Gay Asians fight stereotypes [video]

Published: February 29, 2012

A new magazine hopes to reach gay men in Asian communities – both in Australia and abroad – in a fight against cultural stereotypes and sexual hierarchy.

The magazine’s editor and some contributors told SBS about their vision for the groundbreaking publication, in an environment rife with racism and misconceptions.

The editor of A-Men, Min Fuh Teh, says it’s important that it exist online, so that Asian men who are not yet ‘out’ can still access it without the risk of their families ever finding a hard copy in their posession.

Comments discriminating against Asian men for their physical attributes – stature, ‘slanty’ eyes and more – were common on websites frequented by gay men, Mr Fuh Teh said.

He hoped the magazine would help raise awareness in the gay community that those remarks are hurtful and unacceptable.

One main stereotype of gay Asians is that they are subservient, says photographer and model Sam Gatsby-Lim, from Indonesia.

There is a hierarchy of attractiveness that has blonde hair and blue eyes at the top, with Asians coming last, he says. Modelling agencies can also stereotype Asian men as ‘too feminine’, he says.

Mr Gatsby-Lim hopes A-Men will show the gay community how inaccurate the view is that "all Asians look the same."

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