Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Tibet Issue, Media Coverage, and My Thoughts..西藏和媒体報道...チベットとメデアーの報道...

I didn't really want to post this as I've never really posted on anything which was such a politically sensitive and highly charged topic (if you count out the WW2 and Japan posts which i write frequently on...haha) but I thought I would anyways cos I wanna let out what I feel about this issue.

This would also be the second China-related post I've done in my entire blogging life (after my recent trilogy on Taiwan) and my very first post on China itself, given that Taiwan is a China-related topic but certainly isn't part of China, being a sovereign nation in itself.

I wasn't really interested in the whole Tibet uprising in its early stages but as the media attention continued, the torch relay protests expanding, counter-protests by Chinese, and the boycott of Carrefour as well as the 'I Heart China' campaign on MSN, I decided to read up on the facts and the media reportage. I managed to watch a whole lot of youtube videos on CNN, BBC, and Taiwanese, HK, and Japanese media reports on the incident and how they reported it. I also read the collection of media articles by both Western and Chinese journalists on the Tibet riots and after all that, never felt as confused as I do now. I mean I've always been pretty pro-Tibet and although I've always been opposed to Tibetan independence, I've always been sympathetic to their plight and feel that more can be done to address their grievances as well as to give them more autonomy, such as in the Hong Kong case...maybe another SAR region for Tibet whereby Tibetans govern all domestic matters leaving only diplomacy and military matters in the control of the Central Government in Beijing??

But after seeing the videos and media articles, I was abit shaken by the Western (and Taiwanese and Japanese too!!) media bias as I always had great confidence in these media sources and felt that they could ALWAYS be trusted on any China-related issues as opposed to the mainland Chinese media which as everyone is well aware, is highly controlled and restricted in its ability to report without a bias towards favouring Beijing's official line. But this Tibet incident really made me less accepting of Western media outlets now and reminded me of the need to always accept all news critically, whether from Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, or Western media was totally fair, unbiased, or objective in its nature.

To be fair, the western media, after strong protests from Chinese netizens (which form a powerful force now) shifted their pro-Tibet biased reporting and were generally more balanced in reporting the Tibet issue and the uprising towards the end of the affair.

I am glad the Chinese have been protesting as I do feel their grievances are valid...and it showed me for the first time that the Western media could be biased as well according to what people wanted to see....for instance I've heard that Western reporters like to go into China and interview people about freedom of speech, human rights, etc and when they don't get the responses they 'want to hear' they get dissapointed. eg.: We are suffering in China, there is no freedom of speech in China, the one child policy is horrendous and i suffered alot, or gays have no freedom in China and we are persecuted, get the picture..

On the current issue of Tibet, initially there was absolutely no report of Tibetans looting, burning, and even killing ethnic Han Chinese in the uprising...all you got was Chinese tanks going in and crushing the rebellion...of course, later on, we came to know much of the destruction wrought by the Tibetan rioters...basically Chinese stores were marked and looted and destroyed and Chinese people were attacked on the streets with rocks and stones thrown at them...all for being ethnic Chinese...and the chinese media also reported ethnic chinese hiding in their homes and speaking in hushed tones for fear that Tibetan rioters would hear their Mandarin dialect and attack them in their fact, I think there was an improvement with the Olympics truly having made China more democratic than before...i mean Western tourists (actually all foreigners) were allowed to stay in Tibet throughout the worst of the uprising and even one Western reporter was officially allowed to go into Tibet and report by the Chinese government...I mean they could have easily cancelled his pre-approved permit....later, the Chinese govt even organised an officially approved foreign journalist group tour of Tibet and allowed monks to interrupt the session for over 15 mins during the process and speak their mind...people say the monk's interruption embarrassed the chinese govt, but really these ppl have no idea of the power and dictatorship of the chinese govt, if it had wanted to prevent these monks from reaching the reporters, it could easily have done so, and not allowed them to stay for 15 mins..the chinese govt could have easily locked them away somewhere or even if they managed to come drag them out in 5 mins at max and not allow for the Tibetan monks to vent their anger for a whole 15 mins before being hauled away by authorities...this is an important improvement and I think we should give encouragement and approval where its due instead of complaining endlessly about how bad the Chinese government is.

Then not only were foreigners allowed to remain (unlike in 1989, when all foreigners and reporters were kicked out of Tibet and where the government crushed the revolution from day one) but the government allowed the Tibetan rioters to rampage thru the city of Lhasa for 2 full days before clamping down, and even then, it was reported the People's Liberation Army units were not fully armed and it was clear that the government was well aware of international attention on how it would handle the situation and thus was keen to avoid a repeat of the 'Tiananmen Incident' of 1989 where it crushed student dissent and calls for democracy. I mean i found the government really improved this time round precisely due to the Olympics and so Western and Japanese reports of the government 'mercilessly' crushing down on the uprising is hardly true... i mean even pictures of tanks being brought in is reported as crushing the uprising...i mean the rioters have caused havoc on the streets and are looting shops and harming people based on their ethnicity, what do you expect any sane government to do?? Just allow the riots to go on??? Similarly when police arrest people suspected of being involved in the rioting, the media in the west and in taiwan and japan make it seem like it was 'crushing down on dissent', i mean even in the West, you would still arrest people for destroying public as well as private property right?? Why does it all of a sudden become 'undemocratic' when it happens in China?

Similarly, I've seen British and French police manhandling protesters during the Olympic torch relay (often very violently and with much force) but I don't see media reports of 'police brutality' when this happens in the West....and of cos, if it happens in China it becomes exactly that..I think sometimes theres a double standard working here...

Similarly, when Tibetans and their supporters chant 'Tibetans are being killed' or there's 'cultural genocide' in Tibet, its simply misinformation and platantly untrue. Chinese authorities do NOT go around killing off Tibetans in Lhasa or in Tibet as if it were a modern-day 'holocaust' and extermination process nor is Tibetan culture banned or purposely sidelined. In fact, the Chinese authorities actively promote Tibetan culture and its language for tourism purposes as tourism revenues are vital for the economy of Tibet and for keeping stability in place...where's the 'cultural genocide'? Even street signs and govt buildings have Tibetan script written on them which was something that surprised me, heck, many nations do not have such progessive minority policies in place and I think China should be given due credit for its minority policies...even in Malaysia whereby 40% of the population is non-Malay (the majority population) minority scripts such as Chinese or Tamil are not used on road signs nor govt buildings...of cos minority words are used but always in the majority script, China also uses Tibetan names written in Chinese but puts up Tibetan script above the Chinese thus allowing for dual writing systems on its public roads...hardly 'cultural genocide' no?? And further, this is done for all of China's autonomous regions (as far as i know) whereby minority groups with large populations for example in Yanbian in the north, bordering N.Korea, Korean script is used alongside Chinese on roads and public buildings (again; correct me; if i'm wrong)...Tibet forms an autonomous region of China and thus is allowed greater autonomy than the rest of it isn't fair to say that Tibet is so 'mercilessly oppressed' when its fact, being a minority such as Tibetan is much better in China than being a Han in some significant minorities in China are free from the one-child policy meaning a Tibetan can have more than one child whilst an ethnic Han Chinese cannot, and also extra marks are added on to the all-important university entrance exam scores such that minorities such as Tibetans and Mongols and Koreans can get into university places easier. Now, this type of 'affirmative action' policies in favour of minorities (i've heard of Chinese friends whom say people actually want to be listed officially as a minority race if they have some minority blood in them just to get the benefits) is prob never reported in the West cos it doesn't fit into the 'big bad stereotype' of China.

I am not trying to help China or the Chinese state but i just feel in terms of minority policies and Tibet it isn't as bad as its made out to be, IN MY OPINION. (very important qualification as this is just my personal opinion, a subjective opinion, cos i'm sure there'll be others who disagree strongly with me and say its living hell in Tibet) That, however, isn't a blank check for the Chinese authorities to ignore the grievances of the Tibetan people cos something is obviously failing in its Tibet policy for this uprising to have occured and thus its Tibetan policy MUST change. I believe the Dalai Lama is not to blame for the riots and attempts by the Chinese to tarnish his image incessantly has failed and so they should start a dialogue with him constructively and stop painting him as a 'devil'. I think its counterproductive and given that the Dalai Lama is merely asking for more autonomy for Tibet (he has never once asked for full Tibetan Independence) China can clearly negotiate and hold talks with him. I don't understand why it isn't willing to do so when the Dalai Lama's demands are not impossible to meet. Similarly, whilst the Western and Japanese media could well do more to highlight the damage to Chinese and Hui (another minority group living in Lhasa) livelihoods and casualties during the Tibetan uprising recently, the mainland Chinese media should also not ignore the causes and grievances of the Tibetans of the recent uprising and not simply highlight Chinese loss whilst ignoring the arrests of Tibetan monks peacefully protesting, as well as the sincere demands of the Tibetan people for greater autonomy.

Lets just hope there is a peaceful solution to this issue and some kind of meaningful and peaceful dialogue will assume between the Dalai Lama (whom i respect greatly) and the Chinese govt after the recent Tibetan uprising.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sydney Life and Food Photos 2008....雪梨近日生活.......シドニーの最近の生活....

Just some photos of my life and foodie pix from recently....

Above: My favourite Bacon n Scrambled Eggs on Toast at my favourite cafe in Sydney...forgot the name of the cafe, haha..i just know how to get there, its in the downtown cbd area in sydney..

Above: Some street performance near Hyde Park....

Above: Thai-Style Hainanese Chicken Rice at Chat Thai, one of my fav Thai places in Sydney...its really really good n yummy there and they have tons of thai desserts which you can't really find the mango n sticky rice thing, coconout with durian paste, and many many more...

Above: Taiwanese Bento (Fried Pork Ribs with Rice Bento)...
Above:Taiwanese side dishes from Cho Dumpling House, tofu with octopus:)
Miso Restaurant, World Square....nice Japanese spot, price is reasonable n food great...i especially like the side dishes they give, which can be seen above (the three small bowls).
The train station for the Royal Easter was built for the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 actually and the Olympic Stadium,etc are now used for other events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show...
Above: Station exit towards Royal Easter Show.
Below: Fireworks at the Royal Easter Show.

I also went to the Royal Sydney Easter Show during the Easter was pretty boring actually except for the show at the very end which was quite spectacular with race cars, dangerous stunts, and what i liked the most, the fireworks, cos it was the very first time I could see fireworks up close whilst in the comfort of my seat...since as u know, usually firework displays during NYE or other times are usually seen in crowds and where u have to wait like 2 hrs in advance just to get a good viewing spot...but not this time! I could enjoy it sitting comfortably in my seat..

Besides eating n hanging out with frens, I also caught up with some old classmates of mine and had some reunions of i posted, i caught up with some people in KL on my recent trip to KL and when i came bck, I also met up with a friend from my primary school days, someone I hadn't seen in more than 12 yrs...met up in newtown (as he lives there..) and had thai food...he's changed alot n we're very different but i am glad to catch up on our respective lives since our primary days...I also managed to meet up with another old classmate of mine, this time from secondary school days as she so happened to come to Sydney on a business trip...caught up on old times at a Thai restaurant just off Oxford St, it was as if time stopped as we reminiscined and updated each other, she hadn't changed one abit either personality wise or even physically!! It was as if the 8 yrs that had gone passed was a mere 8 months,haha:)
Above and Below:

At 'bills'....the famous sydney restaurant chain for organic breakfast and hot ricotta cakes with maple syrup...went there twice, highly overrated in my opinion with the ricotta cakes being tasteless n bland...but apparently its world famous for some reason...yawn...
Below: Art gallery of Nsw...i took some (forbidden) pics inside of the paintings using my cam's special 'museum' mode...hahah...

Below: Japanese tea ceremony inside the Asian Art Gallery section...
Above and below: Photos of the paintings and art displays inside the Art Gallery of NSW which is situated near The Domain (a nice little public field)....
Above: At Young Alfreds at Customs House, Circular Quay with my japanese language partner helping me out with my Japanese.
Below: Sushi Tei near Wynyard Sta. Reasonably priced food, great atmosphere, good looking ppl and so a fantastic place for people-watching...(haha...alot of cute Australian-Chinese and Indonesian-Chinese guys and girls like to come here, i noticed...)

Above: Thai Festival held during Songkran at Darling Harbour...loads of thai food, performances,etc...i really really liked the hand-painted umbrellas, so tempted to buy one, basically the decorations u see on the umbrella above were all drawn on-the-spot from scratch!! I' m not kiddin!
Above: Sukiyaki Nabe at Sushi Rio near Darling Harbour.
Above: My favourite Penang 'specialty biscuits' called Beh Teh Saw by Him Heang which is like the most famous store in Penang.
Above: Loved it at first sight...VERY suitable for someone like me...ppl are always surprised and amazed at how messy my room is...they just don't expect it looking at me...haha..

Below: Spanish Food n Dancing at The Spanish Club near World Square....the food is pretty good n they have a Spanish performance on weekends too:)

Yum Cha at 同楽轩, Pitt St...the place is usually packed but the food is not fantastic n quite expensive too..

More pix at my online photo album:

Till my next post...:)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Gay News Around Asia-Pacific/Early 08…亚洲同志新闻/ 5月号….アジアゲイのニュース

This is another update for my ongoing series called 'Gay News around Asia-Pacific', my purpose for this is to highlight whats going on in LGBT issues in Asia and the Pacific so as to provide gay asians out there some positive role models and news to counter the perception amongst some gay asians (usually those english speaking ones and whom are into western media) that big strides are being made in the West in terms of gay rights and gay visibility in the media when in fact big advancements also being made in Asia (well..Asia is a big place and so theres huge variations but at least for the Chinese speaking world) Asians whom happen to be gay should also be proud of the advances in LGBT rights being made in the media and in society in our own area. I think its important and will be interesting for my straight readers too! However, in this post i shall talk abit about my thoughts on lesbians, as well as include a section on gay western media as I've recently come to actually like some of the western gay media (which isn't surprising given that i hardly watch any western entertainment, much less those with gay content)

Anyways, first off, I would like to provide some links for ppl whom understand Mandarin on shows that dealt with LGBT issues in the Chinese media in recent yrs. Many of these shows were very well known talk shows and the way they handled the issue was extremely positive and in a positive way....there were many many many shows but I've only managed to find a couple of shows which are able to be watched online so here goes:

Mainland China:

The mainland Chinese shows really surprised me as I always thought that China was much more socially backwards and less open towards gay issues, but not so!

Below is the link to two shows that dealt with the issue, both broadcasted on Phoenix Cable (which for those of u whom aren't familiar with the China scene, is apparently the most famous cable network in China with a wide reach audience and widely watched in mainland china) on the famous talk show 鲁豫有约. Now, any topics on this show will reach a huge audience as its arguably Phoenix's most well-known and most watched talk show program. One episode dealt with lesbians and another with gays in China. They even showed a gay couple whom adopted a son from a relative and now the son is an adult, calls one his father and the other his 'uncle'. They even attended his wedding (he's married to a woman with a child now) as the 'parents' at a Chinese Wedding Ceremony!!! I know, how totally 'unbelievable'!! To think that there are same-sex families with children now in China and even being able to attend their son's wedding as the parents was totally unbelievable to me...i mean at a traditional chinese wedding, the arrangement of seats and order in which and in what capacity hosts speak is all-important which meant that allowing both men to sit at the main table and to be recognised as the parents to me was a social breakthrough and very significant. Of cos, the parents did think about whether one of them shouldn't go up on stage so as not to embarass their son in front of the hundreds of wedding guests(some didn't know yet) but their son insisted that both men should attend his wedding as his 'parents' sweet...anyways, there are other shows dealing with gays too (at last count, Ru Yu You Yue has dealt with lgbt issues in two episodes and another show also on phoenix cable called 冷暖人生has done three shows on it, there maybe more, but these are just the ones i caught) , so watch them for urself:

So yeah, mainland China is surprisingly open about lgbt issues now, at least in the media, with the above tv programs as well as the China Daily (which is state-owned and tends to reflect the government's viewpoint and their position on certain issues, either political or social) article on gays being extremely sympathetic and positive on gays published earlier this yr asking chinese people to accept gay people and not to be prejudiced or discriminate against them. (article in my earlier post here:


Well, its no surprise that gays and lesbians are highly visible in Taiwanese media, it being arguably THE MOST GAY-FRIENDLY country in Asia. Below are links to a show by Li Qing, one of the top female talk show hosts in Taiwan dealing with an episode on 'gay life' and bringing in ordinary taiwanese gay and lesbians to talk about their lives, their hobbies, hangouts, and love life.

Link here:

Even for those whom don't understand mandarin, its interesting to still have a look as they show gays and lesbians on one side and you can see many don't look gay at all, thus helping to dispel myths and stereotypes amongst average ppl (and taiwanese society)about what gay people look like....

Here's a link to Cai Kang Yong's long-running show (now ended and something akin to Larry King on CNN in terms of both prestige and the well-known status of that show) and the show where he interviewed Li Qing in 2004 shortly after her 'past' was exposed in an expose by one of the gossip mags in Taiwanese. The thing i liked about this interview and which also reflects how much Taiwan and Taiwanese media had changed was that Cai himself, the host, is openly gay and also happens to be one of the top three male talk show shows/writers/celebrity in Taiwan and he was interviewing Li Qing, which is arguably currently one of the top female hosts in Taiwan and a male-female transgender person! So you had an openly gay top talk show host man interviewing an openly transgender woman on a top talk show in Taiwan, how cool's that!! Link:

What touched me alot about the interview was how Li Qing talked about her experiences to get to where she is now, one of the most successful talk show hosts in Taiwan, married to her husband, and extremely wealthy (she's estimated to be worth alot of money!). And the best thing was god really blessed her, you'd think being a middle aged transgender female, she wouldn't be able to succeed in an industry where looks are so important (and she did despite being born male AND no longer young when she became this well-known) and also be able to marry a guy whom loves her and is actually more than 10 yrs younger than her!!

She really bits all the odds and provides a positive role model for lgbt and especialyl transgender people....i mean heck, even 'natural' women would have trouble succeeding in the entertainment industry if they entered in their mid 30s or find a man willing to love a woman more than 10 yrs his senior, but Li Qing did!! And what touched me the most was how Li Qing's husband accepted her 'past' (she only confessed after marriage, apparently he wasn't aware of her 'past' before marriage) and the day she told him (cos she was getting popular and rumours were already abounding that the papparazzi in Taiwan was going to 'out' she knew she had to tell her husband truthfully lest the consequences if he were to find out in a gossip mag and not by her) he didn't even need like a day or two to think it over BUT said immediately 'so what? i've always liked the present you, i don't know about your past and i don't think i will ever understand ur past. what matters now is ur present.' oh my goodness....he's sooooo loving and kind, what a great man!!!!!!! I mean ur wife just tells u that she used to be a man and you dun even care? Man, everyone should be so jealous of Li Qing to have such a wonderful husband like that, one whom doesn't care that his public figure wife is not only 10 yrs and more older than him but is also a transgender woman...since then of cos his pictures have been published and he has been 'outed' as well... as the husband of the transgender talk show host...but from what i gather, the 'outing' of Li Qing not only didn't affect her celebrity status, it even helped her become even more famous!! it seemed like with the saturated taiwanese entertainment tv show market, what could be better than a beautiful transgender host! But one thing i like is her 'transgenderism' has not affected and been made a 'selling point' of her shows and guests and topics never touch on her transgender identity...basically if u watch her shows, they never talk about her transgender nature and everyone refers her as 'Li Qing Jie' which means 'Sister Li Qing' and the transgender bit is simply not made an issue of which is pretty mature considering how it could have been exploited by unscrupulous Taiwanese producers (well known for producing shows whereby women are made to wear bikinis and play 'games' of throwing water,etc so that u get to see as much nipple imprints or 'peeking out' as possible...ewwww.i hate those shows, so degrading towards women...)


I've always liked lesbians cos i'm a big time feminist and so i'm sure we'll have much in common, e.g. why's all these pretty girls hanging out,attached, or married to big, fat, unstylish looking straight men whom dun care peanuts about their looks??! Like huh? Hahaha...i know i'm abit mean but this is what i always think when i walk around and see all these nice pretty girls with less than impressive looking straight hello? its not fair! And I of all people should be saying whats that cute guy doing with that girl! Cos i like guys (obviously!) and so should be jealous of the women but surprisingly, for me, its ALWAYS the other way round...u can see how shallow straight (well gay ones too) men are... i mean everytime i see a couple, i can always tell why the straight guy is with the girl, i mean just in terms of looks, the girls are always invariably better looking, nice make-up, at least take care of how they dress, i mean i can tell what the guy is attracted to ( i am sure she's got a great personality,etc...but even just in terms of looks u can tell how the girl could attract the guy...) BUT in terms, of guys, i am always wondering 'what does she see in him? It must be the personality cos i sure don't find him physically attractive....yea. so after all that rant i would have alot of common topics to talk about with lesbians...haha...any asian lesbians reading this, esp those in Sydney, do drop a note, i'd love being friends:)

And also one thing i can't stand is my gay friends whinging about how tough its like been gay, how its easier for girls cos in Asia women can hold hands, go arm in arm shopping, be all touchy with each other and its completely fine....i mean heck, stop complaining! Its ten, no, hundred times better being gay than lesbian ok!! Yea, so u can't go shopping hand in hand with ur boyfriend whilst the lesbian can with her g/f without stares from strangers but gay men are still priviledged by the very fact that they are still MEN and being a man in Asia can mean more and bring more priviledges than any impairment that being gay brings. Firstly, men earn more, gay or otherwise, so gay men almost always earn more than women, even straight ones!! So a gay man will actually still be more well-off financially than a straight woman, and much less a lesbian!! Then, there is the fact that gay men occupy many of the top positions in society such as managerial positions, in government, etc which lesbians don't and furthermore, gay men have so-called 'gay occupations' which are environments which are highly tolerant of gay men, eg. flight attendant, make-up artist (almost fully gay i would say), fashion designers, magazine editors, the entire creative industry basically, hair dressers, shoe makers, women's products, the list goes, name me a lesbian occupation? I can't think of one...well, maybe women's soccer..hahaha...but how many one to become a soccer professional...

Then even in the lgbt arena, almost all the gay magazines which are famous and all gay media and outlets such as gay bars first and foremost target and are for gay men...i mean some gay bars don't even allow women in, so no lesbians as well and due to the financial constraints of lesbians, they simply don't have that much money, unlike gay men whom earn more and can afford to open gay bars, gay pubs, set up gay businesses and gay media....which all target gay MEN and some wholly so to the exclusion of lesbian women...i mean i was literally amazed when two yrs ago i checked out this very well known gay asia friendship web portal with info on gay pubs,bars,etc in each asian city and the page for singapore (this portal is singaporean owned) under lesbians showed up zero, ziltch! places for lesbians to hangout and relax with their friends whereas there were like 5 to 6 different places/discos/parties for gay was simply amazing for me and i was quite appalled...and Hong Kong has these gay boat parties whereby 20 or so privately owned luxury ships are pooled together for this annual boat party for gay men and once again whenever i see the advertisements for this event every yr on this SG gay website i visit (where i get some of my info for my knowledge of gay and lesbians issues) i always wonder why a similar event is never held for lesbians? Of cos, i could guess the answer, it was cos gay men, like all men, are simply richer and more financially well-off compared to lesbians and could actually afford or own some of these luxury boats in the first place...lesbians simply didn't have the means...

I mean even the well-known circuit parties held across Asia in recent yrs in places like Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei, almost 80% and above are gay men only events...i mean what about the lesbian sisters? I rem once an organiser said its cos lesbians don't like to party and I was like WHAT??! So why do u still see so many straight gals enjoying themselves and having a good time at all the straight venues? If straight gals like to party, i'm sure lesbians do too..its almost like what the japanese said in response to why during the colonial era, japanese were given white rice to eat during state banquets whilst koreans were given oats and wheat in colonial Korea. "Its cos Koreans Don't eat white rice, you see" was the response given by one japanese colonial administrator. haha..yeah, RIGHT.

And even in the western media (its much better in chinese media, although its apparently the same in korean media and slightly so in japanese media) lesbian characters aren't many and the current 'gay phenomenon' occurring in TV with a deluge of gay themed shows and characters are really all gay MALE characters...i mean think of all the famous US TV shows and think of how many have lesbian characters or lesbian couples??

Its just sad really that in the media, in terms of gay venues ( i mean gay bars are only for gay men and women who love them, what about lesbians?? ever wondered where they went???) and financial power, lesbians are ignored, and left to the sideline whilst gay men take centre stage...i mean heck even in gay pride parades, its the gay men (in their teeny tight shorts!) gyrating their hips that are the highlight of the shows and what people have as an image of gay parades..lesbians come second, just like how women come after men even in the straight world fact, in Tokyo, the annual glbt pride parade has a problem with lesbian attendance, something like 80% of all parade marchers are men and the floats are almost all gay male floats...this shows the problem in much of gay Asia in that often, being a woman is much more of an issue than being gay...Japanese lesbians, like their straight counterparts, simply don't have so much money to hire the floats and also feel like they cannot attend such public events as conveniently as the men can...

I just want to highlight what many asian gay men (and their western counterparts too, i believe!) seem not to realise (or care) , that is that as much as gay men like to complain about homophobia being stronger with straight guys,etc that women get it easier cos they can be intimate in public, gay men still get the nicer part of the cotton candy stick whilst lesbians have it much worse, in terms of media publicity, financial power, top positions held in both the public and private, as well as places and publications which are made specifically for lesbians as opposed to the vast rainbow of choices for gay men. I already see some gay men questioning; sometimes asking questions like 'What about the lesbians?' This questioning of their own priviledges is an important first step towards recognising as well as addressing these inequalities and sexism which exist in the gay community just like it exists in the straight community too.

Western Media:

Recently, I've come to watch some western gay media and was surprised at how i liked some of it, well...a few, some i really disliked and thats one thing about western gay media, movies, just isn't for me, many of the storylines really, REALLY PANDER to gay men and their fantasies to the point where it doesn't make sense and is just plain wishful thinking.. i mean, thats why i enjoy asian gay movies, tv series,etc cos they are more realistic, less in-your-face and more subtle/romantic in my opinion. Shows with gay characters now include: German TV 'Forbidden Love''s Christian and Olliver gay couple, Ugly Betty , Brothers and Sisters,etc...frankly i watched abit of the above and really didn't get them(with the exception of Brothers and Sisters, which has its flaws. but watchable) I mean how come they made Alexis seem so evil in Ugly Betty when she embarasses her family at the show by revealing her identity? And also how silly is it for Christian to 'suddenly' realise he is gay after he is kissed by Oll? i mean he is already in his thirties and obviously loved gf until then...and its like..huh? Its just playing to gay men's fantasies of turning a straight man 'gay' ...with one kiss..hahaha..BAD storyline....which is why i don't watch gay western stuff...i hated 'Brokeback Mountain' for the record, yes i hated it, it made me feel so disgusted and revolted, it elicits in me a response whenever i watch gay themed western movies (which is only like 2 movies,excl. comedies like i Now Pronounce u Chuck and larry, haha) which are feelings of disgust..i know!!! (i know ppl loved brokeback but not me...i mean even the tagline ' i don't know how to quit you.' which was oh-so-romantic to many sounded to me like 'i don't know how to quit your ass' to me...gosh i think ppl are gonna hate me for saying what i said, but thats what i truly think about that movie...and most of gay western media, its all about sex, i really don't see much love or feelings in them at all..)

But heres the good stuff:

Margaret Cho...I LOVE her:

Margaret Cho Gay Daddy:

Margaret Cho and "No Gays in Korea":

Margaret Cho Str8/Gay Males:

Margaret Cho on 'Ellen':

Comedy Central and Other Funny Gay Clips (e.g. Chaser's war on Everything): French Film Trailer Spanish Film Trailer (gay theme) Larry King on CNN (Transgender interview-gosh, the lady is so pretty!!)

Actually up till now, the only gay themed western show i liked (given that i disliked brokeback mountain, qaf,etc) would be ATWT's Luke & Noah storyline...i think i actually enjoy an American soap!!

Oh yeah, i LOVE Oprah too...she's simply fantastic!! She has a huge gay male following n and is extremely pro-gay in her attitude and has done many shows dealing with gay issues in a positive's her profile on wiki: and a show she did with Ellen:

I'm surprised also at the number of gay stars whom have come out openly about their sexuality in recent yrs in the West: Jodie Foster (!), Lance Bass of some boyband fame, Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters), TR Knight (Greys Anatomy) and many more........

other Asian Media:

I've been dealing with the Chinese media as well as Chinese society more in my recent posts on gay issues in Asia so I thought I'd include this clip showing a gay-themed Korean ad, quite funny, it would only appear funny if u are savvy enough, hahaha..otherwise you probably wouldn't get it!:

Chinese MV's with Gay Theme: I Love this Song..the lyrics are beautiful and the mtv is too.....especially the lesbian couple, they look soooooo sweet together!!!:):) The singer's Malaysian by the way, and highly supportive of gay rights, given his record of performing at gay venues as well as promoting gay themes in his album:) This isn't a gay-themed song but i just love it!! Anyways, there is a lgbt connection cos the singer Lee Hom has constantly been voted by gay Taiwanese men as one of their top dream boyfriends, he's very popular with the 'gay clique' across the Chinese world in Asia.

Anyways, i won't be posting on gay issues for awhile now, since I've done quite abit for now, so for those of you not keen on gay stuff, there'll be less, at least for the coming few months..:)