Follower Fridays is a series of profiles highlighting members of Gaysian Third Space to showcase the diversity of gaysians in the Community. This week’s featured member is @corsairouge.
Who are you?
If you ran into me on the streets, you’d probably identify me as a millennial male and then proceed to guess what kind of Asian I am. If you had special guessing abilities, maybe you’d say that I’m gay and Christian. So I suppose I’d align myself with a gay, Asian-(Canadian)-American, sometimes Christian, male identity. Like most souls on Earth, I’m eternally searching for what defines who I am, but I think these four markers are what I gravitate towards to form the basis of my identity.
Where are you from?
I am a born and bred Californian. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and found myself on the sunny shores of San Diego during my college years. Currently I am residing in the OC in the Crown Jewel of Suburbia. I have lived in suburbia all my life–except that one time I studied abroad in Copenhagen–and cannot wait to move out of this place.
Where am I “reaaally from?” You can probably find the remains of my dead ancestors in Guangdong and Shantou in China, but my parents’ and grandparents’ generations were born and raised in Vietnam. I don’t have a strong attachment to either culture, and I think it’s because I feel so far removed from Chinese culture (even though I speak the language) yet I haven’t been rooted in Vietnamese culture long enough to adopt it as my own.
What do you do?
I am a stormwater consultant for a civil engineering firm. No, I am not a civil engineer nor I am responsible for trying to fix California’s drought. Rain creates lots of runoff in cities which then picks up pollutants that can potentially contaminate bodies of water, leading to an adverse impact on water supplies and aquatic environments. My job is to work with cities to make sure their stormwater programs are effective in reducing contamination, and work with clients and engineers to find solutions to managing water runoff in urban developments.
Hobby-wise, I’m still trying to find a hobby I can dedicate myself to, but for the moment I enjoy nature and hiking, linguistics and learning languages, reading, cooking, graphic design, typography, and (Western) calligraphy. Most of these interests are on a rotating schedule where I am strongly invested in it for a week before it dies down, only to be resurrected a few months later in another week-long spurt.
What are you passionate about?
I think my passions fall into two overarching categories: aesthetics and exploring. Aesthetics: design, typography, architecture, minimalism, how cities look and function, the natural beauty of Earth. I could spend all day looking at cities and buildings, design museums, and enjoying nature (especially the ocean and night sky). Exploring: by learning and doing. Learning about cities, cultures, food, music, languages/historical linguistics, history. Doing things like traveling to different cities, hiking, trying foods, reading.
What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?
Years ago, my naive self thought my dream job was to be an optometrist. Then I shadowed one and realized oh how wrong I was. Knowing myself a little more now, my dream job would be a landscape architect. It expands on to what I’m doing now and combines my two overarching passions–aesthetics and exploring. What I really want to do is create cities and streets that preserve nature, while still provide public spaces for people to gather where they can interact and connect with each other.
Ideally though, I would love to be a professional traveler and writer. I mean how exciting is it to be paid, or even just to live life on a constant adventure and write about it to let people know about these wonder (and sometimes maybe not-so-wonderful) places.
If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?
There’s this Danish concept called Jante’s Laws. It’s a rather austere set of unspoken rules that influenced Danish (and by proximity, Scandinavian) culture, and emphasize the focus on collective society rather than individual self-importance. Basically, each rule is a variation of “don’t think you’re anything special or better than anyone else.” I think the underlying issue of every problem on earth is pride in which one person or a group of people think they are more important than someone else. That or they fear the unknown, and their defense mechanism is insecure pride. I mean, really, racism/sexism/-isms/-phobias is a reaction because of an insecurity or augmented sense of self-importance.
So to sum it up I think people should learn that they are not better than anyone else, and to carry out this idea in action by learning from people around them through speaking less and listening more.