MeseMoa. めせもあ。「Shadow Kiss」

Posted on April 29, 2017 commentaires

MeseMoa. 「Shadow Kiss」 - from『Secret』released on April 29, 2017.

Les MeseMoa. (anciennement Morning Musumen) repoussent les limites du fan service avec un concept tout simple : ils s'embrassent tous pendant tout le clip !




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Chris Lam 「Hot Taiwanese Men To Follow For Self-Care」

Posted on April 20, 2017 commentaires

Chris Lam 「Hot Taiwanese Men To Follow For Self-Care」 - posted on April 20, 2017.

Taiwan represent! What better excuse to talk more about hot men than my Taiwanese heritage, right? You're welcome again btw.

Featured men:

Woody Liang
https://www.instagram.com/woodyliang/
Woody Liang via Instagram

Jacobhhc
https://www.instagram.com/jacobhhc/
Jacob via Instagram

Yukuei Lo
https://www.instagram.com/yukuei_lo/
Yukuei Lo via Instagram

Ted_n_the_ins
https://www.instagram.com/ted_n_the_ins/
Ted_n_the_ins via Instagram

Freddie Hung
https://www.instagram.com/freddiehung/
Freddie Hung via Instagram

NEW VIDEOS EVERY THURSDAY MORNING PST


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Celeste Yim 「There Are More Asian Roles in Teen Dramas But They Still Make Us Seem Weird」

Posted on April 13, 2017 commentaires
I’m not ready to celebrate until there are as many distinct, complicated, and different personalities for young East Asians as there are for white jocks.

In many ways I am very similar to an East Asian character in a teen drama. I am – brag – barely out of my teens, I am Korean, I have an Anglo-Eurocentric first name, my parents will not leave me alone, and I am highly suspicious of everyone around me. When I turn on the television (my laptop) and I flip the channels (type in “watch [tv show] free online” to Google) to find the glamourous, teen (adult actors with good skin) versions of myself, the ones I find are highly confusing.

Sure, it’s a good thing that there are East Asian characters being seen on white-dominated television shows at all! I have been trying so hard to project myself onto the television that I thought Gilbert Gottfried was full East Asian until, like, last year. But if art holds up a mirror to the world, today's East Asian “teens” like me are pretty much just less obvious versions of long-known stereotypes. The East Asians on everyone’s favourite teen dramas are thinly veiled behind immaterial characteristics but they aren’t fooling me, an intellectual. We still never get to partake in steamy love scenes with teachers, we’re not included in major love triangles, we never get to be the top-dog in the friend group, and often our storylines altogether don’t make any damn sense! The 2017 versions of Long Duk Dong from 「Sixteen Candles」 are certainly more reasonable, but East Asians can still only be understood through a few lazy characteristics. And just because they’re less recognizable than the babbling nerd, the rude girl, or the creepy shy guy doesn’t mean they’re not just as harmful.

Janel Parrish as Mona in 「Pretty Little Liars」

Today’s East Asian teens still descend from a recent heritage of weird background characters. In 「Pretty Little Liars」, Mona is an impressive straight-A student who knows how to speak French and hack computers. Her plot becomes dizzying and inexplicable when she dies, is thrown a Hawaiian-themed funeral, and ultimately comes back to life so that she can be admitted into all of the Ivy League schools. 「Glee」’s female East Asian is named Tina Cohen-Chang (an interracial last name for a South Korean-born actor), she speaks with a stutter and she is initially very shy. Her storyline becomes very confusing very quickly when, oh no: her stutter is fake! Since she is so shy, she had forced herself to stutter so that she can push people away, obviously! A white character moralizes the situation, Tina drops the stutter, and the narrative is never mentioned again. She also, by the way, ends up dating the aforementioned white character and then dumping him for the other East Asian guy in the show with whom she says she bonded at “Asian camp.” I can only assume that “Asian camp” is coded language for “both our parents are immigrants and we met at church.” I have literally never watched 「Teen Wolf」 and I don’t understand the premise but my friend Mac Chapin does and he told me over text message that there is an East Asian girl in it who “literally carries a sword and gets inhabited by a Japanese cat spirit thing.” My personal favourites as a teen were 「90210」, which didn’t even try, and 「Gossip Girl」, which came close to representing me with one (white) character named Celeste. But she disappeared from the show without any explanation. I have learned to make my expectations for representation on teen dramas very low, and they are still not being met.

Arden Cho as Kira in 「Teen Wolf」

Most recently, I have binged full seasons of the Netflix shows 「Thirteen Reasons Why」 and 「Riverdale」. (It’s been a hard month.) In 「Thirteen Reasons Why」, a girl has committed suicide and each episode examines one of the people she blames. The show is so progressive that she blames two whole East Asian characters! The choice to create them within such bizarre iterations of the Smart Asian Stereotype is particularly uncreative since the characters are based on a book (written by a white man). In the novel, the characters are not distinctly racialized so surely the distinctly academic ones did not have to be East Asian – but they are anyways!

Michele Selene Ang as Courtney in 「Thirteen Reasons Why」

The first, Courtney Crimson played by Michele Selene Ang, is a straight-A student who is overly nice to everyone. Don’t worry, that’s not her only characteristic, she is also slightly complicated because she’s gay! And she really doesn’t want anyone to find out that she made out with the girl who died. Her shame is oddly heightened by the fact that she has two adopted fathers who are, shockingly, also gay. Queerness is certainly complex and everyone’s experiences with shame are different, but the hasty description of her character’s logic, in which she attributes her embarrassment to the fact that her parents will be angry, is never really elaborated upon. It seems as though she might be scared that her parents will be prone to further homophobic assumptions? I don’t know, but after her episode the show moves on without clarifying and her parents never get mad at her.

Ross Butler as Zach in 「Thirteen Reasons Why」

The other East Asian at the school in 「Thirteen Reasons Why」 is Zach Dempsey played by Singaporean-born Ross Butler, who seems to shirk singularity by being a hot, jock, star basketball player. But psych! He is actually secretly a brilliant student who is willing to give up his basketball scholarships to be a marine biologist. His mother, who is also Asian, is thrilled at the latter prospect. I’m not sure why this aspect of his identity is included. Other than preventing him from shirking a stereotype altogether (so close!!!), it also has no bearing on his personality or character arc whatsoever. If anything, it provides a slightly higher incentive to not want to be culpable for a girl’s death (convicts make bad marine biologists?) but there are otherwise no apparent effects. The only time Zach even mentions this sidestory himself is when he turns down his bros’ requests to skip class with them saying, “I can’t miss bio.” Maybe the writers worried that the jock stereotype alone would be simply implausible on a face as Asian as Zach’s. In any case, I’m as confused about his passionate affinity for biology as I am about homosexual parents being Courtney’s entire personality.

Ross Butler as Reggie in 「Riverdale」

Luckily we get another shot at complexity for Ross Butler, the literal same actor from 「Thirteen Reasons Why」, when he plays Reggie in 「Riverdale」, the other Netflix teen show people are talking about. In the Archie-comic-turned-teen-murder-mystery, Butler plays an equally useless hot jock star-football player. Maybe the Netflix shows are like the Marvel universe but instead of having super powers and origin stories, they are just East Asians with intangible personalities. Football is different than basketball, OK, but I truly cannot confirm whether or not Butler wears a different letter jacket in the two shows. His main storyline on 「Riverdale」 exists to threaten Archie, the beautiful white-passing protagonist, who is rivalling him for captain of the football team. As soon as Reggie’s story begins, it becomes extraneous when other, boring, music-related things happen in Archie’s life which cause him to reject the captain position. With no agency of his own, his story wraps up in one episode. Zach, the 「Riverdale」 version of Zach, and Courtney are puzzling, which carelessly dissipates their chances at being anything but inconsequential fodder for the stage behind the action. When they are refused logical narratives, they become less human. When East Asian characters are unnatural and singular, we seem less human. We’re easy to make assumptions about, call names, and beat up in Zara and on United Airplanes.

It’s great that East Asians faces are on young peoples’ television (computer) screens, but the ones I have had as role models are unsatisfying and riddled with inconsistency. At time of publication, I feel pretty sure that as a teen I was supposed to threaten my white peers’ academic and/or athletic ventures, receive a million scholarships, reveal an unlikely aspect of my life, and then disappear forever. I’m not ready to celebrate my representation until there are as many distinct, complicated, and different personalities for young East Asians as there are for young white jocks. I guess Gilbert Gottfried will have to do for now.

Follow Celeste Yim on Twitter.




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David Yi 「Meet the first openly gay Kpop star」

Posted on April 07, 2017 commentaires
UPDATED: We added links to Marshall’s music and more about what to expect when Marshall debuts later this year.

(Photo by: Yenata Jung)

Marshall Bang, a music artist from Orange County, is about to make his big debut in South Korea’s vast Kpop market.

His voice is none but a power box, a mixture of a rich, smoky rasp, that’s reminiscent of a 90’s R&B singer, one whose sound is both familiar but altogether different. His personality is effervescent, rambunctious, naughty, all traits you’d want in a friend who’s both the angel and devil on your shoulders.

Officially set to debut as a solo artist sometime this year, Marshall has released a few collaboration tracks earlier this year under the moniker MRSHLL, with such artists as producer DJ Friz (「Resist」, 「Release」), and producer Dathan (「Hello Goodbye」).

It’s almost as if he has everything that it takes to become a Korean pop star, except his record label is at a standstill when it comes to marketing him. That’s because Marshall happens to be openly gay. In a country that’s largely homophobic, with the government openly opposed to LGBTQ rights and Pride marches, where being gay in the military can lead to a maximum one-year sentence in prison, not to mention the cultural stigmas attached, coming out is far from easy to do.

“My record label, which has been so very, very supportive is like, should we market you as the approachable, friendly Sam Smith type or the moody Frank Ocean?” Marshall says. “My friends are all like, just be yourself!”

Which has been his mantra in the past few years. Living authentically and being true to yourself, no matter the circumstance, no matter how it could affect your career, has become paramount to him.

“I’m Korean American and different in so many ways,” he tells Very Good Light. “My gay friends in Korea will say it’s better to stay closeted because it’ll save heartache and they don’t want to make their parents sad. But being American, we’re kind of taught in our culture to be individualistic. I felt I needed to come out in order to become my authentic self.”

Indeed, it wasn’t easy for Marshall. There were times when he regretted the decision. Others, when he was in a deep depression. But through it all, it was the pursuit of living life in a true manner that Marshall decided he’d needed to come out.

This is his story, in his own word...

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Orange County, oddly enough I always lived within five minutes of a theme park whether it was Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm or my parents’ home now, a five-minute drive from Six Flags Magic Mountain.

As a toddler, I was a ball of energy. I was quite large for my age and pretty much laid out on my parents by the end of the day. I was what you would call in Korean a, “청개구리” or “Tree Frog.” It’s a traditional Korean fable about a frog who did the exact opposite of what his mother wanted. As the firstborn, I was obsessed with ballet, fireworks, and the Little Mermaid. Apparently, I was a hyperactive child in the traditional class setting and would entertain myself by dancing on the side of the classroom, which usually ended with me getting some sort of disciplinary card or warning for distracting the class. Was it my fault that other students were more interested in me than the teacher?

At a certain point in my childhood, I got super shy about singing but came out of my shell through my parents putting me in different choir programs throughout my life. It wasn’t until my high school show choir that really helped open me up.

“Fag” and “gay” were both used in a negative context from the get-go beginning around 6th grade.

I’d wish I was confident in my “otherness” in my teens to say that I was “special,” but I think more than anything, it was a negative thing.

Being ethnically Asian already set me apart from the other white kids but on top of that I had a sixth sense in that these feelings that I had for guys, I had to keep to myself. Maybe it was this innate sense of survival, a defense mechanism if you will, of realizing that I was different. More than anything, I would say the actual term “gay” wasn’t really in my realm until junior high. “Fag” and “gay” were both used in a negative context from the get-go beginning around 6th grade. And immediately, though it was never exclusively talked about at home or even mentioned at church, simply because the kids used it to make me feel less than, I knew it was a negative. It was a “bad” thing.

At home, I had two younger brothers and very religious parents. My mom actually is a pastor. She became a children’s pastor when I was 12, put herself through seminary and got her Master’s in Divinity degree from Azusa Pacific University, then was ordained when I was in college. I am so very proud of her for sticking through it especially in a misogynistic, male dominated community.

I would say for the most part, my Christian upbringing had a fairly positive impact on my life. It gave me something to do and instilled in me a certain moral code – however legalistic – that kept me in line. I wouldn’t say all of it was a good thing.

But hope and wish as I might, “praying the gay away” did absolutely nothing for me.

I loved that it was where I first honed my skills as a singer, as part of the worship band, choirs, etc., but it’s also where I had to suppress important parts of myself to fit in. As I’ve lived more of life and experienced the world outside of the church, I’ve realized there’s a hell of a lot more gray than black and white. We all have preconceived notions of certain people that was instilled in us in one way or another. For example, an aversion to tattoos or thinking that people with tons of piercings and tattoos were scary or people with them were bad people. I do feel like these days I’m trying to undo a lot of s*** that was drilled into me since childhood.

Growing up in church, I think I was hoping that the feelings would eventually go away, that I would grow out of it, that it was a phase. But hope and wish as I might, “praying the gay away” did absolutely nothing for me.

I don’t believe one little bit that being gay is a sin anymore.

I literally prayed every night before I went to bed, “Lord, I don’t want to be gay. Why did you give me these feelings and why can’t I get rid of them? Lord, help me to not think these thoughts of other guys. I know it’s wrong and I know it’s Satan testing me. Help me to overcome them.”

I cringe now when I read this prayer because I’m sure so many other young gay or queer boys and girls in the Christian community have prayed a similar prayer numerous times during adolescence. I don’t believe one little bit that being gay is a sin anymore.

It was 19, when I first said the phrase “struggling with same sex attraction” when I pseudo-came out to a group of my closest friends when attending Biola University, a theological school.

My hands were clammy, I was visibly sweating (but trying to keep cool and calm), and what triggered the coming out was a mandatory conference that students had to attend. The speaker that day was a formerly gay man by the name of Mike Haley. He was a representative of the now defunct ex-gay ministry Exodus International, a sub-group under the James Dobson/Focus on the Family umbrella. You could hear a pin drop during his one-hour testimony (a coming to Jesus story) about his former life as a gay man and his conversion to Jesus, etc.

Did I really want to go through life and become the 30-year old virgin? Like, I wanna have sex, too!

I think at one point i had had enough. I was in my late 20s and had never dated nor touched or been touched in any intimate way. What was I afraid of? Sure, in the beginning it was making sure I wasn’t having sex before marriage but as the years went by, being a legalistic Christian seemed less and less like the Jesus I knew.

Coming from Korean culture of a community based versus individual based culture, i had to somehow reconcile those two halves of me to where I wanted to preserve my parents’ longstanding reputation in the Korean church community, yet I had to move forward with my own life especially in the romance and love department. Did I really want to go through life and become the 30-year old virgin? Like, I wanna have sex, too! So that was one of the biggest issues. But i also knew that coming out publicly would of course change our relationship. And it did.

When I decided to come out, I did so because I wanted to live my truth. I wanted my family to hear it from the horse’s mouth before anyone else. If I was spotted holding hands with a man, or something was written on Facebook, I wanted my family to know from me first instead of others.

I started with my brothers in 2012. Both are very much typical boys. I told my middle brother in passing and he was really chill about it. My youngest was also going to Biola University and in that entire Christian world. I told him over Facebook Messenger one day. I don’t think he was able to really grasp the concept of me being gay and it took a few questions going back and forth. But because of me and my gayness, we were able to move forward and have conversations about it and he came to his own conclusion and asked own questions. He’s not in the Christian bubble anymore.

Then, it was my mom. My Korean was very rudimentary and I could hardly put sentences together. My mom speaks Korean and a little English. One day, I sat her down and told her directly.

“Mom, I like boys I don’t like girls,” I said in a very elementary vocabulary. She was confused, like, what do you mean? I don’t think she fully understood what that was about. Then, I later moved to New York and eventually to Korea and we’d have these awkward Skype conversations with my dad with them asking when I’m going to bring home a girlfriend. I would be like, “you know I don’t like women, guys.” For me, it was almost like having to come out again and again for them because they just didn’t understand. They were in heavy denial and they’d shut down the topic and not talk about it.

Then, a『Time Out』Seoul article came out on me. Well, literally. It was going to be about me coming out to the world. When that happened, my mom had no choice but to come to terms with it. When that article came out she freaked out. She was sending messages to me like, ‘do you want to kill your own mother?’

That doesn’t make you feel good as the oldest son. It made me feel pretty worthless. It had me drinking Whiskey for an entire week. We didn’t talk for two months after that. What’s almost worse is what other Koreans would treat me and my family and what they’d say about us. As Koreans, we have this community mentality that affects the entire race. But where and when do you draw the line? When do you take responsibility for being a part of the greater community? I’m going to be turning 30 soon, I thought, and never dated anyone in my entire life. Sure, if I come out, maybe she’ll be disgraced. But I have to live my life. What point does this become her life, or my family’s? The Christian community’s? In the end, this is my life!

At the end of the day I’m an adult, I will have sex, I have to date and live my life live like grown people do.

Being gay is not something I’d choose for myself. Why would I choose to be gay? Why would I want to be an outsider, an other?

We eventually started talking again after two months. She’s coming around. My mom’s been inside the Christian bubble for so long she actually can’t grasp homosexuality, so it’s about taking baby steps. I remember she would bring up different verses from the bible. But there are six bibles references to homosexuality altogether, but tons more about divorce. People focus on the six verses only.

I also would tell her that this isn’t a choice. Being gay is not something I’d choose for myself. Why would I choose to be gay? Why would I want to be an outsider, an other?

Today, I think I’m constantly trying to figure out how being gay plays a role in my life. I feel like sexuality is more fluid than people give it credit and that if we weren’t living in a world where society constantly dictates who we should love, it wouldn’t be an issue. If we were given the space for us to process our own sexuality without any part of it being “good” or “bad” we wouldn’t have so many problems. I feel like everyone is a little bit gay, we just end up repressing it.

Even now, as I am getting ready to debut in South Korea as an artist I don’t know to what role or image I should put out there. Since image is everything in entertainment, my record label is strategizing. Do I play the nice, the everyday friendly, relatable gay man a la Sam Smith? Or do I play the moody, keep-to-myself, uber artistic gay, like Frank Ocean? Or something in between?

But more so, I ask myself questions about how it can impact a community. How much of it do I utilize as a platform to where it becomes exploitative? Will the LGBTQ community in Korea accept me? Does it matter? If they don’t, will I be shunned because I wasn’t fully born and raised in Korea?

Today, I can proudly say that yes, darling, I’ve been able to live. Like, really explore my body, my sexuality, figure out what I like and don’t. I went wild at the age of 29 and realized that I’m not 21 anymore. But I had catching up to do! I’m finally really happy where I’m at. I’m constantly changing and growing and learning more. Even though I am 100% gay I don’t rule out that sexuality is a fluid thing. I could fall in love with a trans woman or cisgender female, who knows? If I fall in love with them I’m still going to be gay.

If I had to give advice to others, I’d say that everyone’s life journey is unique. Even though this is how my journey ended up it’s not for everyone. Sometimes it’s very difficult to come out. I’m not going to knock someone for not coming out. I have a couple of friends who are very out to their friends and work but not to parents. Identity and sexuality is so much more complex and everyone is unique. Find what that means to you and run with it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, but do so within reason. But it does get better! It got better for me and I’m so relieved it was the right decision for me.

Author: David Yi/Date: April 07, 2017/Source: http://www.verygoodlight.com/2017/04/07/marshall-bang/





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WINNER 위너 「REALLY REALLY」

Posted on April 03, 2017 commentaires
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Nikko E 「To Be Gay And Asian: A Love Letter To All Of Us」

Posted on April 01, 2017 commentaires
This is for a younger me, and every kid coming of age gay and Asian.

It’s upsetting. It’s the year 2017 and Asian men are still denied sexual agency, excluded and erased from representations of beauty and masculinity, and pigeonholed into stereotypes and sexual racism. Demographic change will certainly help change that, but the genuine uplifting of EFNIK* gay men must accompany the deconstruction of conscious and subconscious idealization of white bodies. That is, we cannot fully see ourselves as equal until we bury these internalized notions that white = superior, that white = beauty. The lack of representation for Asian men of all ethnicities and origins in mainstream media creates an order where racist jokes and cruel assumptions are voiced by people who aren’t us, further fuelling the perception of our “undesirability.”

And because of that, I feel a responsibility to project a positive image for all Asian men, to uplift those who aren’t as confident, or who may even be embarrassed to be themselves. I feel a responsibility to present a sexy, confident, clever, outgoing, and joyful self. Because of and in spite of the stereotypes that others have of Asian men, it is necessary that we work to shatter this false, bastardized definition of “Asian” by presenting ourselves as whole, unfiltered human beings.

Whether or not the larger society finds “Gaysians” attractive, ugly, effeminate, sexless, meek, irrelevant, laughable, invisible, strictly bottoms (try again), small dicked (lol, peep Tumblr, or have sex once in awhile), and so forth, we stunt regardless. We walk over whatever the hell society thinks we are. We slay, we are Asian; Slaysians we are.

Almost every day, as Asian men we know we will meet the “no fats, no femmes, no Asians” approach. But again, in the face of this we have to exhibit a sacred acceptance and radiant self love of who we are – confident, sexy, strong, fuck free and free to fuck whomever we please (with consent of course).

I take pride in my unique Asian beauty and culture and the blessing of even being so connected to a culture at all. So think about this: with one glance, a smile, the curve of our stone-dark eyes, shape of our coral lips, the contrast of our jet black hair against our range of cream gold winter skin to deeper shades of summer brown, to be Asian is to be the antithesis of plain.

We have no choice but to be an antidote to the shallow, discriminatory “community” where white figures are glorified and Asian bodies are reviled. Collectively we are a monsoon cloud of expression, sex, charm, and honesty. Our winds carry a warrior song of defiance and healing. They hear our call from Mongolia, Myanmar, and down to Malaysia. Rains of inner peace soak and soothe the roots of hurt boys from Japan to Iran. Collect tea leaves of forests we roam, but cherish, don’t blemish, the hearts of our home. Children of the sun running along the equator, I await your brightest rays to meet mine. Awaken. Divine.

Though we live to be forces of nature, we are occasionally haunted by moments of doubt. “He’s probably not into Asians, so why risk the effort or possibly getting hurt?” When you’re conditioned to believe that white is best, it takes a toll on your self esteem and image, especially when you’re often denied, when you’re mocked as “Asiiiaaaan!” is worked to an insult. As confident as I am, I bare no permanent immunity to streams of dejection. The remedy lies in our own ability to rise up against the places that hold no room for us. That is, to survive and thrive, we must create our own rules and write ourselves as the protagonists.

Underneath my personal brand of Asiatic ferocity, the truth is I’ve unlocked myself and found my confidence because of what I’ve heard all my life. Though I no longer allow words and discrimination to personally affect me, degenerate mindsets will absolutely affect the next generation of gay kids, and I’m here for them. When I entered this world at 19, I was conditioned to embody the notion that I am less than; no one deserves this. If only our bodies reflected our words. Since then, I’ve thankfully come into my own—unapologetically, in your face, 1,000% me. All rice, all spice, yes we iced up. Ain’t you ever seen an Asian be a bad b****?

This is my love letter and open call to every Asian out there to get your blessed life and slay over every single person in earshot and eyesight by cultivating inner confidence and true happiness. Be kind to yourself and generous with your methods of self care. Work on your health, get your money, live your fullest lives and ask out any boy you fancy. For there is a satisfying power to feeling sexy in your own skin, even when no one around you knows what you know. And I believe in my powers now more than ever, so my purpose is this: to bring light and laughter to the lives of everyone I meet, igniting bombs of self love for every Slaysian in the making and on their way.

*EFNIK: an LGBTQ Person of Color

Send questions and comments on this story to feedback@efniks.com.



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