10 things NOT to say to a gaysian! By Vish | @vishdelishuk I love a good BuzzFeed-style list. Breaking down shit into numbered points is, in my eyes, an awesome way to communicate. I’ve even started incorporating lists into my day to day conversations. For example, every evening I call up a friend and enquire about their top five highlights. Ultimately, these little lists help to engage and summarise everything for my impatient mind. I know what you’re thinking – I’ve killed the art of conversation and my impatience signals my need to get laid. Well you’re probably right. But hey, that’s a whole other article! With my love of lists now out in the open, I really wanted to infuse one into this article. So, I’ve come up with top ten things not to say to a gaysian. Let me explain the term gaysian. Simply blend the words gay and Asian together to describe LGBT Asian people and a whole underground scene. However, our visibility is improving. l’m noticing more gay Asian men gaining confidence in stepping out and exploring London’s more mainstream scene. And that’s undoubtably awesome. So if you happen to get chatting to someone from the gaysian community, it’s best not to say the following ten things: 1: ‘Oh, you must have it so hard….’ Girl, that’s true. I have and so have many others in the community. I continue to struggle with my identity while coping with the various pressures of being from an Asian community. It can be shitty and it needs to be discussed. But, when I’m planning to slut drop the night away in front of poor unsuspecting souls, it’s best we leave this conversation for a more appropriate time. 2: ‘My best friend is gaysian, do you know Sunita from Tooting...’ Sorry babes, I don’t. Yes the London gaysian community is small, but I certainly don’t know everyone. I mean, do you know every white bearded dude in the Two Brewers on a Saturday night? 3: ‘So where are you REALLY from….’ From Slough, love, born there too. The end. 4: ‘Sorry no Asians…’ Look, it’s cool you’re not into Asian men. Who am I to knock anyone’s preferences? But whatever your preferences, let’s not be rude about it. Can’t you simply ignore rather than be abrupt? 5: ‘I’ve heard all gaysians are bottoms…’ I have no fucking idea. I think this stereotype boils down to Asian men being de-masculinised in the western gay media. And let’s face it, there is still some stigma around being a big ol’ bottom. It’s as if this equates to being effeminate or ‘less of a man’. It’s true that I may well be a big effeminate bottom, but that may not apply to the next gaysian you come across. 6: ‘Do your mum and dad know you’re gay?’ Eurgh! This can stir dramatic emotions for an Asian LGBT person. Things are getting a bit better, but still many people within Asian families don’t talk about being LGBT. As with point 1, there’s a time and a place for this question. 7: ‘I have a huge thing for gaysians since my gap year in Bangladesh’ That’s awesome. I’m glad you’re so well travelled. Generally I don’t mind being fetishised. After all, it’s just someone’s preference. But the problem behind this statement is that I’m left wondering if all you see is my race that has been sexualised/romanticised. 8: ‘So how do I make a vindaloo…’ Look, I love cooking! Especially Indian food. I’d even label myself Curry Bradshaw (Yes I know, an awful joke)! This line plays into the stereotype that all Asian people love curry. But shock horror, some Asian people out there don’t. So deal with it. 9: ‘You can’t be gay! Get out of this clubbbbb!’ I personally haven’t experienced this, but a few of my friends have. My more ‘masculine’ gaysian friends have been refused entry at LGBT venues. Let’s face it, this reeks of racism and plays into punters fears that Asian men are homophobic or religious fanatics who will burn the venue down. Get a grip! I sadly suspect straight white men would have been welcomed with open arms. 10: ‘How can you practise your religion and be gay!’ I’m not religious in any way or form, but I know several gaysians of faith. Yes religion does present conflicting attitudes about being LGBT or at least it depends on who you ask as interpretation seems key. But who is anyone to judge? Let people practise what makes them happy. You just worry about getting those drinks in, hun. There you have it, that was my list. Yes, some of the pointers mentioned were made with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. However, I like to think there is an underlying message - let’s all try to be respectful and really think about the shit we say to one another. After all, this respect will help enhance the diversity within London’s wider gay scene. Would you like to write an opinion piece for FS? Email [email protected].