Ready to stream on Netflix from today, the hugely successful Queer Eye travels abroad for a special mini series – Queer Eye: We’re In Japan! Well known for tackling issues which other LGBT+ themed shows might sweep under the carpet, in a promo clip for the series, Karamo Brown speaks to a young man about the prejudice faced by gay Asians from within the queer community.
Kan, the 27 year-old man who the Fab Five have come to help, tells Karamo, “When I was in the gay community in England, they’ve said that they hate Asians. Or on datings apps, it may say ‘No Asians’.”
Upsettingly, ‘no fats, no femmes, no Asians’ is such a popular theme on dating profiles, that RuPaul’s Drag Race confronted it head-on when finalist Kim Chi lip synced to an original song titled ‘Fat, Fem and Asian’.
Kan speaks about the overlooked impact that this flippant comment has on those who are on the receiving end. “It’s just a simple phrase,” he shares, “but after hearing that I felt like everything I’d built crumbled at that moment. And when I sought help and went to the Japanese community, they would call me okama. (‘Okama’ is a Japanese derogatory term for feminine gay men.)
Kan then tearfully explains, “I don’t know what to do with myself anymore”.
Karamo comforts Kan, sharing how dark skinned men are also subject to prejudice within the gay community: “You don’t deserve to experience that. Those things you’re saying? I’ve heard too, about my dark skin. They say it’s too dark.”
Holding Kan’s hand, Karamo continues, “I still have to tell myself, ‘Someone may not like me, but I like myself. I love myself…when you start to realise that, no matter where you are in the world, you can be happy.”
The new series of Queer Eye is available on Netflix now.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.