Are all Gays “Boys” in Vietnam?

Are all Gays “Boys” in Vietnam?

I don't need to give you any deep insight to the meaning of the word “gay.” I think most people will know that it has the archaic meaning of “happy.” When “gay” started to be used in English to mean “homosexual,” it was eventually exported as such to the rest of the world. “Gay” for “homosexual” is now a common word in many languages like German and Japanese and also now in Vietnamese. However, in Vietnam, the words “gay” or “boy” do not always mean the same thing.

Gay Asian-American Filmmaker Hieu Tran

Gay Asian-American Filmmaker Hieu Tran

…I ran across an intriguing pic of two very handsome, well-built, topless young men in a confrontational pose. One was Asian the other Anglo. Upon clicking on the image, it turned out that it was a still photo from the trailer of a short film called, Squared (2013). It was very intriguing in that it is about what happens when an Asian guy and an Anglo guy get together for a one-night stand. (Hint: the Anglo guy gets schooled.) …it concerned a subject with which I could very much identify – racial stereotyping.

A Woman with Balls

A Woman with Balls

Little did Angel know that her seeming ridiculous hatred towards me was mutual. Brought up in a Catholic family and straight from a Catholic high school, I had a secret prejudice against cross-dressers. To me, they did not have to go as far as dressing and acting like women to rub it in people’s faces that they do not identify themselves as men. To me, I was better than Angel and the countless other transgenders who slave themselves in beauty parlors. And I let this unspoken pride and prejudice thrive in my chest, even as I talked face to face with her. I didn’t know any better.

Think Nepal: Help if You Can

Think Nepal: Help if You Can

In some ways, the Nepalese approach to life and death, and in this case, tragedy, are very different than that of most westerners. Some might say their outlook is stoically admirable in a general sense.

The overwhelming majority of the people in Nepal practice Hinduism, with beliefs in karma (action, intent, and consequences), Dharma (duties, ethics), Samsara (the continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), and Moksha (liberation from samsara or liberation in this life), as well as the various Yogas (ways to attain Moksha).

Nevertheless, a tragedy is a tragedy, and we, as a global community, owe it to them (Dharma), and to ourselves (karma), to help our fellow humans whenever and wherever we can, with donations, large or small, with whatever we can afford. Please give if you can. Below is a link where you can choose for which organizations you would like to donate.

On Professionalism and Speaking Your Truth

On Professionalism and Speaking Your Truth

As gay, Asian men, the balance between the image we project at work and the expression of our inner selves may often conflict. Just recently, I spent several hours constructing an aggressively tall Easter bonnet to enter a local contest… While I'm a writer for a trade magazine, I'm not necessarily in the spotlight representing my company; nor am I in a leadership position. That being said, such overt displays of femininity may certainly compromise my ability to move into a leadership role going into the future.

My retort? I have none.

Gay Japanese Politician Supports Korean LGBT

Gay Japanese Politician Supports Korean LGBT

Like in most of Asia, LGBT equality is slow in coming. A combination of “traditional Confucian values and a powerful Christian community” has made the road very difficult for the LGBT community.

So, when Japan's first openly-gay politician, Taiga Ishikawa, 40, heard that Seoul's police banned the Korea Queer Culture (to take place in June 28), he took action, traveling to Korea in early June to support Korea's LGBT community and be part of the festival which is now being allowed to go forward “after a court ruled the ban unjust.”