Viral TikTok video calls out a huge issue Asian men face in the queer community

The queer community, as inclusive as it can be, still has plenty of issues to wrestle with. This TikTok is a reminder of that.

Dating is tough and dating within the queer community isn’t necessarily a walk in the park either. But when you’re a person of color, you also have to deal with racism and discrimination in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. So one TikToker is called out the negative experiences many queer Asian men face.


Some thoughts on desirability and perceived worth as a queer Asian man in America

♬ original sound – Edward 🥝

TikToker Edward Park (@theedwardpark) spoke out about racism, both external and internalized, that queer Asian men navigate.

“Being a queer Asian man in America is characterized by being undesired by most and fetishized by some and this experience is really jarring and harmful,” Park explained. “On one side, you only see white men being placed on pedestals in queer spaces and media alongside derogatory comments about how “small” and “feminine” Asian men are, especially my formative years being in the 2010s.”

Park also acknowledged the impact this had on his self-worth and the way he perceived himself.

“I spent so much time internalizing this as me falling short,” Park added. “On the other side, I deal with some people who desire me in a fetishizing way that parallels Asian woman [sic], where I’m assumed to fit a more submissive and feminine role by default.”

Park also went on to describe how his positions in the bedroom are relegated to bottoming and that he’s only ever been asked to top by his partner, who is also Asian.

“To illustrate this, I am 26 years old and I have never once been asked if I top or have a desire to top, except by my now boyfriend, who is an Asian man,” Park said. “All this to say, I still enter rooms today and know that a majority of people will not desire me or a select few might fetishize me. And I’m still doing a lot of inner work to separate the external validation from my own perceived value, but it’s really hard.”

Park’s comments were flooded by different TikTok users offering support, affirming his and the experiences of other queer Asian men, and sharing their own stories. One TikTok user said, “you put how I feel into words so well” and another stated that “this goes doubly for South Asians and darker skinned Asian men,” of which Park noted how colorism added an extra layer to this issue. Additionally, one TikTok user highlighted how Asian men and Black women were experiencing discrimination in dating at disproportionate levels than other groups, something that has been brought to light in studies.

And while this TikTok is a step towards exposing the plight many people of color in the queer community navigate, change from within will take time, something Park concluded with.

“I’ve seen some growth in representation of Asian men as multifaceted and worthy human beings, but I’m also aware that at the end of the day, representation does not instantly translate to changing deep rooted sentiments,” Park said. “This will take time.”

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