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Queer Asian Stories

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A hugely negative showing from four of the five Asian MPs on the Marriage Equality Bill, has led to the setting up of a blog highlighting the real lives of queer Asians.

"We were really disappointed that the opposition to marriage equality by those MPs reflected many of the bad experiences we'd had within our families and communities. We wanted to do something to show this is a real issue in Asian communities," said Wai Ho, spokesperson for the blog.

"We also wanted a place where people could share experiences and not feel like they're isolated" "It feels like there is a reluctance to acknowledge or address homophobic and transphobic prejudice within Asian communities. You hear tired old sayings like “These aren't our issues, they don't have anything to do with us,” or “There are more important real issues to address”. People say this but are not aware of how and who they affect."

"If you think you don't know any gay or trans people, it's because they don't trust you enough to share that with you," says Wai, "The denial and invisibilising of queer Asian people within Asian families, impacts massively on our health and well-being. This leads to over-representation in negative statistics such as depression and suicidality. Further than that, it strains family relations, and diminishes the diversity of our communities."

The blog co-ordinators plan to write to the Asian MPs who didn't support marriage equality, Asian media and community groups, in the hope they and others will listen to an issue that affects lots of young people, and has a big impact on the real lives of families. Queer Asian stories from New Zealand can be found at www.lgbtiasiannz.wordpress.com

“When we we growing up, our parents told us that Asian people valued family above all else, and this was what set us apart from the Kiwis. So when our sister transitioned to become our brother, there was never any question that we would continue to love and support him.”

Supportive Sister, NZ born Singaporean “And I think the most important thing is now my family knows my sexual orientation and they also embrace it, and also they like my partner. I think the harder things for any hidden secret is you cannot be honest with people you love, and you cannot share the joy and the hardship you have in your life. ” Ivan Yeo, Chinese Malaysian