It isn’t easy being gay.
In fact, in mainstream society, it isn’t always easy to be any kind of minority. Once you get into the intersectionality of identifying (or being identified) with multiple minorities, life gets even trickier. Add dating to the mix, and it’s pretty much game over.
The world of online dating isn’t a pretty place, and on Grindr—the gay “dating” (read, hookup) app—things are no different. We’ve previously reported on the fascinating and frightening prevalence of blatant racism on dating apps, but a new viral video has addressed the topic from a more specific point of view: gay Asian men.
Simultaneously fetishized and forgotten, gay Asian men often experience unexpected challenges in the world of online dating, leading to uncomfortable propositions, attacks on their identity, and even feelings of incompetence and self-loathing.
Canadian vlogger Collin Factor explores the question from a personal standpoint:
Is it harder to be gay and Asian?
Minorities face risks and challenges that other people might never experience or could hardly begin to imagine, and in the gay community, anti-Asian sentiment abounds.
Canadian vlogger Collin Factor recently invited his friend Marvin onto his show to discuss what it means to be a gay Asian man in 2016.
The duo specifically focus on what it’s like to be Asian on Grindr, a gay hookup app known for its directness both in terms of flirting and rejecting other users. Warned by friends not to download it, Marvin admits, “To be honest, it kind of did ruin my life ’cause I felt really insecure […] This is what being gay and Asian is like. Where do I fit in?”
Within the gay community and without, being, liking, or dating Asians has long been fetishized, and Collin and Marvin discuss how it feels to have to first come out as gay and still have to “come out” as Asian time and time again while trying to meet significant others.
From hiding their identity to trying to draw attention to other aspects of their profiles and personalities beyond their Asian ethnicities, Marvin confesses that one of his biggest insecurities comes from having to ask the question, “Does he like me because I’m Asian, or does he like me because I’m me?”