Let’s Talk About MasculinityJoin GaysianThirdSpace,…

Let’s Talk About Masculinity

Join GaysianThirdSpace, ConversAsians, and ACON for a virtual discussion on Masculinity.  During our discussion, led by moderators with Asian diasporic perspectives from the United States and Australia, we’ll examine how masculinity is framed within our communities, how masculinity interacts with our other identities, and how ideas of masculinity, for each of us, have evolved over time.  

A G3S x ConversAsians x ACON Discussion 

6 PM PST / 9 PM EST // Sat 5 Dec 2020 USA
1 PM AEDT // Sun 6 Dec 2020 AUS

Zoom (link to be provided upon RSVP)

RSVP at http://bit.ly/g3smasculinity – a Zoom link and password will be emailed to you in advance of the meeting.  Please only RSVP if you intend to attend the event.  Given the nature of the event, the maximum number of participants will be capped.

Please email gaysianthirdspace@gmail.com

13 January 2019 – Pool


On Saturday, I went for a swim in the community lap pool, which was good. I’ve been going every Saturday morning.

I’m still slow, as an older lady lapped me while circle swimming. She was a nice white lady with a white swim cap, and politely asked to swim in our lane, instead of wordlessly expecting space be made like I usually did.

I must have looked confused, when I suddenly saw her gone and another Chinese lady in her place. The white lady spotted me in the adjacent lane, and explained to me that the Chinese lady was getting lapped in the “fast” lane and switched with her. I hate accommodating people like that; they make things so complicated with their kindness.

Now, that’s when I noticed something of interest in that adjacent lane .

He was an attractive Chinese guy with well-defined facial features. I snuck peaks at him underwater (skinny legs in a blue jammer), and couldn’t exactly tell how fast he was, since it was a three-person lane, and it’s harder to track his progress.

There’s not many younger guys who swim (mostly older Chinese, Vietnamese men), and I didn’t recall seeing him before.

I openly stared at him while he got out, because I was curious about his torso. He was more muscular than I suspected, with a perfect V shaped chest and back.

He turned around, and probably saw me ogling him.

I was caught, so I slowly shifted my gaze forward to my next set, and nonchalantly dove underwater.

Very smooth, Joon. Very smooth.



After Rudy,
there was Grant.

He had initially messaged me on Jack’d near the turn of
the year. Though he had no face picture, he was at least able to carry a
conversation better than most of the other men and seemed to have motivations
beyond sex. Through our discussion, I learned that he had briefly returned to
Hawaii for the holiday season but would be returning to Los Angeles to finish
up graduate school and work before permanently relocating back to Honolulu.
Would I be interested in maybe meeting up during that time?

Why not?

I honestly thought the two of us would lose touch, but –
to my surprise – we kept chatting for several months. When he finally did
return to Honolulu, I took an intense liking to him. He replied to my text
messages as though he had been waiting by his phone with nothing else to do all
day. There was never a lull in conversation during brunch or dinner. He always
had an idea for something to do during the weekend. He also had the rather
unusual hobby of being an amateur musician.

Strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin,

The ease with which he directed his energies to external
activities did not translate to an equal ability to guide them inward. I first
noticed this when we played a party game where the two of us took turns
answering a variety of thought-provoking, romantically oriented questions
designed to help people better understand themselves and others.

“Okay, first question,” he said, pulling a card from the
box. “Is it a sign of cynicism or wisdom to tolerate affairs?”

“Hmm…” I began. “I suppose it would depend on the person.
For me, I would perceive it as a learning opportunity to examine the ways in
which I might have contributed to the person’s reasons for cheating. Have I
been neglecting them? Have I not been as attentive to their needs as I should
have been?” I paused for a moment, absentmindedly fiddling with my bedsheets. “I
would like to think that, at the very least, we could have an adult discussion
of the relationship, but I guess I could imagine how other people might have a
different reaction.”


“What about you?”

“Oh, same, I guess. Your turn to pick a card!”

To Grant’s credit, he did not have unrevealing responses
to every card we pulled that night, but I came away with the distinct feeling
that he either had very little interesting to say or a lot to hide. Before we
went to bed that evening, I put on Planet
so the two of us could wind down from hours of talking. However, minutes
into one of the episodes he was already attempting to engage me in a quiz
show-like grilling of every animal and ecosystem flicking on screen.

How many bats do you think live in that cave? Do you
think the roaches in there are bigger than the ones in Hawaii? How long does
that fish have to live in the cave to get all transparent like that?

I did not have an especially easy time getting to sleep
that evening and I had an especially difficult time being around him when his
hobby as a musician began to pick up. As soon as that happened, it felt like he
took every moment of silence – no matter how tiny – to rehearse, revise, and
repeat lyrics to his songs in real time and in any location. I could hear him muttering,
mumbling, and murmuring while looking over restaurant menus, during the ten-second
moment when we split apart so I could walk to the passenger door, or while placing
my coffee order with a barista.

I felt like a new snow globe in a whirlwind. Without even
a moment to settle, hanging out with him became a frazzling, disorienting, and
exhausting experience. Realizing that my unhappiness would cause me to begin to
him less correctly than I should
and that an open discussion of the subject
would be the best way to resolve the issue, I brought it up on a car ride home
from brunch one weekend.

“Hey, Grant,” I began. “You know I’m a quiet person,

“I think that is obvious to everybody,” he replied, flicking
his turn signal.

“I know your music is very important to you, but do you
think maybe – when the two of us are hanging out, at least – it would be
possible to tune it down a bit? I feel like I can barely hear myself think half
the time.”

Without missing a beat, he answered, “Oh, sure. No
problem.” However, he did not say it with the tone of someone who properly
understood what I said. Instead, it was the cheery tone one might take when answering
in the affirmative to a request to make a brief detour to McDonald’s before a
long drive. As I sat in muteness tumbling between uncertainty and disbelief, he
resumed his vocals.

theroom2046: I used to be competitive growing up. I wanted to be…


I used to be competitive growing up. I wanted to be the most
brilliant in school, however deluded I was. I convinced myself that I was a
gifted child and was destined for immense success having won the spelling bee
in the 3rd grade, mind you, having immigrated to the states only a
year prior. As the years passed, the competition grew more stiff, in which I
realized that holy shit, I wasn’t that gifted after all.  But I did always feel like I was different from
all of the kids, and I honed on that. I wanted to be a master of everything. I
learned the piano, started actively learning French, and joined the track team.
If I couldn’t be the smartest kid in the school, I wanted to be a jack of all
trades, a renaissance man of sorts. I realize now that it was all just a coping
mechanism from growing up gay, poor, and lonely.

I suffer from impostor syndrome often. While applying for some
full time jobs today, I felt like I didn’t qualify for anything, even with the
years of professional experience I had. A part of me feels embarrassed to be
the person to even ask for higher pay. A friend told me a while back that, “women
and gay men are the least likely to ask for a raise or a promotion,” and it
still stuck with me to this day. In a world of so much mediocre talent out
there being rewarded, why do I beat myself up so much for my abilities?  It doesn’t help that we’re currently living in
a world where 24/7 we’re being inundated by perfect specimens on instagram. Nowadays,
I crave imperfection. I want to see honestly and flaws.