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Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 19–40 | Cite as

Cross-National Identity Transformation: Becoming a Gay ‘Asian-American’ Man

  • Shinsuke Eguchi
Original Paper

Abstract

Prior to moving to the U.S., the author, a gay Japanese man, was secure in his multiple identities. After the cross-national transition to the U.S., however, he confronted unique and particular challenges in negotiating his multiple identities. As a foreigner, adopting the cultural discourse of the gay Asian-American identity as a way of life shocked and surprised him—especially because of the ways in which others communicated with him. In particular, others generally viewed his identity expression as reinforcing the stereotypical image of gay men and failing to conform with the social perception of Asian-Americans. Also, the racialized and gendered image of gay Asian-American men became a conflict in his interactions with gay and bisexual men because its image did not fully represent who he is. Being trapped by his dual-identity conflict, he faced difficulty in negotiating performative aspects of gay Asian-American male identity construction. At the same time, this contradiction became an opportunity for him to (de)construct his dual identity conflict and to finally name himself with such labeling. This analysis employs autoethnography to explore the author’s cross-national transformation process of becoming a gay Asian-American man. Finally, this analysis intends to link his personal experience and the cultural and social experiences of gay Asian-American male identity.

Keywords

Autoethnography Cross-national transition Identity negotiation Dual-identity conflict Gay Asian-American man 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to thank his NCA DHS 2009 team faculty members, Drs. Ron Arnett (Duquesne University), Leda Cooks (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and Randy Dillon (Missouri State University) and his blind reviewers for their critiques and evaluations of this study. Also, the author would like to specially thank Drs. Deborah Borisoff (New York University), Victoria Chen (San Francisco State University), James Chesebro (Ball State University), Melbourne Cummings (Howard University), Karen Lovaas (San Francisco State University), William Starosta (Howard University), and Carolyn Stroman (Howard University) for their support and encouragement on obtaining in his scholarship.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication and CultureHoward UniversityWashingtonUSA

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