The Other People of Color
Asians are considered racial minorities, but there is very little effort to include their people, customs, and or specific issues within the context of LGBT organizations. They are overshadowed by other races and rarely taken into account.
In a survey taken among LGBTQ Asians it was discovered that...
"Nearly every respondent (98 percent) had experienced at least one form of discrimination and/or harassment in their lives.
Nearly all respondents (89 percent) agreed that homophobia and/or transphobia are problems within the broader API community.
78 percent of respondents agreed that API LGBT people experience racism within the predominantly white LGBT community.
Only 50 percent of respondents said that English was their native language. Yet nearly all LGBT informational and advocacy materials are produced in English." (Asian Nation).
Queer Asians are typically caught in a crossroads facing lack of acceptance from the broader heterosexual Asian community, while also struggling for understanding and acknowledgment from within the white dominated queer community.
Westernized Stereotypical Thinking of Asian Sexuality:
Many people perceive Asian women to be soft, delicate, thin, and submissive in nature. They are thought to be sex-objects for the lust of others. To the contrary many Asian men are thought to be devoid of any sexuality, they often go unaccounted for under the false stereotype that Asian men have a smaller penis size. Asian men are either discounted or considered "exotic" and are also objectified. These stereotypes about Asian sex and sexuality play into both the straight and gay communities and are wrong and serve as a misrepresentation of the wide spectrum of people who are Asian.
Rice Queen - A term for older white gay men attracted to Asians, assumed to be desperate and fetishizing Asians.
Potato Queen - Gay Asian men who date older rich white males.
Sticky Rice - Two Asians who are a couple, they are stereotyped as being obsessed with all things Asian and only sticking with one another.
Panda Hugger - A gay male who prefers Asian men.
The Asian Asexual Dilemna:
Eastern cultures tend to be very quiet about sexuality in general which creates a problem for all sexual minorities. In particular within Asian families is a strong sense of family structure and desire to carry on the legacy of the family. An Asian who is asexual likely faces more challenges if they choose either not to reproduce or to settle down with a partner altogether. There is even a joking yet offensive facebook group called Asians Against Asexuality.
The Transgender/Intersex Asian Experience:
The Eastern world has a long history of embracing transgender behavior as well as people who have ambigious genitalia, and many cultures regard trans people and intersex people as "third gendered" and they hold their place in society. In recent decades with Western ideology influencing Asian nations, there has been increased discrimination and misunderstanding directed towards trans people. Places like Thailand are considered the transsexual haven of the world, but even there recently a battle was waged to overturn a blood ban on queer men.
While it is quite possible that transgender and intersex identity is more prevalent within the Asian world, this group goes unaccounted for and has very little research and/or resources available as they pertain to trans Asians.
LGBTQ Asian Links:
Transgender Asia Research Centre
Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance
Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team
Asian and Pacific Islander Family Pride
National Queer Asian Pacific Alliance
Queer Asian Resources
Queer Asian Videos
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Other People of Color