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The Sexual Identity Of Gay Asian Men

4663 words - 19 pages

Engendering the Subaltern Subject: The Sexual Identity of Gay Asian Men

We live in a world wherein we are controlled by our society. Society dictates what can and cannot be done, what is right and wrong, what is to be accepted and what is to be shunned. In our world today, we feel the need to conform to the norm, to feel as though we somehow belong, that we are a part of something bigger – that we belong to a community. In our world today, we are also encouraged to set ourselves apart from everyone else, to be our unique; our own person, but being different is something that is not generally accepted, the very notion that society brings forth, that we need to be our own person, society ...view middle of the document...

That is the problem that surrounds homosexuals in Asia. Coming out is no longer a life changing process, but instead, things are inferred more than they are revealed – from a shocking and liberating statement, coming out has been reduced to a somewhat vibe that homosexuals give off that leaves people guessing instead of knowing. There is a lack of discourse around the topic of the coming out of homosexuals in Asia, which is what this paper aims to tackle: the possible factors resulting in the muffling of coming out in the Asian context. As much as we would like to think we are our own culture and people, we can never really deny the fact that the Western culture has in fact played a significant role in influencing how Asians perceive themselves, which thus leads to a somewhat form of racial castration, wherein the East is undermined by the West, and this undermining does is in fact a contributing factor to the lack of discourse surrounding the coming out of homosexuals in Asia. This paper aims to explain the correlation between gender, sexuality and race, tackle the disparity of perception of homosexuality between West and East by discussing how Asians are represented in American literatures, which in turn leads to the formation of stereotypes that establishes a certain level of acceptance or maybe even tolerance for homosexuality, which even created controversies regarding homosexuality, and the impact that this has had on the development of homosexuals and their integration into society.

The Establishment of Gender, Sexuality, and Race
Be proud of who you are and where you come from is something that we are constantly reminded to do, but it is easier said than done when who you are serves as a basis for people to judge you out in the real world. Choosing to express oneself in our society today is not as easy as it seems; trying to be different is not always a good thing, because more often than not, we get shut down for trying to do so. Many have argued that the very concept of gender is constructed by society, when in fact, gender is not simply a constructed concept, but rather, it is likened to a performance which gives it its meaning. “…Gender is not something we are born with, instinctively knowing how to behave within its confines, but a learned identity reinforced by behaviors thrust onto us by societal expectations of “appropriate” gender behavior.” (Chong, 6) We behave in these gender appropriate ways because we are taught gender appropriate behavior, which in turn redefines what gender is – it’s no longer simply the distinction between the sexes, but rather, gender is “not simply an aspect of what one is, but, more fundamentally, it is something that one does, and does recurrently, in interaction with others” (Hollander, 1998) In a nutshell, gender has become a symbol of our status that we achieve by maintaining an image that we present to others, which is why there are “gender appropriate” rules perpetuated in society so that each...

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