I just binge-watched Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Does documentary series on Netflix. I am a huge fan of hers! I really enjoyed all the episodes and one episode (featuring Margaret Cho) was about racism. This is a topic that is most talked about these days. It touches on historical context and how all of us, still to this day, have prejudice thoughts, stereotyping ideas, and generalizing beliefs to make sense of the group of people who are different from us or the world we are not familiar with. It briefly highlighted America’s view on Asians and particularly in media, Asians usually play nerdy, scientist, math or computer genius roles, but never the sexualized BAMF. Though there is a cultural shift in this.
Not only the all races have been influenced by these Asian stereotypes, Asians ourselves are stuck in them. It’s as if we have to fit the mold American want us to be in and don’t know what other characteristics that are good qualities to portray.
For me, I don’t view myself as a someone who is good in math or computers, or no more than an average person. At work, I have been mistaken to be an IT guy (all from white people) or at least coworkers assume that I know how to fix their computer problems. And I certainly don’t view myself as someone with submissive or passive personality and I tend to stand-up for myself if my integrity is compromised. I do think this impacts my dating life. Especially when it comes to dating white guys who are looking for that stereotype Asian boys and they quickly learn that I don’t fit the stereotype they had in their head. Perhaps, it helps me to tease out and those who continue to show interest in me is looking for the person deeper than a skin color.
Few years ago, I was at a gay bar with my friends, who were all white, having drinks at a table. This guy, Michael, came up to our table and starts writing Chinese on a drink coaster that was front of me. He handed to me and I was all confused. I don’t know how to read Chinese so I sent the picture of it to my few Chinese friends. They said it doesn’t really make sense and they are just random words.
Michael did introduced himself later. Michael ,who is in his 40’s and is a physician. We exchanged phone numbers then I texted him few days later. He said “I was just looking at a picture of you” and sent me a photo of some Asian guy (who is cute BTW). Clearly, he had me confused with another Asian and that perpetuates the ‘all Asians look-a-like’ concept.
This ‘beauty is skin deep’ is still a difficult concept for people, particularly for gay men. We’re constantly exposed to media that only shows, muscular, masculine, white guys and to associated with sexiness. I just looked up People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive and other than some black guys, they are all white. No Asians.
I ghosted Michael after that.