Graham Gremore 「This “fabulous husky gaysian” comedian is so over your white supremacy」

Posted on January 31, 2017 commentaires

Peter Kim is a Chicago-based comedian and self-described “fabulous husky gaysian” and he has something to say about the subtle tones of white supremacy he is forced to deal with on a near daily basis.

Kim recalls going to an audition where a man complimented him for being “almost white.”

“Me, an Asian-American, being almost white? Meaning what?” Kim asks. “That I’m not black or Latino or any skin complexion darker than white? In saying so, he’s assuming that white people are the default race in this country, that I am almost normal.”

“And this isn’t some ignorant racist,” he adds. “This is a liberal creative person living in Chicago.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Kim says the problem is everywhere.

“You see, this happens to me all the time, even in places I never thought would exist,” he explains. “See, I’m a Korean man who’s also gay. And when I finally came out and downloaded the dating app Grindr–spoiler alert, ain’t nobody dating on Grindr – I was overwhelmed by profiles saying no fems, no fats, no Asians.”

“And I would say to myself, well, that can’t be me, because, according to my mom, I’m not fat, I’m husky.”

And then there is the question he can’t seem to escape no matter where he goes.

“When I get asked the question where are you from, and I respond, ‘Oh, New York,’ most of the time, well-meaning white people get upset and ask, ‘You know what I mean. Where are you from-from?’” Kim says. “My boyfriend, who is from Minnesota, whose family has roots in Sweden, never has to explain where he’s from-from.”

Watch below.


PBS NewsHour 「The white supremacy of being asked where I’m from」 - posted on January 27, 2017.

Author: Graham Gremore/Date: January 31, 2017/Source: https://www.queerty.com/fabulous-husky-gaysian-comedian-white-supremacy-20170131



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Raphäl Yem 「« Aujourd’hui, mes compatriotes asiatiques et moi, on se sent un peu seuls » : la tribune de Raphäl Yem」

commentaires
La semaine dernière, des milliers d’internautes étaient choqués en découvrant la petite annonce postée par les équipes de Cauet, à la recherche de Chinois « sachant faire l’accent parfaitement », pour fêter le Nouvel An chinois. Le journaliste et animateur Raphäl Yem, qui officie au micro de Nova, et sur MTV et France Ô, toujours à l’affût de propos racistes anti-asiatiques, s’en est lui aussi offusqué. Nous lui avons donné carte blanche.

« Hello, je recherche 4-5 personnes d’origine chinoise, disponibles pour venir fêter le nouvel an chinois dans l’émission de Cauet demain et faire du karaoké !! Il faudrait que les personnes aient l’accent ou sachent faire l’accent parfaitement !! »


Cette annonce, postée il y a quelques jours sur Facebook dans un groupe de petites annonces n’a rien d’un fake.

Son auteure l’a supprimée le lendemain, sans explication. Peut-être que, satisfaite, elle avait trouvé ses candidats – tout est possible. Peut être que le réseau social mondial de Mark Zuckerberg, de lui-même, trouvant cette annonce chelou, l’a retirée ? – je suis sûr que non. Peut être alors la multiplication des commentaires outrés suscités par l’énormité de ce casting ont eu raison de cette annonce – je penche plutôt pour cette option.


Pour me rassurer et pour ne pas aboyer gratuitement, j’ai personnellement contacté en message privé Eva Rinche, puisqu’il s’agit de cette personne. Eva est stagiaire, c’est une petite main de cette émission de radio animée par Cauet, diffusée sur NRJ, qui se plaît à rappeler sans cesse qu’elle est la première radio musicale de France.

Eva n’a pas publié d’excuses, mais m’a répondu dans l’heure : « Ça a sûrement été mal formulé mais aucun propos raciste ne figurait dans cette publication ». C’est vrai. Maladroit, carrément. Aucun propos raciste... Encore heureux qu’un « chinetok », « niakwé » ou autres friandises citronnées ne se soient pas glissées dans ces quelques lignes « innocentes ».


Mais j’y pense : peut-être d’ailleurs ce post ne vous choque-t-il pas non plus ? Si c’est le cas, en 2017, dans le contexte critique socio-politique dans lequel nous sommes, c’est un problème. En effet, aller spécifiquement chercher des Chinois, qui ont l’accent ou qui savent parfaitement le faire, pour faire un karaoké dans une émission de radio filmée et suivie par des millions de personnes, c’est perpétrer des stéréotypes qui nourrissent au quotidien le racisme. Cela maintient aussi et surtout ceux qu’on désigne comme « chinois » dans une forme d’exotisme, « comme s’ils ne pouvaient pas être des français comme les autres. Et demander à des gens qui n’ont pas d’accent d’en faire un », pour citer l’auteure Rokhaya Diallo, c’est comme se grimer en chinois, imiter ce fameux accent, porter des kimonos, et faire des arts martiaux dans le but de faire rire, en prime. Suivez mon regard... Pour exemple, même sous hypnose, l’équipe d’Arthur a récemment choisi de mettre en scène la chanteuse Priscilla, Andy Cocq et l’hypnotique Messmer en « élèves kung-fu ». « Saluer », « crier », « faire des prises », « en chinois » évidemment, sans oublier de se renverser un bol de riz sur la tête, devant près de 4 millions de téléspectateurs. J’imagine le malaise des sino-familles qui fêtaient ce soir-là le Nouvel An, devant ce sketch de 15 minutes sur TF1, la première chaîne d’Europe.

Les clichés sont des croyances entretenues, à propos de différents groupes de personnes. Des clichés sur les Noirs, les Antillais, les Juifs, les Arabes, les Roms, les femmes, les Turcs, les personnes LGBT, les personnes en situation de handicap... Le citoyen que je suis les a vivement dénoncés. Sans discrimination. Sans regarder la couleur, la langue, le physique, le genre. Aujourd’hui, mes compatriotes asiatiques et moi, on se sent un peu seuls. Car oui, je suis ce citoyen du monde, d’origine cambodgienne. Plus jeune, j’ai subi les moqueries, les vannes, les insultes, du fait de mes yeux, perçus “bridés”, de ma couleur, perçue “jaune”, de mes prétendus talents génétiques sur le karaté, le judo, voire le sumo. Voilà de quoi vous tanner le cuir, le cerveau, les convictions anti-racistes. L’idée de cette tribune n’est pas de se plaindre, de dire qu’on ne peut plus rire de rien. Mais de souligner le fait qu’encore aujourd’hui, malgré toutes les marches, les plans, les lois, les films, les émissions, les livres, les cours, les rencontres, les crimes racistes, on peut encore faire comme si de rien n’était. Parce qu’on est maladroit, parce qu’il n’y a rien de mal à se moquer des Chinois. Ouais, même s’il s’agit de Japonais, Thaïlandais, Vietnamiens ou un truc dans le genre – nan, parce qu’ils se ressemblent tous, que c’est pareil. Même s’ils sont Français. Il y a quelques mois, Zhang Chaolin mourait tabassé dans les rues d’Aubervilliers. Ces jeunes agresseurs voulaient lui voler sa sacoche, « parce que les Chinois, ils ne se déplacent qu’avec du cash ». Un autre cliché. Mortel. Et pourtant, rien de raciste dans le wording, non ?


Ah oui, j’ai presque oublié de vous souhaiter une belle année du coq ! Faisons un karaoké pour fêter ça, surtout si vous avez l’accent ou que vous savez le faire parfaitement. Il y aura peut être même du chien à manger. Ah celui-là, on n’en avait pas encore parlé, alors voilà. Ah, non :D , j’allais oublier le smiley.





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Kaitlin Reilly 「Ross Butler Talks ‘Riverdale’ & How He's Breaking Asian Stereotypes」

Posted on January 26, 2017 commentaires
Photo: Michael Becker

If you’re a fan of teen TV, you’ve likely already seen Ross Butler’s face. The 26-year-old actor has had arcs on Disney Channel’s 「K.C. Undercover」, ABC Family’s 「Chasing Life」, and, most recently, MTV’s 「Teen Wolf」. His latest role is a comic-book legend – but not of the superhero variety. Butler appears as an updated version of Reggie Mantle on 「Riverdale」, The CW’s neo-noir take on the world of Archie Comics.

Reggie, a football player and Archie’s rival and frenemy in the comics, is the kind of jock who’s jerky attitude is obligatory in any good teen drama. However, it’s Butler’s casting that is breaking barriers. In addition to teasing some intel about 「Riverdale」 and his upcoming Netflix series 「Thirteen Reasons Why」, Butler, who is Asian-American, spoke to Refinery29 about how he’s tried to fight Asian stereotypes during his years in Hollywood.

What can you reveal about Reggie’s relationship with Archie this season?

“There’s definitely a rivalry between the two. It stays true to the comics in that sense, in that they’re friends but they are butting heads all the time. [Reggie] is always pranking everyone in the group, I’m hating on them, they’re hating on me... It’s a camaraderie that is staying true to the comics. We’re keeping it more real – I’m not playing pranks by throwing a pie in [Archie’s] face... We’re butting heads literally on the football field. It’s a timeless rivalry that fans [of the comics] will enjoy and new fans will be able to connect with.”

Did you read the comics before auditioning for the show?

“I wasn’t an avid reader [of Archie Comics], but I was familiar with them. It was an interesting contrast to see how this new script and new story line compares to the super-famous, family-friendly version of Archie. [There’s] a dark underbelly in this series."

There’s a lack of Asian representation on TV, which is slowly changing. As an Asian-American actor, have you faced any particular challenges?

“This is something that has been a core [part] of me as an actor, ever since I [became one]. We’re a very underrepresented population in Hollywood, but we are the majority population of the world. It’s a weird dichotomy that we have here. It’s starting to get better and we are starting to see more Asians in roles, but we’re not seeing a lot of Asians playing roles [that are] not specifically written for Asians. So when I first started out, I was being sent on auditions for ‘the geek,’ ‘the techie.’ Let’s be honest guys, I don’t look like a techie [laughs].”

“I told my agents, ‘Don’t send me out for [roles written for Asian actors].’ For a while, I didn’t get any auditions, or I’d get very few... But then I started to pick up momentum and started booking roles that weren’t [necessarily written for] Asian actors. For 「K.C. Undercover」, my role wasn’t written for an Asian actor, and I was the only Asian in the audition room. That’s a trend I see today, when I go out for non-Asian roles: I’ll be one of the only Asian people in the room, if not the only one.”

Now you play a football player!

“When I was a kid, there wasn’t an Asian-American Ryan Gosling, or an Asian-American Robert Downey Jr. that you would look up to... Now, [on 「Riverdale」] I play kind of a jerky football player, and on 「Thirteen Reasons Why」 I play a nice basketball player who does a bad thing, and on 「Teen Wolf」 I played a lacrosse player. Asians can be athletic, we don’t have to fit into this image that [the media] has for [us]. Booking these roles that aren’t necessarily [for Asian actors] is something I’m proud of and, hopefully, will keep doing.”

Can you tease a little bit about your character in Netflix’s 「Thirteen Reasons Why」?

“I play Zach Dempsey, who is a basketball player, one of the jocks... He’s a guy’s guy, he fits in with all the guys, he’s one of the bros. What I’ll say about him is that he isn’t what you expect him to be. He is a jock, but he has a depth to him that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a jock that hangs out in the popular group. He isn’t as smart as the other kids, but he has a sensitive side to him. How that ties in... you guys will have to see.”

「Thirteen Reasons Why」 is based on Jay Asher’s book – is your character in the novel?

“He was in the book briefly... what they did with the book is that they used it as a foundation to build a whole story around. [The Netflix series] does stay true to the book, but it adds so much more to it. They give a lot more backstory... We have 13 episodes to tell the story and flesh out all of the characters.”

Any dream book or other adaptations you would want to star in?

“Anything by [『American Gods』author] Neil Gaiman... He’s my favorite author and he’s a genius when it comes to mythology. His characters are so unique. I don’t watch a lot of [anime], but there’s this one – 「Cowboy BeBop」, it’s so good!... And anything 「Dragon Ball Z」.”

Author: Kaitlin Reilly/Date: January 26, 2017/Source: http://www.refinery29.com/2017/01/136906/riverdale-reggie-mantle-ross-butler-interview




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Kane Diep, Izzy Francke & Kirsten King 「Asian-Americans Re-Created Famous Vanity Fair Magazine Covers And It Was Beautiful」

Posted on January 24, 2017 commentaires
You’re not alone.

We’ve all seen the Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair, gracing magazine stands since 1995:

BuzzFeed Video

However, we haven’t seen a lot of Asian-American representation on these covers. So some BuzzFeed staff decided to come together and create one of the iconic covers themselves.


BuzzFeedVideo 「Asian-Americans Re-create Iconic Magazine Covers」 - posted on January 24, 2017

A lot of them spoke about the fact that this opportunity gave them a chance to show representation and be the role models that they didn’t have growing up:

BuzzFeed Video

The experience was amazing, and the result was... GORGEOUS:

BuzzFeed Video

And while these people have never been on an actual Vanity Fair cover, that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of it. Check out their individual accomplishments and pictures below:

1. Ashly Perez
27, Development Partner

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
Three seasons of 「You Do You」. We made intentional choices to normalize representation versus calling it out. I wanted to tell happy, silly stories about gay characters that weren’t so heavy.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Weird Things Girls Do When They’re Alone」, 22 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
As a queer Cuban, Korean, Filipina woman, I don’t see myself represented in a multifaceted way. I hope to keep telling stories that represent the intersections of my life.
2. Justin Tan
28, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
I’m most proud of the 「Who’s Your Bro」 trailer series, because I was 10 pounds lighter when those videos were made.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Americans Try Canadian Snacks」, 14 million YouTube views, which was my second BF video. It was all downhill from there.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
The sequel to 「When You See Your Friend’s Penis」... 「When You See Your Friend’s Penis, AGAIN」.
3. Safiya Nygaard
24, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
Ladylike! Freddie and I started producing Ladylike videos a year ago, and since then it’s grown to be a powerhouse show. I love working with all the girls on the team.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Women Go Without Period Products for a Day」, with 4.2 million YouTube views in 7 days.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
More in-depth investigations and on-the-street interviews! More than just us tryin’ stuff but has another layer or two.
4. Ryan Bergara
26, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「The BuzzFeed Unsolved」 series has a lot of my personality injected into it. It’s been one of the most fun yet challenging creative endeavors I’ve ever taken on.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「The Bizarre Death of Elisa Lam」, 12.2 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
I hope I can continue to make series that entertain, inform, and get people excited about the digital space in media.
5. Michelle Khare
24, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「People of Color Re-Create Iconic Movie Posters」 was one of the first stylized videos we’ve done addressing the disparity of representation in Hollywood.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
They’re about porn and masturbation... I don’t really want to talk about it. Lol!

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Inspire more young women to go after their dreams, even if they don’t see people like themselves in the fields they’re interested in.
6. Jared Sosa
33, Creative Director

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「23 Ways to Get Over Your Crush」. It’s a sweet and silly video that no one saw coming where I sang in a YouTube video within the video.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Breakup Sex」, 20 million YouTube views. Proud it engaged our audience emotionally.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
I want to make sci-fi with robots. Robots are the new zombies.
7. Jennifer Ruggirello
23, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Women Learn to Skateboard for 30 Days」 fulfilled a childhood dream. 「Japanese-Americans Visit a WW2 Incarceration Camp」 was for my grandparents.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「What Plus-Size Clothing Looks Like on Plus-Size Women」. 11 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
More scripted pieces. We need more queer women on the internet. Especially queer women who make out, aren’t white, and don’t die.
8. Kane Diep
27, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Children of Asian Immigrants Reveal Sacrifices Their Parents Made」, which touched immigrant families who’ve had shared struggles. And my scripted series 「#Dustane」, based on my own relationship.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「When You Can’t Do Salads」, 38 million Facebook views and 300k shares.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Be Shonda Rhimes and launch scripted shows with diverse casts, compelling stories, and complex relationships.
9. Niki Ang
23, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「In the Closet」. We created a safe space for our queer audiences by featuring people from across the spectrum, having conversations not easily found online, and celebrating intersectionality.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Women Go Braless for a Week」, 12.5 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Create content where Asian people and queer people learn about their cultures and heritage, and can connect with their roots.
10. Robin Broadfoot
28, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「10 Truths Eurasians Know Too Well」. I explored my identity crisis, being Eurasian and growing up in Hong Kong, and the feeling of not fitting in anywhere.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Healthy Cucumber, Tomato, and Avocado Salad」, 153 million Facebook views, and 3 million shares. One of the top videos on Tasty.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Diving into more scripted content. I’ve always had a passion for movies, watching one or two a day. It’s my religion. It’s magic to me.
11. Maggie Jung
24, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「A Surprise Proposal」, the biggest project I’ve ever produced! It was so fulfilling to create such a beautiful story/experience for such an important part of someone’s life, and to share it with our viewers was amazing.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「DIY Cat Tent」, 68 million Facebook views. It was really cool to hear that my best friend’s roommates in New York made a cat tent after watching the video.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
I would love to work on crazy cool VR projects, multimedia, platform-bending stuff, and tell stories that inspire and entertain people!
12. Annie Jeong
24, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「We Tried Extreme Climbing!」. Test Friends was a series I loved before coming to Buzzfeed and I’m still so glad I got the opportunity to produce an episode.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「People Try the Fire Noodle Challenge」, 5.5 million views on YouTube and 10 million views on Facebook. I ran around the studio lugging around a monopod and a tub of ramen.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
More content about Asian identity and health/nutrition!
13. Kevin J. Nguyen
23, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Asian-Americans Get Photoshopped Onto Blockbuster Movie Posters」. Asian-Americans still struggle to get proper representation. This video addressed this issue and hopefully let others know they’re not alone.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「People Get Transformed Into Tim Burton-Inspired Characters」, 2.6 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Make more content on the intersection between the Asian-American experience and masculinity.
14. Rachel Kang
24, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「If People Acted Like Korean Drama Characters」. It was the first video I wrote, directed, cast, edited, produced, and shot offsite. I’d never watched Kdramas until writing, and I got SO obsessed.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「How Many Snapchat Tricks Do You Know?」. 100k Facebook shares and it was the highest-performing video on BuzzFeed Snapchat Discover as of May 2016.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
My goal is to make people laugh and feel less alone.
15. Steven Lim
26, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Worth It」, a food and travel show comparing one item of food at three different price points. I’m proud of it because it’s a series that anybody can relate to and enjoy.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「$11 Steak Vs. $306 Steak」, 15 million YouTube views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Make impactful content that highlights what it’s like to be Asian-American.
16. Tiffany Lo
29, Senior Manager

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
I don’t have one favorite video, but I’m proud of leading the teams responsible for Tasty, Nifty, and Goodful. Collectively, the three Facebook pages have over 105 million page likes.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「3 Easy Breakfasts You Can Make in a Mug」, 2.2 million shares and 72 million views.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
I’m an avid traveler. Would love making travel videos! Maybe food-travel videos?
17. Ray Pajar
28, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「DIY Cat Planters」. This was the project that made me feel like I was really part of the Nifty team during my residency.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Concrete Garden Hands」, 130 million Facebook views and over 2 million shares.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Continuing to inspire people to make things. Showing people they can create anything they put their minds to.
18. Carol Tan
25, Creative Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Things That Are Better With Icing」. One of my first branded scripts, and I am thankful to have the team’s trust to be the catalyst behind a production that called for five gallons of icing.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「How to Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps」, 151 million views and 4 million shares. I’m so happy it did well, because plants are so resilient and full of surprises.
19. Christopher Lam
24, Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Weird Things Straight/Gay BFFs Talk About」 was my first video. It was simple to shoot and edit, but visibility as a queer person of color was powerful.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Native Americans Try On ‘Indian’ Halloween Costumes」, 14 million views and 100k shares.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Giving more trans people a platform. They’re still met with so much discrimination and violence. I would like to be an ally to them however I can.
20. Hitomi Aihara
31, Junior Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
I’m proud of all the videos I’ve made, viral or not. Making videos for three teams (Tasty, Tasty Japan, and Nifty) allows me to tap into different creative views while experimenting with what I visually like.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake」, 37 million Facebook Views and 912k shares.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
I love nature. The ocean, the mountains, and the outdoors. I want to reach people with the same passions.
21. Tiger Souvannakoumane
26, Junior Video Producer

What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Asian Americans Try to Speak Their Native Language」. I was able to tackle my own insecurities with language and inspire others to speak about theirs.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「How to Remove Rust Naturally」. 100 million Facebook views and 1.9 million shares.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Blend identity and social impact with the practically of DIY. I’m excited to use DIY as a vehicle to create impact and transcend barriers.
22. Rie Tange McClenny
Junior Producer
What video or series are you most proud of making at BuzzFeed?
「Animal-Shaped Egg 4 Ways」. My mom used to make rabbit-shaped boiled eggs – it was my favorite thing in my lunchboxes.

What is your highest-performing video at BuzzFeed?
「Animal-Shaped Egg 4 Ways」. 346k shares and 31 million views on Tasty.

What do you hope to make that you haven’t done?
Bringing my mom from Japan to the Tasty kitchen in LA and cook together!

By Kane Diep (BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Staff), Izzy Francke (BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Staff) & Kirsten King (BuzzFeed Staff)

PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographer: Melly Lee
http://www.mellylee.com/
instagram.com/mellylee_


STYLING PROVIDED BY:
Tuxedos: The Black Tux
https://theblacktux.com/
Dresses: Rent the Runway
https://www.renttherunway.com/
Heels: StyleLend
https://www.stylelend.com/

MAKEUP & HAIR
Makeup: Yukina Mitsuhashi
instagram.com/makeupbyyukina/

Hair: Yuichi Ishida
instagram.com/yuichi0503/

Author: By Kane Diep, Izzy Francke & Kirsten King/Date: January 24, 2017/Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/kanediep/asian-americans-recreate-iconic-hollywood-magazine-cover-pho?utm_term=.siwZRkm7e1#.abX8kMQ21z


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Gurvan Kristanadjaja 「Pourquoi le racisme anti-asiatique est-il sous-estimé en France ?」

Posted on January 21, 2017 commentaires
Mai Lam Nguyen-Conan, spécialiste des enjeux de diversité et d'interculturalité, livre des éléments d'analyse du racisme anti-asiatique.

Si le sketch de Gad Elmaleh et Kev Adams a fait polémique, il a aussi fait émerger des questionnements. Au cours de leur spectacle 「Tout est possible」, ils se sont mis en scène, grimant des Asiatiques et lançant des blagues considérées par beaucoup comme racistes. Plusieurs intervenants, invités par la journaliste Rokhaya Diallo, tenteront de répondre ce samedi au 104 à Paris à la question : 「Asiatiques en France : éternels invisibles ?」 Mai Lam Nguyen-Conan est l’une des intervenantes de ce débat. D’origine Vietnamienne, spécialiste des enjeux de diversité et d’interculturalité, elle répond à nos questions.

Vous êtes l’auteure de『Français je vous ai tant aimés : L’impossible intégration ?』dans lequel vous interrogez votre identité et votre relation avec la France en tant qu’Asiatique. Quelle était votre démarche ?

J’ai écrit un récit sur l’intégration, la relation avec la France du point de vue d’un Asiatique. Les Asiatiques sont souvent vus comme les meilleurs élèves de l’intégration, pourtant ils ne sont jamais vraiment intégrés. Ils sont dans un entre-deux : entre les minorités et les Français d’origine. Ça tient aussi à la culture de certains pays desquels ils sont originaires, la Chine ou le Vietnam par exemple. Lorsqu’ils arrivent en France, l’enfant apprend le français, parfois, comme moi, dans la douleur.

Je suis arrivée à 7 ans et j’ai été arrachée à ma famille : j’étais placée dans une famille d’accueil pour apprendre le français la semaine et je rentrais chez mes parents le week-end. Ça a fonctionné, toute la famille a un accent sauf moi, mais c’était un apprentissage difficile. À la maison, les parents parlaient vietnamien, et c’était le sacrifice de l’intégration. Chez beaucoup de parents asiatiques, les familles ont conservé la langue à la maison, et ça a forcé les enfants très jeunes à faire l’aller-retour entre les deux cultures. Il a fallu que je retourne au Vietnam et que j’y travaille six ans pour m’y sentir bien et pour que je me sente Française au retour. Ça a fait partie de ma quête identitaire.

Pourquoi le racisme anti-asiatique est-il sous-estimé en France ?

J’aurais tendance à dire que le militantisme n’est pas dans notre culture. Lors de la polémique sur le sketch de Gad Elmaleh et Kev Adams, combien d’Asiatiques ont trouvé que c’était raciste ? Beaucoup. Combien ont été outrés ? Moins probablement. Et combien vont vouloir attaquer les humoristes ? Beaucoup moins. C’est lié, dans les cultures confucianistes et taoïstes, à l’éducation. Quand j’ai écrit mon livre, il a fallu que je lutte avec mon autocensure et ma famille était horrifiée de savoir que je prenais la parole. Chez les gens plus jeunes, la nouvelle génération, élevée avec une culture 100% occidentale, ce sera sans doute différent, eux vont vouloir prendre la tribune et peut-être que c’est aussi bien.

On a tendance à penser que les Asiatiques sont finalement assez peu représentés dans la sphère publique, proportionnellement à leur nombre en France. Ce manque de relais explique-t-il le racisme dont ils sont victimes ?

Le racisme anti-asiatique est finalement assez proche de l’antisémitisme. L’idée qu’ils sont « partout », alors que leur logique est finalement celle de l’autonomie économique. Beaucoup de jeunes dans leur carrière vont privilégier l’indépendance et la liberté plutôt qu’une carrière politique par exemple. Si les Asiatiques ouvrent beaucoup de commerces, ce n’est pas culturel, c’est avant tout qu’il y a des aides de la communauté.

Après le décès d’un couturier chinois, Chaolin Zhang, à Aubervilliers en août dernier et le sketch de Kev Adams et Gad Elmaleh, beaucoup d’Asiatiques se sont exprimés. Constatez-vous un progrès ?

Je ne suis pas sûre que l’on puisse constater de progrès dans le domaine de la lutte antiraciste. Aujourd’hui, il y a une certaine hypocrisie dans la lutte antiraciste. On pense que les victimes ne peuvent pas être racistes elles-mêmes. Mais nous avons tous des préjugés sur plein d’autres personnes à longueur de temps. La question est donc de savoir, est-ce qu’on peut chacun arrêter de faire des réflexions sur les gros, les blonds, les roux ?

Comment lutter plus efficacement ?

Nous avons le choix de lutter contre le racisme anti-asiatique comme le font les Américains. Mais je ne souhaite pas personnellement que la lutte se retrouve derrière la ligne de couleur avec, de fait, une division de la société. Est-ce qu’il n’y a qu’une seule manière de lutter contre le racisme, qui serait la façon dont l’ont fait les Africains-Américains ? Ne peut-on pas le faire différemment, en luttant contre le racisme dans sa globalité ?

Le danger est de communautariser les racismes, de pointer du doigt les responsables, c’est-à-dire les « méchants blancs français », et les gentils sont les autres. Dans cette dichotomie entre les Blancs et les non-Blancs, les Asiatiques ne s’y retrouvent pas, justement parce qu’ils sont dans un entre-deux. J’ai peur d’un glissement vers cela. Mais ce sera en fait la nouvelle génération qui décidera. Et peut-être qu’elle choisira de faire face à ça en se regroupant derrière la ligne de couleur.



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Louis Hanson 「An identity complex: growing up gay and Asian in rural Australia」

Posted on January 19, 2017 commentaires

“You’re not alone. There are many people out there just like you. You will always be loved for whoever you are.”

“The other day, I came across a profile that said ‘no spice or rice’ and another that said ‘love Asian food – just not Asian men’. It was horrible, but I mean, you’ve got to laugh.”

Carlos is inspiring. Despite growing up as one of the only Asian families in a rural community, and having to negotiate his sexuality around his family’s cultural expectations, he is proud to be gay, and equally as proud of his Asian roots. This defiant pride is inspiring in itself.

Carlos was born in the Philippines, but moved to Wangaratta when he was young. “It felt hard for me, though, at the time, coming from a religious background with no gay Asian role models.”

There wasn’t anyone in his family, school or friendship circle who was part of the LGBTQIA+ community. “I didn’t know anyone who was openly out, especially in Wangaratta,” he remembers. “The only Asian person that I took notice of in the media, when I was growing up, was Jackie Chan.” It’s true; Screen Australia found that, in 2015, only 7% of main characters in Australian television were of Asian, African or Middle Eastern descent, despite accounting for 17% of the Australian population – And that’s not even considering a gay character.

Carlos went to Church twice a week until he was 20; his parents are part of a Filipino denomination of Christianity. “It’s an important part of my parents and older sister’s lives, however my other siblings and I are less involved in the religion.”

“I think there is a lot of expectation that comes from parents of Asian decent, which they place onto their children,” he notes. “When my parents migrated to Australia for a better life, they wanted their children to have more than what they did. They worked hard to give their children a solid education and a better start in life.”

With this opportunity, there is also the expectation that their children will succeed, such as getting into university, finding a solid job, meeting a partner and starting a family. “Having a homosexual child doesn’t normally fit into this equation.”

He first became aware of his sexuality when he was quite young. “I used to watch 90210 with my sisters and I remember thinking that Luke Perry was cute.” He loved competing in athletics and playing Barbies. He also played football in primary school because, as a boy, he thought he had to. When he was going to high school in Wangaratta, he felt the need to hide his sexuality; after all, it was the mid 2000’s and he was in a rural town with only one openly gay person in school. His family was also one of the only Asian families at his first high school and, when he was in his teens, he rejected his family’s culture because he wanted to fit in.

He was bullied a lot. It wasn’t as though he was embarrassed of his heritage when he was younger; he just didn’t want to be different to his peers and to be ridiculed for it. So, it wasn’t until after high school, at 18, when he came out to his friends and siblings. They were supportive, as they’d always defended Carlos at school throughout the bullying.

He was initially reluctant to tell his parents, given their religious views. But, At 20, he told his mother. He told her that he was gay, and also depressed. She responded that, if it was the one thing that was going to impend on him living his life, then he had nothing to worry about. Carlos then asked her to tell his father because he was too scared to see his reaction. “I saw him a few months afterwards (my parents still lived in Wangaratta while I lived in Melbourne),” he notes. “And he told me he loved me as whoever I was. It felt like a weight was lifted. My life really turned around after that point.”

However, after a recent family holiday, Carlos discovered that his father’s side of the family had no knowledge of him being gay – despite coming out over a decade ago. He considers himself quite lucky, though; it’s not always easy to come out to your parents, especially when they have strong religious beliefs. “I think it’s hard to come out for anyone regardless of ethnic background,” he says.

But, to Carlos, ‘coming out’ isn’t necessarily essential anymore. “Your sexuality isn’t anyone else’s business.” This is especially pertinent when considering his work as a stylist, a field that arguably allows for greater expression of sexuality than most career paths. “My work is an extension of who I am, and I have produced work that reflects my sexuality. That’s the beauty of working in the creative industry – you can do whatever you want in your own personal work.”

That being said, as an Asian man, does he think it is harder to fit into the LGBTQIA+ community? “I think we have a presence, and a particular pool of men that are into us. However, if the whole community were going to rank what race they would prefer to be with, I think we would be on the bottom.”

With this in mind, what would he say to his 15-year-old self? With no queer Asian role models in his rural community to look up to, and with casual racism flourishing within the community, Carlos is a defiant product of his time.

He pauses.

“You’re not alone. There are many people out there just like you. You will always be loved for whoever you are.”

Louis Hanson 「Mahirap na unawaing pagkakakilanlan: lumaking isang gay at Asyano sa rural Australia」


“Hindi ka nag-iisa. Maraming mga tao na tulad mo. Ikaw ay palaging mamahalin kahit sino ka man.”

“Noong isang araw, aking nakita ang isang profile na nagsasabi na ‘walang pampalasa o kanin’ (‘no spice or rice’) at isa pa na nagsasabi na ‘mahal ko ang pagkaing Asyano - hindi nga lang ang mga Asyanong kalalakihan’ (‘love Asian food – just not Asian men’). Ito ay nakakagulat, ngunit, kailangan mong tawanan na lamang ito.”

Si Carlos ay nakakahanga. Sa kabila na lumaki bilang sa isa lamang sa ilang Asyanong pamilya sa isang rural na komunidad, at kinailangang inegosasyon ang kanyang sekswalidad sa kultural na inaasahan ng kanyang pamilya, ipinagmamalaki niya na maging isang bakla, at gayundin ipinagmamalaki niya ang kanyang pinagmulang Asyano. Ang matapang na pagsuway na ito mismo ay nakakahanga na.

Si Carlos ay ipinanganak sa Pilipinas, ngunit lumipat at nanirahan sa Wangaratta nang siya ay bata pa. “Ito ay naging mahirap para sa akin, sa panahong iyon, bilang nagmula sa isang pamilya na relihiyoso na walang nakikitang bakla na Asyanong huwaran.”

Walang sinuman sa kanyang pamilya, mga kamag-aral o kaibigan ay bahagi ng komunidad LGBTQIA+. “Wala akong kakilala na lantad, lalo na sa Wangaratta,” sa kanyang pag-alala. “Ang tanging Asyano na kanyang napapansin sa media, habang siya ay nagkakaisip, ay si Jackie Chan.” Ito ay totoo; Napag-alaman ng Screen Australia na noong taong 2015, tanging 7% ng mga pangunahing karakter sa telebisyon sa Australya ay mga may pinagmulang Asyano, Aprikano o mula sa Gitnang Silangan, sa kabila ng sila ay bumubuo ng 17% ng Australyanong populasyon — at ito ang bilang na ito ay hindi pa nga itinuturing na isang karakter na bakla.

Si Carlos ay pumupunta sa simbahan dalawang beses kada isang linggo hanggang sa siya ay dumating sa gulang na 20; ang kanyang mga magulang ay bahagi ng bilang ng mga Pilipinong Kristiyano. “Ito ay isang mahalagang bahagi ng mga buhay ng kanyang mga magulang at kapatid na babae, ngunit ako at ang aking ibang kapatid ay hindi masyadong nauugnay sa relihiyon.”

“Sa tingin ko, malaki ang inaasahan ng mga magulang na mula sa may mga pinagmulang Asyano, na kanilang inilalagay sa kanilang mga anak,” sa kanyang tala. “Nang lumipat at nanirahan ang aking mga magulang sa Australya para sa isang mas mahusay na buhay, nais nila na ang kanilang mga anak na magkaroon ng higit sa kung ano ang kanilang nagawa. Sila ay nagtrabaho nang husto upang bigyan ang kanilang mga anak ng isang matibay na edukasyon at isang mas mahusay na panimula sa buhay.”

Sa ganitong pagkakataon, inaasahan din na ang kanilang mga anak ay magtagumpay, tulad ng pagpasok sa unibersidad, makahanap ng matatag na trabaho, magkaroon ng asawa at magsimula ng pamilya. “Ang pagkakaroon ng isang homosexual na anak ay hindi pangkaraniwang naayon sa ekwasyong ito.”

Una siyang nagkaroon ng kamalayan sa kanyang sekswalidad nang siya medyo bata pa. “Dati akong nanonood ng 90210 kasama ng aking mga kapatid na babae at naaalala ko na sa aking tingin si Luke Perry ay guwapo.” Siya ay mahilig sumali sa athletics at paglalaro ng mga Barbie. Naglaro din siya ng football noong siya'y nasa elementarya, dahil, bilang isang bata, sa tingin niya ay dapat niya itong gawin. Nang siya ay nasa hayskul na sa Wangaratta, ramdam niya ang pangangailangan na itago ang kanyang sekswalidad; dahil iyo ay nasa kalagitnaan ng taong dalawang libo, at siya ay nakatira sa isang rural na bayan na mayroon lamang isang lantad na baklang tao sa paaralan. At ang kanyang pamilya ay isa sa iilan lamang na Asyanong pamilya sa kanyang unang paaralan sa sekondarya, at nang siya ay nagbibinat, inawayan niya ang kultura ng kanyang pamilya dahil nais niyang mapabilang sa komunidad.

Siya ay madalas na ma-bully. Ito ay hindi kasing-hirap na siya ang mapahiya sa kanyang pinagmula nang siya ay mas bata pa; hindi lamang niay nais na maging iba sa kanyang mga ka-edad at kantiyawan para dito. Kaya, pagkatapos ng hayskul, sa edad na 18, siya ay lumantad sa kanyang mga kaibigan at kapatid. Sila ay nagpakita ng suporta sa kanya, tulad ng palagi nilang pagtatanggol kay Carlos sa paaralan sa mga pang-aapi.

Sa una siya ay nag-atubili na sabihin sa kanyang mga magulang, dahil sa kanilang mga pananaw sa relihiyon. Ngunit, sa gulang na 20, sinabi niya ito sa kaniyang ina. Sinabi niya sa kanyang ina na siya ay bakla, at siya din ay nalulumbay. Sumagot ang kanyang ina, na, kung ito ay ang isang bagay na magpapahinto sa kanyan na magpatuloy sa kanyang buhay,kung gayon, wala siyang dapat ipag-alala tungkol dito. At pagkatapos, hiniling ni Carlos sa kanyang ina na sabihin ito sa kanyang ama, dahil masyado siyang takot na makita ang reaksyon ng kanyang ama. “Nakita ko siya ilang buwan matapos ito (nakatira pa rin sa Wangaratta ang aking mga magulang habang ako ay nakatira sa Melbourne),” sa kanyang pag-alala. “At sinabi niya sa akin mahal niya ako kung sino pa man ako. Parang gumaan ang aking dalahin. At tunay na nagbago ang buhay ko sa puntong iyon.”

Subalit, pagkatapos ng isang kamakailan lamang na bakasyon ng pamilya, natuklasan ni Carlos na mga kamag-anak niya sa panig ng kanyang ama ay walang nalalaman sa kanyang pagiging bakla - sa kabila ng paglantad mahigit isang dekada na ang nakalipas. Itinuturing niya ang sarili bilang lubos na masuwerteng, sa kabila nito; hindi laging madali na lumantad sa iyong mga magulang, lalo na kapag sila ay may malakas na paniniwala sa relihiyon. “Sa tingin ko, mahirap para sa sinuman na umamin, anopaman ang etnikong pinagmulan ng isang tao,” dagdag niya.

Ngunit, para kay Carlos, ‘ang kanyang paglantad’ ay hindi na mahalaga. “Ang iyong sekswalidad ay hindi na dapat pakialaman ng sinuman.” Ito ay lalong may kinalaman kapag isinasa-alang-alang ang kanyang trabaho bilang isang stylist, isang larangan na pumapayag para sa higit na pagpapahayag ng sekswalidad kumpara sa ibang larangan. “Ang aking trabaho ay karugtong ng kung sino ako, at nakagawa ako ng mga trabaho na sumasalamin ng aking sekswalidad. Iyong ang ganda ng pagta-trabaho sa isang masining na industriya - maaari mong gawin anuman ang nais mo sa iyong personal na gawain.”

Sa pagsabi nito, bilang isang Asyano, sa tingin ba niya na mas mahirap na makibagay sa komunidad LGBTQIA+? “Sa palagay ko, may presensya ang mga Asyano, at isang partikular na hanay ng mga kalalakihan ay nagkakagusto sa amin. Gayunpaman, kung ira-ranggo ng buong komunidad kung anong lahi ang mas gusto nilang makasama, sa tingin ko, ang mga Asyano ay nasa bandang hulihan.”

Ito ang nasa sa isip, ano ang kanyang masasabi ang kanyang 15-taong-gulang na sarili? Sa walang kakaibang Asyanong role model sa kanyang rural na komunidad na maaaring tularan, at may paminsan-misan na rasismo na umuusbong sa loob ng komunidad, si Carlos ay isang pa-salungat na produkto ng kanyang panahon.

Siya ay tunigil sandali.

“Ikaw ay nag-iisa. Maraming mga tao na katulad mo. Ikaw ay palaging mamahalin kahit sino ka man.”

Louis Hanson is freelance writer, student at the University of Melbourne, and LGBTQIA+ youth advocate. Instagram: @louishanson ; website: louishanson.com. Carlos’ Instagram: @carlosmangubat.
Image: Chris Mangubat (Instagram: @babysweetmango).



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David Yi 「Asian American men aren’t taking s*** any more.」

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“I am an Oriental. And being an Oriental, I could never be completely a man.”

It’s a cringeworthy quote from David Henry Hwang’s 1988 play, 「M. Butterfly」, the same that won that year’s Tony Award. The story follows a French soldier who is sent to China where he eventually falls in love with a man disguised as a woman. Certainly, a progressive story for the time period. The line above from the production still rings true, forty years later, at least for many Asian American men.

After all, throughout the past few decades, American culture has attempted to completely castrate Asian American men and their masculine identities. The dangerous stereotype and the tired tropes that identify Asian men as undesirable, unsexy, foreign, devoid of sensuality, has become detrimental to that community in the past near-century. So much so that a percentage of the 9 million men Asian American men say they have felt discrimination’s ugly repercussions, including depression, anxiety, issues with self-worth and suicide.

So it’s no wonder that Asian Americans, namely those from East Asian lineage, have turned to social media to air their grievances in the past months alone. From Hollywood’s rampant white wash of characters, to speaking up about the lack of Asian faces in TV and films, woke blogs like Angry Asian Man and Love Life of An Asian Guy seem to keep individuals and media enterprises in check.

The conversation heated up again when the comedian and daytime talkshow host, Steve Harvey, was dragged on Twitter last for a past episode that was uncovered by savvy viewers.

“‘Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’” he’s heard in the clip, casually asking his audience. In the video, now uploaded onto YouTube, he’s jabbing on about Asian masculinity. It’s flippant, though hateful. The context is in regards to the 2002 guide,『How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men』(an embarrassing book if there was ever). “‘No, thank you,'” he goes on to say in a feminine gesture, his hand on his hip, his head cocked to the side: “I don’t even like Chinese food, boy. I don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.”

The joke was one in jest, one could argue. And one could also say it’s fair to say offensive statements sometimes, poking fun at different people – racial epithets included – because well, it’s his job. The tired, trite, troubling stereotypes are nothing new; spewing them out again and again is far from funny.

But it is painful.

For the 9 million Asian American men who live in this country, it was yet another day where mainstream culture attempted to mitigate our identities. It was throwing salt in the wounds of millions of Asian men like me, whose own self-worth has been shaken throughout the years, thanks to the decades upon decades of this country actively erasing our unique masculinities. After over one-hundred years of emasculation, why, in 2017, are we still having these conversations, many Asian Americans asked?

This humiliating narrative has haunted Asian American males for the past century beginning from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to Yellow Peril in the late 1800’s (that is, that Asians were a terror to white America). The latter, a form of mass hysteria that was created to prevent the Asian population from growing. Asian women were also banned from immigrating with men (though a few still came over), a direct affront from the U.S. government to control the Asian population. To protect its American citizens, the country warned women that men from East Asian descent were villains, out to get them.

From 1929’s supervillain Fu Manchu, who embodied a man sexuality can be likened to a paramecium, 1984’s Long Duk Dong from 「Sixteen Candles」, to modern day sitcoms like 「Two Broke Girls」’ Han, a thickly accented caricature of an Asian, whose petite frame and mannerisms were completely diminutive, are only a few examples of Hollywood perpetuating this message. (Mind you, this is only a short list of characters throughout the year 「Breakfast at Tiffany」’s Mickey Rooney in yellow face is another...)

Each has been pigeonholed into being foreign, non-sexual caricatures. This is even the case for macho, elite athletes, who are far from the stereotype. In recent years, we’ve seen star NBA basketball players like Jeremy Lin, the handsome, powerful, 6’3″ athlete, find his share of masculine erasure with publications like a Fox Sports writer tweeting out “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight.” This precedes last year’s baffling Oscars where Asians were made into punchlines, with comedians like Sacha Baron Cohen taking jabs Asian genitalia.

Of course, Cohen along with other comedians, feel it’s kosher to make jokes at the expense of the Asian community. It’s easy to attack a minority community when said community seems so insignificant. This, especially in Hollywood. In a statistic from USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication, only 1% of Hollywood films had any Asian Americans as leads (Asian Americans currently compose over 5% of the entire U.S. population).

Lack of portrayals onscreen of real Asian males in leading roles (or any that air on the side of authenticity) has had a real detrimental impact on Asian American male psyches. A recent article in『Psychology Today』found that mass media portrayals and its subsequent perpetuance of Asian emasculation, has led to many men experiencing intense stress, anxiety and overall lack of self-esteem.

“Feeling sexually undesirable has played a part in many Asian men going long stretches of time without dating anyone out of fear of rejection,” says Dr. Nicole Hsiang to Very Good Light, a psychotherapist in San Francisco who specializes in Asian American men and women. “The never-ending pursuit of proving their worth and trying to gain approval and acceptance from others breeds tremendous resentment and anger.”

Dr. Hsiang says that from her research, the media has had a direct impact on the lives of Asian Americans. “This is a direct result of racist media portrayals of Asian men as undesirable and hearing statements like, ‘I don’t date Asian men,’” she says. “The negative images become internalized and start to be believed in by AA men themselves.”

Indeed, there has been a strong correlation between emasculating Asian American men and how desirable they are. In a recent finding from 2015, a poll from both heterosexual women and homosexual males showed that Asian American men were “least desirable” when it came to online dating.

“Expedient shorthands like ‘no rice’ and ‘no curry’ are used to discourage Asians from communicating their interest,” said a Pacific Standard finding from the gay application, Grindr.

Whether straight or gay, Asian American men have certainly received blatant discrimination when it comes to dating, which has had a real affect on their self-esteems.

But times, they are changing.

In 2017, we as a community are fighting back sentiments and taking control of our own definite masculinities and stories. From sex symbols onscreen the like Daniel Henney, to leading men like Hayden Szeto (who we wrote about here), to the rise of Korean pop stars, there’s certainly a desire for more diversity in entertainment.

But how does this affect every day Asian American men who don’t shine on the silver screens? Very Good Light asked 13 real Asian American men ranging from teens, guys in their 20s to 30s, in different professions from all across the world, on what it’s been like to walk in their shoes. They are banding together in an attempt to stop the hate once and for all.

Enough is enough.

From painful stories of rejection, to finding empowerment, to embracing their own uniqueness, each story is raw, real and powerful.

Here they are in their own word...

1. Peter Park, Virginia, Model
Photo courtesy Peter Park

To witness Steve Harvey’s hurtful remarks towards Asian men was disappointing especially since I have the upmost respect for him and support him from purchasing his motivational books to watching his shows. Even my mom watches 「Family Feud」 when she comes home from work.

Unfortunately, I strongly feel like Asian men are desexualized and emasculated in the media. The media portrays Asian men in another way and it changes perception for Asians, which really sucks.

It has affected me in numerous occasions, especially when I was in high school. I remember when I was warming up for my basketball game, a group of kids from another school I was playing at were yelling out racist remarks like “yo, shrimp fried rice.” Of course, I didn’t pay them any mind. Even though my team lost, I still dropped 22 points on them and showed them that Asian guys have skills. It’s not normal to see Asians playing real physical sports like basketball and football, so when people see that, it catches them off guard.

There are so many stereotypes that come with being Asian American. We’re great at math, we’re technologically proficient, our male anatomy is the size of an eraser and we could never in a thousand years be a threat to steal your girl. All false. I am proud of who I am and the skin that I am in. Attractiveness should never be based on one’s ethnicity. Love has no color. When it comes to my own love life, it hasn’t affected my dating at all. I don’t have any problems when it comes to that department.

I am proud of who I am and the skin that I am in.

When it comes to the future, I think we as a community, have to stand firm and be confident in our appearances. We have to accept who we are and where we come from. We need to know that we can carry ourselves as alphas, we can be loud in our actions and we can make sure we are heard. Most importantly, we can make sure we support each other.

2. Joshua Lance Glass, NYC, writer and editor
Photo courtesy Joshua Glass

I don’t really think anything has really changed for me in the past few years. I think Asian men, no matter what orientation or dating pool you’re speaking to, have a general disadvantage as we’re typically either fetishized in the gay world or evaded by most heterosexual women. I think that comes down to racial archetypes – stereotypically, Asian men are applauded for their brains, not their braun – and the inherit codes of masculinity.

I’m half-Asian, and physically look a bit more Latino, so I don’t think I’ve really ​felt ​​triggered or affected by this, fortunately. I do think there is a bit of a trend for white men, both straight and gay, to sexually eroticize Asians and People of Color as a whole. This must speak to some subconscious idea of power or masculinity.

I’m half-Asian, and physically look a bit more Latino, so I don’t think I’ve really ​felt ​​triggered or affected by this, fortunately.

At a time like today – when the racial discussion, in America at least, has so largely been focused on white versus black – it’s necessary to look and discuss and battle for the other groups of marginalized people. Asian Americans have the smallest presence out of all the racial groups in Hollywood. So much of our culture is reflected in what we see and who we’re told to like. And of course, that that influences our sense of attraction. Hopefully things will change.

3. Brian, NYC, analyst in structured finance
Photo courtesy Joshua Glass

I didn’t think Steve Harvey’s jokes were funny. I didn’t really understand the humor – none of my white or black female friends view dating an Asian American guy as undesirable. I was actually wondering why the audience was so receptive. I’m not upset personally as the jokes just made me SMH, but I see how the jokes are offensive. I think we’re still talking about this because we expect better. It’s like, really?

I don’t think my dating life has been negatively impacted because I’m an Asian American man. It’s the same with my professional life. I don’t consider myself undesirable because of my ethnic background and I’m secure in my sense of manhood.

I don’t consider myself undesirable because of my ethnic background and I’m secure in my sense of manhood.

Having said that, I think I’m treated differently than other Asian American men because I’m of mixed race and don’t necessarily “look Asian,” and also because my name doesn’t “sound Asian.” In this way, I think I’ve been spared some of the dangerous sentiments that come with being Asian. Alternatively, I tend to feel like a bit of a visitor in non-mixed Asian American groups and communities. Maybe because I’m not Asian enough? Whatever that means.

4. Jake Choi, Los Angeles, actor
Photo courtesy Jake Choi

Growing up and up until a couple of years ago, I felt pretty insecure about my skin color, shape of my eyes, my heritage, just being an Asian American. I was confused as hell with my identity and accepting myself as an Asian American. I think the movie I starred in recently, 「Front Cover」 really helped me to start accepting myself, actually. Working on that film and learning about the director Ray’s struggles that mirrored mine a lot, really set something off in my mind.

I’ve had women say some dumbass shit to me like, “I don’t usually like Asian guys, but you’re cute” or “You’re super hot for an Asian guy.” Usually it’s white or white-passing Latinas say this. Or I’ll be out with a girl and she’ll say something like “so I heard Asian guys are small down there, are you?” And I’m sitting there like am I really gonna have to explain myself or the stupidity of the myth to her? But she and other girls that ask this seem to be sincere. They really believe this myth to be true. It’s preposterous. So I’ll tell them that’s not true, I’ve seen some hung Asian men in the locker rooms in gyms. I’m pretty well endowed myself.

I’m pretty well endowed myself.

I think as a person of color, my dating life will usually be affected by the stereotypes people, especially white people, have of you. It’s bound to come up. And we have to be vigilant in shutting those down and checking people when they say problematic shit. Like how we and the Internet are doing to Steve Harvey. It’s sad because there’s already a divide between the Asian and black community. We need to build that bridge and unify, not separate further. It only will serve to advance white supremacy.

And with what Harvey said, it’s not helping any group. Him perpetuating Asian male emasculation and undesirability, actually perpetuates the extreme opposite stereotype of the hyper-sexualized black man. It harms both groups. And his half apology was bullshit. Someone fire his publicist.

5. Benzamin Yi, NYC, freelancer
Photo by Jeannie Juon

I think people are still talking about this because while this movement of civil liberties progresses, Asians are left behind constantly. Look at the Oscars last year when Chris Rock was all serious about non-white representation and then shits on Asians. What, dude?

I hope that the Asian American community will feel and know their rights to speak out against this. Our culture keeps us quiet and humble, as we persevere through the bullshit, but as Americans, we should feel empowered to speak up about it when it matters. I think those of us who want our community to start voicing their concerns and doing something about it are making sure that we are heard. We want to be heard. No, it’s not cool to say shit like that.

We want to be heard. No, it’s not cool to say shit like that.

I have an amazing, beautiful girlfriend, so what Steve has to say about my desirability means nothing. My girlfriend thinks I’m dead sexy. I’ve been blatantly hit on, got numbers at bars, went on dates with non-Asians; yes, even white people, and while I have come across people who did not find me desirable, this was nothing new. A lot of people don’t find me desirable, and that’s fine because I’m not exactly a model or body builder and I’m not trying to be desirable to everyone. The women living in Steve Harvey’s mind aren’t on my list of women to impress). But if I’m found undesirable because of my race, well, that’s just fucked up.

6. Joe Seo, Los Angeles, Actor
Photo courtesy Joe Seo

People often associate masculinity on film as someone who is hyper-violent or someone with a lot of power. I have not had the chance to play many of these roles yet. During the few delinquent roles I had, I was able to flex such “masculine” muscles. However, I think true masculinity, as cliche as it sounds, is just being ok with yourself. You don’t have to over do it and you don’t have to under do it.

Just be yourself.

So I’ll just keep knocking until they open that door.

I don’t really think of “my” masculinity per se, when playing a character. That’s because it’s not me, it’s that character. I just try to convey what the script shows the character to be like. Asian American or not, I’ve also never thought of myself as being sexy and I do think it has to do with our culture. But what can I do? I just got to change people and Hollywood’s perceptions by portraying characters who are honestly. So I’ll just keep knocking until they open that door.

7. Jake Chang, New Jersey, high school senior

The fact of the matter is that Asian men are desirable. I’m very lucky to be living in an environment where the vast majority of people are accepting and I have experienced the best of being Asian. But I do have friends from other walks of the world who have felt this and I empathize fully with. They have told me that they feel worthless and feel like they have no chance with any girls.

The fact of the matter is that Asian men are desirable.

Even I sometimes feel if I were a white male it would be a much easier time for me to meet new people and date. Personally, I don’t let it affect me too much and I take life as it is. In regards to my sense of manhood, I actually feel that I have further embraced it with the way I dress and taking advantage of my skin color for color matching.
There definitely have been times where I have experienced something negative because I am an Asian male. For example, many of the girls I have met have said that they won’t date Asian guys because they just aren’t attracted to them. I try not to let it affect me; I still have confidence in my “Asianness.”

8. Marshall Bang, Seoul, Musician
Photo courtesy Marshall Bang

I’m still in the process of undoing years of damage in how I view myself and Asian men around me. Living abroad in Seoul really helped in gaining perspective as to what a strong Asian man could look like. It was in Seoul that I first noticed, “Damn, the men here are so tall, I guess they’re all here in the motherland!”

Seoul was the first place where I didn’t feel like an outsider or “other” or at least felt like I wasn’t perceived as one (though I was different as a Korean American). Since a young age, I developed an innate desperation to prove that I was as much a “true” American as all the other white people around me.
Then add the experience of growing up as a closeted gay dude in a very religious household and you have a recipe for several layers of fuckery to deal with. On one end I had to deal with the pressures of acting like a “real man.” Then I had the pressures of being told that I was gay and that I had to just come out and accept it.

Constantly being called a “fag” or “chink” didn’t help.

I’m sure straight Asian men around me were also trying to figure out how they fit in but for me, there was absolutely no safe space to process it all out – constantly being called a “fag” or “chink” didn’t help. I’m sure everyone remembers puberty; It’s a rough time for us as it is without having to think about why the majority of your school or characters on TV shows or musicians and singers and actors don’t look like you.

9. John Kim, NYC, architect and model
Photo Courtesy John Kim

While today, I am confident in who I am and know better not to allow outside voices define my self-worth, I can remember being Asian as an issue growing up. There were times as a kid where I felt uncomfortable being Asian because of the way the media portrayed and ridiculed our cultures.

It bothered me but instead of succumbing to the perpetual noise, I let it fuel me. In a generation where I was told I wouldn’t be athletic or desirable, I motivated myself to rise above the stereotypes and one day become a role model for Asian Americans.I’m a model as well as an architect.

I can remember being Asian as an issue growing up.

While the industry is still dominated by the image of the white male, there have been a few movements calling for diversity. In that sense, being an Asian male model has some perks of being “edgy” and “unique”. Most importantly for me, I am proud to represent the Asian American community as a model.

There is a growing curiosity about the new age of Asian Americans, and I think it is a challenging yet opportunistic time for Asian Americans to make their mark in the industry. In the same way people like Jeremy Lin and Lucy Liu have disrupted their respective industries, an underlying motive for why I continue to do what I do today – whether its in architecture, marathons, or modeling – is to expand the notion of who we are as Asian Americans.

10. Thomas Jeon, NYC, software engineer
Photo courtesy Thomas Jeon

I’ve become pretty jaded when people stereotype Asians since I am constantly reminded of my apparent “asexuality.” The discrimination comes in very different forms. Side comments like, “he’s cute, but I can’t imagine having sex with him” that seem innocuous just mean that no matter how good looking you are, Asians cannot be sexualized.

“He’s cute, but I can’t imagine having sex with him.”

Dating life is a whole different ballgame, though. It really fucks you up when during dates you constantly have thoughts like “does he only date Asians?” or “does he even date Asians?”. There’s then the ever present: “am I being too Asian?” Then enter Apps. The worst of them all. You end up seeing through all the subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at your own self confidence.

In this fucked up state, all logic goes out the window. You start reading into everything and linking them to your Asian ethnicity. I could go into all my neuroses but that would be a whole different essay. I know it doesn’t necessarily work that way, but it creeps into your mind and takes over. You start comparing how many matches your white friend gets to yours.

Many of my gay Asian friends have mentioned that they wish they were white so dating would be easier. In my opinion, that mindset is very dangerous. Sure, there is a lot of privilege from just being white, but I’d rather be different. I have come to own and love my Asianness, just like how I did with my own femininity and homosexuality. It comes with a barrage of racism but it also makes me how I am. That being said, I love who I am and wouldn’t change it for anything.

11. Sung Wi, NYC, financial sales
Photo courtesy Sung Wi

I know Asian women who won’t date Asian guys because they’re too passive aggressive and not direct enough. So, comments from a celebrity or influencer like Steve Harvey continue to push that stereotype of Asians being less than desirable. This obviously sets us back. Maybe it’s especially hurtful because society proves to many Asian Americans that what he said is true. What if what he said isn’t just a stereotype? What if, for a lot of Asian men and young kids, life experience has proven to them that it’s true?

I fear that Asian kids growing up today will hear comments like these, believe it is true and then have society confirm it.

It’s no secret that even though we’re called the “model minority,” Hollywood and the vast media hasn’t had many examples of leading Asian men that we can look up to. I fear that Asian kids growing up today will hear comments like these, believe it is true and then have society confirm it. And that’s the danger of what he said. We as Asian men also need to step up and be better examples to the younger or even current generation. Having said that, I’ll end my thought with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

12. Minkyu Kim, NYC, English teacher
Photo courtesy Minkyu Kim

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, in light of the Steve Harvey video, which I obviously watched in horror. I think there are some non-offensive things that are blown out of proportion. But this was a direct hit.
To start, I am angry at Steve Harvey and everyone in the audience. including viewers, who laughed at his bit. It is a tired bit. But I’m also annoyed that there is a vacuum when it comes to advocacy on Asian issues. We have less weight, if that makes sense. I’m not sure an Asian host gets away with just an apology if he does an entire bit about how black men are not dateable. But Steve Harvey had no such fear.
I actually believe Steve Harvey when he says he has no malice in his heart, though I think, if pressed, he’d admit that he views Asian men as less “masculine” than he is, based on what I know of his regressive ideas on gender norms. But Steve Harvey did not conjure these ideas on his own. These ideas are part of our collective thinking on race in this country. And gender, too. I care that people feel belittled by his comments. But there is a larger issue here.

As for me, I’m certainly not naive enough to think that my race has never been a factor in my dating life.

By perpetuating Asian stereotypes, Steve Harvey is not just cutting down Asian men. He is reinforcing a system of oppression by normalizing reductive thinking, and passing off racial divides and injustice as the natural state of things, instead of seeing them for the ever-shifting changeable social constructs that they are. Which is the worst part of all this. Steve Harvey is a black man, of an age that would have made him, presumably, a victim of real life racism in this country before his fame and celebrity – and maybe even still. To turn around and subject another population to prejudice is disappointing, and self-defeating, if he seeks racial equality.
As for me, I’m certainly not naive enough to think that my race has never been a factor in my dating life. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “I’m not normally into Asian guys,” which is meant to be a compliment, but it’s also in a way troubling. The jokes get to me sometimes. But if my Asianness is a factor in someone’s decision to not date me, a real person, I probably don’t want to date that person anyway.

13. Justin Min, NYC, stylist
Photo courtesy Justin Min

I know these stereotypes have, at times, caused a lot of un-happiness in myself that resonates in a relationship. At times, it makes me very detached and unsure of someones motives when they are interested. I also feel like at times when there is a lack of modeling in the media, asian men tend to be less represented which I feel is reflected when I look at how asian men groom and take care of themselves. I distinctly remember『GQ』doing a best haircut roundup and not having any minorities. I can’t imagine after years of that that a minority would grow up thinking or not knowing how best accentuate and appreciate their natural features.

I distinctly remember『GQ』doing a best haircut roundup and not having any minorities.

I am a bit taller with a bigger build so I feel I do get less stigma applied to Asian men when it comes to effeminate or delicate. I did go on a date once and the other person told me they did not find my height at 6’1″ to be attractive for an Asian and that under 5’4″ was preferable. He then went on to criticize me for paying, as he did not like to have anyone pay for meals as it was his way of feeling in control. It did not go anywhere after that date and later opened my eyes to the idea of being expected to be submissive whether you were an Asian man or a woman, a trope that is troubling.

Author: David Yi/Date: January 19, 2017/Source: http://www.verygoodlight.com/2017/01/19/asian-american-men/





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