Other gay men want to dominate and discard us. In my 25 years of being out, going to bars and talking to people who found no issue in telling me to my face that they don't date Asians felt like the norm. Little did I know that it was a place of division — a place where Asians competed with each other for the attention of non-Asian men at the club.
I wanted to help show an array of modern gay Asian men, an underrepresented group in the media, the way we exist today. The men in this portfolio come from a diverse set of backgrounds: They are not models; they are designers, chefs, drag queens, architects, filmmakers, and teachers.
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They are powerful, intelligent, sexual, and provocative. They are nuanced and do not fit into boxes like submissive and dominant — they express desire in ways distinctive to them. They shatter the idea that Asian male sexuality is taboo.
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Photographer , who traveled from Beijing to collaborate on this project, captures bold, masculine, feminine, sexy, gorgeous men who represent the strength of Asian men, but are only a fraction of our huge population in the gay community. This portfolio was also made with the help of an entirely Asian crew: All of the clothing you see was created by a designer of Asian descent. Get the best of what's queer. Sign up for our weekly newsletter here. On Tony: Ambush trousers.
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On Shiao: Kenzo turtleneck. Yuasa Swim swim brief. On Andrew: John Hardy necklace. Sean Suen pants.
Space Cowboy boots. On Frankie: Stylist's own hat.
Sacai shirt. Yuasa swim brief. On John: Opening Ceremony visor. Opening Ceremony x Aloha Blossom shirt. Model's own necklace. Gauntlet Cheng pants.
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On Garrett: Yohji Yamamoto coat. CFGNY shirt. Yuasa Swim briefs. In one scene in the movie, a young Caucasian man eyes and approaches the main character Ryan as he and his love interest Ning dance in a nightclub. In a bigger sense, I think this imaginary situation touches something deeper and real in a lot of us. Ryan is a character who embodies the first-generation story of an Asian person born into Western society. Reflected in the fragments of his personality are echoes of Asian gay men who live in Western countries.
People whose everyday lives becomes a negotiated and cultural amalgamation of Asian, Western and queer identities.
Do we belong to either western or eastern culture? Are our desires influenced by our struggle for identity? And what commonalities lie within our collective psychological experiences? The tension of east and west and some of its complexities are especially exhibited in our dating scene.
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In popular gay Asian colloquialism, there lies the cultural notion that desires revolve around two specific racial choices — rice or potato? This divide seemed commonplace, even manifesting itself within a speed dating event in Sydney. At the event, we were given 12 dates at five minutes each and no one was allowed to talk about work. Interestingly a lot of the people I came across were open to everyone in terms of race when I asked them.
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I wanted to pry even further though, so I inquired if there were any patterns or differences in their dating experiences when it came to dating either white or Asian men. Three people separately mentioned smell which I guess is fair.
A guy called Don told me he felt more comfortable with Asian guys since more of them wanted something similar in terms of a relationship , while Caucasian men were either interested in a hookup or seemed much older than him. Another person, Jason agreed with this and said that he preferred Asian men because they were similar in their traditions.
Jason also felt that other Asian men were culturally more family orientated and more open to monogamy and dating, whereas western guys appeared to be focused on sex. As Eric continued to talk, he revealed how he became more comfortable with his cultural heritage growing up. It was during that process he became more open to dating other Asian men. Jason also recalled a similar experience.