On the outside

31 07 2015

I’ve always considered myself to be part of the gay community. I read Xtra! and followed the news. I joined local organizations and volunteered. I walked up and down Davie Street, among my people.

But for many years now, I’ve constantly felt invisible, ignored, and degraded by the same community. As sad and hurt as I was, I still read Xtra! hoping for the day there’d be an article about sexual racism. I vainly wished to be acknowledged as an important part of the community.

It never really happened. (and the sexual racism article definitely never happened)

Yet, I still had hope that they’d take notice to all this.

Tonight, at the Davie Street Block Party, I realized something. As I looked at all the different faces and people in their own little groups and cliques, I couldn’t help but feel it was futile trying to include myself in a community that seemed like they didn’t want me. It’s like being the kid at school who constantly tries to hang out with another group of kids and says something like, “Hey, guys! What’re we playing today?” The other kids stare, then all hang out together. But the other kid doesn’t get the hint.

Maybe all these years, I’ve been missing the hint, that I’m not welcome. Maybe it’s better I not tell myself I’m a part of this community, that I’m just some gay guy living in Vancouver.

I’m sick.

31 07 2011

I think.  Maybe I can trick myself into believing I’m not.  Either way, I hate being sick.  Ugh.

I hate you, germs.  In other news, Happy Pride!

Pride weekend

28 07 2011

It’s Pride weekend here in Vancouver!  Huzzah!  I booked off Sunday so I could go down to the parade which I’m excited for.

I wonder if it’s clear that I have no idea what to post right now.

So much to be proud of

2 08 2010

It’s almost the end of the day.  I’m sitting at home, in my boxers, after a day of fun and generally being happy, which is a rare occurance (not to say that I always have miserable days, but that I’m usually neutral/meh on the whole).  I woke up bright and early at 11am to help my buddy Steve film some performers down at the Sunset Beach Pride thingy at around 1pm and do some interviews.  I knew I wasn’t going to make it to see the entire Pride Parade, which I figured was alright, but I managed to get down to Sunset Beach just before one, where the parade was still happening.  After texting Steve and getting no response about where he was, I decided to pass the time by watching the parade.  Might as well, right?

Now, I’ve been to the parade a few times, each year seeing more and more of it.  Even with the crappy view, I was able to see some pretty awesome things; MLAs all dressed up, various LGBT groups, and of course, super fabulous costumes.  But the thing that really made me so happy to be there was simply how many people were there.  They couldn’t all be gay, obviously, and a large number of people were straight, which amazed me.  It’s not that I think all straight people are bigots or whatever, but I guess I didn’t have a good grasp just how many great heteros there are in the world.  And heteros who bring their kids!  It’s probably stupid of me to be surprised and in awe of parents who bring their kids to the Pride Parade but maybe I’ve been reading too many stories about anti-gay groups who argue about “what their kids should and shouldn’t see” and how “indecent” the whole gay thing is, etc.  It’s small things like these that really make me appareciate living in such an awesome city like Vancouver.

And across the street from me: Asian ladies, not unlike my mother, which again, floored me.  I guess I assumed, again, that most, if not all, Asian/Chinese mothers like mine were homophobic or at the very least, uninterested in going to see a parade full of queers doing queer things.

Apparently not.  Those women were reaching out for mardi gras beads, smiling and taking pictures of the parade and seemed to be having a good time.  And if they can be here and and be happy, I don’t see how many, many more Asian mothers can’t do the same.  I see no reason why my mom won’t one day come with me to the parade and have fun, and maybe, just maybe, be proud of me.

When the parade was over, I went down to the stage area by Sunset Beach when I got a text message from Joe, my other friend helping out with filming, saying to go behind the stage.  I got there and plunked myself down in front of the stage with earplugs in (thank god I brought them).  We filmed a bunch of local acts performing and then finished up.  I went to get some food since I was eeeeeempty and saw that there were sizeable lines for the food stands around, which were mainly hot dogs and smokies.  The entire area around Sunset Beach was pretty crowded and it made me happy again that people were coming out to see and participating.

I’ll make this part short–I walked all the way to Japadog, got an Oroshi dog (yuuuuum!) and went back home, tired and happy.  My mom came home and we went out to one of the nearby restaurants for dinner and when I came back home, I felt the urge to dance.

Now, before you wonder what the hell’s gotten into me, I should say that I occasionally have tendencies to move a little, get my groove on, if you will, and I settle this by doing a little jig and that’s that.  But for some reason, I really wanted to move myself and go crazy and more specifically, do it in a club, which is even more unlike me, as I stay away from clubs like top 40 radio.  Maybe it was my inner gay coming out… whatever it was, I knew I needed a more serious dose of dance to cure it this time.

I set out to see what my friends were doing and I guess most were too busy to respond.  So instead of going down to the club alone, I held a dance party in my room, and man… it was great.  I danced for about 20-ish minutes, mainly to my recent purchase of the Scissor Sisters’ album Ta-Dah!, but I was also in the mood for some Madonna.  As my cat stared at me and probably wondered, “People who have seizures are supposed to be on the floor…” and even though I probably looked like an idiot, flailing around the small space of floor in my room with my mother just outside watching horrid Chinese tv, I felt great–I felt great to be dancing; I felt great to be living in such a wonderful city; I felt great to be myself.  Me, the gay Chinese boy who is a damn good pianist, can write in a whole bunch of genres, has directed a short film, can semi-speak three different languages (not including English, of course), and is an awesome boyfriend, if he were in a relationship.

There is so much to be proud of, in all of us.  And maybe once in a while, we need to be conceited and say, “I’m pretty fucking fabulous.”

And then dance our asses off.

The alienation of my music

1 08 2010

[posted from my myspace blog page since I’m too lazy and uninspired to write anything new today]

This weekend is Pride in Vancouver.  I’m going to be helping out with some filming of queer events and performers for a documentary a friend of mine is putting together about local queer performers in the city.  Of course, interviewing bands and musicians who are playing shows when I myself am a queer musician and have a hard time even getting a show kinda makes me jealous.  But there’s something else that I’ve been thinking about as well.

When I think of “gay” coupled with “music”, I–and I think most people–tend to think of dance-y, trance-y, electronic stuff that simply makes people want to dance.  And who better dances than the gays?  (The correct answer is no one, in case you didn’t get that)  Then there are also bands that can put on a good show because well, frankly, they’re noisy and during a celebration like Pride, noise = good.

But then there’s me.  My music/style isn’t particularly upbeat, both in a tempo sense as well as an uplifting way, and it’s not really loud either.  I thought about it a lot over the last few days and I realized my music isn’t… very gay.  Not that that’s a bad thing or that I feel like I should change my sound.  No way.  But it’s just difficult sometimes to try and get people, especially the gay community, to listen and enjoy my music when I’m so much different than what they typically listen to.

My music can be brooding, pensive, and sad, and a lot of people don’t want to listen to that, which is fine, whatever.  But then to see other musicians making it because they’re more… accessible or have a more popular sound and have more fans is kind of disappointing, especially when I feel like my music and my songs are a lot more meaningful than stuff that’s already out there.

I sent an e-mail to the Pride organizers with a link to my music several months ago when I saw an ad for acts in the upcoming Pride.  I never got a response from them so I can only say that my music wasn’t what they were looking for.

It’s not that I don’t have any happy songs, but that I don’t feel the need to write happy songs when I’m happy because I’m out there being happy!  It’s only when I’m utterly depressed and unwilling to do anything else that I write.  And if that gets me fewer gigs, than what am I supposed to do?

Anyhoo, I’ll try not to be a downer for Pride.  Just a reminder that my short film, Stay, will be screening on August 16th at 9:30 at Tinseltown.  Happy Pride, tout le monde,