I’ve yet to find a group where I feel safe and included. I’ve tried a lot and sought out many but I feel like it all comes down to the same thing: I feel like a wallflower. I’ve always been jealous of those with an inner group–an exclusive few that I feel an equal of. As we stumbled across the French Quarters, tripping on displaced cobblestones and skipping through puddles of unknown origin, a friend tells me he think he knows me. Whether or not there is truth to that, he says “I know at the end of the day, you want to feel loved and validated” which I replied “isn’t that a universal truth?” I think we all long for that connectivity that sets us in a network and community that supports us and loves us.
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 @moovelous.
Who are you?
I’m a 20 year old college student who’s currently pursuing a Finance major. I love nature, hiking, classical music, and anything that’s calming or natural. I tend to have a positive outlook on things and situations. This is a very philosophical and broad question for me to answer, but if I had to focus my response, I’d say that I’m an American resident who’s trying his best to find his path in life while fighting against discrimination within my society as an Asian and as a gay man.
Where are you from?
Ancestral origins scream Chinese, but as far as I can remember, I was raised in Myanmar for about one third to a half of my life. If I had to be specific, Yangon, but currently reside in the United States of America unfortunately with Trump being President.
What do you do?
Currently, I work at a restaurant called Agora as a fill-in, but my manager will promote me to host soon. During college, I try to be involved in my GSA, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and have been in important positions in the club before. I’ve been the Treasurer for a year and the Vice President for a semester. I’ve also been Safe Zone certified.
What are you passionate about?
At this point in life, I’d have to say connecting with people. College really opened up my window of possibilities by allowing me to meet the friends I have today who are all a part of the LGBTQA+ community. I love meeting new people because everyone is incredibly different and colorful. It’s almost exciting because I look forward to making new friends, although I have a hard time trying to have people talk to me. I’m also passionate about my hobbies which mainly consist of video games, movies, casual hangouts, and more.
What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?
I’d say my dream job would be to become either a social worker or a counselor, especially for the LGBTQA+ community. I’ve heard quite a hefty amount of negative comments about counselors who claim to be supportive of the LGBTQA+ community, but aren’t therefore I find it hard to trust advisors/counselors/therapists with issues regarding the struggle and torment we go through. Thus, since I love working with people, I would love to help others through their situations as a social worker or a counselor.
If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?
The key word here is if, but if I could change the world with one idea, it would be to teach everyone that we should look at issues without bias. I’ve seen many people, especially anti-LGBTQA+ members of society be ignorant of what moral struggles and ethical consequences their ideas have on our well-being. We live in a world where people are still discriminated upon by race and/or ethnicity and this shouldn’t even be an issue when we’re just people. Essentially, I just want the world to reach an understanding that most forms of discrimination and profiling is harmful and should be abolished simply because it impacts so many lives immorally.
“When you add your sexuality to the mix, what unique obstacles do you as a gay man of colour have to deal with?”
I paused for a minute to gather my thoughts, to listen to the three parts of myself and channel their answers:
“Hmm, if you mean unique obstacles I face as a gay Chinese man in
life (and not film-related), well, where do I begin? Seriously though,
there are always issues with the two, or at least with me. Despite
having raised their children in Canada, my parents are traditional
Chinese people, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, already brings up
problems. It was difficult to come out to them because I never felt like
they understood what it was like to be gay or even the concept of
it. The whole subject of being gay is a taboo in Chinese culture, so if
no one talks about it, how could they understand it, let alone me? And I
guess more unique to me, I feel like I am a different breed of gay
Chinese man — and not necessarily in a good way. I think some people
look at me and dismiss me as a typical gay Asian man but for one, I’m
completely out, which a lot of Asian men aren’t. I’ve lived here all my
life, and though English is my first language, I don’t consider myself
white-washed; and I’m not particularly into the ‘gay scene’ (ie.
clubbing, going to bars and big parties, etc).
Community is a core tenet of G3S and through this platform, we seek to create a digital library of queer API storytelling. Thankfully, we are not alone in this mission and today want to highlight the work of Mia Nakano’s Visibility Project and Resilience Archives. The Visibility Project is the culmination of an eight-year labor of love, a photographic and oral record of over 200 queer Asians living in the United States. The Resilience Archives is a digital walking tour documenting
the contributions, memories, and historical moments of the LGBTQ
Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in the San Francisco Bay
Area. This week, we’ll be sharing other stories that further illustrate the power of the oral and written tradition to uplift and affirm our identities.
Thanks for catching that Matt! The push mechanism from Tumblr to WordPress was accidentally turned off. Hopefully now you should be able to see all future new Tumblr posts on WordPress.
[Edward] Chang, a professor of Asian-American studies at the University of California, Riverside, says they came in pursuit of the American dream — and they weren’t alone. Many Korean immigrants arrived with hopes of becoming economically successful so they could secure their children’s futures by sending them to the country’s top universities.
“And many believed that owning and operating small businesses was the easiest and quickest way to realize the American dream,” Chang says.
But working toward that dream came at a cost. Purchasing a business was expensive, so the new immigrants bought where they could afford property, often in poor, working-class neighborhoods in and near South L.A.
“Remember that they came here without any knowledge of a history of racial confrontation or race relations in America,” he says. “And many came believing the United States of America was a white country.”
“Prior to 1992, Korean immigrants considered themselves Korean,” he says. “But after 1992, they began to call themselves Korean-Americans.”
According to Chang, that’s an important distinction because it means Koreans began to see themselves as a permanent part of the U.S., rather than temporary residents. Korean-Americans began reaching out, working with other ethnic communities to lessen discrimination and politically empower themselves.