Saturday, February 24, 2007

Homosexuality in Asia III--Current Trends and Gay Korea Column...同志亞洲系列(三 )--現在的趨勢和同志韓国...ゲイアジア(3)--いまのトレンドとゲイ韓国

Post Three of the Gay Trilogy......the Finale....

This post attempts to give a broad overview of the status of gay and lesbians in Asia currently. I would say that in East Asia and South East Asia, the climate of social acceptance towards homosexuality has increased greatly in recent yrs and especially for young gays and lesbians (below 30) living in countries ranging from China to Indonesia, there is no longer self hatred or self-denial. There are of cos still many whom struggle with their sexual preferences but it can safely be said that the vast majority of under 30 young Asians no longer feel the dilemma and readily accept their homosexual identities.
For those above 30, its still a mixed bag with some still trying to become straight, some whom under previous conservative environments were in denial have now readily embraced the gay lifestyle due to progress in social acceptance, and those whom are in the closet and married whom nevertheless engage in extra-marital sex with men on the side. (y i discourage gay men trying to 'turn bck' straight cos it never works and in the end they marry women 'trying' to change and end up messing up women's life and chance for love.)
I was very surprised when i first came into contact with homosexuality in terms of really delving into what its all about (not the one-dimensional understanding which many ppl have) and found that gay teens nowadays start dating men/women very early like 14,15, members of the same sex is widespread and normal for many young gay Asians nowadays and most don't feel the need to 'change their sexual orientation'...also many young gay Asians have their own network of gay friends and the picture is vastly different from how it was a mere decade ago when most gay Asians were isolated and lonely. I mean i still subscribed to that outdated thinking a few yrs ago due to my lack of understanding of gays. It is quite clear that images of lonely suicidal homosexuals is quite outdated now and should be replaced with gays whom have lots of gay and straight friends, whom date (and have sex with) same sex people without any feelings of guilt, and basically lead their lives unmarked by self-loathing or feeling weird about their feelings towards the same sex. You'd be surprised how many gay couples live together in the same house across Asia times have changed since the pre-internet days of the early 90s...
So for those of you whom still stick to the idea that gay and lesbian Asians are secluded, isolated, have random sex without much normal dating relationships, well...think again.

Media and Tourism: The media plays a powerful role in influencing gay and lesbian perceptions of certain countries and i can give two examples. For instance, the host of gay-themed movies and tv series coming out from Taiwan as well as well reported gay pride parade which is attended and funded by the Taipei City Mayor and Taipei City Council has, in my opinion, helped to increase significantly tourism to Taiwan by gay and lesbian travellers. I already know like 3 gay bloggers whom visited Taiwan last yr and another gay blogger intending to go this year. I believe the perception that Taiwan is gay-friendly from the annual gay pride as well as Taiwanese media plays an important role in influencing them to visit Taiwan.
The same for Korea. Korean dramas are quite popular amongst many gay male Asians obviously for the same reasons they are popular with the women: cute guys, romantic, willing to do anything for you,etc,etc. The series 'Gung' (Palace) has quite a strong fan following amongst gay Chinese men i think. And the desirability of Korean men has shot up since the Korean Wave swept thru Asia. This can be evidenced by one simple example amongst others i have. There's a gay japanese friendship site for foreigners whom like japanese men and about a year ago they added a special 'korean gay men' section indicating the popularity of korean men amongst Asian gay men. Thats the power of the media for you!
An alley in Tokyo's Gay District, Shinjuku Ni-Chome. The area has around 200 gay establishments ranging from gay clubs, bars and saunas to host clubs. All the bright signboards visible are gay establishments. This photo was taken during my exchange in Tokyo in 2005.

'Boys Love'
Title of a boy's love book 'Hey....I really like you..'

The trend of boy's love novels and pc games has become more and more lurid and adult with more emphasis on man-on-man sex as can be gleaned from the above pix.

Often the stories in 'boys love' involves the dominant male and the recessive male whom gets penetrated. In effect, you could say the recessive male is merely a symbol of women as the storyline mirrors straight adult manga with the recessive male always seen as being dominated, unwilling to have sex and in pain at being penetrated.

I think its a 'boys love' pc game....

Now, many of you are probably wondering what the heck is 'boys love'???! Well, its a genre of gay male-male love comics and pc games in Japan which cater to teenage girls and women...yes, u heard me correctly, targeting TEENAGE GIRLS AND WOMEN NOT GAY MEN. Its ironic why women would want to read these kind of male-male love (and plenty of gay sex too!) novels and comics...but well u know Japan has alot of kinky and weird trends....

Of cos, these 'boys love' novels,etc have also found a following amongst some gay Asian men overseas as well....

I didn't know about this kind of books until i went to Japan in 2005 and stayed there for about 4 months...i mean before i went i had gone bck to Taiwan for a visit and did see translated versions in a well-known bookstore and found it interesting that it was a gay romance novel but i didn't think too much and thought it wasn't a popular thing....

But when i arrived in Japan, i noticed to my surprise that 'boys love' is VERY POPULAR in Japan (well at least in Tokyo and at least in 2005)...i was introduced by a female friend of mine from HK (its popular in Hong Kong amongst girls as well i heard) and i read thru the mags she had which is where i took the above lurid photos of the male-male love scenes. I actually made it a point to search for these boys love comics and novels whenever i entered a bookstore and i would say can be found in over 70% of bookstores and all major bookstores.

They are not what a western or non-japanese asian would presume to be only found in gay bookstores as i've said already they target straight women readers and not gay ones.

They are advertised prominently and there is no reaction from normal readers as to why gay themed stories are sold and displayed in bookstores.

One anecdote from me, once i was reading this straight male adult comic as i was curious(their stories involve women being raped, molested, horny housewives, horny schoolgirls whom masturbate..u get the picture *rolls eyes*) and this mother with schoolchildren was standing beside me perusing one of the boys love comics!!! Imagine that happening in Australia, an aussie mom reading a gay comic..haha...well, its normal in Japan i guess...

I can understand why its popular with women cos i think its something unique and taboo and dun we all love something forbidden? Also, for me at least, its a reaction against the tons of straight male adult comics and novels which portray women as sexual horny objects ready to be penetrated whereas in boys love, women can enjoy men as sexual horny objects penetrated in all kinds of way by other men! (Another reason y i think gay porn should stay given that it really mirrors straight porn, only that men are now the ones sexually tortured, humiliated and penetrated by many other men in ALL kinds of possible conceivable ways...if women are portrayed in such a way in straight male porn, which kinda pisses me off, why not men?

For those living in Sydney, 'boys love' can obtained (to my utmost surprise!) at Kinokuniya Bookstores manga section...i was just looking thru the manga section once and came across it....there's quite a selection with the emphasis being male-male romance...go check it out if u r interested in exactly what boys love is all about...:):)

Gay Korea Column:

This column started out as a place to fill the gap in the lack of knowledge regarding gay Korea and given my dual areas of interest being Korea and homosexual issues. I think unlike in China and Japan, its much more difficult for Korean society to accept homosexuality due to the dual C. Thats my theory, homosexuality faces two obstacles in Korea being the CC (not sissy lar!!)...being Confucianism and Christianity. Korea is the most confucius-based and christian society in Asia...both of which are not known for being friendly towards homosexualism.

However with that said, great leaps have been made in the past 2 yrs i would say in terms of korean tolerance of homosexualism, at least in the media and the korean audiences willingness to accept it on film and tv.

Korean Variety:

I recently started watching korean gameshows (popular in China and thus many chinese subtitled ones for download floating around online) and really like them...i noticed to my HUGE amazement the amount of gay content they have....i thought korean tv was supposed to be conservative! well...not if u've seen 'X-Man' when they were in Indonesia and Japan and they created this 'romance' between one celebrity and another one...the guy was like 'u've changed'...'i treat u like a man' OMG!!! usually they do this with a guy-girl celebrity but this time they included a guy-guy thing too....then theres 'Love Letter' the past they paired up male-female celebrities to play obstacles but now, at least last yr, they also had male-male celebrity couples and they still put a heart on screen b/w the two men....this is a direct reference to a same-sex couple (altho its all for game show purposes and everyone knows that both the male-male couple and male-female couple celebs aren't for real) and it really wasn't necessary unless they thought korean audiences now liked the idea, even if just for fun, of male-male relationships...

Then there was HeyHeyHey, where in November last year, there was a five part shortstory called 'Roommate'. HeyHeyHey is an extremely popular skit show where they get celebrities to act out short segments....what was unique about 'Roommate' was that it went on for 5 episodes consisting of 10 min segments when the usual story is only 1-2 episodes and it was actually romantic and quite serious as opposed to all the other stories which are just pure laughter.

'Roommate' was so popular amongst some Korean netizens that they asked for more and a 'Special Roommate Behind-the-Scenes' was screened after it ended....

The story is basically this cute hunky 20 something guy is the roommate of this closet gay korean in his 30s. He secretly is in love with his roommate (hence the name of the title) but can't say it out cos his roommate is straight. The scenes were so funny and sad at times that i didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

A funny scene was when the hunk is exercising is biceps (u should have seen his muscular well-toned body and that chest...ooooo) and the gay roommate starts drooling out water..hahaha...then that sexy scene when the hunk asks his 'hyeong' (korean term for a guy towards an older male almost seemed like a romantic term in this context!) to shave for him....and he's TOPLESS....sooooo sexy man...:)

And there was a GAY KISS scene on Korean TV..and this is in a comedy show too!!! Its when the hunk gets drunk cos he fell in love with a woman and u see the sad face on his gay hyeong...awwww...then he force-kiss his hyeong cos he mistakens him for the girl...they zoomed in on the kiss and you could see that the two actors kissed lip on lip for real....OMG!!!! They could have faked it using 'angle shots' but they insisted on the real kiss...

You could tell that the korean media and audiences had changed in their perception of homosexuality as they didn't even think for once that showing a gay story WITH a gay kiss scene would create some kind of backlash, if anything, roommate proved extremely popular.

They also portrayed the gay romance in a very sensitive way and realistically portrayed the pain a gay man goes thru when he falls for a straight man...and further, the host later said she at first thought what kind of romance can happen between two grown men but later was touched by the story thus in a way promoting an acceptance from audiences too....

Korean Drama:

Thats not all!!!...Korean dramas, known for their conservatism, have also included bits of homosexual characters and sub stories.....i was watching this drama called 'Foxy Lady' and in the very first episode, the main character's 10 year secret love for her university senior, the only man whom she has loved truly for so long, comes crashing down as she realises that although he divorced his wife recently (at this point she was kinda happy cos she has a chance now)...he is gay! I was abit surprised the producers included this in the first the guy says he has never loved his wife and i was thinking 'oh....maybe its cos his parents forced him to marry her'..then he says 'i've never had feelings for any woman.....but i've had feelings for men'....

and this ends the first episode...again it was portrayed in a sympathetic light with the main character saying she'll keep his secret and cursing the ex-wife for going around telling everyone he's negative comments about homosexuality such as 'why are u gay?...its sick'....

After the above, my impression of Korean media and society in terms of acceptance of homosexuality took a 180 degree change....i mean i was shocked that a society and a media which i had always assumed to be super homophobic was changing fast to the extent that they could show a gay kiss on tv and include gay themes in dramas watched by housewives and elderly grandmothers....cholma shockin e yo!

Korean Movies:

In 2006, there was a host of Korean films with a gay themed films have become popular after the huge success of ' The King and the Clown' (a low budget Chosun dynasty tale about the love triangle between three men, two clowns and the evil sadistic King) which became the top grossing film in the entire cinematic history of Korea, surpassing 'such blockbuster hits as 'Taegukki' and 'Shiri'. (Its now become the 2nd top grossing film in Korea in all-time).

'If You Were Me' series by the Korean National Human Rights Commission:

I absolutely love this unique series which focuses on discrimination themes in Korean society with each film consisting of 4-5 stories, all of which are directed by some famous korean commercial director such as jang jin and park chan-wook. In 'If ' 2 and 'If' 3 there are segments on homophobia. In the second instalment, there' s a segment on korean masculinity with an inclusion of a gay theme too where one of the best friends is gay....then in 'If' 3 which i haven't been able to see yet, there is one segment exclusively on homophobia whereby 2 boys at a boys school are bullied as everyone thinks they're a gay couple.....a must watch series for an introduction of the social discrimination issues faced by modern Korea today....

No Regrets (2006):
Review from Darcy's Korean Film Page:
With the critical praise for his shorts "Sugar Hill" and "Good Romance" and with No Regrets being the first South Korean feature directed by an out Gay Korean, one can say that there was a lot of pressure on Leesong Hee-il regarding his debut feature. Regardless of whether he felt this pressure himself, Leesong has lived up to the challenge providing an engaging story, equal parts melodrama, social commentary, comedy, and treatise on hope for us all.

Su-min, an orphan who, since he is unable to pay for university, must leave the orphanage at 18. (Leesong's research for this film led him to find that this requirement leads many orphans, male and female, to end up in factories and hostess/host bars in Seoul at 18. "Some days, I feel like I might like to shoot an orphanage story," he says) Su-min heads to Seoul to work various jobs in order to pay for computer classes and later university. An ethical stance on Su-min's part results in his losing his factory job. (Such a morally upstanding gesture along with Lee's beauty endears him early on with the audience. This also provides a nice expose on class in Queer communities, adding layers to the 'hostess bar' genre in South Korean cinema that Leesong redefines here.) Hit hard on financial times, Su-min ends up taking a job at a host bar. The boss (they call him 'Madame') of this host bar is reluctant to bring on Su-min since experience has shown him that gay-identified hosts will often leave once they become romantically involved with one of their clients. Su-min is at a point in his life where he's given up on love, so he believes this won't happen to him, until a man from his past enters the host bar and life gets messier, more beautiful, and messier again. But for those who have had enough of the self-loathing and tragedy demanded in some films with sexual minority plots and subplots, hold on. At the risk of revealing the ending, let me just say don't worry. As much as I have problems with the narrative flow near the ending, at least No Regrets is not going where we are initially led to believe it is.
One of the best aspects of this film is how we aren't provided the obligatory caricatures of Gay 'types' on prime-time sitcoms in the United States. Su-min is a well-rounded character and I love his refusal to answer questions he doesn't feel people have the right to ask. Each character has a depth that allows each to be more than simply the queen, the naive waif, the self-denier, etc. Refusing to follow the path towards Queer liberation espoused by sitcoms, No Regrets is freed to provide some refreshingly, rip-roaring hilarious moments.

The banter provided by Madame and one of Su-min's co-workers would have had the audience at the 11th PIFF rolling on the floor with laughter had there been room on the floor of the packed house. Many of the jokes are specific to a Korean audience, (no one was able to explain to me what was meant by the crowd-pleasing 'You look like the dick on Shilim Avenue' slam of the country bumpkin), but there is enough context here and quality acting and directing to ascertain what commentary witty retorts such as 'Wheat-floured face' are intended to impart.

But still, the joy of my experience with No Regrets was obviously enhanced by the crowd and their positive reactions to what they were watching. I almost missed this film, but thankfully ran into Italian film critic (and contributor) Paolo Bertolin in the maze of streets in Haeundae that confound one's sense of cardinal directions. He insisted I get a standing-room ticket for the sold-out show. So I did just that and was one of the lucky standing-room-ers who was able to snag a seat from the late ticket holders. (PIFF is notorious for its strict time schedules. ) Just before the film began I looked to see that every seat was occupied, every step in the theatre appropriated as a seat, and still more people were lined up along the walls anxious to see this film.
Commenting on the particularities of Queerness in South Korea would take a dissertation that space here will not allow. Until I stumble on such a Ph.D., how 'bout a master's thesis instead? Matty Wegehaupt's master thesis "Hong Seok-cheon - Keoming Aut in South Korea" details the cultural nuances around the South Korean TV actor's public coming out in 2002 that was immediately followed by his dismissal from the station that employed him. Such actions might lend support to a view that South Korea is a "conservative" country when it comes to sexual minorities. But just as Bruce Cumings argues in Korea's Place in the Sun that the adjectives of "liberal" and "conservative" as used in the U.S. are not fully transferable to a Korean context, Wegehaupt questions whether one can really call a country 'conservative' where the labor union rushed to the defense of their openly Gay colleague? And this defense was not due to 'Western Liberalization' but to something organic in South Korean culture. In fact, as Wegehaupt would later elaborate for me in an email, "While it may be the perspective of a minority, within Korean cultural mores there exist the means to freely accept and support the new phenomenon of public homosexual identities." Perhaps nothing supports Wegehaupt's claim more than the packed crowd that came to watch No Regrets. And perhaps nothing supports Leesong's film of hope more than the smiles on the faces of many of us who watched this ground-breaking film, smiles shared on the faces of Su-min and Jae-min (Lee Han) as they survive the tragedy that surrounds them, reminding us that until we can live honestly with ourselves in all countries, such tragedy surrounds us all. (
Adam Hartzell)

The above is a review of the first mainstream Korean gay-themed film to be released in Korea. Previous films such as 'The King and the Clown' and 'Bungee Jumping on their Own' have only heavily hinted but never expressly come out and portrayed the relationship of their protagonist as a gay one.
Articles relating to Gay and Lesbian topics in the Korean Media:

Gay Sex Transmitting Most Korean AIDS Chosun Ilbo Oct 2002
National Institute of Health announced Thursday the results of an study of 269 people infected with AIDS, which showed that one person in Korea is infected with the AIDS virus a day, most of which are gay men. For women, more than two thirds of the cases came from sex with an infected partner. One or two people a year were infected through encounters with prostitutes.
Half of women who were infected through sexual intercourse with a Korean man were of blood type B, but 98 percent of men who were infected through intercourse with a Korean woman had a blood type of B.
If people with AIDS were infected from normal intercourse between men and women, the percentage of blood type B should be similar. But the test result showed a difference nearly two times the number.
The difference is attributed to homosexual relationships. Ninty-eight percent of those infected through homosexual love were with blood type B.
Doctor Lee Jong-gu at the NIH said that in many cases, men infected by homosexual sex lied to their wives, saying that they got the virus from sex with women.
The NIH concluded that AIDS has been spreading through homosexual relationships, and no one was infected through sexual intercourse with women, according to the investigation.
Estimating that more than half of the men with the AIDS virus contracted it through homosexual relationships, the NIH said it has decided to install 18,000 condom machines at such places as gay bars over the next year. (Park Jung-hyeon, )

Gay Lifestyles Conquer Media Mainstream Chosun Ilbo August 23 2005

Two handsome men in their 20s are sitting at a table face to face. A caption reading ※same-sex couple§ runs across the screen. The two feel each other*s hair, asking ※Did you have a haircut?§ They speak in a whisper and caress each other*s necks. Soon the sentence, ※We subscribe to a couple rate plan to save on phone bills§ pops up. It is a commercial for a mobile telecom provider that has recently gone on air.
No great mystery there. The producers, of course, point out that the couple rate plan was worked out so that mixed-sex couples can subscribe as well.
But the commercial signals that in Korea, too, same-sex relationships are making it into the media mainstream. No longer confined to the nudge and the wink, gay characters on TV are coming out of the closet, be it Lee Kyun*s vampire in ※Hello, Francesca§ or the camp antics of Kim Nul-me in SBS late-night comedy ※People Looking for Laughter.§ Internationally, shows such as ※Queer as Folk§ and reality show ※Freshmen Diary§ lead the way, while in ※Sex and the City§ it is a given that any modern single woman needs comfortable gay friends.
On Korean terrestrial TV, attitudes have yet to change dramatically, with gay characters usually played for cheap laughs. Last May, MBC drama ※Pounding Heart§ featured singer Harisu as a transgender character, but the responses from viewers were decidedly weak.
Still, amplified, half-concealed or confidently ※out, gay lifestyles are here to stay.
For the producers of the couple rate commercial, the surprise was the lack of surprise among viewers. ※It made us think our society has changed.§ Proof positive, perhaps, that a country*s sense of respect for others has improved if it can look without aggression on sexual minorities.
( )

Previous 'Gay Korea Column' at
and scroll to March 13 2006 post.

This ends the gay trilogy and i hope this series of posts have revealed my thoughts and opinion on this area of interest of mine as well as enlightened readers whom previously weren't aware or interested as to the current status and trends of homosexuality in Asia....will be awhile before i post again on this....comments and questions are always welcome:)P
p/s: looking forward to attending my very 1st Mardi Gras Parade come 3 March on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst...will take plenty of pics and tell u guys and gals all bout it!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year of the Pig:)..豬年快樂:)..新春おめでとうございます:)

I want to wish all my avid readers a very happy n prosperous new year in the Year of the Pig!! This is a special year cos i'm born in the yr of the pig, being born in 83....

祝 新 年 快 樂 ﹐ 心 想 事 成 ﹐ 萬 事 如 意 。

Friday, February 16, 2007

Homosexuality in Asia II-Asian Movies 2006...同志亞洲系列二 -同志電影2006年份...ゲイアジア 二-ゲイ映画2006年...

Post Two of the Gay Trilogy.....

In this post I shall be introducing the host of Asian films which have come out in 2006 with gay content.....the yr 2006 can be said to be a yr of the 'Gay Wave' with films with gay content or theme proving extremely popular as well as critically well received.

Films and the media are one sure way to gauge the extent to which society is ready to accept certain things and if the number of gay movies being produced in East Asia in the past yr is any indication, audiences in Asia, as well as the society in general is clearly becoming more and more receptive of the idea of homosexuality.....what was once a taboo and sensitive topic has now become a boxoffice draw and sure winner of film awards.....below is a summary of the gay themed mainstream films as well as small independent films which have been released in Asia in the past yr in 2006, to the best of my knowledge:

Taiwan, which has always been the forerunner in gay rights in Asia released 3 films in 2006 which had a gay content. It now appears that any films with gay content is a definite crowd pleaser and awards magnet in Taiwan....and the latest films have continued that tradition. Following on Crystal Boys in 2003 which won awards at the Golden Bell TV Awards as well as formula 17 which won the Best Newcomer Award at Taiwan's Oscar for its main actor, the latest mainstream gay movie, Eternal Summer 盛 夏 光 年 ﹐ did very well at the boxoffices in Taiwan and was also screened in Hong Kong. One of the main actors also won the Best New Comer Awards at the Taiwanese Oscars for his portrayal of a gay man as well. Both the two main actors were nominated at the Taiwanese Golden Horse Awards 金 馬 獎. The film also opened the HK Lesbian and Gay Film Festival last yr.

Eternal Summer 盛 夏 光 年
Official Site (in Chinese) :

Gogo-G Boys: 當 我 們 同 在 一 起

An extremely clever tagline: 男 人 與 男 人 之 間 ﹐ 真 的 有 純 友 誼 嗎 ﹖ 'Is there ever real friendship between men??' (The tagline is refering to the oft-said line that there is never real friendship between men and women﹐ there will always be something sexual ...but they've applied this in a gay context)

A film with Tae, and other pretty well known Taiwanese male actors/models....the fact that well-known male celebrities in Taiwan are not afraid of acting in gay films shows the enormous steps and progress made in terms of acceptance of gays in Taiwan....i mean the actor Zhang Xiao Quan in Eternal Summer has already acted as a gay man in no less than 3 films and TV dramas now...Tae is a Thai-Chinese singer and this is his first feature film i think.

The story is basically Miss Congeniality.......the gay male version. The police receive news that an anti-gay organisation is planning to bomb a gay beauty pageant and decide to send one of their cops undercover to participate in it pretending to be gay. There is just one problem. The cop is not only NOT gay but is a homophobic freak whom dislikes homosexuals. On the other side of town, two guys are the best of friends. As they say, ' they even wear the same underwear growing up'. One is gay and has feelings for the other whilst the other is straight (???) with a girlfriend whom spends like no tomorrow...both decide to enter the beauty pageant contest with the straight guy hoping to win it so as to pay off his gf's debt and maintain their relationship.... Thus starts the adventure with mishaps and beautiful misunderstandings as love blossoms in between and somewhere along....Blog site with trailer and info ( in Chinese):


I didn't know the Filipinos also liked gay themed films until recently....i was kinda surprised given that its a devoutly Catholic country...but it seems gay content films are extremely popular there too judging from the number of gay films released last yr...i'm too lazy to list them all but have a look at the Filipino gay films on offer at the Sydney Gay Lesbian Mardi Gras Film Fest website:

I will briefly mention Manay Po! which seems to be a mainstream gay movie and judging from the trailer, extremely funny and hilarious too:)...
Synopsis: A riotous comedy and yet a touching tale about love and family, Manay Po tells the story of Luz (Cherry Pie Picache), a small time jeweler who dreams of making it big so as to provide a better life for her family. Her life revolves around her brood of three, namely, Oscar (Polo Ravales), Orson (John Prats) and Orwell (Jiro Manio) and her live-in boyfriend Gerry (Christian Vasquez).
With the help of her good friend and maid Maritess (Giselle Sanchez), Luz was able to raise her children normally despite the absence of a husband.
Or so she thought…
Oscar is a rising architect from a major firm and is betrothed to be married to his girlfriend of five years Pauleen (Glaiza de Castro). Unknown to Luz and everyone else, Oscar is a closet homosexual and is keeping his relationship with engineer best friend Adrian Pengson (Luis Alandy) a secret.
Orson, on the other hand, is openly gay, much to Oscar’s discomfort. He is fun-loving, sweet and engaged in numerous extracurricular activities in school. His one true love is his best friend Marky (Mike Tan), whom he always tries to impress by lavishing him with affection.
Then there’s Orwell – a young teener who is at crossroads with regard to his sexuality. Due to his confusion, rwell pretty much keeps to himself. As such, Luz and his two brothers are clueless about his real identity.
In spite of her children’s questionable sexualities, their family paints a picture of a happy family – a home filled with laughter and unconditional love. Then one day, a family crisis involving stolen jewelry jolts Luz out of her seemingly perfect existence. She decides to keep it a secret from her children, wanting to shield them from any form of worry. With Gerry’s help, Luz tries her best to keep the semblance of normalcy within the household and at the same time keeping the family together.
In the end, revelations come tumbling one after the other and Luz finds herself faced with a decision that will shape the future of her family.
Cast: Cherry Pie Picache, Polo Ravales, John Prats, Jiro Manio, Christian Vasquez, Luis Alandy, Glaiza De Castro, Giselle Sanchez, Mike Tan, LJ Reyes, Theo Bernardos, IC Mendoza

Official website with English trailer:

There is one scene where like the architect gay son is with his 'bestfriend' Adrian and his girlfriend and she feeds him some stuff and the 'bestfriend' is jealous and spits out what he was eating as a normal reaction...hahaha..sooooo funny....

I really wanna watch this!!!!!! It looks so freaking funny man....


4.6 Billion Year Love 46 億年の恋

The famous cult director famous for shocking films such as 'Audition' and 'Visitor' Takashi Miike, has brought a gay film in 2006 called '4.6 Billion Year Love' about the dysfunctional love b/w two inmates in a prison.

Official website with trailer: (in Japanese)

BOYS LOVE ボーイズ ラブ

Another gay film from Japan called 'Boy's Love' was also released last yr. Dun know what the story is about but i saw the trailer and didn't really like it.....its on youtube the trailer, just type in 'boys love' .

English synopsis on the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival Program at:

Hong Kong:

As far as i know, there were no gay films released in HK last yr...however, i can introduce some famous gay-themed films released in previous years by HK directors....

Lan Yu 藍 宇 (2001):
This swept the Taiwanese Oscars, Golden Horse Award, winning Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, etc and caused quite a stir for its frank portrayal of the relationship between 2 gay men in 1989, the backdrop being the Tiananmen Square Incident. It is based on the Beijing novel called 'Beijing Story' and directed by the well-known HK director Stanley Kwan. (a gay man himself).
Basically the story is about this young Beijing student whom sleeps with this middle aged guy as he is very poor and needs the money. Thus starts their affair. It goes thru the tumultous time they have with the middle aged guy's unwillingness to be faithful and fooling around with other young men as well as his marriage later with a woman. The story ends in tragedy and i found the ending song so sad.....alas....i think the student shouldn't have gone with the guy but as they say, love is blind...highly recommended if you like tear-jerkers and dramas, like me!

Enter the Phoenix 大 佬 愛 美 麗 (2004):
Another gay production by Jackie Chan's film company JCE (yes, i've realised the world-famous Jackie Chan is pretty supportive of gay themed films,hhhmmm..or maybe he just realises that gay comedies bring in big bucks at the box office...)
The good-looking Daniel Wu (he's already played a gay male in at least 3 other films but he's straight in real life...he's gf is a model) plays a closet gay who's dad is the triad boss. His father is ashamed that his son is gay and sends him off to Thailand ( i think) when hes young. Years later..the father dies and they need him to come bck to 'takeover as leader' or else a fellow triad gang will eliminate their triad....Daniel doesn't wanna be a triad leader and so asks his best friend played by Eason Chan to pretend to be him. They return to Hong Kong and thus starts the fun. Karen Mok is in it too and the funniest scene i found was when she asked him ' Do u have a girlfriend? (Cos she has the hots for Daniel Wu) and he replies 'No..But....i have a boyfriend though'...and u see Karen's face....hehe...
a good comedy for laughs...

Bishonen美 少 年 之 戀 (1998):

And of cos, how can anyone forget THE classic gay Chinese film of all-time....Bishonen. It was only the second mainstream Chinese gay film released in the 9os (the first being the famous Wong Kar-Wai film ' 春 光 乍 泄 ’cast Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung in 1997...that film caused a big stir not only cos it was the first mainstream film with a sole focus on a gay relationship but also because it had two of Hong Kong's top actors playing gay men and a daring gay sex scene in the opening few minutes)

I've introduced this classic, Bishonen, before so to save myself repeating, here's the link to my previous post: ’ and scroll down to the Sept 18 post.

The Korean gay films of last yr will be in my 'Gay Korea Column' in my next and final post of the gay trilogy. So look out for it!!

I hope the above highlights of gay themed mainstream movies in Asia has allowed my readers a greater understanding of the level of progress and acceptance the media and audiences in Asia have reached in recent years....

Homosexuality in Asia series (previous posts introducing gay Asian films):

So head out and give some of the films a try.....u may just find urself enjoying them *wink*

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Thoughts on Homosexuality.....關於同性戀... 同姓愛って話...

Post One of the Gay Trilogy series....
The front cover of a Men's magazine in China (one of those supposedly straight male lifestyle mags which actually target the gay male consumer but at the same time have to be discreet about it....however, judging from this cover (heavily hinting that the guy is aroused and masturbating) and numerous other ones i've seen, they don't seem to be hiding much at all!! More on these 'straight men hiding gay appeal mags' in my next post!

This is probably the most controversial post i have posted to date given the still sensitive topic of homosexuality for some people. I've posted about Homosexuality before as part of my continuing series on 'Homosexuality in Asia' and the 'Gay Korea Column' but the last time i posted was almost a year ago and never in such detail. But i think its time to post again about the subject given that its an area of my interest and the worldwide trend and fascination with 'gay and gay culture' in recent yrs, no doubt in part due to the film 'Brokeback Mountain'. There is also an undeniably clear trend and general consensus amongst societies across the globe that same-sex love should now be respected and tolerated and that past condemnation and discrimination against gay and lesbian men and women should no longer be allowed.

My personal belief is that most gay and lesbians are born that way which means that homosexuality is a natural occurence which happens not only in the human species but also the animal has been reported recently that 'gay penguins,dolphins, and other animals' exists by scientific studies which tend to indicate the natural occurence of homosexuality....of cos that is not to doubt the existence of straight people whom 'turn gay' as a result of environmental factors such as having been sexually abused by men in the past or being in an all-male environment for lengthy periods of time without access to sex with women (e.g. the prison and military)....however i believe that those whom are straight but 'turned gay' will change bck straight again when they are given the proper treatment (for those straight people whom have experienced sexual abuse or rape) or when access to sex with women becomes available (for those prison and military men). I, however, refuse to believe that naturally born gay people can somehow be 'turned straight' again....if it were that easy, then homosexuality would have been eradicated long ago with all the hedious inhumane 'electric shock' "treatment" ( i would classify that as torture really...)and systematic, intense, discrimination of the past....conditions which would have stamped out homosexuality if it were not a natural condition.
Gay Russian Magazine Cover...the guy is cute and sexy hey? Maybe the saying 'all the good men are either married or gay' is true after all? hahaha

A message for the right-wing conservative Christians and conservative parents of gay people:

Yes, homosexuality is not an ideal. It would have been better if the world didn't have homosexuals. The human body is simply not made out for sex between two members of the same sex, especially for two men. The anus is not the cleanest of areas to stick a di*k in i suppose and it doesn't have the elasticity of the vagina causing more pain and tearable as compared to the vagina.....BUT and this is an important BUT, we don't live in an ideal world....if the world was an ideal place and i had my way, men (this OBVIOUSLY includes straight men!!) wouldn't be as horny as they are now and straight men wouldn't watch nor read pornography, beat up their wives, like action movies and videogames where they compete to kill enemies (eg warcraft and other violent games which are so popular amongst the straight male population), people wouldn't read alcohol and get drunk and smoke all of which is bad for the body and there would be no wars and rape and murder...however we sadly do not live in such an ideal world. Of cos, some things which occur and seem impossible to stop cannot be tolerated just because they seem impossible to eradicate such as the rape of women, child abuse and paedophilia. It all comes down to where we are prepared to draw the line between what is tolerable and what is not. (please note that all i am asking for is tolerance not acceptance...we can learn to tolerate some stuff as acceptable and legal behaviour but it doesn't mean we have to accept it as encouragable behaviour or morally upright behaviour). I am thus proposing that the parents of gay children and conservative Christians tolerate gays and lesbians and not view it as condemnable behaviour that MUST be stamped out. it should fall within the category of 'tolerable behaviour' as opposed to the category of 'intolerable behaviour' such as rape and incest.

I mean u can even view homosexuality as the mildest form of disability akin to being blind, deaf, handicapped,etc and if we don't say 'lets try to make all those handicapped people normal', then why should we say 'lets try to make all gay people normal?' Of cos some will say as society is increasingly becoming more and more accepting and even celebrating gay and lesbian and gay culture, will this be actually 'encouraging' straight people to 'become gay' too?? Given that i already said i believe most people are born gay, i simply think its extremely simplistic and ignorant to think that simply celebrating gay culture, showing gay relationships on mainstream tv and movies and telling children that being gay is ok will 'turn straight people gay'....cos if anyone has given any thought on the matter, if it were indeed so easy to 'straight ppl into gay ppl' then how is it that with centuries upon centuries of suppression and extreme discrimination against gay ppl and with all mainstream culture and media showing only straight love, that gays have nevertheless continued to exist throughout human civilisation with even famous ppl like Alexander the Great and Oscar Wilde being gay??.....Clearly, if thousands of yrs of suppression and ignorance regarding homosexuality has not managed to 'turn' gay ppl straight then movies, parades and an environment supportive of gays and lesbians is certainly NOT going to turn straight ppl gay....give it a thought, it all makes simple sense...really.

Designer label frequented by gay men...u've got to admit gay men simply have more style and fashion sense on the whole as compared to straight men....look at this underwear, its so ooooo freakin delicious and sexy isn't it? Straight men should learn a thing or two from gay men when it comes to the dress sense department....i'm sure the girls would appreciate it ;)

A message for gay and lesbians:

First of all, for those ready to skin me alive for saying above that homosexuals are akin to disabled people and are undesirable, LET ME EXPLAIN. Its no use telling right-wing christians and conservatives about the virtues of anal sex and how great being gay is cos i personally think it WON'T work. You've got to persuade them using a form of mentality which they subscribe to. I of cos don't think being gay is bad and gay ppl are all disabled ppl lar...duh duh...haha...

Well, back to the topic. Nothing much for lesbians really cos i don't think there is much problem with lesbian relationships...haha...i can be a real 'right-wing' feminist so i think women-women love is not a problem actually...its already proven by at least some studies that the rate of HIV and STD infection amongst lesbian relationships is even lower than straight male-female relationships which shows that from a sexual point at least, lesbian sex ain't all that bad!

For the gay men, i do think there are a few problems. Firstly, i think there should not be that much bitching. I think the gay male culture of bitching about others is really not that healthy. Also, the constant obssession with having a great body and external beauty can be pretty superficial i think and i feel being gay should be much more than just having absolutely fabulous abs and calves....really the gay habit of asking for 'measurements' in chatrooms and MSN is pretty distasteful i think and reduces ppl to a set of numericals (for straight audiences, it is quite common for some gay men to ask ppl they dun really know their weight, height, chest size and 'length of manhood' on the internet)

Of cos then there is the gay saunas and having sex with random strangers u've just met at the gay club or gay bar like 2-3 hrs wonders why the HIV rate of gay men is so much higher than straight men when there is just so much more sex with strangers happening in the gay man's world...

if gay men want respect from society they will have to start earning it. And having group sex or random sex with strangers in saunas is not gonna earn respect from the public. I still remember vividly i was in Taiwan when the news rebroadcasted one of the big news of 2004 which was when police raided a 'gay homeparty' (轟趴) and found 93 gay men engaging in group sex...13 were later tested HIV positive and over half of all the 'participants' had STDs...the term 'homeparty' even entered into popular Taiwanese lingua after this incident (農安街轟趴事件)....i can always remember the cameras panning into a room FULL of naked men squatting and hiding their faces...the first time i had seen so many men naked in a room before...there have been many more TV news reports of 'gay homeparties' since then...certainly NOT good publicity for gay men whom want so much for society to accept them...

I think many gay men use the excuse that straight 'rules' don't apply to gay relationships or gay men in general but i think thats TOTAL BULLSHIT to put it quite frankly. All straight conventions such as being faithful to ur partner, not having random sex with strangers should also apply to gay men. Given that its always advocated that gay love deserves the same respect as straight love and is equal to straight love, then all the responsiblities which come with straight love should also be equally applied to gay love. You simply just can't ask for the same rights without being willing to adhere to the same responsibilities as straight relationships.

Further, I've come to realise that gay relationships don't seem to last long with many friends and online diaries of gay men showing that there seems to be a 'three month curse' for gay male relationships. This basically means gay male couples generally split within three mths. Of cos many last longer, but on the whole most seem to last a mere 3 mths...and of those which last 2,3,4, and more yrs...there is a web of cheating, sleeping around with other men whilst the boyfriend is away...u know....sigh....sometimes when u think about the state of gay men and their relationships, u do wonder whether the Christian condemnation of the 'gay lifestyle' rings any truth to it? I really wonder sometimes....

So basically, although i think the feelings for the same sex is just too strong to change gay men and women straight, i'm not totally supportive of the gay community as seen by my critique of the gay male culture i think conservatives should learn to accept gay and lesbians and their right to love whilst at the same time, gay men should learn to accept the right of christians and others to think that homosexuality is tolerable but undesirable as well as start changing some behaviour which is unacceptable....

I would like to address 1 more point which i frequently hear from Christians whom oppose homosexuality. Its if we accept homosexuality now, whats next? Incest, sex with animals, paedophilia? Well, i won't even deal with the point on sex with animals cos its so disrespectful and absurd that seriously if those christians and other ppl can't differentiate b/w a human being having sex with another human being (who happens to be of the same sex) and with an animal (a TOTALLY DIFFERENT species) then goodluck to them!!!

As to incest, again, its a totally different thing cos its mating with ur own family member whilst homosexuality is about with other ppl...thus if it were a gay man having sex with his own brother or uncle (eeewwww.....)then i would be totally opposed to it...

The paedophilia point is the hardest to rebutt i admit but seriously i think children can't be taken to know whom they like and want to have sex with whereas 2 consenting adults of the same sex do know what they want and shouldn't be prohibited from having sex with each other simply cos they're the same sex.

And remember, homosexuality isn't about sex alone. Its about love.....a love that dares not speak its name simply because its different from the majority, different from what is socially accepted as 'normal'. The love between two men and two women can be just as romantic if not more...and isn't it true that only men know what men want and women know what women really need? I mean even the sexual drives of men and women are different and same-sex love can be a good thing in that respect.

Then there are those whom say that homosexuality erodes the family and marriages...but i'm sorry, many factors are undermining the state of families and marriages and homosexuality is at the BOTTOM of that list.....straight men having affairs, straight men visiting prostitutes, straight men beating their wives, straight men being too preoccupied with work and ignoring their wives needs, wives not caring enough, wives having affairs and lack of commitment amongst the younger generation are all important factors contributing towards the erosion of the family unit and marriages. So for those truely concerned Christians, these are the real problems that should be addressed, NOT homosexuality. Its all too easy to blame it all on homosexuality when the real problem lies elsewhere.

To end, I still remember clearly when i first came into contact with homosexuality and started researching into of the first blogs i came across was by a Taiwanese gay couple.....i mean both of them were so cute and manly u wouldn't have known they were gay! (Thats one of the things i've learnt now also, many gay men simply don't fit into the sissy image that popular culture still seem to attach to them.....many are so freakin good lookin with such clothing style and nice skin it would make any girl jealous they were gay!!) They were holding hands and hugging each other and it opened up my eyes to a whole new world of possiblities given that i had no gay friends at that time and there were not much gay movies at the time also....i was taken abk...the sight of 2 gay men holding was really romantic and i was touched....but one of the things which really touched me was this series of photos showing one of the guys waiting for his boyfriend who was sitting for the all-important university entrance exam....i mean it was one of the most romantic things i've ever seen, even more romantic than birthday bashes for ur partner or a hug and kiss cos imagine going into one of the most important examinations of ur life knowing that the person u love most in this world is waiting outside for u...awwwww......that image has forever remained etched in my memory....

So let's all learn to live together and accept differences shall we?
Love transcends all, including gender.....cos love is a wonderful it Straight or Gay:)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sydney Life Photos...雪梨生活照 ...シドニーの生活ピクス...

Japanese Ebi Kare (Prawn Curry Rice)
Mango Crepe Dessert
Fireworks at Darling Harbour New Years Countdown 2007
Australia Day at Hyde Park
Korean TV commercial filming at Martin Place
Korean postal service at Strathfield (Sydney's Koreatown??)

Postcards on top of my fridge....

It has been AGES now since i last posted....and so i think my readers would wanna know just whats been happenin in my life.....basically had a good rest during the NY hols and went bck to work...some places i've been to in Sydney till now are: Strathfield, Bondi Beach, Hurstville, Chatswood, Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Paddington, Parramatta, Fish Market, Leichardt, Manly Beach, Burwood and many other places....

There is this really nice bar and restaurant called 'Ice Berg' at Bondi Beach....the view across to the swimming pool by the sea at the club as well as Bondi Beach is simply stunning, definitely recommended for those visiting sydney....

Went to Strathfield a couple of times, its like Sydney's Koreatown with koreans like everywhere......they have Korean restaurants, shops, groceries, karaoke, and even a koreapost there!! I thought the Korea end of Pitt St was Koreatown??...guess not....strathfield is definitely Sydney's Koreatown....

Kings Cross is ok i guess given that i am not into girls strip shows and sleazy places....but a nice experience nevertheless....

Oxford Street, the world renowned gay strip of Sydney is interesting....its much less 'gay' than i assumed and you could be walking down Oxford without even knowing its the gay area of Sydney....of cos u can see plenty of obviously gay men walking along Oxford street, esp at night.....and not to mention the gay pubs and clubs as well as array of gyms there....AND the gay fact there is one right across the video rental 'Civic Video' which i visited once....(i mean the video store not the sauna!! duhhh...)

Went to Paddington which is like a well-known shopping area in Sydney 2-3 weeks ago and visited the Paddington Market which sells a range of stuff like clothes to isn't as good as Melbourne's Chapel St though...i prefer Chapel St anyday...much longer and much more shopping choices....but i still like Paddington...even has such a nice name..hehe...

Then there is Parramatta which i took the ferry takes about 45-50mins by ferry from Circular Quay and i loved the experience. The cool weather with the refreshing breeze sweeping across your face....nice of my fav past times and joys of Sydney is actually taking the ferry across Sydney Harbour now...i simply love taking the ferry and feeling the cool breeze across ur face as well as admiring the amazing scenery of the Sydney skyline...which explains why i love going to Manly so often...hehe...for those visiting Sydney, a ferry trip to Manly Beach is absolutely vital!!

Some places remind me of Tokyo like this underpassage in Burwood (another shopping suburb of Sydney) and shop alleys in Paddington.....

Spent Australia Day in Hyde Park where there was a carnival with vintage cars on display and food stalls....i almost felt as if i had stepped into a film set there cos of all the vintage cars lined up right along the barricaded road which they had shut off....seriously... it was as if i had stepped back into the 1960s in Wong Kar Wai's 'In the Mood for Love'!!

Also passed by this korean advertisement shoot on Martin Place (Sydney's Wall Street aka financial centre) a couple of wks back now which was really interesting given that i have never seen a commercial being shot before...

I had plans to visit Canberra, Australia's national capital on Australia Day weekend but it was cancelled last minute cos i was just too tired to can be very exhaustive u know...and the weekends are much needed time for me to rejuvenate and relax...haha

Tmw i shall be attending the Chinese New Year Parade held annually in the city artery in should be fantastic....and then i will also be stopping by the Chinese New Year Carnival at Belmore Park near Central Station...
Then later this mth, i have plans to watch this movie which i had wanted to watch and was delightfully surprised to discover was scheduled to be screened at the Mardi Gras Film Festival called ' The Way We Write' (寫字魔法) about a gay Taiwanese man whom has moved to China with his boyfriend and his strained relationship with his aging father....still haven't bought the tix yet tho cos i called ticketing system and they said plenty of seats left......

Well................... thats all the updates for now but dun worry i have a series of posts on a topic close to my heart coming up later in the next couple of days...its an area of my interest which i haven't blogged about for almost a year already!! So do await in anticipation:):):)

More pix on my online photo album at: