Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East

Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East MOBI ´ Gaysia:
  • Kindle Edition
  • 296
  • Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East
  • Benjamin Law
  • 04 August 2017
  • null

About the Author: Benjamin Law

Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East MOBI ´ Gaysia: gaysia: book, adventures download, queer mobile, east ebok, Gaysia: Adventures download, in the pdf, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer EastAdventures in the ebok, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East MOBIBenjamin Law is a Brisbane based freelance in the PDF º writer He is a senior contributor to frankie magazine and has also written for The Monthly, The Courier Mail, Qweekend, Sunday Life, Cleo, Crikey, The Big Issue, New Matilda, Kill Your Darlings, ABC Unleashed and the Australian Associated PressHis essays have been anthologised in Growing Up Asian in Australia, The Best Australian Essays , The Best Gaysia: Adventures MOBI :´ Australian Essays and the forthcoming Voracious New Australian Food WritingThe Family Law is his debut book, and is published by Black Inc Books A French edition will be published by Belfond in The TV rights have been sold to Matchbox PicturesHe s currently working on his second book, a collection of non fiction looking at queer people and communities throughout Asia Adventures in the PDF Å It has the working title of Gaysia.


Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer EastGaysia: Adventures in the Queer East MOBI ´ Gaysia: gaysia: book, adventures download, queer mobile, east ebok, Gaysia: Adventures download, in the pdf, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer EastAdventures in the ebok, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East MOBIBenjamin Law considers himself pretty lucky to in the PDF º live in Australia he can hold his boyfriend s hand in public and lobby his politicians to recognize same sex marriage But as the child of immigrants, he s also curious about how different life might have been had he grown up in Asia So he sets off to meet his fellow Gaysians Law takes his Gaysia: Adventures MOBI :´ investigative duties seriously, go.

You may also like...

10 thoughts on “Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East

  1. Andy Quan says:

    I like to think it s a compliment to a book if I m interested enough in it, engaged or enraged, in order to want to write a review I also think and I could have used this advice when younger that discussion is better than silence I wax philosophical about book reviews because they re strange beasts The books that I tend to want to write about are from small publishers and by lesser known authors as I don t feel a desire, usually, to add my opinion to a thousand others who have written abou I like to think it s a compliment to a book if I m interested enough in it, engaged or enraged, in order to want to write a review I also think and I could have used this advice when younger that discussion is better than silence I wax philosophical about book reviews because they re strange beasts The books that I tend to want to write about are from small publishers and by lesser known authors as I don t feel a desire, usually, to add my opinion to a thousand others who have written about a bestseller But this means that the author of the book will most certainly see the review I know this as an ego surfing author Of course you want to know what people have thought after having laboured over for so long So, reviews can feel strangely personal these days Then to consider do I feel comfortable being critical in a public space Could it be misconstrued Can the author involved see a criticism as directed towards a book rather than to the author although this is often impossible to separate if the book is a personal one Not that this review will be a bad one, for Gaysia is an enjoyable and intriguing read But still, I remember taking my book reviews far too seriously, with phrases from them stuck in my brain for far too long And because book reviews can be so scarce or insubstantial, a review can take on greater significance if it s one of only a few But of course I was compelled to write about Gaysia Being Gaysian and having written and commented on aspects of being Gaysian for so long, I was glad to buy the book at its launch in Sydney having almost bought the e book version a week before I read it through quickly, and felt inspired to review it.In any case the book Gaysia, written by journalist and writer Benjamin Law and published by Melbourne s Black Inc., is a romp through various cities in Asia exploring various aspects of something related to gay celebrity drag queens in Tokyo, lady boy beauty pageant contestants in Thailand, HIV affected sex workers in Myanmar, an anti gay yoga guru in India, and a formerly gay Malaysian pastor who runs a conversion program to turn lesbians and gays straight The section on China explores how gay men are using the internet, and how some seek marriage, either with lesbians or with straight women, for social acceptance In the first chapter, Law travels to Bali, stays at some gay nudist hotels and interviews men who have sex for money or motorcycles Law s tone is set from the first paragraph With tourists to Bali coming to eat, drink and fuck , or have foreign strangers drunkenly fondle our inner selves , Law uses sexually direct or explicit images or turns of phrase to amuse, shock and engage But part of his comedy and Law is a very funny writer is that he himself is scandalised by the goings on He s wide eyed at the sex happening among hotel guests He s poked and prodded and flirted with in his interviews with his muchcolourful guests, and acts the supportive straight man, so to speak, nodding along in sympathy, both pushing the conversation along and then pulling back, an innocent observer It s clear that Law is sympathetic to all of his interview subjects, except for perhaps a few of the anti gay ones There s kindness in his approach He jumps in to have a drink with them when not suffering from a travel related illness There s no judgement nor trying to fit them into some sort of treatise on what it means to be gay in Asia or to a particular conception of gayness.This works both ways There s only a brief introduction and no conclusion While the book is called Gaysia , there s no broad perspective or analysis on how gay identities are lived in Asia, and little reflection on the issue For the countless hours of organisation, interviews, research and travel, there is a surprising lack of trying to pull together observations and perspective into narratives or conclusion Instead, as a journalist choosing an angle for each country, the focus is on the best story in Thailand, the ladyboys, in Japan, the drag queens More regular gay men and lesbians generally have muchminor roles it s hard to find a perspective on their lives Still, the book does not aim to provide analysis nor be an academic text and how would one try to summarise gay sexuality in a continent as crazy and diverse as Asia Or in countries as complex as the ones being written about It s not as if a reader would read the chapter on Malaysia and think the Malaysian gay scene is dominated by anti gay conversion therapy.Or would they I wonder about that too, who the readership is for the book Are they gay Are they straight How familiar will they be with the range of issues touched upon in this book and how will they relate to them I ve always said that examining issues of sexuality and identity in countries should not be a minority issue, because how countries address sexual identity has a lot to say about their overall structures and traditions, contradictions and s But I wonder about the book finding an audience, who it is and how it would be understood And of course, I hope Gaysia has found a readership, as these snapshots of gay men and some lesbians, men who have sex with men, transsexuals, transvestites, drag queens, and gay and HIV activists, do offer an interesting perspective on their countries The great title and bold cover should also help to attract, and Law is a popular twitter user and journalist, so he s using a unique position to get these issues out into the wider world Also evident is the strength of Law s journalism and how he was able to wrangle and record hundreds of interviews and discussions To his success, Law manages to position himself in a way that I doubt anyone else could have done He gains empathy with most of his interview subjects as a gay Asian man yet plays along with his two anti gay interviewees He is both sympathetic and engaged with interview subjects but at the same time, an outside observer and commentator I found this positioning as intriguing as the stories himself As I observed in his memoir, The Family Law , Law is a whole generation after me and the people with whom I forged my identity and engaged in gay activism He happens to be gay He happens to be Asian Neither is particularly adopted as an identity Neither is rejected He doesn t fit a gay stereotype of a tragic drama queen who has to move to the big city and perform in musicals He s had a boyfriend since high school, and made a successful career in Brisbane Why would he have to do or be anyone else But when he admits to never having been to a gay pride parade, and feels something closely resembling pride while seeing pride march, a part of me asks, how can a writer write about gay issues without being particularly engaged in any way with gay identity or community As a writer who has built a foundation on exploring both gay and cultural identity, I feel an urge to know how Law feels about being Asian and travelling in Asia, and about how he situates his cultural identity within it He does posit that if his parents had stayed in Malaysia, he might have encountered the same social pressures and prejudices of some of the lesbians and gay men he described but this is really a brief mention.But there s the rub This is a new world that doesn t ask for coherence or grand narratives We re a twittering tweeting facebooking world, made up of pieces and soundbytes The authority given to academics or other experts has broken down to give way to multiple opinions and voices The snapshots of his subjects or even of himself seem to represent the diversity of identities and sexualityaccurately than if we re actually sticking to categories of what it might mean to be Asian or one of those letters in the terrible acronym GLBTIQA These days we read about experiences and make our own analyses, however they fit into our own worlds Along the way, I d judge it a good thing to be entertained and engaged by good writing

  2. Vivek Tejuja says:

    It is funny how in the wake of Section 377 and LGBT rights, I finished reading, Gaysia Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law a book on gays in the East andimportantly on their culture and lifestyle The reason I find it funny is that I find the judgment quite a farce and love how Law speaks of gay men and women sometimes in an account that is hilarious, emotional and mostly a travelogue in search of identity across Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Burma, China, Malaysia and India, It is funny how in the wake of Section 377 and LGBT rights, I finished reading, Gaysia Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law a book on gays in the East andimportantly on their culture and lifestyle The reason I find it funny is that I find the judgment quite a farce and love how Law speaks of gay men and women sometimes in an account that is hilarious, emotional and mostly a travelogue in search of identity across Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Burma, China, Malaysia and India, each with its own peculiarities and quirks The book as you delve further in is not really a travelogue it isof an insight to a troubled world It is a world where two men cannot love each other though the rules of lust are very different There is humour and a lot of angst to the people and stories that Law documents The social patterns from where he comes, which is Australia are very different in Asia The world when it comes to rights of men and women is not the same The Eastern world when it comes to same sex love or lust as Benjamin sees it is quite an eye opener and it is for this, I would urge people to read, Gaysia It is funny how things are in different countries For instance, in China, there are self flagellation techniques, when a bad or homosexual thought occurs Of how in China again, lesbians fake marry just to keep their parents happy In Malaysia, people Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, whom the author encounters, thinks homosexuality can be cured In India, a certain yogi should not be too hard to guess who this one is thinks that it stems from bad thoughts and that it can also be cured Gaysia was released in our country without raising any eyebrows I think it did so also because the so called law holders, could not care less about a book may be they would not understand this type of non fiction or any book for that matter The writing is sharp and humorous the trans gendered beauty pageant in Thailand, pride parades in these countries in parts and in some, Law reflects on his sexuality and his relationship with his boyfriend To me, including something personal in a book speaks a lot about the writer It somehow makes himaccessible to readers, which is most needed in a book of this nature Gaysia is an eye opener for most people out there I think it is written with a lot of eloquence and at the same time, Benjamin does not shy away from writing what he witnessed The writing is honest and that is hands down one of the strongest features of the book I want to gift this book to every friend of mine straight or gay, just to understand if nothing else, about orientation and the fact that people are different and entitled to living their lives, the way they want to Free love does not come with a section or with a judgment It is just there, for all

  3. Tanvi says:

    This was bloody depressing, but it was bloody good Law takes us through five countries and hundreds of people to give us a snapshot of homosexuality in Asia The book is packed chock full of Law s own forays into worlds, such as Bali s gay resorts, prostitution and Thailand s fashion parades, that are as foreign to us as they are to him.In some countries homosexuality is a taboo topic in other countries such as Japan, despite discussion beingopen, there s still a long way to go before tr This was bloody depressing, but it was bloody good Law takes us through five countries and hundreds of people to give us a snapshot of homosexuality in Asia The book is packed chock full of Law s own forays into worlds, such as Bali s gay resorts, prostitution and Thailand s fashion parades, that are as foreign to us as they are to him.In some countries homosexuality is a taboo topic in other countries such as Japan, despite discussion beingopen, there s still a long way to go before true acceptance From Myanmar s HIV epidemic to China s fake marriages to Japan s camp celebrities, this is a vivid, colourful and painful ly honest book about how far Gaysia has come and how far it still has to go.It s clear this was the result of months of research, interviews and generally being there It s as much an adventure book as a travel book Law recounts specific conversations and interviews with everyone from trans prostitutes to activists to the anti gay guru Ramdev.The writing style is accessible and clear Not quite chatty, given the subject matter, but always approachable I got the sense that I was there with the author I don t have muchto say about this book, except that you should go read it

  4. Carey Hanlin says:

    Agh where to begin I picked up this book hoping to really get an insight into differing queer communities through the east, and while have the book sort of delivered on that idea, the other half of the book felt like an extended gay sex travelogue, not an exploration of queerness in different cultures It didn t help that I found Benjamin Law to be vapid, naive, and often extremely boring, or that he proved time and time again he couldn t accurately talk about trans issues pontificates too mu Agh where to begin I picked up this book hoping to really get an insight into differing queer communities through the east, and while have the book sort of delivered on that idea, the other half of the book felt like an extended gay sex travelogue, not an exploration of queerness in different cultures It didn t help that I found Benjamin Law to be vapid, naive, and often extremely boring, or that he proved time and time again he couldn t accurately talk about trans issues pontificates too much on what genitalia trans women beauty pageant contestants had and called Indias Hijra community people with queer sexualities instead of,accurately, gender minorities , definitely has some issues with internalized homophobia doesn t like the pride flag, is often uncomfortable getting hit on, etc , and was incredibly sex negative expressed discomfort with other people being involved in threesomes, sex with people older than them, etc.He barely usesthan half a page per section if even that much to critically examine anything He never examines the intersection of race, country of origin or class when talking about his experiences with lower class sex workers He doesn t even try to explore the history behind the acceptance of or erasure of different queer identities in different countries Most of the places he goes, he only sees the commercialized side of queer life When he encounters trans folk, he obsesses over their genitalia, doesn t attempt to address cissexist statements by other westerners, and makes plenty of cis passing judgments It s really frustrating how he essentially equates all queerness with gay several times throughout the book It s also discomforting that he sees it as his place to reclaim words like faggot, bitch, and fatty I m also not sure why an entire chapter and a half had to be spent following around anti gay religious leaders instead of exploring some incredibly interesting queer communities in those countries The India and Malaysia chapters were such a waste because of if Myanmar was interesting, though much darker There were some interesting stories told for sure But overall I guess my expectations for this book were much, much too high And I can t say I will ever read anything by Benjamin Law again

  5. Ulysses Dietz says:

    I just finished Gaysia, recommended to me by a friend, while on a business trip to Chicago It is promoted as a wild romp through all of gay Asia but ultimately, it is a farfascinating and, indeed, moving book than that I might venture to say that this is an important book particularly for westerners who don t know much about life in Asia Most of us, in fact.Law, an ethnically Chinese Australian, begins his peregrinations in Bali at an all gay resort that seems to be setting up the I just finished Gaysia, recommended to me by a friend, while on a business trip to Chicago It is promoted as a wild romp through all of gay Asia but ultimately, it is a farfascinating and, indeed, moving book than that I might venture to say that this is an important book particularly for westerners who don t know much about life in Asia Most of us, in fact.Law, an ethnically Chinese Australian, begins his peregrinations in Bali at an all gay resort that seems to be setting up the book as a somewhat leering view of gay foreigners and Asian sex workers But that s the trick of this book It does indeed deal a lot with sex workers, and gay folks and lesbians and transgendered folks but the leering tone rapidly turns to one of thoughtful observation In what I m sure was a calculated move, Law gradually moves his readers from the fun side of being gay in Asia to the side of oppression and marginalization He explores aspects of gay truth in Asia that are as alien and disturbing to us as they are to him him being a happily out 20 something Australian And yet, unfailingly, Law approaches everyone he meets on his travels with respect, from transgender beauty queens to anti gay yoga gurus Sure, there are plenty of snarky asides intended only for our eyes but I gained enormous respect for Law, as I followed his journey along sometimes harrowing and often unnerving paths, meeting people and going places that are hard for me to imagine.For someone known as a comedian, and someone so young young enough to be my child , Law evinces a deep maturity and sensitivity in this book, and the one of the penultimate moments, when he attends his first gay pride march in Mumbai was as moving for me as it was for him This book is not all fun and games but there is much here of great interest and value

  6. Bookworm says:

    Perhaps a decent introductory book but couldn t help but feel it could have been better I ve had this book on my wish list for a couple of years now A young gay Asian man from Australia looks at LGBT people in various countries in East Southeastern Asia He meets people, listens to their stories, gives a little bit of history of these particular groups Some stories are funny, most are informative, some are quite sad It s a pretty formulaic book Law visits a country, meets with a particular Perhaps a decent introductory book but couldn t help but feel it could have been better I ve had this book on my wish list for a couple of years now A young gay Asian man from Australia looks at LGBT people in various countries in East Southeastern Asia He meets people, listens to their stories, gives a little bit of history of these particular groups Some stories are funny, most are informative, some are quite sad It s a pretty formulaic book Law visits a country, meets with a particular group or groups in that country and writes about aspects of their lives How young people in China learn about homosexuality despite severe internet censorship.The lack of accessibility of AIDS medication in Myanmar While I appreciated a look at these groups in these countries, it was a tough read With my lack of knowledge, I couldn t help but wonder how accurate his information was There s no list of resources at the end of the book and I wish he had included some references Based on other reviews, there s a bit of a mixed bunch as to his accuracy, portrayal, where how much his views were influenced by his background, etc I also didn t think he was a very good writer On occasion he was very funny and I know part of it was that my eyes was just going to glaze over at some of the descriptions of sexual encounters Law does not get that detailed, but you have an idea of what he s witnessing overhearing etc Some of the history and societal commentary was quite interesting, but this could be quite uneven So while I don t regret having read this, I wish I had been able to borrow this from the library vs having to buy it

  7. Meg Laverick says:

    When I saw the ARC sitting on the shelf at work I may have done a bit of an embarrassing dance I d heard about this a few months ago and had been dying to read it ever since.And it didn t disappoint Filled with fascinating interviews and shrewd observations about the many different gay communities throughout Asia, this book is not to be missed It was fascinating reading about the people who are part of these fascinating cultures and what they think about what it means to be gay in their count When I saw the ARC sitting on the shelf at work I may have done a bit of an embarrassing dance I d heard about this a few months ago and had been dying to read it ever since.And it didn t disappoint Filled with fascinating interviews and shrewd observations about the many different gay communities throughout Asia, this book is not to be missed It was fascinating reading about the people who are part of these fascinating cultures and what they think about what it means to be gay in their country Law interviews people from all walks of life from HIV positive ex sex workers in Myanmar to half crazy yogis determined to cure homosexuality through controlled breathing Fascinating stuff and I feel like I learned a lot while reading.My big criticism is that the overwhelming majority of the interviewees were men or transgender sexual females There was a small mention of lesbians in China though mostly in one woman s capacity as the founder of an organisation supporting gay people but that was about it This may have been because of some cultural issues or may simply be because as a gay man Law foundinterest and rapport with those people Regardless, it seemed like a strange oversight in a book so concerned with the gay experience in Asia.Still, it was brilliant and full of the easy to read and highly entertaining writing characteristic of Law Definitely recommended

  8. Rob Walter says:

    Benjamin Law is not the most technically gifted writer going around, but he has a very finely honed sense of humour that makes his books very readable What makes them especially so for me is that they are written with such an authentic voice Law doesn t pretend to be anything he s not, and as I am also a gay man from South East Queensland, I can relate to not just what he talks about but his vernacular and his sense of humour.The weakness of the book is that he is too aware of his limitations Benjamin Law is not the most technically gifted writer going around, but he has a very finely honed sense of humour that makes his books very readable What makes them especially so for me is that they are written with such an authentic voice Law doesn t pretend to be anything he s not, and as I am also a gay man from South East Queensland, I can relate to not just what he talks about but his vernacular and his sense of humour.The weakness of the book is that he is too aware of his limitations as a writer and so doesn t tackle serious personal themes that might elevate his work to the next level The best writers in this genre Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, David Rakoff reveal a vulnerability at the same time as they amuse and entertain Maybe that book is still to come in his career, and I ll keep reading with enjoyment until it does

  9. Matt John says:

    Benjamin Law takes us on a Safran esque journey into gay Asia Introducing us to sex workers in Indonesia, participants of the world s biggest Transsexual pageant in Thailand, and to activists in India where homosexuality has only recently been decriminalised We see gay Asia through law s point of view, that of an Australian gay man The book focusses mainly on thepublicised faucets of the gay world, sex workers, sexual health workers, gay activists and conversion programs, which might Benjamin Law takes us on a Safran esque journey into gay Asia Introducing us to sex workers in Indonesia, participants of the world s biggest Transsexual pageant in Thailand, and to activists in India where homosexuality has only recently been decriminalised We see gay Asia through law s point of view, that of an Australian gay man The book focusses mainly on thepublicised faucets of the gay world, sex workers, sexual health workers, gay activists and conversion programs, which might seem to paint only a part of the whole picture but I guess domestic gay life wouldn t have made much of an appealing read What is also of interest is Law s reaction to many of these situations, coming across somewhat conservative He is hesitant to indulge at the all nude resort in Bali and attending his first Pride parade in India.As always, Law s writing is both entertaining and informative even if the near too detailed explanations of how some entrants of the transsexual pageant hide their goods got me a little uncomfortable It also enforces how the STD HIV information and treatment in some countries is still very primitive Recommended

  10. Evan Pickett says:

    A very interesting read Each chapter, Ben tries to delve into the queer culture or a queer issue in different countries Bali sex tourism, Thai pageants, Chinese sham marriages, Japanese TV culture, Malaysian conversion therapy, Burmese HIV AIDS epidmic and the reaction of India s repeal of anti homosexual laws All of these topics were really interesting, impactful and important particularly the Burmese chapter, which is the best of the lot And I liked that despite having a very concrete to A very interesting read Each chapter, Ben tries to delve into the queer culture or a queer issue in different countries Bali sex tourism, Thai pageants, Chinese sham marriages, Japanese TV culture, Malaysian conversion therapy, Burmese HIV AIDS epidmic and the reaction of India s repeal of anti homosexual laws All of these topics were really interesting, impactful and important particularly the Burmese chapter, which is the best of the lot And I liked that despite having a very concrete topic for each country, Ben would make sure to cover other parts of queer culture in that country But I found the focus of the Japanese chapter a little odd We didn t get much insight into queer culture, it wasabout straight perception of queer people The Thai pageants were also a bit like this though to a lesser extent.Overall, a great book that is an important read for anyone who is not exposed to the queer cultures outside their own Really reinforces just how privileged some of us are to live in an accepting community with good healthcare and education