Sunday, June 27, 2004

Still More Short Term Memory

On June 25, I blogged about "Self-Loathing Asians." I'd provide a link for that entry, but odds on, it's right underneath this one. That's how recent this event is.

So tonight I'm back in the chat room, when the following exchange takes place, involving the SAME Asian guy from last night. Keep in mind that, again, I DID NOT INITIATE THIS CONVERSATION:

Him: hi
Me: hi

I immediately recognize the name and tried to start thinking of ways to fuck with his mind. Then I started trying to come up with ways of telling him how FUCKED UP it is that he puts a blanket kaibosh on Asian men, when he is one himself. But in the end I failed.

Him: wassup?
Me: nothing
Him: horny
Me: eh

"Eh" was my way of being rude, frankly. To tell him I didn't care to have a conversation with him.

Him: u?
Me: dude, we've talked before

By this point, I have given up the charade. If he's dense enough to insist that I chat with him, I'm going to get the important info out for him.

Him: ok
Him: really?
Me: yes.
Him: no chance to reconsider?

See, I see this as a further sign of self-loathing. He immediately assumes that I am the one who turned him down. He thinks I'm some white guy, see? So if we talked before, then clearly he wanted me (since I'm some white guy) and I didn't want him. The tables at this point are strangely turned. Though for some reason, I am unable to turn this to my advantage. Perhaps it's because it's 1:40 a.m. and I am unable to bother to come up with witty or clever comebacks.

Me: dude, you were the one who said you weren't "into" me
Him: really?
Him: stats?
Me: asian. like you.

This last sentence was calculated for its maximum effect. I wanted to highlight to him two things: First, that objective measurable stats like height and weight were irrelevant to him, and I knew it. All I had to say was "Asian," and it would be the ace-in-the-hole to end the game completely. Second, I wanted to reiterate that he, too, is an Asian man, like me.

Shockingly, at this point the conversation ended, and my gay Asian internet buddy was never heard from again.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Self Loathing Asians

As a followup on one of my previous posts, I am reporting the following conversation, which was NOT INITIATED BY ME, which just took place in a chat room:

Him: hi
Me: hi
Him: wassup?
Me: nada. how are you?
Him: horned up

[At this point I feel the need to reiterate that I was NOT the one who initiated this conversation.]

Me: ah.
Me: where are you?
Him: nwdc-logan
Me: oh. i live near there.

[I should explain this. I'm typing this from San Antonio, where I am on a business trip. I am logged on to two different chat rooms on, one in DC and one in San Antonio. I'm asking where this guy is, because I need to know this information to carry the "conversation" further.]

Him: stats?
Me: 5'8 165 asian

[Having given out my "stats" on electronic chat fora before, I know that this is usually enough information. Sure enough, I'm right.]

Him: sorry
Me: huh?
Him: not into asians

Okay, this is wrong on many, many levels. First, "sorry"? Ex-squeeze me? Again, let's reiterate where the center of the universe is NOT located: your penis. There's no need to be "sorry." I'm not going to cry myself to sleep because I didn't get to jump into a bed with your "horned up" ass. Get a life.

More important was my last line, which went completely ignored:

Me: dude, you ARE asian.

Yes, indeed, in checking this guy's profile (I had to make sure he wasn't a bot, after all), I found out that this guy self-identifies as Asian/Pacific Islander, all the way down to identifying as a Buddhist. At least he knows his own ethnic background, I guess.

As it is, "I'm not into Asians" is tossed around so flippantly in the gay community, in much the same way as "I don't drink Pepsi" or "I don't watch The Bachelor" would make its way into conversation. But to have it tossed at you by an Asian man leaves me with a feeling between revulsion and immense pity.

As I've already mentioned before, it takes a pretty closed mind to dismiss, in a blanket fashion, all people of a particular race as unattractive from the get-go without undertaking a particularized, individualized determination of each person's attractiveness. It takes a special degree of self-hatred to toss this blanket over an entire race of people when you're one of them.

This guy said "I'm not into Asians" without even acknowledging the disconnect that necessarily must exist between his statement and his actual self. When he looks at himself in the mirror in the morning, does he see a handsome Asian guy, or does he see a hot white guy trapped inside an Asian shell? Will he, someday, undergo some kind of plastic surgery to widen his eyes, shore up his cheekbones, bleach his skin tone, maybe color his hair? Does he at all even realize that when he says "I'm not into Asians," he's really saying, "I am repulsed by myself. If I walked into a bar and saw me there, even I wouldn't talk to me."?

Frankly, it's attitudes like this that have forever prevented me from joining any gay Asian clubs here in DC. I feel like I would forever be some kind of interloper, some "new" Asian guy (despite the fact that I've lived in DC for ten years now) who shows up at "Asians and Friends" night to steal our white men from us. Yes, with such a limited supply of white men who find Asian men attractive enough to date -- and after all, if Asian men are allowed to cast away Asian men without a second glance, why whouldn't the majority of men of other races? -- with such a limited supply of this Wondrous Other, they're bound to be outnumbered by the Asian men who want to date them. So the addition of each new Asian man into the pool only further slims the chances that the Wondrous Other might look twice at any of the other ones there. I, for one, would hate to rain on the parade of these insecure GAMs who feel their lives need to be defined by having a trophy white man at their side. Count me out. My self-worth is measured not by the skin color of the man with whom I choose to share my life.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Short Term Memory

The woman who works at the front desk of my building has got to have the shortest term memory ever. Well, then again, I'm pretty sure she's a bitter, surly bitch who could care less about competently performing her job.

So there was something in my mailbox behind her head when I walked in tonight. So I said, "Hi. I'm in Apt. 202. Could I have what's in my box, please?" So she stands up, takes the paper from my box, and hands it to me.

Then I say, "Hey, what do you know about pool passes? I haven't gotten mine yet."

To which she responds, in a rather annoyed manner, "What's your apartment number?"

It was all I could do to refrain from immense sarcasm when repeating my apartment number, which I had just given her some 20 seconds before.

Subway stupidity

Although this post could (and probably should) be about idiocy on the Metro, it's actually not. The other day I had the most idiotic exchange ever with a person behind the counter at one of the many local Subway sandwich shops.

I've been collecting those little stamps like a fiend now. You know, so you can get a "free" sandwich after a while. I like buying the cheapest damn sandwich on the menu then redeeming the "free" one for the most damn expensive one they have. Just because I'm cheap that way.

One day, noticing that I had a slew of stamps but none of those little cards to affix them to, I walked into a Subway to ask for some of those cards:

Me: Do you have those cards to stick my stamps to?
Her: Cards?
Me: Yes. To stick my stamps on to.
Her: We have gift cards. They're $5.
Me: No. No no. I want these cards to use as part of the frequent eater program or whatever.
Her: Oh. [She doesn't move.]
Me: ... Uh, so, could I have some of those cards please?
Her: [Reaching for those gift certificate cards] How many do you want? They're $5 each.
Me: Uh, one more time, no. I want those cards that I stick my little stamps to. [At this point I'm a little annoyed that I don't have one of those stamps to show her what I mean.]
Her: Oh. Okay.
Me: So do you have those cards I'm talking about?
Her: Yes. [She doesn't move.]
Me: ... [Heightened annoyance.] Well could I have some please?
Her: Sure. They're $5 each.

By this point it's comical that we're actually both speaking English, and yet both not. So finally I resort to the lowest level dialog I can possibly muster:

Me: Look. When I buy a sandwich here, I get stamps, right?
Her: Yes.
Me: And after I get a certain number of stamps, I can get something for free, right?
Her: Yes.
Me: Now, when I get those stamps, I need to stick them to something, right?
Her: Yes.
Me: I want from you that card that I'm supposed to stick these stamps to.
Her: Okay. [She still doesn't move.]
Me: This isn't going anywhere, is it?
Her: So did you want a card or not? They're $5 each.

I left the store. At least the massive proliferation of Subways, like weeds in an unkempt garden, means that I can go almost anywhere and find a Subway that features a person who might actually know what I'm talking about.

Monday, June 14, 2004

When Your Chest Speaks Volumes

Gay Pride was this weekend. Some people, though, take pride so far as to border on some kind of god syndrome.

I saw -- on at least two different people -- a t-shirt which really annoyed me for some reason. Now, I don't want to come across as if I'm one of those politically correct humorless dolts who think everything is offensive, but this one just irked me. The t-shirt read, in Courier type approximately 25 point:

"Sorry. I don't do girls."

Wha? "Sorry"? For some bizarre reason I got annoyed by this big time. What, you think you're so hot that everyone is clamoring for a piece of you? Are girls (especially at Gay Pride, fer cryinoutloud) swooning at you, going, "Dammit, I want him sooo bad, and his t-shirt proclaims loud and clear that I can't have him!"

News flash: You're not as hot as you think. And not everyone wants to get into your pants.


The other t-shirt that bugged me (and thankfully I only saw it on one person): "GAM4GWM." Translation, for those of you unschooled in this particular code: "Gay Asian Male, For Gay White Male."

I'm fine with indulging the fact that people have "a type" that they find "attractive." But limiting yourself by an entire racial category is a bit much.

I'm the kind of person who believes that, given the right set of qualities (physical and non-physical), all kinds of people can be very attractive. Intelligence can shoot a guy's sexiness factor up by a factor of 10, as can a great sense of humor or a kind heart. Likewise, if a guy is hot and he knows it, nine times out of ten I find him no longer as attractive as I may have found him before he opened his mouth.

So what's with gay Asian men who apparently count themselves as among the not-attractive-enough-to-date set? It's bad enough that Asian men get a stereotypical bad rep (everything from the physical to the emotional, Asian men get picked on), but if even my Asian brothers can't look at each other as attractive enough, that's just sad.

Quick questions to ponder on this front:

(1) If you, an Asian man, can't find me, a fellow Asian man, attractive enough to date, why would you ever believe that anyone else would want to date you? If you're willing to completely write off your own race in one fell swoop, why shouldn't the white guys you covet do the same?

(2) Have you considered the degree of self-loathing it takes to think, and then to announce, that you don't find people with genetic backgrounds similar to yours attractive?


On Saturday night my friend Amy and I went to Phase One, a lesbian bar on the Hill. She's gay and hadn't ever been, so we decided to go. Personally, I like the place. It's got a low-attitude going on, and people just seem to have a good time. Of course, I never picked up on any of the lesbian subplots unfurling before my very eyes because, well, I was too focused on the two or three guys total in the room.

One guy in particular, I found out was named Rick. I recall I thought he was pretty attractive when he walked in with two male friends. I didn't think much of it at the time, because there were other gay men in the bar too, so whatever.

At some point Amy and I find ourselves standing near them just holding our beers and watching the crowd. I excuse myself to use the facilities and when I returned, I was surprised to find Amy chatting it up with these boys, discussing the butch/femme dynamic which seemed to have dominated the dance floor, and talking about which chicks in the place were the hottest, etc.

As the conversation progressed, I started feeling slowly wigged out by the content. The following exchanges set my Spider-sense tingling:

Rick: (in response to Amy's lamenting about her difficulty in finding a date) That's crazy. You're gorgeous.
Amy: Well, thanks, but you know...
Rick: No, really. Gorgeous. Say, did you come here with anyone?

First hackles raised.

Amy: Nope, just my friend Dennis here.
Rick: So have you two ever....
Amy: Well, seeing as Dennis is gay, and I'm gay....
Rick: Yeah, but you know, you could swing both ways....
Me: Yeah, uh, I'm not terribly interested in the idea of swinging both ways.
Rick: (to Amy) When was the last time you kissed a guy?

Klaxons sounding.

Rick: So do you think there are going to be some bi chicks out there on the floor now who would be receptive if I were to try to dance up there with them?

Red Alert! Red Alert! Shields up!

At this point I literally abandoned Amy. I was at least slightly miffed at her for even allowing this conversation to continue, but really, my primary goal was to get the heck away from these three guys, who I had figured out were obviously straight, and had trekked down to the Phase from frigging Baltimore for the purpose of finding some lesbo action! I was skeeved to the extreme. It was Pride Weekend, after all! The Phase was supposed to be a safe haven year round, but especially at Pride, when you're supposed to be able to go out, be who you are, express yourself sexually, and not be the subject of heterosexist ogling. No, Mr. Straight Dude, she won't be turned on by you. You have a penis. You are not attractive to lesbians. She won't become straight if you (you big stud you) fuck her "the right way."

Maybe, Mr. Uber-Straight Dude, just maybe you haven't been fucked "the right way" by some big buff stud named Jeff, which would cause you to abandon your heterosexuality in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Celebration of Love

This weekend I had one of the best vacations I've ever had in the States. (Unfortunately, nothing at all can really compare to the vacations I've taken in Paris and Rome. Man. But I digress.) I spent the weekend in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My friends Jessica and Jason got married.

Jessica and Jason are really the perfect couple. Their senses of humor totally mesh, and each complements the other's personality. Watching them exchange their vows was wonderful. They were able to affirm their love for one another in front of a slew of friends and family and carry on with their lives together in a public celebration of their love for each other.

I was there. I was celebrating with them. They're good friends of mine. And they're happy together.

And yet, of course, I had to spend the entire weekend taking special care not to make any political statements about their special day. I know other gay people who boycott the nuptials of their heterosexual friends on the theory that it's a heterosexist institution, so celebrating and supporting it -- even for friends -- would be somehow fundamentally wrong. I can't agree with that. It's still an institution worthy of celebration -- so much so that gay people want to be a part of that as well.

Jason and Jessica would have actually understood if I harbored any outrage toward the discriminatory granting of marriage rights. They're good liberals and they believe that gays and lesbians should have the rights they got to enjoy so readily in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We actually exchanged a quick comment about the fact that they were permitted to apply for a marriage license without proof of residency in the state. But I didn't want to rain on their day.

Watching J&J's wedding -- affirmed by both their families and so many of their friends -- was, as most weddings are, a wonderful experience. Two people in love, declaring their love publicly, being happy together. That's what it's all about. An affirmation of their lives together. It's just that simple.

And there's really no logical or sane reason that gays and lesbians can't or shouldn't be permitted to take advantage of this institution too.