Queer Taiwan: Episode 1 – Back to the Start

Queer Taiwan: Episode 1 – Back to the Start:

From the filmmakers:

Although Taiwan is often hailed ‘the most LGBT-friendly country in Asia’ and is both home to the biggest LGBT pride parade and the first country to embrace marriage equality in the region, there’s still a lot of prejudice based on misunderstanding or simply not knowing enough about LGBT people.

Marriage equality is not the final goal for the LGBT community. We still have to work on taking care of many people whose needs are not met by achieving same-sex marriage.

Queer Taiwan aims to build bridges of communication and understanding by exploring LGBT culture in Taiwan. We want to have candid, respectful conversations about many topics considered ‘taboo’ in many societies, especially in Asia. Through each person who’s willing to share their experience, either as an LGBT person or an ally or opponent, we hope you will get an insight into LGBT lives and see them through an array of fresh perspectives.

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The History and The Struggle: My Interview With Japanese Canadian Lesbian Activist, Lily Shinde

The History and The Struggle: My Interview With Japanese Canadian Lesbian Activist, Lily Shinde:

An excerpt:

Today, I like the idea younger people have
about intergenerational gatherings because I’m going to be 70 next
month, you know. It really feeds my soul and my heart to engage with
like-minded people and to know that you keep me up-to-date on what’s
going on. When I look at you, or all the other younger Asians that I
know, I think, “Wow, I’m so proud of them!”

I
like to hang around young people because you’ve come so far and you’re
so proud of yourself and so confident. I like to see that. I’m there
because I want to empower young people. There’s lots of young people who
struggle with their sexuality, parents, or whatever. I’m always open to
Asian queers, trans people, people of any stripes – especially if
they’re going through a hard time. I don’t want them to feel like
there’s nobody there for them.

I also
want young people to know, especially in the Japanese Canadian
community, that they have to know their history, they have to know their
struggles. In the old days, you just thought you gotta fend for
yourself whether it’s with your fist or your baseball bat, you just
gotta do it. And now you guys can do it with your words. I’m very happy
and it pleases me when I see people like you still doing the work.

Indonesia’s LGBTQ Community Rattled By Criminal Code Revamp Plan

Indonesia’s LGBTQ Community Rattled By Criminal Code Revamp Plan:

Some excerpts:

Police
have stood by while vigilantes have stormed “gay sex parties”, and have
themselves broken up gatherings at spas and hostels, charging some with
violating strict pornography laws, and prompting many others to go
underground. The authorities have also been clamping down online,
blocking many LGBT sites or getting LGBT apps removed by host companies,
including dating apps.

Until
now, homosexuality has not been regulated by law in Indonesia, except
in the ultra-conservative Aceh province where Islamic law bans same-sex
relations.

But
as lawmakers look to shore up conservative votes ahead of elections,
parliament appears on the verge of revising the national criminal code
to impose restrictions on same-sex relations and consensual sex between
men and women outside marriage.

Under the proposals, those found guilty of a public act of gay sex could
be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison, and up to nine years if
there is evidence of abuse or video of the act is published.
Heterosexual couples found living together without being married could
face up to six months in prison, and two years if engaging in sex
outside marriage.

Gay Asian-Americans Face More Stress

Gay Asian-Americans Face More Stress:

“In the Western gay and lesbian community, ‘coming out,’ is final
revelation that you are homosexual while for Asian and Pacific Islanders
in America of Korean descent, there is ‘coming home,’ where you want to
integrate culturally and be both an American and Korean,” Hahm said in a
statement. “This is not staying closeted but rather alluding to your
sexuality to a family member, who may not challenge it, as long as the
status quo within the family is maintained.”

Diary Entry #24: My experience being queer Asian American with disability

thegaysiandiaries:

Dear Diary,

This is my experience of being Asian American with disability and sexual orientation was gay or bisexual. During middle school, noticed I like men and have desire into their body. Had were no interest on women because many were too aggressive and arrogant. However, there were few women who are nice and polite who gave me interest. During middle school, I was a timid and quiet student so there is no courage talking to people. My disabilities are autism, depression, memory loss, and stammer. Whenever students talk to me, I could not speak clearly for them to understand and unable to get into their topic. Moreover, I act weird from being alone, everyone said I was a weird kid.

Since I was alone the whole time, I just go online viewing entertainment videos. Until one day, saw pictures of male models performing for the underwear company, then have a desire to imitate them. Then, searched more websites like that one until got into a porn website. This brought desires. Furthermore, this continues after attending high school. Primarily, I was watching straight porn from numerous websites. The one I watched the most is the one from Japan. Many shows were heroes battling, monster torturing the women, time stopper, invincible men, and many more. This shows they are creative, even on porn. Also, anime also has many pornography. After watching so many of these shows, the parts which entertain me the most is men’s body and their private part. This had been kept a secret for a long time.

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From middle school to high school, I had interest on men because they look attractive and their personality matched mine. However, many individuals have no interest in Asians because we are the disadvantage ones on dating. Moreover, we are men so individuals will treat us more harshly than women.

Later in high school, watched many shows which are for gay men and LGBT pride shows. I have bought DVDs to watch. One day, my mom was cleaning my room and caught the DVDs. She was surprised and I was frozen when she asked me. My family is traditional and do not support same-sex marriage. She said she will die if I am. That time, my heart was beaten so I kept convincing her I’m not. After that time, I threw away everything that involves gay men. It took me so many efforts to convince the whole family that I’m straight. After that day, I started to watch videos showing female band and female singers. This can let them know I like women. In fact, I suffered from child abuse and child neglect so nobody will support any choice I made. Asian parents are strict and they want their kids to follow their way. Indeed, I grew up in America and I am American. There were many cultural conflict. This means I am not able to come out.

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During college, I was having a Chinese class. Then, I met a man who has a boyfriend and he is gay. After hanging out with him, he kept following me and ask to take bus with me. He even said if he was not dating someone else, we could have been together. He even told me sexual stuff and send me his collection of gay porn. He seems like he wants me to be the third person in their relationship which I do not want. After that day, I kept ignoring him and avoid going out with him. He got angry and said I was ignoring him. From that, I see he is not like a mature person so I left the group chat that I was in with him. After that day, he kept avoiding being close to me. From that, I started to hate gay people.

I used some dating apps to find friends but barely has anyone contact me. Many who contact me often wants nude photos and find people to get laid. These are not what I want. If I reject, they block me. Then, deleted all those apps and want to find lovers in-person.

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Last year, met a friend from a non-profit organization. He is cheerful and weird. He invited me to Spa to cheer me down after seeing what I post on Facebook, saying I was depressed. At the sauna, he wants to play game with me for answering questions, if we do not answer it, then we have to tickle each other. While we are playing, he ask sexual question such as do I masturbate often. Then, we were tickling and touching each other, include the private part. Then, he got so turn on. When we went upstairs to relax, he wants to hug me and touch my chest. Then, he went down to touch my bottom. Later, he tells me go inside the bathroom stall for action. However, I do not want it and got caught by few people. So I rush out to get change and leaves without him. After few weeks, he wants me to hang out again. Decide to give him another chance. One day, he invited me to his house and said to play a board game. He said whoever lose has to take off their clothes. At the end, he wants to do action again but I refuse. He takes me to the shower and I did not know what am I doing. Then I rush out and left.

After the 2nd time, do not want it happen again. Then, he ask me again. Going to give the last chance but biggest mistake. He invited me to his house and did a board game again. I was too weak. We stripe down and he said he will do it safe. After he touch my private part, come it out and felt I did a mistake. He just want to have fun with me instead a relationship because he did it to a girl before. Found out he is a playboy. Then, I did not do anymore stuff like this. Deleted his contact. I imagine do not know him whenever he is at the non-profit organization.

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Months later, I was still thinking about my sexual orientation. At the meetup app, there were many events such as hangout event for the people to meet each other. I want to attend the naked yoga event to feel naturism and the breathing of the body. But when scrolling down to look for more events. There were so many sexual events which involves actions. These are too exaggerating but I also want to attend it. However, have no courage to go because I’m Asian and a young adult. I attend these is to improve my courage to do stuff so my timidity can be cured. I need support from surroundings because it is hard for me to do it alone. Luckily, I met a friend whom also attend these events with me because he has an ex-husband whom cheat on him going to all nude events. So he also attend these events to see how the naturism feels like. I have learnt from him that straight men also have sex with men to see whether they like men or women. From his words, I have learnt a lot because went to some club before and got laid with men and felt uncomfortable. He was right because I am into people around my age and similar personality. People get laid was to find out what is their sexual orientation and who they really like.

Until this day, still working to improve my courage to do anything. My family is traditional whom discourage everything I do. Coming out as gay is hard for me. New York has many organizations which support LGBT. There are Christian communities which support LGBT such as Metropolitan Community Church, Marble Church, United Methodist Church of Village, and more. Even we can not marry people we like, there is still place that supports our choice.

Having friends who support the same-sex marriage can let me learn to come out. Now, I am still learning to explain to my family. My current sexual orientation is straight or unknown. There is too much going on in life such as finance, career, and relationship. I need somebody because most people do not like my personality for being so boring and direct. Is it because I have now come out so my life is horrible? My goal is to improve my courage and not be aware of surroundings’ comments. Whenever I see gay couple, felt so romantic. This shows my sexual orientation is undefined.

Jason Lin

Follower Friday: jayyohhenn


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 @jayyohhenn​.


Who are you?

Hey guys! Really don’t know why I was chosen to do this but I am honored :). My name is Jonathan and I’m 25 years old. I’m Vietnamese, born in the States. Best way to describe me is a lovable, warm compassionate person. Got a bachelor in Psychology and now working on my Bachelor in Nursing. ISFJ. Pretty much it, exploring myself is in progress.

Where are you from?

‘92 Born in New Orleans, LA and moved to Atlanta, GA in 2008 due to Hurricane Katrina. My life in New Orleans wasn’t that great and I’ve became the person I am today due to the change and move.

What do you do?

Currently work in a psychiatric and behavioral hospital as a Mental Health Assistant. I work with children and adolescents and I do group sessions and psycho educational groups. I’’m currently working on getting my Nursing Degree to work with pediatrics. Another long 4-5 years of school -_-.

Do what you love guys and it will work out in the end.

What are you passionate about?

Few things I’m passionate about

1. Helping others. In college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I defaulted with psychology because it interest me. I did know that I love helping people in any way or form. When I graduated and enter the real world is where I knew that I wanted to help those who are sick, the forgotten, and those who are in need of love and respect. That passion grew into helping the young ones so they may grow into people that they want to be or may not have the chance to.

2. Dancing. I’ve been always passionate about dancing since high school. My first memory of dancing was actually in middle school for a school performance. I used to do kpop covers with my friends for church performances and then in college I danced in cultural shows and sometimes choreographed. It wasn’t until more than a year ago when I really got into it. There was this collegiate competition where they invited anyone to join the team to compete. Doing this was a huge step in my life because it took a lot of courage to do this by myself, not knowing anyone. I soon made great friends which become my dance family and started a dance team in Atlanta called Movement As One Dance Company (MAO). We eventually did our first big competition in Orlando, World of Dance. I’ve learn so much about dance and love the aspect of it. Dance is an outlet, an emotion. I never regret joining that one day.

3. Youth movement. I’m currently volunteering as a Youth Leader at my church. We are part of a big movement that teaches about our faith and how to become better citizens. This means a lot to me. This movement changed me for who I am today. As I was growing up, I hate this program, but eventually met my closest friends and inspiring people. I wanted to be one of those people that inspired the kids to become people. It really did mold me and given me a lot of insight about myself, about my faith and about others.

What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?

Becoming a nurse and bettering peoples lives is what my dream job is and hopefully in the near future I get there :).

Another dream job would be a performer/dancer/entertainer. I don’t really have the skills or talent but singing and dancing on stage has always been a cool thought. I’ve even thought about taking my closest friends and forming a pop band hahaha

If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?

That love is the strongest power we have. Love is the key to peace and happiness, kindness, respect, end of suffering. If we just love one another we would be in a better place. ❤

Gay Interracial Relationships: On Being “Sticky Rice” and Loving Other Asian Men

Gay Interracial Relationships: On Being “Sticky Rice” and Loving Other Asian Men:

Some excerpts:

After coming out publicly in college, I began to meet other queer Asian
men, whose preferences were more towards white men. What was annoying to
me was that they always had to feel apologetic towards their
preferences for me. One guy, who had also dated primarily white men,
said in all sincerity, “Wow, that’s so cool that your first boyfriend
was Vietnamese. That is so… so… revolutionary!” I remember
looking at him and wondering what planet he stepped off of, and why he
felt he had to justify his preferences to me, especially since there was
no attraction between us. I can see where he was going — that he was
going through the now oft-quoted adage (and I’m taking liberties with
this) that “Loving Asian men is a revolutionary act,” especially if
you’re another Asian American man who’s been taught to believe that
white men are the pinnacle of desirability.


It’s sad to see that the dialectic that exists among queer Asian men
revolves around Asian and white, with very, very few Asian men dating
other men of color, particularly black. Latino men are seen as being
“almost white” and are seen as culturally acceptable, but I’ve only met 3
or 4 Asian-black male couples whose relationships lasted a long time
and were not fraught with cultural expectations based on stereotypes.

That being said, personally, it’s never bothered me to see Asian men
with other men, white, or of color. Given that the dating pool for us
“sticky rice” is so limited to the point that we can be downright
incestuous (10% of 3% of the total American population, you do the math)
I have better things to do than to waste my time trying to regulate who
my fellow Asians can date. I’m ecstatic to see couples get together and
survive long enough to become long term, regardless of who their
partner is. Given the outright homophobia that exists in many of our
Asian communities, and the racism that both partners feel, particularly
if they’re interracial, it’s a victory and a triumph to see couples
survive.