As it’s Halloween, we thought we’d open with this story. While not necessarily “scary” in the traditional sense, the implications certainly have the potential to cause some petrifying aftershocks.
According to a new study, gay Asians in New Zealand are less likely than any other group to discuss their sexuality publicly, if at all. The New Zealand Herald reports:
The study found that while Asian-born immigrants were aware of having same-sex attractions at an earlier age, they were less likely to tell friends, family or colleagues as they grew older.
Only 3 per cent of non-Asian respondents said they hadn’t disclosed their identity to anyone, compared with 15.3 per cent of Asian people.
[Study coordinator] Dr. Henrickson said Asian gays were much more likely to remain isolated because they tended to only make contact with other gay and lesbians on the internet.
While this may not seem like that big of a deal to some, the implications may be deadly. If gay Asians can’t find it in themselves to confront and embrace their sexuality, they may be more likely to have hazardous sexual encounters. Further, as we all know, the anxiety around not coming out has a record of leading to depression, drug use, and/or suicide. All of which, of course, are no good.
So, why do these men and women find it so difficult to face their faggotry? Henrickson hypothesizes that “coming out” is a more Western ideal. He goes on:
Whereas people from western cultures are more likely to be open and positive about the fact that they are lesbian, gay or bisexual – ‘it’s me, it’s my major identity, who I am’ – Asians regardless of sexual orientation, regard their identity as linked to who their parents are, who they are married to…
While his statement reeks of stereotype, there may be some validity to it. Although, that opinion largely depends on where the subject comes from, i.e. a rural area v. an urban area, perhaps religion plays a role, or maybe none of the above…
Regardless, those are some pretty startling statistics.