Australian Asian Queer

Australian artist William Yang shares a thoughtful and stylish meditation of a life spent possessing dual marginalized identities: Asian and queer. From a childhood spent in an age when Asians were expected to assimilate to the post-Stonewall frenzy of the seventies (“I never consciously came out as a gay man, I was swept out by the events of the time”), to his activist work during the AIDS epidemic of the ’80s, and to the Asian Lesbian and Gay Pride parties of the ’90s, Yang handwrites his experiences alongside his photographic portraits of gay Asian men. As in his artistic practice, Australian Asian Queer explores sexuality in the context of Asian identity. This includes subjects like the internalized racism that can take place in the queer community, in which gay white men who prefer Asians are “rice queens” and Asian men who prefer white guys are “potato queens.” Visually, this is laid out like an exhibition catalogue alongside Yang’s charming handwriting. Australian Asian Queer is a short, wistful read, complete with originality, humour and heart.

Oh, and it also has photos of totally buff, shirtless dudes, if you’re into that. (Chris Landry)

Zine, William Yang, issue 2, xxxzines.com 

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