Editor’s Note: The following piece was originally posted on Medium and reposted with permission. The views expressed in this piece are solely of the author.
This whole time I keep writing about Asian Masculinity and I didn’t even define what it is…. so what is it? First here is the reason why we need to define it:
“Knowing where you are going is the first step to getting there”
So lets begin….
Chink. Gook. Small dick. Nerd. Weak. Fob. Being teased for your parents doing nails or dry cleaners. Small eyes. Girls saying to you “I’m not into Asians”. Asians aren’t athletic. You’re … (fill it in) because you are Asian. Bullies saying, “pork fried rice” with an accent.
Imagine all the things that bullies, racists, and all the haters said to you about you being an Asian Male. You feel that pain, anger, sorrow, and just frustration. The pain of being emasculated by being born an Asian Male … IT FUCKING SUCKS.
For me, I hated being Asian. I hated it so much that I made fun of my fellow Asian brothers. I despised Asians who stuck together. I judged every guy in my orchestra class. I made fun of the Asians in my high school with the so-called Caucasian “bullies” I was with. I even teepeed a Chinese immigrants house…despite feeling an immense guilt inside of me. I saw the father coming out yelling at us when we did and it reminded me of all the racism my parents faced while doing nails and dry cleaners. I even tried to be friends with the Caucasian kids even though all I was to them was a laughing joke. I was the target and butt of their jokes. Everyday they used my Asian identity and me so they can have power over me. (DISCLAIMER: I am not referring to all Caucasian males. I am only talking about the bullies and racists.)
And you know what? I became just like those bullies. When I first started the whole Asian Masculinity thing, I wanted to turn my fellow Asian brothers into these bullies. I wanted them to lift weights, dress like them, act like them, bully other people like them, and have this image of what western society created for the alpha male. The typical Hollywood Caucasian male in Hollywood.
And I was fucking wrong. I was so dead wrong. We are masculine and alpha males because we are Asian not in spite of it.
And I experienced this first hand at a leadership seminar. There I met an alpha Asian male….Henry Nguyen who is now one of my fellow brothers who is an inspiration. And its so funny how we met because we had to find someone who we found least attractive and I picked Henry. I picked Henry because I believed he was the opposite of what an Asian Male should be. He had blue hair, dressed how he wanted to dress, and was vulnerable and I mean super vulnerable. He showed emotion and tears when he wanted to and showed his authentic self. I cringed at how he was representing Asian Males. And yet….. spoiler alert… He was considered one of the most attractive males in the class. And I was considered the least attractive.
That is when I finally defined what ASIAN MASCULINITY IS.
ASIAN MASCULINITY IS THE FULL ACCEPTANCE AND EMBRACE OF OUR ASIAN IDENTITY AND (FUCKING) OWNING IT.
Let me repeat that.
ASIAN MASCULINITY IS THE FULL ACCEPTANCE AND EMBRACE OF OUR ASIAN IDENTITY AND FUCKING OWNING IT.
Being smart at math or in school — ALPHA
Playing the violin, piano, or any instrument — ALPHA
Our parents immigrating to an unknown world and hustling to make our lives better –ALPHA
Eating our amazing healthy Asian Cuisine — ALPHA
The list goes on…
Fellow Asian Brothers, own your Asian Identity. Did you know at one point, the most revered and admired action hero… was Asian. He is the legend named Bruce Lee.
If you are insecure about your um private part… Google Asian Schlong (NFSW)
If you believe we are not athletic YouTube “Jeremy Lin” and Chinese Olympic Weightlifting.
When a girl says “I am not into Asians”, look up what Megan Fox said about Rain or look for Asians who were in People Magazine’s 50 most beautiful people.
When they say Asian men aren’t leaders, listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History about Mongols and Genghis Khan. Read Musashi.
One of the best parts of us is that we are Asian. We have such an amazing culture. The Asian culture is one of the oldest and most revered cultures in the world. Accept it and embrace it.
This is what Asian Masculinity is. Embracing who we are and our amazing history. We are going to change the world by showing everyone who we truly are and not hiding it.
I challenge you, my fellow Asian WARRIORS, to step up and show the world THAT WE ARE ALPHA BECAUSE WE ARE ASIAN. SHOW THEM OUR AUTHENTIC SELVES.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
1. Reflect on anything about your Asian culture you think is not masculine. And now reframe and find reasons why it is fucking alpha.
2. Read history books on Bruce Lee, the Samurai, Genghis Khan, and all the alpha Asian males in history.
3. Study your country’s history and how it came to be.
About the Author: Captain Danny Kim is currently serving in the United States Air Force. He is a Contract Specialist at Los Angeles Air Force Base working with companies such as SpaceX, United Launch Services, Boeing and more. Captain Kim graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2012 from the U.S. Air Force Academy.