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Geisha of a different kind: Gay Asian men and the gendering of sexual identity

Abstract

Much has been written about how gender, sexuality, and race are socially constructed. However, less common have been examinations of how these categories are constructed for, and influence, those who inhabit the margins of multiple categories. In this paper, I explore the various ways that gay Asian men have been portrayed in Western, particularly American, narratives and media images. Rather than simply experiencing oppression for being gay and again for being Asian, I argue that gay Asian men have experienced a unique set of social dilemmas because they are gay AND Asian. As such, I explore media images and popular narratives that have gendered Asian men in general and gay Asian men in particular to create a contextual basis for gay Asian male identity development. In doing so, I argue that much more than simply prescribing a gendered role for gay Asian men to “perform,” these constructions may have detrimental affects for gay Asian men’s sense of self-esteem, mental well-being, and physical health.

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Han, Cs. Geisha of a different kind: Gay Asian men and the gendering of sexual identity. Sex Cult 10, 3–28 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-006-1018-0

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Keywords

  • Gender Role
  • Asian Male
  • Asian American Community
  • White Partner
  • Asian Contestant