Australian writer and journalist Benjamin Law talks about his new book Gaysian on his travels through queer Asia. Telling the thehindu.com
Like a lot of gay Asian-Australians, I’ve been getting called “Gaysian” for a while now – my friends just though the portmanteau was funny. Another reason: I was reading a whole lot of queer news stories about what was happening overseas, and saw that a lot of the stories I was interested in were coming out of Asia: the Indian queer rights movement (they’re still the latest country in the world to have decriminalised homosexual acts); religious ex-gay reparative therapy in Malaysia and Singapore. And whenever I read news stories, I’m always super-curious – maybe overly so – about the human lives behind those stories. And finally, because I’m the kid of Chinese migrants, I often wonder: What would my life would have been like had my parents have never moved to Australia? Would I still be openly gay? Would I try to “cure” myself? Or wouldn’t it make a difference?
It took roughly two years to travel between countries, mainly because I kept coming back to Australia – I missed my family and boyfriend too much to travel non-stop. Also: I decided early on not to be enclyclopedic about my approach. It would’ve been impossible to write about every Asian country! Instead, I really wanted to focus on issues – transsexuality, LGBT politics, religion – and sought out countries where those issues would be best illuminated.
Unfortunately guys, Benjamin is taken. His partner is Scott Spark, an award-winning singer/songwriter.
To learn more about Benjamin visit some of his social media sites