The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles (Pacific Formations: Global Relations in Asian and Pacific Perspectives)

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9780742511095: The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles (Pacific Formations: Global Relations in Asian and Pacific Perspectives)

In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. For the first time, in their own words, pioneers in the Los Angeles movement discuss the gay scene in Southern California and the development of a distinctly Asian American identity. Despite its size, until recently the gay Asian American community in Los Angeles was fragmented and marginalized. Gay Asian men separated into their own ethnic cliques and preferred whites as sexual partners.
Eric C. Wat convincingly demonstrates that these patterns are legacies of both a racialized hierarchy of desire and racial exclusion from the mainstream gay community. Using a cultural studies lens to interpret the rich oral narratives he collected, Wat shows how a dominant sexual ideology can influence our desires and contradict our memories. He follows the development of "specialty" bars that at once reinforced this dominant ideology and highlighted its contradictions. By documenting the founding of the first gay Asian organization in Southern California (Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays [A/PLG]), the author powerfully portrays the ways gay Asian men confronted these contradictions publicly and struggled to reconcile them as they fashioned a coherent identity and community based on both their race and sexuality.
Wat's analysis returns gay Asian men to the center of their lives and celebrates the power of individuals working collectively to define their desires and to change what is unjust around them. As living history, their voices are valuable and overdue.

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About the Author:

Eric C. Wat received his M.A. in American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. He lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Review:

It is a fascinating story that ranges across many peoples and subjects. A fascinating work for all students of gay politics. (Gay Times)

The oral histories [Wat] presents are essential reading for any Asian-American studies or LGBT class. (Committee On Lesbian and Gay History Newsletter)

Making of a Gay Asian Community is a significant and trailblazing work. It demonstrates effectively how both external and internal contradictions can fuel the formation of group identity; even as A/PLG was disbanding due to irreconcilable differences, GAPSN was emerging from that very conflict. The book is a valuable resource, both for its accessible collection of primary sources and for its appendix and methodology, which may prove useful for students embarking on oral histories. Perhaps most importantly, in recounting their personal journeys with insecurity, racism and homophobia, the narrators of Wat's oral histories are inspiring. As I finished reading this book, I yearned to hear more voices, view more photographs, and learn more of the fears and hopes of a scholar who has opened pathways to a community long neglected. (Amy Sueyoshi, San Francisco State University Journal History of Sexuality, Volume 12, No. 3 July 2005)

An important book that fills a long-standing gap in gay community history―the documentation of the emergence of Asian American gay communities. . . . Lucid, cogent and well-organized. . . . A triumph. (Journal of Asian American Studies)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. Despite its size, until recently the gay Asian American community in Los Angeles was fragmented and marginalized as gay Asian men separated into their own ethnic cliques and preferred whites as sexual partners. Using a cultural studies lens to interpret the rich oral narratives he collected, Eric C. Wat shows how a dominant sexual ideology can influence our desires and contradict our memories. By documenting the founding of the first gay Asian organization in Southern California (Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays [A/PLG]), Wat powerfully portrays the ways gay Asian men confronted these contradictions publicly and struggled to fashion a coherent identity and community based on both their race and sexuality. His analysis returns gay Asian men to the center of their lives and celebrates the power of individuals working collectively to define their desires and combat injustice. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780742511095

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. Despite its size, until recently the gay Asian American community in Los Angeles was fragmented and marginalized as gay Asian men separated into their own ethnic cliques and preferred whites as sexual partners. Using a cultural studies lens to interpret the rich oral narratives he collected, Eric C. Wat shows how a dominant sexual ideology can influence our desires and contradict our memories. By documenting the founding of the first gay Asian organization in Southern California (Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays [A/PLG]), Wat powerfully portrays the ways gay Asian men confronted these contradictions publicly and struggled to fashion a coherent identity and community based on both their race and sexuality. His analysis returns gay Asian men to the center of their lives and celebrates the power of individuals working collectively to define their desires and combat injustice. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780742511095

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. Despite its size, until recently the gay Asian American community in Los Angeles was fragmented and marginalized as gay Asian men separated into their own ethnic cliques and preferred whites as sexual partners. Using a cultural studies lens to interpret the rich oral narratives he collected, Eric C. Wat shows how a dominant sexual ideology can influence our desires and contradict our memories. By documenting the founding of the first gay Asian organization in Southern California (Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays [A/PLG]), Wat powerfully portrays the ways gay Asian men confronted these contradictions publicly and struggled to fashion a coherent identity and community based on both their race and sexuality. His analysis returns gay Asian men to the center of their lives and celebrates the power of individuals working collectively to define their desires and combat injustice. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780742511095

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