Ringo Le is an Asian American filmmaker of Vietnamese descent. He recently wrote an op-ed about the struggles of being an Asian man in the American gay community. Ringo writes
At a recent launch party for Daniel Magazine in Hollywood, which celebrates the accomplishments of gay Asian men, I looked around at luminaries like Allan Brocka, a Filipino American director, and Evan Low, a member of the California State Assembly. I felt pride in my peers, but this sentiment felt overshadowed by remarks I had just read by actress Rose McGowan, who had recently said, “Gay men are as misogynistic as straight men, if not more so.” I wanted to shout, “Rose, I hear you loud and clear,” and further assert that in addition to sexism, racism is alive and well. An equal sign is often used as a symbol for the LGBT community, but I believe a pyramid is a more appropriate image. And at the top of the social hierarchy stands the idealized gay white man, and it will probably never change.
This past year, I made a feature film called Big Gay Love about a chubby gay man overcoming discrimination to look for love on his own terms in the image-conscious gay world. The promotion of Big Gay Love has taken me all over the United States and opened my eyes to the gay community in vast and varying ways. But for some reason, it has connected with straight women as well. Gay men and straight women alike approach me after the film for one of two reasons. First, they think I made the film because I must have gone through a significant weight transformation. Or alternatively, they believe that I must have written the film for them. After hearing these remarks, I couldn’t help but have a Carrie Bradshaw moment, wondering, Did I transpose this experience of race-based dating into weight-based dating? For isn’t the basis of dating all boiled down to one simple principle? We want someone to love us for who we are and not the thousand masks we put on for the world.
To read the full op-ed by Ringo Le go to Advice for Asians in America