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Danny - Beyond Rainbows

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride and made possible through a generous grant from Eritrea. [00:00:07] I guess my identity is [00:00:11] I prefer to just identify as Danny is the truth. Without any disrespect, I feel that a lot of the times a lot of terms that are sort of thrown around, I feel that I don't necessarily want to identify with just because I feel that sort of complicates my identity in a way that I don't need to, I totally understand the need for a lot of identifying factors and features, [00:00:42] do you mean because it feels like it limits it, or people have those assumptions around a label? [00:00:51] That's, I think that's what it is. It's that sometimes it feels like a label to me personally. And I find it easier to it defined to find my own identity just by using my name and describing what I do and discovering myself. Yeah, and I mean, like I said, I do understand why there are what, what, what I find the labels, but what other people will find is something that's comforting. And the reason why I find them as labels is because sometimes I feel like their burdens or expectations that come with, for example, even even something as basic as like, I'm Chinese. So I am Chinese, I'm from Hong Kong. What What does it mean to be Chinese of your expectations? I think as an immigrant, there probably are a few expectations, or at least some, some images that, that that obviously have kernels of truth, but sometimes I feel it's easy and less complicated to live without, and something that we probably should aspire to, to have things that describe people to be almost almost neutral that don't have to come with a whole lot of baggage. Hmm. And I mean, I will, I think I want to talk about Raven Simone, if you remember her from that. So Raven, she's now on the view. Recently, she's made some comments that have been about labels and identity, and it's had a few controversies and few criticisms. And I can totally see why because it can be interpreted as quite inflammatory. What she said was, she doesn't want to be labeled as African American, she doesn't want to be labeled as gay. And well, that sounds like she's saying that she's not black, or she's not gay, but I kind of understand what she's coming from. And my friend actually explained this to me. I think what she's what she's trying to say, and this is what I also sort of believe in, is that, as a society, I think that we're trying to aspire to is that we're is one we're, your preconceptions of someone shouldn't have to come from the labels that they are assigned with. And that's what I want. That's what I want to be I want to be in a society where being gay and being Chinese as factual labels, rather than social labels, have, they don't have to carry any expectations that have to carry any negative or positive positive connotations. And I think that's a really good thing. That's, that's my real opinion. [00:03:49] So for a label carries weight, or, you know, assumptions about it, what would you say, you know, what do you feel like, the labels that are applied to you, not necessarily that you apply to yourself, but then, you know, maybe apply by other people? What would you say some of the assumptions or stereotypes around those and how how they feature? [00:04:12] Well, I think the, that I think you're right, in that it's the stereotypes are the main thing that attached to these labels. For example, well, I mean, from from experience in high school, and actually throughout life, when you say you are gay. Immediately, there are assumptions applied to being gay, to being there to being specifically Chinese, gay and male ideas. And it just differs between the between every single person out there, but I feel like stereotypes such as, Oh, if you're gay, then they say I knew it, because you have a higher pitch sounding voice, and I will show these phonology, physics and acoustics associate, some kind of like, boss, or something like that. But, I mean, if you're assuming all of that about a person, then then what do you know about the person? What how does that color your interactions with them? Like, my friend recently, he, he asked me, are you comfortable with being identified as, as the Danny, the gay guy? And I said, Well, I mean, I'm okay. If you're just saying that to identify me as an they don't know which, which Danny, or which. [00:05:45] But I don't want that to be just what I am, I want to be in control of my identity. [00:05:53] And being in being in control of my identity doesn't just mean choosing what labels or choosing what I want to be means. Pretty much having. Does that make sense? Okay, you're just like, on by, by the by, like, I'm 19. And like, I like my opinion. So I pretty much gotta change properly next week. And disclaimer, I'm, I don't, I don't know what I'm talking about. But, but this is what I think right now. That's just, I want to, I want, I don't want my information to be tied down anywhere. [00:06:30] It doesn't feel like the way that society interacts with your identity, or you interact with society doesn't feel like it is quite tired. [00:06:39] I think a lot of the times it can it can feel that way. Because well, as much as we like to say that we're colorblind or we don't care. But you know, there's always an undertone because partly because of history, because like an historic play with people, people of color, people who are LGBT have been discriminated against and seen in different light. And historically, as an from my childhood, like, whenever you from childhood, I think is the only place is the only time I remember being sort of like not bullied, but I guess kind of bullied, but like, sort of being outcast or feeling strange about being either gay or Chinese where people know like kids, but like, then come up to you and say, like, chanting champion. So what did I say in Chinese? I don't like over the hell of [00:07:42] a hidden restaurants fake it's really, really funny because the tiny children [00:07:47] but I'm sure, like, I'm sure that does affect you. And, you know, it's when people ask, Where are you from, and I stay here. And that's a bit of a likes, I'm from Hong Kong. But sometimes I just feel I could saying that even, you know, like, as you can tell, I have a quite a broad Kiwi accent or, and like, I've lived here since I was four years old. And my identity is with here as much. As much as I want to identify with being Chinese or Hong Kong, I think I can't deny that. You know, I am the New Zealand pretty much. You know, and that's what that's what my family thinks as well, when they see me because I can see the differences. [00:08:31] Do you feel represented? Or how do you feel like I'm the representations around being Asian or being Chinese or being gay, gay, an Asian exist or don't exist? [00:08:44] I think that's representation of a specific as a specific group in the population is it's important for young, especially young people, but also for just everyone in that group. In order to feel like you can your your patch, you can be like you can be anything, you're not tied down to a specific path, or you're not tied down to specific ways of saying things of acting or anything like that. And like I said, that is tied to labels, I think it's because of labeling people, and sort of carrying stereotypes and ways of looking at ways that other people perceive you. That perpetuates like a cycle where there is only only one path for like, okay, Asian person. And what I find most harmful about that, as for me, personally, is that this not so much representation in any of the light and any of the things that I want to do. And it's not it's not any Well, I don't think it's necessarily I mean, it depends on each play proficient, I guess, but it's not necessarily the Pete the fault of anyone in there. It's it's just a societal quirk that happened. And as unfortunate, for example, things do you want to do? So I studied law and linguistics. And well, to be honest, I don't know any gay Asian lawyers. I don't know any Asian law his except for like, my cheat my chin. Because she's pretty much like written some articles that we had to read for law and stuff. And, and the other thing that I want to, if I end up hating, really not wanting to do law, because it's really stressful is speech language therapy, which is Rachel linguistics. And when I first saw that, I thought, Oh, this is something I really want to do. I mean, this is this is honestly, like, maybe it's my calling, but then I look into it. And I thought, oh, maybe I won't fit in because Speech Language therapists. Like, it's, it's quite an anomaly that the about 97%. women feel like, Oh, well, I mean, obviously, I can do it. Because, you know, it's not like they're not hiring men. In fact, it's like, it's the same with doctors with is not enough women. They need more representation from every field, but then I feel like, oh, but is there some expectation that they don't do that now. But I really want to, and it looks really fun, or not fun, it's a little bit depressing. But it feels like something that I'd want, you know, devote my life towards. And, you know, representation is important, because you have to, you have to see someone to aspire to it. Because we, you know, child, children by still as around role models, whether it's mom or dad or a superhero, or someone that I see on TV or their teacher. And if there's no one out there to identify with, or someone out there that you can sort of think, Oh, I'm going to be them one day, then I think you feel put off from from doing something. [00:12:18] So not a whole lot of gay Asian representation. And a lot of things really, do you feel that this much or any gay Asian representation with an LGBT kind of media or whatever. [00:12:31] I think slowly it's getting this. This slowly becoming more open says Haitian and I think that's because in Asian, in a in the Asian population, it's becoming more acceptable to actually be LGBT, and especially in Asia itself, like it's signed, open up, and you're saying to see actual news about [00:12:56] visibility in Asia with with an LGBT. [00:13:02] Again, though, the, [00:13:05] especially with within gaming is a lot of quite a negative [00:13:12] association, on like connotations or just negative experiences, what I'm trying to say, with ping Asian as a game, and it's, it's so silly, because [00:13:24] it's literally like, [00:13:29] I don't want to say all the other ones, because they told me earlier that I got all them. But sometimes I feel like that's such a silly problem, because let's let's just say x, and it's like attraction, but then what does it how much of an influence does that have on how much the influences I have on the wanting to become a lawyer? Although I have, my mother's friend told me that lawyers get hired because they pretty [00:13:58] because it can be ugly and cold. [00:14:04] Oh, [00:14:09] but maybe, maybe that's true. I mean, how often do you see people who aren't particularly attractive and have heavy makeup on TV as lawyers? So I'm making I'm making like this. [00:14:25] Yeah, this is tricky, [00:14:25] because you know, what's on what's on TV isn't or doesn't, you know, represent what is happening in society. And I guess that's the power of representation, that it can show a whole bunch of stuff that isn't necessarily going on. Because I guess if you just thought about society, from the TV, then there's only able bodied, pretty people who live in Nice. But, um, you mentioned only go back to you mentioned, increasing kind of representation of gay Asian peoples, and how that's impacting so I guess, Asian society and making it more acceptable to be gay and queer with Would you say that had an impact on your family? And how they really, you know, relate to you? And [00:15:12] I think it definitely has, the only person that I actually came out was my mother and house because one day, she was like, Why? Why are you? Why are you doing? What are you? Like, searching up these articles online? I'm like, yeah. And then I was like, Well, is it a problem if I am gay, and then I cried. And then she was like, art stuffs. been, you know, she was like, are, you know, it's a phase? And I was like, Well, no, it's not. It's just like, have you? Have you tried liking girls? I'm like, No, I don't think that's how it works. Mama, you have to try. [00:15:54] How old were you? When you when you were looking at the articles and [00:15:59] 17 now I was just on it was like I was looking at. I was just like, looking at news articles and stuff like that. But um, yeah, that's when she asked me and that's when I count to her. And she was she's totally, like, supportive of it. But obviously, you know, with there's always these executives, and she sort of treats me as like, like, the pure Dawson. So I can't go [00:16:25] ahead, but Oh, [00:16:29] yeah. But um, the funny thing is, she, she ended up talking to the members of my life, my extended family, the members who she knew would be supportive. So my cousins and her friends, my high school friends. Surprisingly, most of them are not surprised me like they had been supportive, because I think that is the trend that younger people will have more knowledge and acceptance of this nation. But she didn't tell anyone over the age of 3038. And then I think Well, okay, that's I guess that's fine. But does that make me? Does that make me like, does that? Is it hiding something from my family? Does that make me sort of outcast from my own family? I have to sort of wonder, because sometimes my mom tells me, you can just not tell them, you just you don't have to tell anyone. But in what I feel like, I feel personally that I am hiding something from them if they don't know fully. And even, you know, it's not like it's a topic that's completely relevant to I don't know if a job interview or anything like that, but eventually something like that's going to come up. And, you know, every time someone finds out that I'm gay, and then immediately it's questions come up, but I'm, I'm fine with people asking questions. But sometimes, I wonder, Well, you know, all these things start you you have other gay friends. Why do you need to keep asking? And, you know, it's not, it's not something that annoys me terribly, but I feel like, I feel like it's something that I something that has a an inkling of uncomfortableness. That's what that's what others [00:18:31] kind of continue coming out and having to feel the whole lot of questions. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the assumptions. Really, [00:18:38] it's exactly the same thing as Where do you come from? It's like, well, it's a perfectly innocuous question, and I can just answer it. I'm from Hong Kong, or talk about where, where I was born. But then it's like, well, we're not talking about that. We're talking about how to house? I don't know, bake, really slice. [00:19:00] Yeah, that's the thing I like with lots of labels, that the people, you know, who gets the label, and who has to declare the labels, you know, and so it's kind of like, when you get asked where you're from, I guess a few New Zealand and you look back here, you probably aren't going to get asked that. Or if you do get asked it they literally wanting to know whether you come from Oklahoma. And I think that's the other thing about, you know, Christians with being gay, you don't usually say, Are you straight? Or what's what's that like for you? When did you know your parents, you know, so it's kind of who the owner sets on, to have to explain or declare those labels? So what would you say? Like, apart from all those documents? What would you say the difference between maybe some of your experiences and say, with other people who wouldn't be part of so many minorities in so many ways? [00:19:54] I think that I'm kind of, I don't want to be one of those people who like talk about what I said, university, I've tried to apply it to real world college, even though like a second year, but honestly, I think it's to do with marketing, which is a concept. I think, and I'm not sure I know, it's a concept in linguistics, but it's probably a concept and just like social science, we're one. These are Martin and March. thing. So the march one is the unusual one. So I had this is a pretty sexist example. But this is what my lecture said, If you say, I'm a nurse, then the match example is a male nurse. And the unmarked example is a female nurse. And that's simply because of stereotypes, but also is because of representation. And that's the difference where I think, you know, these these, because I think if you can reduce it down to the same way that linguistics is, would you stand into it like a science. And it's a fact that we are the marks like I am a marked person, and not the majority? I'm not hockey ha, and straight. And but then again, otherwise, I'm but you know, you have to also consider that and otherwise I can be unmarked. If I'm in Hong Kong, then, you know, I am the majority. [00:21:18] But also, I'm told so [00:21:22] yeah, one time in Shanghai, the stranger in the shop, she just came up to my family and said, Why aren't you seen? All these strangers are looking at you? Like, oh, oops, sorry. No, but that's that's completely irrelevant before the hour? Um, yeah. And that's, that's what we that's what it is. It's a norm. And there's another. [00:21:54] And what can we do about that? Well, I don't know. [00:22:00] Would you say I guess when I hear talking about the concept of Matt and Matt, that's like, I guess dominant culture or default [00:22:06] settings? Yeah. [00:22:08] So we assume everybody is able bodied, and lyst that we know we see a wheelchair or they tell us that they're disabled? Yeah, we assume, you know, and I guess that's maybe how grinder works that you are assumed to be less than the other? And if you're not, you have to say, yeah, I'm feeling more I'm Asian or bad, or I'm HIV positive, or whatever. So would you like how do you, you know, navigate the pressures to assimilate into majority culture? Or do you feel like this, there's pressure to assimilate into majority culture. [00:22:39] I think that when I was a child, that when I was little, there definitely was a pressure to assimilate. And it started off with language where I had to learn English. And quite quickly, I ended up picking up because of like, four years old. So I ended up speaking English quite well, by the time I was five years old. Like there was a became sort of like my mother tongue. And then it just sort of, there's a role on for that I wrote from that. I grew up in it, which is a pretty like, Asian suburb. But then again, I went to a school where I was the only Asian person when I first went there, because it was the 90s, or not the 90s. It was the early 2000s. Eventually, there were a few more Asian people, and they know into organ Grammar School, which was about I think it was actually with Charlie Asian, I've really short. But then we still spoke English. They were groups that spoke different languages, and [00:23:39] in that school, attend to be that people stuck into groups, [00:23:45] based on [00:23:46] what culture you identified with. And I think the pressure to assimilate, listened, once we saw so much more diversity, but in high school, I mean, but at the same time, what do we assimilate in these, like different ways of assimilating into things? Then I had to assimilate into my own group. But you know, is that just is that just developing your own personality thing? So some people say, fake it till you make it? And I think that's something to do with assimilation. So if, for example, if it's not a visible identifying factor, like being gay, although my voice then you don't have to say and that's what my mom says, Don't say that you're gay if you're trying to get a job, because, you know, there are going to be people who don't agree with, [00:24:46] with what I am who don't like it. [00:24:50] But is that is that honest, just because I'm trying to benefit myself? Like, I'm trying to fake it till I make it? Is that something that we should be doing? Like, I guess maybe you could fake it till you make it until you're at the top and then say, haha, second. But wouldn't it be better if we just all try to aspire towards a society where everything is morally neutral? And no one everyone has an equal opportunity? I know that's not realistic. But I think we can have a goal, and it's good to have somebody to go towards. [00:25:32] Would you say there's any of those pressures to assimilate within LGBT? society or communities? [00:25:40] Honestly, I think these are the I don't want to be disrespectful to Kim. But there is definitely, in every society, there's a pressure to assimilate. You know, and I have to be honest, in LGBT society, some times you have to assimilate to, you have to so much to sexualize gay men men hooking up. And I won't say like, I mean, that is something that you have to do that that's something you feel like you have to do, I mean, and but then there's other ways that you have to do as well. And I think that's also true with labels. Sometimes you feel that you have to pick a label and stick with it. And you know, this has been discussed over and over, but is our as LGBT? Is that simply just is that really just what we decided is because there are other cultures where that's not what it is, you can probably pick a whole bunch of different leaders all have no listeners at all. And maybe I have to, maybe I feel like I'm, maybe subconsciously, I'm assimilating into being watch this society thinks being gay as and well, how I feel about there [00:27:04] might change next week [00:27:05] could Yeah, probably well. [00:27:11] Yeah, I mean, assimilation is. It's something that's, that's so complicated, and you can't tell what when you're doing it and you can't tell when when you are doing it, if it's good or not, like people will tell me all you know, this is the most annoying thing I hear from you speak English. So well, like you have such a like, natural accent. I'm like, thank you. All. Okay, that's because I've lived here. Just because someone else has lived here list for a shorter period. And I haven't have a list Kiwi accent or [00:27:51] at least attune to cultural [00:27:53] norms than I am. It doesn't make them any less worthy of being a New Zealand, I don't think [00:28:00] it sounds like a lot of that stuff is around. I don't know if inclusion is the right word, you know, inclusion and exclusion or belonging and not belonging. But like, if you're in a way, you're part of the club, and in the list CY like everybody else is, you know, the further out you're out of the club. [00:28:19] Yeah, that's something I think I agree with that. I think this part of the exclusion and inclusion thing, especially, especially when you're just trying to socialize, just trying to socialize and your younger years. And, for example, I don't think I've actually, if I have experienced bullying or exclusion, or like direct people not liking me, and probably blocked it out, or just like forgotten about. But this, the feeling that that happens is still there, because you hear about it happening. And so it does, you can't pretend that doesn't happen just because it doesn't happen to you. And there's always a fear that you know, you're not people are not going to like you because you're gay, or people are going to like, commit some kind of crime against you. And that's what you hear about on the news, when you hear about like all these horrible things happening where people are killing, killing everyone. And I can't go to these countries because our song so there's a danger for you. And it's like, [00:29:23] I don't know how I feel about that. It's just upsetting. [00:29:28] And let in in high school, because I went to a boys school. It was being gay was not talked about so much until like the very last year where people were a bit more mature and were actually able to accept. And the the main thing that I felt was uncomfortable was that a lot of time people did feel like people who knew that I was gay, sometimes uncountable me like I was hitting on them, even though they were really ugly. [00:30:09] Even though I wasn't attracted to them. [00:30:17] I'm sorry. [00:30:19] Yeah, I just think that [00:30:23] if you know, I, I'm around, I have a lot of female friends. I don't feel uncomfortable around them. Why should you feel uncomfortable around me? And, like, I have not rambling on about this. But you know, because of that stereotype that, you know, if you're gay male, then you're just hitting on everyone and you, all you want to do is get in bed with the next person you see. And, you know, that's that's not it's not sure. It's it's a stereotype that even though we know it's know, it's bad, it's not sure. It's something that you have to be something that's just ingrained in us. You know, that's a lot like a lot of things where things are just a lot of stereotypes that just in growing, you can't get rid of them. No matter how hard you try. It only takes a lot of work to get rid of preconceptions. And that's going back to labels where it's hard to get out of that system of life and people. Yeah. [00:31:24] I'm just wrapping up now. So is there anything else that you want to talk about that we haven't covered? [00:31:31] I think that's pretty much all. [00:31:34] So we're just in if you could tell us just a little bit about what equation is. [00:31:39] Ok. Cool. Well, occasion is a social support group that started up last year, I think was during the pride festival. During Pride Month. It was a came up over a event that was to discuss people of Asian descent. In in the LGBT community. It gives you a space for for Asian queer people to voice opinions, eat fried chicken and just sort of socialize really, you know, once again, Asian queer people still, you know, it's the reality that we are probably less visible. And maybe it's less likely that we're able to meet other people who are like us so it's just a way to [00:32:36] you know, just game the film visible See, and [00:32:40] you eat fried chicken. Really? [00:32:43] Good. Thank you very much for your time, Danny. [00:32:45] That's all right.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It is not a transcript, it has not been checked by humans and will contain many errors. However it is useful for searching on keywords and themes.