Harder Than Coming Out: Going Out… to My First Gay Bar

For a millennial, I was a fairly late-in-life gay.  It wasn’t until I was living on my own after college that I even entertained the idea that these feelings I had all my life were more than anomalies.  Even then, it took a trip half-way around the world for me to feel comfortable in my own skin.  But don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you some weepy, emotional story about coming out… this is a story about going out.

It was my last night in Kyoto, half-way through a solo backpacking trip across Asia.  I’d already seen about twelve thousand temples, purchased the obligatory souvenir chopstick sets for everyone back home, and braved my body issues by taking a nude dip into a natural onsen.  By this point on my adventure, half of my brain was ready for good night’s sleep, but the other half… was curious. Continue reading

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Rihanna’s SOS is My Personal Gay Anthem

If you didn’t already have the impression that I’m from the WASPiest family in existence, allow me to introduce you to one of our dozen Christmas traditions… Instead of getting gifts for everyone, we decided years ago to do a gift exchange of wall calendars for the upcoming year — something useful and inexpensive. This year, however, simply buying a calendar would not suffice, we had to design a calendar… or, at least a page of a calendar that would be combined with everyone else’s… And of course, like any typical Christmas-gift-exchange-make-your-own-calendar-tradition there would have to be a theme! Us being a musically inclined family (a mandatory piano recital was one of the traditions in years past), the theme for our 2016 calendar was “Songs with Stories.”

Below is the story that accompanied my submission and adorned my family’s office/kitchen/bathroom walls for the month of January…

Did I mention there was a last minute decision for everyone to read their month aloud?

Did I mention there was a last minute decision to make everyone read their month aloud?

To understand how Rihanna’s SOS became my personal gay anthem, we must travel back in time… Continue reading

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The Case Against Gay Pride Festivals (…and for them)

When I had my first boyfriend, I was still in the closet.  I remember very specifically one time driving through Hollywood with him when he put his hand on my leg.  With survival-skill reflexes, my brain instantly remembered that a coworker of mine lived in the neighborhood.  What if she happened to be walking by at that exact moment and looked into the car and saw another guy’s hand on my leg!?  I began to panic, but as always, I kept my cool and found some way of temporarily resolving the issue while avoiding the underlying problem; I asked him to adjust the air conditioning vent, then I quickly put my hand on the gear shift and blocked his access to my leg.

Appearance of straightness, accomplished.

There’s all sorts of things wrong with the fact that my brain was wired to react that way. First of all, my boyfriend’s hand was at the wrong angle to be seen from the sidewalk, my coworker actually lived over a mile away from where we were, and even in the incredibly unlikely event that she had taken a long walk that day, climbed a step latter on the sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd, and turned to look into traffic at that exact moment… Continue reading

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Jeremy Lin: The Amazing Asian Man Redefined!

I was always a tall kid.  So growing up, whenever I met an adult who felt compelled to attempt conversation with someone several decades their junior, they would, without fail, say something like the following:

You’re so tall!  Do you play basketball?

Other than one season of tee ball when I peed my pants at practice and never returned, I haven’t played any organized sports in my life.  I was never very coordinated or athletic as a kid, but in that moment I always wished I could have had something to say, like “Only on days that end in ‘y’,” or “Not since my dunking injury,” or “No, my first and only love is tee ball.”  But since none of those were true, I was regretfully forced to say simply, “No,” and the already awkward conversation would become even more so.

I certainly don’t hold it against these adults for asking.  I’d imagine their thinking goes something like this: Continue reading

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COARQ Turns One!

Tomorrow, Confessions of a Rice Queen turns one year old!

And yes, I actually put a candle in a soy-sauce dish of rice to celebrate

What started as a self-serving exercise of getting my writing out into the world (rather than confined to my hard drive) has over the course of the year become a significant part of my life.  I never would have started this blog without the cajoling of my friend Justin Huang whose own blog is not only an inspiration but one of the most enjoyable reads online.

When I first started writing, I was concerned the blog wouldn’t be taken seriously or worse, that it would offend a whole lot of people.  Instead, Continue reading

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Getting Scammed In Thailand, or Why I Should Have Listened to Marlon Brando

“So, Barzini will move against you first. He’ll set up a meeting with someone that you absolutely trust, guaranteeing your safety. And at that meeting, you’ll be assassinated. […] Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.” – spoken by Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) as a warning to his son Michael (Al Pacino) in The Godfather

I bet Marlon Brando never had a trip to Thailand like mine…

I first visited Thailand in 2006 and had such an amazing experience that I knew I’d be back.

<insert ping-pong show joke>

<insert Bang-COCK joke>

<insert Ladyboy joke>

But really, I do love Thailand and it has nothing to do with the oh-so-original jokes and negative cultural stereotypes that people bring up EVERY TIME I mention it.

…ok, it has VERY LITTLE to do with the the oh-so-original jokes and negative cultural stereotypes that people bring up every time I mention it! Continue reading

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If I’ve Always Been Gay, Then I’ve Always Been A Rice Queen

A lot of people when they come out say something like “I always knew,” and almost equally as often, those around them say “so did we.”  At my coming out, neither such phrase was uttered, which may be why it took me so many years figure it out.

Sure, there were signs…

As a child, I played with my sister’s Barbies, performed in school musicals, dressed up in my mom’s clothes, and cried about everything.  And while that might sound like I was obviously a little queen, none of those behaviors have anything to do with being attracted to men.  Plus, I exhibited them rather infrequently… except the crying.

Recently, one of my long-time friends prefaced a story about me with: “Back when you were pretending to be straight…”  I would have preferred that he say “back when you thought you were straight,” but ultimately it amounts to the same thing.  As anyone who believes in biology, psychology, or Lady Gaga knows, being gay is not a choice.  Whether I knew it or not, I was born this way, baby. Continue reading

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Coming Out as a Rice Queen

A lot has happened in my life in the past 140 days…

For one thing, I came out!

Not the big “coming out” with glitter and boas and jazz hands and my mom crying (that was several years ago), but about a month ago, I came out to one group of friends… as a rice queen.

If you’re at all familiar with this blog, you may have figured already that I am an aspiring writer.  Specifically, my focus is on screenwriting, so every couple weeks I get together with a group of fellow writers to go over each other’s scripts, talk about new ideas we’ve had, and just shoot the shit.  Now, I’ve been in this group for nearly 4 years and although they know that I’m gay, they didn’t know Continue reading

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Expand Your Queercabulary: Potato Queen, Sticky Rice

I had a conversation about online dating with an Asian friend who expressed that he was particularly bummed that some of the Asian guys he had messaged never bothered to message him back. He reached the disappointing conclusion that some Asian guys just will not date other Asians. His online dating had hit a brick wall that went by the name of “potato queen.”

By now, you should all know what a rice queen is.  If not, go read some more of my blog posts in the column on the right.  And if you somehow ended up on this site, it’s also likely you know what these other terms mean, but here’s the pocket-dictionary definition just in case: Continue reading

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How Many Asian Drivers Does it Take…?

Awhile ago I was at a house party where one of the guests was inexplicably standoffish with me from the moment we met. Now, I don’t need everybody I meet to love me (I just really really want them to), but it’s disturbing when someone takes an immediate disliking to me. As this happens rather infrequently, these moments tend to stand out in my mind.

I was there with my boyfriend (Asian, of course), and this guest was a complete stranger to both of us. I mention this only to establish that there was no history with this guy, no sexual tension, nothing but a smile and a hello, but I hadn’t even said my name, and he was already giving me ‘tude.

The mature choice was to waste no more of my time or attention on him because who cares what one random guy thinks of me? But being the egomaniac that I am, I decided I’d talk to him all night until he realized that I’m actually a really cool guy. (It’s worth noting that this approach has worked for me before.)

In the midst of our lighthearted conversation, I mentioned that we had driven over an hour to reach the party, and joked that my boyfriend had to drive so we could get there faster, even if it meant I had to close my eyes most of the way. Continue reading

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