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Pet Sins January 2001

Chinese gay men worship AWWM couples, dismiss other IR combinations, and express biases against non-whites in general

L. is a China-born gay man living in the U.S. Whenever he saw an Asian woman-Euro man couple on the street, he would gush in admiration and envy. "How did that Japanese woman train her husband to speak such good Japanese?" "How did she get herself a white husband?" When he saw an Asian gay man he considered uglier than himself with a moderately attractive white man, he would exclaim disdainfully. "That white man is wasted on that ugly Asian!"

L. would send video links to romanticized advertisements featuring Asian-woman-Euro-man couples to a Chinese mailing list he was on, thinking everyone shared his adoration for yellow woman-white man couples, never thinking that it might be off-topic or irrelevant or simply uninteresting to others. That is fine - the nature of online comms is not every post is going to be of interest to everyone. But when someone else on the mailing list, P, sent a informational article about the history Chinese man-black woman intermarriage in the Caribbean, L started complaining about P to mutual acquaintances because he felt P was sending "irrelevant, random" posts. Obviously he does not hold his AWWM video posts to the same standards.

In addition, L often remarkws that darker-skinned people like Indians and Africans are 'ugly'. He even refused to watch films, documentaries included, that feature Africans. (Though he apparently tolerated well-reviewed films with Afrian American characters) His attitude towards non-whites is in sharp contrast to his constant praise of white beauty. "Wow, aren't they so beautiful?!!"

L's friend, X, though not as blatant a racist as L, was also a Chinese gay man who identified strongly with the yellow-female-white-male pairing. He seemed to think it is an honor for Chinese women to get white attention. Viewers in a movie theater were disturbed by his excited observations during a Harry Potter movie trailer. "Look! Harry Potter and his Chinese girlfriend are kissing! LOOK! Harry Potter and his Chinese girlfriend are kissing!"

X certainly did not go through the trouble of pointing out every screen kiss for any random character in any movie, or even for IR couples in general. His interest and vocal support was clearly only for a very specific IR pairing. As people of color, many of us are conditioned to over-react to "white validation" in the form of media representation in fiction or international attention in news reports, blowing things out of proportion and acting as if we have received a large estate when we were only given the equivalent of a few worthless trinkets.

It should also be noted that, in addition to expressing favor for white-yellow unions, X also held a strong bias against black and brown peoples. 99% of the time, when he mentioned the race of a person of African or Native American descent, including mixed race people from Central and South America, it is in a negative context such as crime, educational underachievement, drug use, homelessness or even just a bad personal experience with one individual.

This is in sharp contrast to the way he talked about whites. He never spoke badly of whites in general, and rarely mentioned white individuals in an unfavorable light. Even when he talked about negative experience with individuals who happened to be white, he never brought up their race.

I'm not trying to tell people whether they should or shouldn't ever mention someone's race, but there shouldn't be double standards.

Q.
2009