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I can’t really speak for homosexuality outside of my home cultures. I don’t think it’s my place. My experience being an foreigner in South Korea gives me some privileges over others here. My perception of homosexuality in South Korea would probably be very skewed compared to that of a native South Korean. I’ve been here a short time (7 months) and I don’t want my voice to resonate over anyone who lives it everyday of their lives.
Sorry if this is disappointing. However if you want to do some research check out The Grand Narrative. It’s Korean a feminist, sexuality and Popular Culture blog that has lots of links to articles and resources related to homosexuality in South Korea. And the Kimchi Queen has lots of stuff about gay life in Seoul.
Is there any books on non-monogamy or polyamory written by people of color?
Papi, build me a house on Mango Street
It was the day after Valentine’s Day in San Salvador, El Salvador when we met. We weren’t particularly fond of each other I could say. I saw him there, two years my senior looking jet-lagged, visibly annoyed, yet light, making immature jokes about Apple Bottom Jeans and of course, boots with the fur. I thought to myself, “this is my group leader?” I couldn’t understand a word he was saying in his mumbled, low, spanglish-accented, spanish accent. By this point I was really emotionally exhausted having only a day before come out to my peers, uncovered the names of dead relatives on national landmarks, and had been thrust into the ideological political struggles that once forced my parents out of the country.
We were like some human harvest of the Civil War, the diasporic seeds planted in a foreign soil. We were also two queer men, born exactly to the day, two years apart, in the same great metropolis of Los Angeles. These similarities and confinement to close quarters sped up the getting-to-know-you process, from indifference to fascination. We talked until 4 AM about things I could never really remember. Once we couldn’t talk anymore we struggled to find the light switch, so like a lost puppy dog I followed him into the dark. Which is probably the most accurate allegory of our romance, then later turned friendship.
So it was my first romance, and it began my last night in San Salvador. I thought nothing would come of it, though I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It wasn’t until, under the slumbering effects of NyQuil, I received a call from Miami, another conversation I can’t recall, that marked a fling that would not geographically stay still. From San Salvador, to Santa Barbara, to the San Francisco Bay, to Our Lady of Angels, it was like a giant middle finger from two, young, and infatuated latino men to all the catholic saints on the Pacific Coast. The last time we kissed was at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro station in LA, in public. It was my first time there, not knowing until later what dark place I was descending into. It was over as quick and passionate as it all happened
Once it ended, thus began one of my most painful and gratifying learning experiences ever. I cried for days, I abused NyQuil to sleep, and had not a clue on what to do about my newly added unlimited texting plan. Though before this experience I could never openly cry, experience any real intimacy with anyone, and lacked a lot of self-confidence. Until this happened, I was not completely a person, at least not nearly as complete as the person I am now. I’ve accomplished so many things, in the name of trying to chase or get over such feelings. I’ve felt compelled to write about this years later, because I needed to remind myself that love and even heartbreak can be great catalysts if you let go of your fears and insecurities.
When I’m on the train, I read my favorite gay magazine. I can’t remember having ever seen someone who looks like me on the cover. When I read it I see more ads - for underwear, cologne, cruises, hotels, and clothes - with people who don’t look like me. None of the writers look like me, nor are there any stories about anyone who looks like me. When I finally see an advertisement with someone who shares my skin color, the advertisement is for HIV medication.
While I’m waiting for my friend in the gayborhood hotspot I notice that none of the bartenders, DJs, or waiters look like me, nor do most of the clientele. Out of boredom, I fiddle around with the Grindr mobile dating app on my iPhone. My screen is filled with different faces, bodies, and torsos of men in the area. One particularly handsome man attracts my attention, until I read the “NO ASIANS” typed in angry capped letters on his profile. I wonder how I would feel if I were Asian.
After having a few drinks with my friend, I walk home through the garment district in midtown Manhattan. I see a gay male couple walking hand in hand down the street. They also do not look like me. In fact, they look like they could be in one of the gay cruise ads I see in my favorite magazine. Their relaxed and happy faces turn frightened when they see me, and they immediately cease holding hands and separate. On this late night in an unfamiliar area of the city, I am not seen as a member of the LGBT community. I am black. I am male. I am a threat.
What’s shocking is when I read on Grindr or something else “Aryan for same”.
It’s like, “W… what?”
One time I actually read “übermensch” in a Grindr profile.
Hooking up in radical communities, I have found, is still run through with off-balance power dynamics, machismo and hierarchy. Our non-conforming relationships are still centered around ego and access, ownership and control.
What troubles me about our hookup culture is that it posits freedom and liberation, yet offers us so few options for ways that we can be together, and reinforces so many remarkably un-radical behaviors between us. And given all the ways we exist–all the bodies and genders and cultures and histories we come from–shouldn’t we be able to find more varied and just ways of relating to one another?
Does anybody know of any Latin@ Queer LGBT youth or student organizations in your city?
Most books and articles about alcohol abuse by queer people frame alcoholism as an individual disease, with no analysis of how the overall structure of queer life makes drinking seem like a necessary part of life for so many of us. Defining alcoholism as an illness of individuals prevents us from accurately diagnosing the illness of intoxication culture that plagues us collectively.
Alcohol abuse is neither a moral failure nor an individual pathology; it’s a response to a collective reality of oppression and the lack of social alternatives for challenging or coping with that reality. What we need are empowering models that understand addiction as a response to an oppressive society and locate the sickness in that society, not in ourselves.
My Edge is Anything But Straight by Nick Riotfag (via combat—wombat)
I LOVE THIS. so very true.
THIS IS WHAT I’M SAYIN. This is also probably why queer people are 40-70% more likely to smoke cigarettes. and partially why I find it impossible to quit (because everyone I know smokes).
This. My Ex is a giant statistic. I’ll keep this in mind next time I want a cigarette.