This month I was fortunate enough to sit down with Geoffrey Gaurano, founder of Gaysian podcast, which is centered on “the life of a recovering closeted person, coming of age and coming out, and the state of being simultaneously Asian and gay.” During our chat we got into the nitty-gritty of vulnerability, intersectionality, and Asian America. His podcast is more than just a vehicle for self-identity, it is an invitation to allies to join in the united fight against white supremacy.
Ethan and his artwork got on our radar, when he submitted a series of portraits for our October issue. At first glance I could see the depth and complexity of his art was palpable, and wanted to learn about his process. Ethan was gracious enough to squeeze in some time to chat in between work, school, and his painting; which he makes possible with detailed organization and keeping structured schedule. Over the course of our discussion, we got into how he developed his process of creating art; the portrait series he submitted; and the dialectic between art and science and emotion that cannot be divorced from one another.
A model, dancer, writer, artist - you do it all! What does a typical day look like for you? Yes! I often tell people who ask what I do, that I am a modern day Renaissance man because it’s hard to explain my career. At the forefront, I consider myself as a creative and an entrepreneur. My typical day ( in a pandemic) is to wake up quite early and workout and make breakfast after. I live a very active lifestyle given my careers, and so the upkeep of my body is very important to me. I usually begin my “work hours” in the early afternoon. Among being a dancer and writer, I am also a graphic designer and personal trainer, so my work hours vary from drafting designs in front of a computer, guiding clients through virtual sessions via zoom, and/or working as administration support for non-profit art orgs. By the late afternoon/early evening, I always plan to dance in some capacity as a sort of reward for getting through the day, whether it be just freestyling to a playlist or taking classes virtually or in person.By evening, I like to end the day by watching either some of my favorite Anime or writing in my journal as a way to unwind and reflect where I am mentally.
To visualize of white supremacy as a societal context, I think of a joke that writer David Foster Wallace used to open a commencement speech: “there are these two young fish swimming along; and they happen to meet an older fish, who nods to them and says ‘morning boys, how’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one looks over to the other and says “What the hell is water?” While Wallace’s intention was not to discuss the effects of living in a [global] society that functions to perpetuate white supremacy, I have co-opted it for this purpose. Discussed in part one, originally published in the Asian American Arts Zine Volume II, as members of historically undervalued groups, we often communicate to the dominating force as opposed to each other. This realization has urged me to focus on communicating to my fellow people of color and AIPA’s. I think it is necessary and urgent to speak directly to you, rather than continue to tailor discussion to the dominant group, so that some of the information can be disseminated back down to each other.
Food in Asian culture is more than just sustenance, especially during the holiday season. Many dishes are a taste of home. Sometimes a home you no longer live in, sometimes a home you've never been to... always a home you miss. First-generation-ers, immigrants, Dreamers, Adoptees; we're all Asian, we're all American.
Southeast Asian Inspired: Tiffy Cooks, Website: tiffycooks.com, Instagram: @tiffy.cooksQUOTE & PICTURE FROM TIFFYCOOKS.COM: “After graduating, my fiancé and I decided to take a 4-month break and traveled around South East Asia. Once I got there, I instantly fell in love with the street food culture, and we were eating 8-9 meals a day because I knew once I was back home, I needed to recreate all these recipes.”
I still catch myself seeking the approval of people who do not wish me to succeed. Whether it be unhealthy friendships, the “cool” kids on campus, or to be validated in Eurocentric spaces. It's exhausting, like swimming upstream to meet them at their understanding; but the current is strong and it feels like I’ll drown … Continue reading A Preference for Breathing
Reviewing Brian Kim’s submission, My Asian American Typecast, I found myself snapping my fingers at certain lines, laughing at others; and was left feeling inspired by the conviction and vulnerability present in his piece. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pick his brain four a couple hours. Our discussion touched on a … Continue reading Stepping Up to the Plate: Interview with actor Brian Kim
A Monopoly on the Beauty Standard in a World of Professionalism In a world of evolving beauty standards, each generation creates a new narrative for what it means to be “professional.” More and more young adults are embracing their culture, and simultaneously searching for jobs. In South Asia, nose piercings have been a cultural norm … Continue reading Asian Aesthetics on European Faces
Growing up, the dinner table at my parent’s house always felt like a space where most of the meals came from family recipes, passed down. As an Asian American kid, only eating from these family recipes felt so restricting and unadventurous. When I finally went to university, I had all this freedom to eat anything … Continue reading The Dinner Table/Family Recipes