Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

hpolak's picture

Asian American Sexualities

I found this piece really interesting. I also think it definitely has more of a clear feminist angle than some of the other literature we have been reading. For example, Cristy Chung says, "It's never the same for a woman of color, a person of color, in the world" (7). This quote resonates with the key feature of this article that I was drawn to most, and that is how Asian Americans and other Americans of color have a double burden to bear within the realm of sexual orientation: sexuality and race.

This article talks about the Asian American gay, lesbian and bisexual community, and continues broadens this subject to people of color. The aspect I focused on while reading this was the fact that not only do Asian Americans and other Americans of color have to overcome their own cultural stereotypes of "queerness," they also have to confront the white majority. And even if there are white queer organizations (where one would think people would be accepted no matter their race, because after all, they are all dealing with the same issues), being a person of color still is an obstacle to overcome. There are examples of these two struggles provided in the article. The first shows how it is difficult for an Asian American to confront their sexual identity and make their decision known, whether it be to in the personal or public arena. Eric C. Wat says that, "As Hong Kong immigrants, his parents separate his gay identity from his familial and cultural one" (5). He then looks at the case of a Vietnamese immigrant who was beaten by a group of white males in California. The media stated that this was an incident of gay-bashing, while the Asian media "assured its readers that the victim was not gay and was beaten because of his race" (5).

As I said before, Asian Americans also carry an additional burden of their race. Gil Mangaoang describes how he felt the need to keep his homosexuality a secret while being a Filipino activist in the United States. He said his situation was problematic because during the time of the 1970's, there were few gay organizations that were not dominated by white males. He said, "Minorities who were members of these gay organizations were generally seen as subordinates reflecting the dominant racist attitudes in sociey" (6).

I just find it terrible and disappointing when minorities (in this case gay, white men or women) discriminate against other minorities (gay men or women of color) because they feel the other is more of a  minority than they are. In reality, they are fighting the same battle for acceptance in the realm of sexual orentation.This concept just upsets me because I feel that when you are a minority you should be banding together, not making extra and unnecessary divisions. This relates to the concept of finding "home," because this distances people even further from finding a place or state of mind to call "home." How can you feel comfortable if other people like you are not accepting of you?


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
5 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.