically regarding homosexuality,” he said in the video. “I’m always being told by my father that I shouldn’t be hanging out downtown all the time, because he said, ‘there are a lot of gay people.’ My mother’s biggest fear is for me to turn gay or walk on the wrong path.”

These are acts of bravery that often provide comfort to those struggling to seek or gain acceptance. Some gay youth often opt to compartmentalize this aspect of their lives.

“A lot of their fear [of coming out] stems from rejection. Often family is a really big part of their life and they don’t want to lose it,” Daulet said. “Many are also saving face, they don’t want to disappoint their parents.”

But he said there have been instances when parents have shown willingness to understand their child’s situation, and ACAS has connected them with other families for support.

Gaining acceptance is not just limited to the family fold. There’s a whole a matrix of other considerations, including whether one can find unconditional support from strangers who have faced similar situations.

Barriers to participation at other organizations extend to the languages spoken by service providers. ACAS was borne out of the recognition that there was a need for culturally specific services, which could navigate cultural taboos of openly discussing sexuality and sexual health issues, and address language barriers.

Though a large percentage of the members of the youth group that access ACAS services are university or college educated, born or raised in Canada, the group does outreach for Asian newcomers; they conduct workshops on sexual health in their native tongues.

ACAS also partners with Japanese and Korean agencies to hold workshops for international students to discuss how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and play out scenarios that may lead to risky, harmful decisions due to gaps in their knowledge about practicing safe sex.

Raising awareness about sexual health issues is critical for people under the age of 30, given that more than 1 in 4 people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in recent years belong to this demographic, according to a report released in 2011 by Casey House, a specialty HIV/AIDS hospital in Toronto.

Statistics specific to the queer Asian community are not readily available, but there are efforts to stem the tide of misinformation, said Daulet.

Daulet and his volunteers are dispatched at gay bars and clubs for outreach; they will often quiz people on their understanding of sexual health and reward them with candy. Most are happy to oblige.

Beyond language, many queer Asian youth reared in Canada sometimes find themselves far removed from the broader white, middle class gay community.

“When they come out to the community, they often feel like they’re not represented,” said Daulet. “What they experience doesn’t really connect with other people’s experiences.”

Much of what is discussed at other outreach venues is centered on common experiences of being gay, less on what it feels to be gay and Asian, added Daulet.

Raising the issue of publicly stating racial preferences on social profiles puts some on the defensive, rather than reaching a new understanding or attempting to empathize, he said.

Part of Daulet’s responsibility is to listen to their concerns and to give them the freedom and support they need to create a safe and open community, especially since for many attending a QAY event or meeting is their first or second exposure.

At QAY there’s no distinction between members and volunteers – everyone is encouraged to pitch ideas to boost engagement and foster community, and can decide on their own level of commitment.

Since it started in 2000, the youth group has grown to become a “more self-organized volunteer group.”

The network of peer support has made many, as one volunteer told Daulet, “feel safe to be gay and Asian.”

Author: Beatrice S. Paez/Date: November 14, 2014/Source: http://theorigami.ca/2013/11/14/gay-asian-youth-struggling-acceptance/

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Ringo Le 「Op-ed: ‘Big Gay Love’ Advice for Asians in America」

Posted on November 12, 2014 commentaires
Todd Stroik, Ann Walker & Ethan Le Phong in 「Big Gay Love」

The director of 「Big Gay Love」 shares the struggles of being an Asian man in the American gay community.

My best friend, Chris, called me on the phone the other day to plan our birthdays this year. You know your best friend is excited when he trades his businessman decorum for the ever-so-ubiquitous gay male “hey gurl” talk. We have been friends since the late 1990s, when we met while in college in San Francisco. Chris is Thai-American and I am Vietnamese-American, and we share the unique cultural context of the gay Asian American experience. He is now a successful real estate broker, and I am a filmmaker.

Shortly after Chris and I first met, we went to a youth retreat together at the Asian Pacific Wellness Center in San Francisco. It was there that we were encouraged to speak our minds about the horrible inequality of being a racial minority in the gay world. I don’t remember much, but I remember that it was a gabfest with lots of crying — not from me, but from the more mature men who had experienced discrimination firsthand. They talked about gay bars in the ’70s in the Castro that had signs or bouncers, or both, that stated, “No Asians.”

In many ways, these signs still exist but have moved from the velvet ropes of the clubs in the ’70s to the gay Asian man in America. It is an unfortunate birthright that one must experience being exoticized, objectified, and/or ostracized by gay culture in some way, shape, or form in the constant struggle to be validated by mainstream gay culture.

Fast-forward 20 years later. At a recent launch party for『Daniel』Magazine in Hollywood, which celebrates the accomplishments of gay Asian men, I looked around at luminaries like Allan Brocka, a Filipino American director, and Evan Low, a member of the California State Assembly. I felt pride in my peers, but this sentiment felt overshadowed by remarks I had just read by actress Rose McGowan, who had recently said, “Gay men are as misogynistic as straight men, if not more so.” I wanted to shout, “Rose, I hear you loud and clear,” and further assert that in addition to sexism, racism is alive and well. An equal sign is often used as a symbol for the LGBT community, but I believe a pyramid is a more appropriate image. And at the top of the social hierarchy stands the idealized gay white man, and it will probably never change.

This past year, I made a feature film called 「Big Gay Love」 about a chubby gay man overcoming discrimination to look for love on his own terms in the image-conscious gay world. The promotion of 「Big Gay Love」 has taken me all over the United States and opened my eyes to the gay community in vast and varying ways. But for some reason, it has connected with straight women as well. Gay men and straight women alike approach me after the film for one of two reasons. First, they think I made the film because I must have gone through a significant weight transformation. Or alternatively, they believe that I must have written the film for them. After hearing these remarks, I couldn’t help but have a Carrie Bradshaw moment, wondering, Did I transpose this experience of race-based dating into weight-based dating? For isn’t the basis of dating all boiled down to one simple principle? We want someone to love us for who we are and not the thousand masks we put on for the world.

I wrote and directed 「Big Gay Love」 to deliberately counter the view that there is a standard of beauty in the gay world. My hero, played by 「Gayby」’s Jonathan Lisecki, is very much what the mythologist Joseph Campbell would call the “hero with a thousand faces.” Upon meeting his love interest played by 「Buffy the Vampire Slayer」’s Nicholas Brendon, the movie upends the ideals of race, class, and conventional beauty. Specifically, I wrote it for gay men who have a very rigid definition of beauty and have felt “lesser than,” because they feel like they cannot live up to that standard. It is sad that too many gay men, and gay men of color, believe they are lesser than their idealized counterparts. Consequently, they compare themselves to nearly unattainable images perpetuated by the gay press. Conversely, when you are a person of color who has conventional Western features coveted by the mainstream, somehow, it gives you a pass. But deep down, you know that the semblance of your physical self does not represent the complete you. And at the end of the day, even the most beautiful person in the world does not know what it is like to be happy if they do not know who they are and what they stand for as a person. So what’s a gay boy to do in hopes of finding love in the great big gay world? You must learn to be yourself at all cost.

It will take you a long time, but one day you will wake up to learn that coming out isn’t about coming out at all, but at its core, it is about coming into yourself. Some people come out and let that single identity envelope them. That is why I believe one’s race and unique culture is not a hindrance, but an asset.

My cultural context is different. My family and I came to the United States from the ashes of the atrocity of the Vietnam War. My father’s village was blown to smithereens during the Tet Offensive in 1968. A decade later, I was born in Saigon. My first memories of the world around me took place on a refugee boat fleeing for America. We made it on our own terms. It took me nearly up until this point in my life to reconcile with that, but I have taken my family’s strength, industriousness, and resilience to be my life motto.

When one is in one’s 20s, it can be extremely hard learning what love really means when you take your cues from the pages of gay magazines or from watching American romantic comedies. The gay world can often feel shallow and flashy. It wasn’t until I went to Vietnam upon making my first feature film that I realized what love really meant. One night I had gone to a Vietnamese pop concert in Saigon and was stranded by my social butterfly friends only to have a mutual acquaintance, Mark, offer me a ride home on the back of his Vespa. That ride turned into a five-hour trip through the city looking for a coffee shop that was willing to take us in to talk until the sun rose. We talked about the residual effects of the Vietnam War and what we were going to do to change our generation. Before I knew it, my life had changed forever. By morning, my entire world was in synchronicity, and I felt like time and space disappeared. In short order, he had obtained a scholarship to go to graduate school and joined me in America. But after nearly four years he missed his homeland. In my heart, I knew our relationship had to end, but it still changed my life. And there will be no other like it, because it taught me so much about loving my culture and myself.

It is only through heartbreak that I have learned these things:
  1. Do not fall in love with an ideal. Fall in love with a person.
  2. Real love is not about finding happiness. Real love is about finding meaningfulness. Happiness is ephemeral, like sex. It is a selfish emotion and it doesn’t last. But meaningfulness is a lasting thing because it is expressed in giving rather than taking.
  3. In the dating world, most will see you for your looks. Only a select few will see beyond that. Know the difference. Someone who sees your ethnicity as a novelty will likely not stick around to understand the complexity of your humanness. Without a deeper foundation, you’ve got very little to stand on.
  4. Do not see beauty based on the Western paradigm, but through the prism of your own cultural roots. Especially as gay men. Create your own culture. Build your own language.
  5. Last and most importantly, you have a say in the narrative of your life. Know yourself. Love yourself. Be yourself. No can love you until you learn to love yourself first and foremost.

As I remind myself what love means upon writing this article, I hope that you go out there and find your 「Big Gay Love」.

RINGO LE is the writer and director of the film 「Big Gay Love」, coming to TLA DVD on December 2. He can be reached on Twitter @ringole or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ringole.


Ringo Le 「Big Gay Love」 trailer - released on May 23 2014.

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Andrew Jacobs 「Taïwan, un phare pour les homosexuels d'Asie」

Posted on November 04, 2014 commentaires
65 000 personnes ont défilé dans les rues de Taipei en faveur du mariage gay. De nombreux Asiatiques se sont joints au défilé, admiratifs du libéralisme taïwanais sur ce sujet.

Brandissant des drapeaux arc-en-ciel et des banderoles exigeant le mariage homosexuel, le joyeux cortège part du palais présidentiel et défile sous les acclamations des spectateurs.

Pour la treizième année consécutive, la Gay Pride a occupé les rues de la capitale le samedi 25 octobre et démontré bruyamment et joyeusement l’évolution de Taïwan en vingt ans, depuis que la démocratie a remplacé la loi martiale [levée en 1987] et l’autocratie.

Les applaudissements redoublent d’intensité au passage d’un drapeau malaisien ou d’une troupe de danseurs japonais en costume traditionnel, des envoyés de contrées plus restrictives. James Yang, une pancarte du Centre communautaire gay et lesbien de Pékin à la main, peut à peine avancer tant les gens se pressent pour se faire prendre en photo à ses côtés.

« J’ai participé à des Gay Pride à New York, San Diego, Los Angeles mais là, c’est très émouvant pour moi, confie M. Yang, 39 ans, directeur du développement du Centre. C’est vraiment excitant mais en même temps, tout ce soutien me rappelle à quel point on reste à la traîne en Chine. »

Coups de fouets en Indonésie, prison à Singapour
À une époque où la légalisation du mariage homosexuel déferle sur les États-Unis, l’Amérique latine et l’Europe, les défenseurs des droits des homosexuels d’Asie ont toujours du mal à obtenir une protection de base.

Le sultanat de Brunei applique la charia qui pénalise les relations homosexuelles, l’assemblée de la province d’Aceh, en Indonésie, a adopté le mois dernier une ordonnance qui punit les relations sexuelles homosexuelles de cent coups de fouet, et la plus haute juridiction de Singapour a confirmé mercredi [29 octobre] une loi condamnant à deux ans de prison les hommes se livrant à tout acte « ressortant de l’attentat à la pudeur » en public ou privé. Dans un État de Malaisie, les garçons efféminés sont envoyés dans un camp d’entraînement pour rectifier leur comportement.

En matière de droits des homosexuels, Taïwan est un monde à part en Asie. Les gays et lesbiennes déclarés peuvent servir dans l’armée et le ministère de l’Education dicte que les manuels scolaires doivent promouvoir la tolérance. Le législateur a adopté plusieurs lois protégeant les homosexuels, entre autres sur le lieu de travail.

« Un modèle pour une grande partie de l’Asie »
Une proposition de loi visant à légaliser le mariage homosexuel a été présentée devant l’assemblée, même si le texte se heurte à une forte opposition de la part des militants chrétiens et de leurs alliés au sein du Kuomintang, le parti au pouvoir.

« Taïwan est un modèle pour une grande partie de l’Asie, déclare Grace Poore, qui dirige le programme Asie et Pacifique de la Commission internationale des droits de l’homme pour les gays et lesbiennes. Elle est très en avance sur ses voisins. »

Avec ses médias dynamiques, ses nombreuses associations et sa démocratie solide bien que parfois tumultueuse, cette île autonome est devenue le phare du militantisme politique pour toute l’Asie. Le mouvement écologiste taïwanais est désormais une formidable force électorale ; en avril dernier, les adversaires de l’énergie nucléaire sont parvenus à suspendre la construction de la centrale nucléaire de Lungmen, même si la décision finale sera peut-être soumise à un référendum.

Les partisans de la démocratie qui occupent les rues de Hong Kong depuis plus d’un mois ont étudié les tactiques des étudiants taïwanais. Ils avaient pris d’assaut l’assemblée législative au début de l’année pour stopper la signature d’un traité qui rendait selon eux Taïwan vulnérable aux pressions de la Chine continentale, laquelle considère l’île comme faisant partie de son territoire.

« Notre influence est plus grande que notre taille »
« Nous avons peut-être une petite population, mais notre influence est plus grande que notre taille, déclare Yu Meinu, un député du Parti progressiste démocrate (DPP, opposition) qui a présenté à l’assemblée la première proposition de loi relative au mariage pour tous il y a deux ans. Nous avons un niveau de liberté d’expression sans égal. »

Victoria Hsu, qui dirige l’Alliance pour la promotion du droit au partenariat civil, reconnaît que le mouvement pour le mariage homosexuel rencontre une forte opposition. Le fait que les trois principaux candidats à la mairie de Taipei – un poste qui figure sur le CV de tous les présidents depuis 1988 – ont tous exprimé leur soutien est cependant encourageant. Cela signifie que la légalisation n’est qu’une question de temps. « La question, ce n’est pas “si” mais “quand” », ajoute-t-elle. D’après plusieurs sondages réalisés l’année dernière, le mariage homosexuel est soutenu par plus de 50 % de la population.

Andrew Jacobs
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Andrew Jacobs 「For Asia’s Gays, Taiwan Stands Out as Beacon」


TAIPEI, Taiwan – Waving rainbow flags and banners demanding same-sex marriage, the revelers set off from Taiwan’s presidential palace, drawing cheers and thumbs-up from spectators along the way.

For the 13th year in a row, the gay pride march took over the streets of the capital on Saturday in a boisterous, freewheeling demonstration of how far Taiwan has come in the two decades since multiparty democracy replaced martial law and authoritarian rule.

But the loudest applause rose when a Malaysian flag or a troupe of Japanese dancers in traditional folk outfits, envoys from more restrictive locales, were spotted amid the throng. Carrying a handmade placard from Beijing’s gay and lesbian community center above his head, James Yang could barely advance along the parade route because so many strangers wanted to be photographed by his side.

“I’ve been to gay pride marches in New York, San Diego and Los Angeles, but this is so emotional for me,” said Mr. Yang, 39, the center’s director of development. “It’s really exciting, but at the same time, the outpouring of support reminds me of how far behind we are in China.”

At a time when laws legalizing same-sex marriage are sweeping the United States, Latin America and Europe, gay rights advocates across Asia are still struggling to secure basic protections.

Brunei has instituted strict Shariah laws that criminalize gay relationships, conservative legislators in the Indonesian province of Aceh passed an ordinance last month punishing gay sex with 100 lashes, and on Wednesday the highest court in Singapore upheld a law that carries a two-year jail term for men who engage in any act of “gross indecency,” in public or private. In one Malaysian state, effeminate boys are shipped off to boot camp in an effort to reshape their behavior.

When it comes to gay rights in Asia, Taiwan is a world apart. Openly gay and lesbian soldiers can serve in the military, and the Ministry of Education requires textbooks to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians. In recent years, legislators here have passed protections for gays, including a law against workplace discrimination.

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage has been introduced in Taiwan’s legislature, although it still faces strong opposition from Christian activists and their allies in the governing Kuomintang.

“Taiwan is an inspiration for much of Asia,” said Grace Poore, director of Asia and Pacific island programs at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “They are way ahead of their neighbors.”

With its lively news media, panoply of grass-roots organizations and a robust, if sometimes noisy, democracy, this self-governing island has become a beacon for liberal political activism across Asia. Taiwan’s environmental movement has emerged as a formidable electoral force, and in April, opponents of atomic energy succeeded in halting construction of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant, although a final decision on the facility may be put to a public referendum.

Democracy advocates who have occupied the streets of Hong Kong for over a month studied the tactics of the student protesters in Taiwan who earlier this year took over the Legislative Yuan in an effort to halt a trade pact they said would leave Taiwan vulnerable to pressure from mainland China, which considers the island part of its territory.

“We may have a small population, but our influence is bigger than our size,” said Yu Meinu, a legislator from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. “The level of free speech is unlike anywhere else.”

Ms. Yu, who introduced the island’s first marriage equality bill into the legislature two years ago, said one of Taiwan’s greatest assets was its thriving collection of civil society groups. “A lot of the calls for reform come from the bottom up, not from the government,” she said. “And when people here see injustice, they are not afraid to stand up and make their voices heard.”

But the wellspring of opposition to same-sex marriage has highlighted the limits of liberal activism. Last December, at the same spot where gay and lesbian marchers gathered over the weekend, an estimated 150,000 people rallied against the legislation.

Min Daixi, vice president of the Unification Church and a leader in the Taiwan Family Protection Alliance, said same-sex unions were a threat to traditional families. “They are trying to redefine a concept that our society was built upon,” he said.

Victoria Hsu, who heads the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, acknowledged that the movement for same-sex marriage faced strong opposition.

But she said she was encouraged that the three leading candidates for Taipei mayor – a job on the résumé of every president since 1988 – have all expressed support for same-sex marriage, which to her suggests that the legalization of same-sex unions is simply a matter of time. “It’s not a question of if, but of when,” she said. Several polls over the past year have found that more than 50 percent of people in Taiwan support same-sex marriage.

Religious life here, for the most part, is dominated by Buddhism and Taoism, faiths with little doctrinal resistance to homosexuality. Although they make up less than 5 percent of Taiwan’s 23 million people, Christians have formed the bulwark of the opposition. “Taiwanese are really tolerant,” said Ms. Poore of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “It’s not the kind of place where gays and lesbians have to worry about violence if they are affectionate in public.”

In addition to scores of bars, clubs and gay bookstores, one well-trod tourist attraction is a Taoist shrine dedicated to a rabbit deity – based on an 18th-century Qing dynasty official who was said to be gay – who has become something of a patron saint to gay worshipers seeking good fortune.

Still, in many respects, Taiwan remains a traditional society bound by a sense of Confucian filial duty that emphasizes family and the production of heirs. Edgar Chang, 34, a chemical engineer who was wearing a rhinestone-encrusted tiara and feather boa on Saturday, said he is out to his friends but has not summoned the courage to tell his parents he has had a boyfriend for the past three years. “I don’t think they would disown me, but at the same time, I think it might kill them because they really want a grandchild,” he said.

The gay pride march has come a long way since 2003, when some participants wore masks to conceal their identities. Albert Yang, 37, one of the parade organizers, recalled his trepidation that year as the march set off with just a handful of participants. “A lot of people didn’t dare join, but they slowly worked their way into the crowd, and by the time we finished, there were 600 or 700 people,” he said.

This year, more than 65,000 people joined the march, according to organizers. They included contingents of Filipinos, Malaysians, Singaporeans, and a much smaller number of mainland Chinese, most of whom are restricted from traveling to Taiwan on their own by strict visa requirements imposed by both governments.

Although the Chinese Communist Party takes a mostly hands-off approach to homosexual activity, there are no legal protections for gays in China, and the authorities have become less tolerant of AIDS organizations and gay rights advocates as part of a wider campaign against nongovernmental organizations.

Waving a large rainbow flag over the crowd, Hiro, a 48-year-old television station employee from Tokyo, said it was his eighth time at the parade. “For gay Japanese, this is the event of the year,” he said, declining to give his full name out of concern it could cause problems at work. “I only wish we were as brave as the Taiwanese and could do something like this in Japan.”

Surveying the march from the sidelines, Jay Lin, 46, said he thought Taiwan could do more to promote its live-and-let-live ethos at a time when the island’s economy is slowing. “We have become a beacon for human rights issues across Asia,” said Mr. Lin, who this year started Taiwan’s first gay and lesbian film festival. “This is a strong selling point, and if the government was smart, they would recognize that this is our soft power and market it to the rest of the world.”

Chen Jiehao contributed research from Beijing.

A version of this article appears in print on October 30, 2014, on Page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: 「For Asia’s Gays, Taiwan Stands Out as Beacon」.



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Dirty Beaches 「Stateless」

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Dirty Beaches 「Stateless」

Video shot and edited by Alex Zhang Hungtai
All footages shot on iphone 5s camera
Title track for the upcoming album『Stateless』out Nov 4th, 2014 via ZOO MUSIC.

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Angry Homosexual 「Supply and Demand: Why Rice Queens rule the Gaysian World」

Posted on November 03, 2014 commentaires
Some people have interpreted my recent posts on rice queens as being too harsh.

I’ll paraphrase one particularly poignant comment that made me think:

How dare you say that rice queens “don’t care about you”? My love of younger Asian guys is a kind of orientation, just like being gay in the first place. I don’t have any control over who I’m attracted to. And I deeply care about and love the young Asian guy I’m with. I would never “trade him in for a younger model.”

I don’t doubt that rice queens can and do care deeply about the Asians they’re with. There are many kinds of “orientations” or fetishes that seldom draw much scrutiny, like straight men who only date blonde women who are younger and shorter than them. No one accuses them of not caring about their blonde women. Yet it’s just as targeted as the fetish rice queens have for younger Asians – racially, physically, and age-wise.

Besides, the elephant in the room is the fetish that gay white men have for each other, which we rarely think of as a problem.

So why should I give rice queens such a hard time?

It’s not that I don’t think rice queens should be allowed to have their fetish. My libertarian side believes that everyone has a right to have whatever fetishes they want, even if they creep me out.

What bothers me is the perverse power dynamic that lets rice queens exploit their position for immense pleasure at the expense of gay Asians.

I happen to know the man who made the comment at the beginning of this post. He’s a fifty-something white man who complained of being rejected by an Asian man in his twenties. The fact that he even has a realistic chance with Asians less than half his age is a result of this power dynamic. Despite his claims of ignorance, he’s reaped huge benefits from from this dynamic – he’s been with several twenty-something gay Asians, the latest defeat being but a brief interruption in an otherwise enviable hitting streak.

What’s behind this power dynamic in the Asian-white dating market? Supply and demand, of course!

  1. Gay Asians love white men. Lots of supply. Only 12% of gay Asians would only date another gay Asian – the overwhelming majority are open to dating white guys.
  2. White men prefer to date each other. Low demand for Asians. No other race comes close to white men in how much like they to date each other – 43% of white men would only date another white man.

What this means is that there’s vast pool of gay Asian men chasing a relatively small number of white men willing to date them. Gay Asians reply to white men 55% of the time, compared to 35% for the other way around.

This phenomenon is especially pronounced in cities like San Francisco where there’s a high proportion of Asians. San Francisco is a rice queen’s paradise.

In any relationship, the party with more choices holds most of the power, and an attractive gay white man has far more choices than a similarly endowed gay Asian.

Rice queens can and do exploit this advantage to no end. Obviously, the exact degree of power enjoyed by a rice queen varies based on the situation. A relatively unattractive rice queen could land in a city like Taipei without any plans or even a hotel reservation and expect to be treated like a king. In such a situation, it would be hard for the rice queen not be a jerk. With so many prospects out there, why should he put up with the slightest physical or personality defect?

Rice queens outside of Asia need to be of a much higher standard to engage in such behavior. Yet they generally still enjoy a much higher degree of power in their relationships than their age and attractiveness would otherwise command.

This dynamic can be harmful to both rice queens and gay Asians. Rice queens, at least during their prime dating years, have a hard time settling down because they have too many suitors to choose from. Potato queens have a hard time keeping rice queens in their clutches. Non-potato queen gay Asians suffer too, as most other gay Asians are too busy pursuing white men to notice them.

In the end, the market settles into a sort of equilibrium where a given rice queen can score a gay Asian significantly younger and/or more attractive than himself. One might say that gay Asians sell at a very heavy “discount.” Such is the way the market works.

Rice queens enjoy out-sized dividends as a result of being born white and being open to eating rice. I have nothing against rice queens. If anything, the world needs more of them to satiate the throngs of potato queens out there.

The gay Asian dating market is screwed up. Until such time as gay white men fall in love with Asians en masse, or gay Asians snap out of their collective potato obsession, rice queens will rule the Gaysian dating world.

Author: Angry Homosexual/Date;: November 03, 2014/Source: http://angryhomosexual.com/supply-demand-rice-queens/
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