A & M 「Part II : Asian Masculinity. Gay or Straight? Emasculation Occurs Regardless.」

Posted on May 13, 2016
The heteronormative experience that Asian males share seems to be something unique that many asian males instinctively know about. Many of us may in fact think we are the only ones that bear the weight of the everyday racism in society against Asian men. That the insults coming from our own women, and from jealous white men are an experience that is only shared by heterosexual asian males. We might even think that the dreaded “I don’t date Asians” that come from Asian/Western women is something that is unique to us. But to those who think that these excuses are only something that heterosexual Asian men experience, that cannot be more far from the truth. The truth is, both gay and heterosexual Asian men both experience the anti-asian racism in society. If it didn’t occur to you that America hates Asian men, it should occur to you now. The reality is, whether you are gay or hetero, Asian males are hated by America as a whole in the dating scene.

Does this sound familiar? This was exactly Nolan’s response when I suggested that his attitude reeked of racism. Like so many men with the no-Asians dating and hooking-up policies, Nolan hid behind the old “That’s just my preference” excuse. He compared his not being attracted to Asians to his preferring men over women. I let that one slide because it was such a ridiculous argument. It was as misguided as equating it to digging brunettes over blondes. Both rationalizations were irrelevant. All sexual preferences are not created equal, and for Nolan to so glibly simplify human sexuality just for the sake of his weak defense against my charge of racism just made him seem deluded times two.

But if we are going to assign labels to what Nolan considered to be preferences, regardless of what determines a person’s sexuality (nature vs. nurture), there is already a term in use for guys who prefer men to women — a word as objectionable for many as being called “racist.” And if there were a catchy term to describe blond-chasers, I would have coined it. “Racist” is the operative word to describe someone who would exclude someone from housing, from jobs, from sex, from love, based on ethnicity. Furthermore, no matter how people want to spin it, rejection for being of a certain race stings so much more than being overlooked because of your hair or eye color, or even your gender. Source: 「“Sorry, I Don’t Do Asians”: The Dangers of Racial Discrimination in Dating

Does this sound like déjà vu to you? It alarmingly sounds the same as 「Joy Luck Club」 pseudo-asian-feminists that try to justify their self-loathing attraction to White men by telling others that it is just their preferences. Just replace “Nolan” with “Anna Lu,” and this might as well be the exact same conversation. These conversations highlight an important parallel: Our gay brothers suffer from emasculation in the West the same way that our heterosexual brothers do.

In an survey done by『FS Magazine』, Over 850 Black, white, Asian, South Asian, Arab and mixed race gay men were interviewed on their thoughts on race and racism.

FS asked everyone who completed the survey to rate different ethnic groups in terms of attractiveness. ‘White’ came out top with everyone except with Black and mixed race guys, who rated ‘mixed race’ first and ‘white’ second. ‘Mixed race’ came second overall, followed by ‘Latin,’ ‘Arab,’ ‘Black,’ ‘South Asian’ then ‘Asian.’

Now you must know by now that the emasculation of Asian men was historically rooted in anti-miscegenation and immigration laws designed to dehumanize us and make us “non-male.”

By restricting legal access to heterosexual norms, including nuclear family relations, white supremacy sought to systematically wipe out all Asian men: To bolster their genocidal efforts, they also waged a media propaganda campaign to desexualize Asian males and portray them as effeminate eunuchs. How successful is this social engineering? So successful, that even gay Asian men are emasculated as a by-product. The same stereotypes that are persistent in the heterosexual community exist in the gay community:

“Some younger white males think that I am a submissive bottom and my cock is small. I am neither of those, and hate having to put up with this level of ignorance. People think by saying this type of nonsense they are being honest, but it just shows how rude and inappropriate they are.”

You wouldn’t think that cultural and social emasculation designed to exclude Asian men from hegemonic White masculinity would also affect our gay Asian brothers, but the pervasiveness of Hegemonic White Masculinity shows how much racism there just is. The emasculation of cishet Asian men affects the dating lives of all asian men, regardless of their sexual orientation.

So when you hear the same excuses from the self-hating Anna Lu’s, the Aunty Tans white-boy chasing Asian girls that are quick to smear us with labels of “patriarchy” and “misogyny” when we bring up the issue of Asian male emasculation: they should keep in mind that they are calling our gay brothers misogynistic, patriarchs.

He contended that the queerphobia in Asian communities, privileging heteronormativity within the Asian culture and denigrating queerness with Whiteness, presented supplemental forms of oppression that did not replace mainstream racism and queerphobia. In addition to feeling oppressed within the Asian American community, queer Asian American men may also feel oppressed within the queer community with the appropriation of U.S. Orientalism that exoticizes and colonizes Asian American men into hypersexually desirable beings. Kumashiro cited the inversion of privilege and oppression within both the Asian American community and queer community as new forms of oppression.

In addition to the racial stereotypes that Asian men face, gay Asian men face homophobia. The major problem is that this homophobia is faced not only from the external white communities, but even from our own asian communities. Gay asian men face oppression from two different communities, but they shouldn’t be facing oppression from their own brothers. The contrast is this: while heterosexual asian men are stereotyped as being hyposexual (lack of sexuality), homosexual Asian men are stereotyped as hyper sexually desirable beings. These stereotypes are both extremes of the spectrum. Notice, that white men are still felt as “normal” in both heterosexual and homosexual orientation. This is the problem of White supremacy.

But what is valued in the gay community? Is it Masculinity that is valued, or is it femininity? The actual truth is that Masculinity is valued over femininity. The social struggles of Gay Asian Americans are of a different calibre then the traditional asian male experience.

Gay asians are frequently refused entry into popular nightclubs in New York and Los Angeles. By contrast, one would seldom encounter advertisements excluding race for other non-gay nightclubs. Those who move to the West in hopes of being accepted for their sexual orientation are often surprised by the racial and sexual oppression that exists. Song and Icard(1996) state that in the United States, racism from the mainstream gay community and alienation from the ethnic community are salient characteristics of the problems endured by ethnic gay immigrants.

In another story: From『aMagazine』, written by Jason Chang.

It’s been eight years since, but I’ve never forgotten that conversation because it started me on the road to questioning my racial preferences. They had always been a reflex, not anything I had really thought about until that evening. Why was I attracted only to white men, I asked myself. Why wouldn’t I even consider another Asian guy as a potential partner? I’d been attracted to white men since my earliest memory. From my preadolescent crushes to my teen idols, my white knight had always been, well, white. The only Asians I saw on TV or in the movies were houseboys or nerds, and there were certainly no Asian male models in the pages of the fashion magazines my friends and I so fervently perused.

I realized I was not alone in this. Most of the gay Asians I knew would only date white guys, and most of us just accepted this as the norm. But as I looked more deeply into the phenomenon, I was astonished by how widespread it was, at just how huge a percentage of gay Asian men were attracted only to white men.

Doesn’t this sound similar? Where have we heard excuses like

“Why was I attracted only to white men, I asked myself.” or “Why wouldn’t I even consider another Asian guy as a potential partner?” or this one: I’d been attracted to white men since my earliest memory. From my preadolescent crushes to my teen idols, my white knight had always been, well, white. The only Asians I saw on TV or in the movies were houseboys or nerds, and there were certainly no Asian male models in the pages of the fashion magazines my friends and I so fervently perused.

If you haven’t found the answer by now, we’ve all heard this as straight men from our sisters. But what’s worse is that LGBT asian men here this directly from their own brothers. But as we discussed here before, whatever problems that straight Asian men have in terms of dating; gay Asian men have it much worse:

The use of the term “lesbian” to identify gay Asian men who are attracted to each other is a stunning indication of how many gay Asian men perceive that only white men are “real” men and that Asian men who date each other are therefore “lesbians” —  two “women” together. Mainstream society’s stereotyping of Asian men as feminine is raised to a grotesque level in the gay community.

Whereas we might be stereotyped as emasculated, gay asian men are labeled as lesbian. The amount of racism in the stereotypes are raised to another level as white supremacy strips gay asian men of their masculinity and replaces it with extreme emasculation.

The pursuit of a white boyfriend is so intense that many gay Asian men would sooner date a much older white male partner than another Asian. Asian and Friends and the Long Yang Club are both social organizations with numerous chapters around the world that are designed for Asian men to meet Caucasian partners. I had attended some of their events in cities from Sydney to New York, and all I saw were 50-something white guys with their 20-something Asian boyfriends.

Some potato-only (White only) Asians became highly defensive when asked about their exclusive preference for white men. Most said they saw nothing wrong with being attracted only to white men, that it had nothing to do with self-hatred or media conditioning. “And even if I’ve been conditioned by the media, so what?” asked Matt, a 24-year-old Chinese American New Yorker whose last partner was a 46-year-old Caucasian. “We’re all conditioned by the media. I like white men, period.”

Interestingly, my chats with Asians around the country and online showed a fairly clear geographic division: gay Asian men in California were significantly more open to dating Asians than gay Asians on the East Coast. Perhaps California’s longer history and larger Asian American population have simply provided gay Asians with more Asian men to serve as positive role models and teenage crushes.

Mirror Mirror on the wall. Sometimes when you are walking down the street, you may see an asian women with much older white man. “The pursuit of a white boyfriend is so intense that many gay Asian men would sooner date a much older white male partner than another Asian.” But alarmingly, the same thing happens in the gay community. Some gay Asian men are even aware that that they are conditioned by the media seeing nothing wrong with only being attracted to white men. Sound similar? And for those who live in California or Asian enclaves: the truth is clear. It is simply better for an Asian man to live in an enclave regardless of sexual orientation. The importance of having a strong ethnic identity is understated.

It must be understand that gay Asian men also go through the exact same experiences that we do. In addition, they also suffer persecution and homophobia from within the asian community. That’s not unacceptable. If you pile on an Asian brother that is suffering the same kind of oppression and persecution that we all do, then let it be known that you are an uncle chan that turns your back on the community. Regardless of orientation or sex, the asian community must stand together as one. The homophobia that takes place in our own communities must be ended so we can stand together as brothers against the real enemy truly against us: White supremacy/racism.

A & M : Awaken your inner Asian
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