From BuzzFeed’s “Gays Vs. Lesbians: Raising a Robot Baby”:
Jen Ruggirello: I think, if anything, I just learned that doing it for two days, at a very easy level, was frustrating. So the fact that you can do it for the rest of your life is impressive. So, thank you moms and dads.
Niki Ang: Sorry, mom!
Kevin Nguyen: I thought it was pretty good and responsible, but at the same time it’s a handful. Because you don’t realize it until you’re actually in it, that you’re doing it, that you’re like “ohmygosh, this is what parents do“, it’s like a second job, having a kid.
Hi, everyone! This is Ethan from the G3S Team signing in this week as a guest curator again. One of the major themes explored on G3S is our experiences with parents, family members, and other people who’ve helped us grow into the people we are. This week is about the converse: stories by/about LGBTQ Asians in roles helping children to learn and grow. So get ready for some heartwarming stories about gaysian & queer asian parents and educators!
Can I tell you a secret? You don’t have to be in a relationship.
I mean it. I know they force it down your throat until you choke on it. Girls aren’t pretty unless they’re wanted. Boys aren’t men unless they’re having sex with someone. People aren’t lovable until they’re dating someone.
But a relationship won’t always make you happy, and as wonderful as romance is, it isn’t the only love that exists. I have seen friendships that are deeper and more pure than couples who swear it’s forever – and yet the friendship is the one people ignore.
I have heard so often “nobody loves me” out of the mouths of people who are single. And it kills me because if you ask them: where are your parents, your teachers, your classmates, your pets – they say, yes, okay, but it doesn’t count. Of course it counts, love doesn’t diminish just because someone doesn’t want to have sex with you. In fact, doesn’t it sort of make that love more real that they want nothing – not even a date – out of you?
It is pretty to be in love. It’s magical, I’m sure. But it’s also wonderful to stop for ice cream in your prom dress with six other girls. It’s also wonderful to go visit the world with nothing but a bunch of buddies who are really excited about learning.
The problem is: we’ve made everything about “the one”. But maybe “the one” is just you, loving yourself, having fun, and being happy. Maybe instead of looking for our other halves, we should be piecing ourselves together.
Maybe I wasn’t born unfinished. Maybe I am the one who makes myself better.
He was logical. To a point. He felt mellow, and our first date was filled with all sorts of wonderful. We met for the first time, but it felt like the hundredth. I put on my contact lenses, tried my hardest to add up to the most attractive my genetics would allow me too. We talked, we shared; we laughed, and I thought he cared. I remember videoing him try VR for the first time – the deliberateness of every turn, the elegant clumsiness, the distinct purposefulness. I was enthralled by him, as much of the audience at the Windows store were. His voice was low and melodic. His laugh was reserved but earnest. He was also much more muscular than any person I had ever met – and it seemed so strange to me that someone like him could like someone like me.
We watched a movie that time. His friend came, and even in such a public place – the first meeting even – we held hands. I lay my head on his shoulder. He squeezed gently, and I squeezed his soft pianist hands back. He seemed too good to be true – someone rational to balance out my emotional. A rock in the adverse stream of the life of a medical resident. He was so well-grounded, and although I didn’t realize it, I was lost adrift in a sea of his quiet charisma.
That night, we also went karaoke. There was musical chemistry I had never known could exist. I remember the softness of his lips when we parted ways. The bitterness of departure with the spice of passion and the guarantee that we would meet again.
The next day, I flew back to the east coast: a thousand miles away from him. We knew long distance was unreasonable, but we kept in contact – as a representation of the intensity and tangibility of our chemistry and friendship. Over the months, we traded songs – I sang covers for him, which I have never sung for others. He shared his piano musings with me. A distant part of me wondered – perhaps things could work out. Perhaps the irrationality of love will turn the impossible to the possible.
And then I returned to him, 4 months later. We went on our second real date. He was friendly – despite the similarities to the first, there was a very perceivable change. He remained logical to a point. The pointedness seemed sharper than I remembered. His smile was still the warm rumbling baritone laughter I remembered – but did it always contain the hint of awkwardness behind it? During the movie, my leg touched his; my hand beckoned for a soft touch that never came. I was bewildered; but, that was a lie – I was wildered, and knew that the inevitable, the logical, the rational was upon my fate. I hoped I was wrong. We went karaoke again – the musical chemistry remained, but his affect belied the harmony of our voices. I knew at that point it would likely be our last date. The promises of our first fiery encounter fell like petals to the wind.
“So there’s this guy I think I kinda like.”
“Oh? That’s great! I guess then maybe you’re not going to come visit in March?”
“I don’t know… but…”
And so it was. Too good to be true. And now I wait alone, an hour bus ride away from home on a dark rainy Sunday, drowning in the tattered disillusionment of my hope for love.
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 @betta-boy.
Who are you?
Howdy! My name is Billy Huynh and I’m a typical 22 year-old bleach blonde, tan Gaysian Buddhist who enjoys ripping my pants by dancing too hard at the club on the weekend and waking up early the next morning to climb a mountain and read peacefully under a shady spot at the top.
Where are you from?
I was born in classy sassy San Diego, California! My dad is originally from China and my mom from Vietnam.
What do you do?
I am a student currently finishing up my last year in my kinesiology major and I’m also a server at a Sushi/Ramen restaurant! So essentially I work out a lot, study a lot, and eat a lot.
What are you passionate about?
I’ve always been passionate about holistic wellness, and that’s why I’m a health major! Having grown up with a rough home life, I always sought out ways to heal my spirit through various forms, such as hiking mountain trails by my house or going on long runs at night. I would always listen to music during these times too, which is another one of my passions that helped me mentally a great deal. I did musical theater in high school and although I haven’t performed since, I still sing and write songs on my keyboard constantly.
What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?
I don’t have a plan for my future yet in terms of a job, and the old me what be so stressed about that. But I’ve just grown so much in the past year alone and I’ve come to a place where I can just accept that if I don’t have the answers for some things at the moment, that’s OK. I would definitely love to work with people directly, though, where I can help them to better their spirit somehow. I know for certain that I can not work somewhere where I’m behind a computer or a counter all day!
If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?
Oh man, what a concept… Humans are interesting because we have the emotional ability to sympathize and empathize and even so, many refuse to. I’m a big believer in the magic of expanding one’s comfort zone and branching beyond the ideologies one is raised with. Personally, I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m absolutely content with being comfortable with everything in my life, because that means there’s no room for growth or excitement or learning. So I would wish to see a world where people are fearless and willing to unlock the potential for compassion. It has to start from within.
Like other older people, LGBT seniors want to have rich, fulfilling, and independent lives. They hope that retirement will give them the opportunity to focus on what they truly love.
Wen enjoys his slow-paced life in Sanya. He goes to exhibitions, takes walks along the beach, plays volleyball with locals, and sometimes meets up with men he contacts through Blued — a popular gay social app, on which he hopes to find a long-term boyfriend.
But dating isn’t easy for older gay men. “Younger generations can build a relationship quickly by kissing or having sex soon after they meet offline,” Wen explains. “But we want something more spiritual and stable.”
Similarly, 62-year-old Ah Shan, as he’s called within the gay community, says that finding a partner is his biggest problem these days. His finances are secure, as he owns his apartment in Guangzhou — capital of southern China’s Guangdong province — and receives a monthly pension of about 5,000 yuan, but he has been single for four years and is ready for that to change. In the meantime, he is renting out one of his bedrooms to gay friends so he has some company at home.
According to Yu, some LGBT seniors who are single and childless have considered building their own retirement estate where they can live together and take care of one another. Although they aren’t opposed to regular nursing homes, Yu says “they prefer to live in a place where they can open their hearts and share their experiences with others in the same circumstances.”
“I tell you, this idea he has of keeping out Muslims is the right thing to do,” said the 80-year-old, a refugee of the Vietnam War. “We are the good refugees.
“… the younger folks are raised here. They share the experiences of other communities of color. They see more ethnic and religious differences, and their minds open up. They empathize with many cultural groups.”
Even within a minority group, it can be easy to fall victim to the assumption that everyone else that wears your label is just like you – a testament to the invisibility of privilege.
This week, we’re going to examine some of the differences in our community – be they in income, age, or political beliefs.
Wealth inequality is actually worse among Asian Americans than among white Americans… Asian Americans earn more than whites on average, but they also have higher rates of poverty.
“The communities that we know aren’t doing so well — people from countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia — they make up close to 40 [percent] to 45 percent of the Asian American population… by only looking at averages, you’re papering over the substantial struggles of a huge chunk of lower-income, less wealthy Asian Americans.”