There are huge differences between Asian vs White parents but nowhere is it more apparent than how they treat gay children.
Although gay Asians growing up in the West have access to the same cultural amenities as their white peers, their parents are an entirely different matter.
Take, for example, coming out to Asian vs White parents.
Coming out to Asian vs White Parents
By and large white gay men can expect a positive reaction when coming out to their parents unless they’re from a Pentecostal family and/or a flyover state.
To many white parents it’s a relief, since they’ve often known their son was gay long before he knew himself and they can finally talk about it in the open.
It’s not long before the fact that their son is gay is no different than him having freckles or being left-handed.
By contrast, Asian parents don’t understand the concept of “gay” and treat a coming out like any other morally suspect Western fad, especially if their son is under 25.
Over the age of 25, coming out to Asian parents can trigger an acute mid-life crisis, the likelihood of which rises in proportion to how recently they got off the boat.
“What we do wrong?? No feed him enough??”
Rather than evolving into acceptance, the crisis mutates into a staunch form of denial that can last years or decades.
Many Asian parents will engage in guerrilla warfare against their son’s perceived corruption. They’ll make poorly disguised attempts to set up him with daughters of family acquaintances in an effort to steer him back on the right path.
Eventually, seeing the futility of their overbearing, clumsy hookup efforts, they’ll quietly declare a ceasefire and pretend he’s asexual.
Many gay Asians never come out to their parents, especially ones who still live on the other side of the Pacific. They’ll spin impossibly elaborate stories, engage in sham marriages and artificially inseminate lesbian women in order to appease expectations, things that would be unthinkable to white gay men.
Introducing a Boyfriend to Asian vs White Parents
White parents are usually eager to meet the boyfriend of their gay son, sometimes treating him better than if he was a girlfriend in a effort to be progressive and inclusive.
In the absence of personality clashes, boyfriends of white gay men can expect to be adopted as a prospective son-in-law. White boyfriends will befriend each other’s moms on Facebook and take turns joining each other’s families for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and weddings.
Only the bravest and most foolhardy of gay Asian men would even attempt to introduce a boyfriend to his parents as such. Instead he’ll play a charade, presenting his boyfriend as a “roommate”, “colleague” or “classmate,” even if they attended different colleges.
Asian parents aren’t dumb and quickly see through the charade, at which time they become co-creators of it, despite the obvious inconsistencies.
The more prestigious the boyfriend’s occupation (doctor, engineer, etc.) the more likely Asian parents are to try and remember the name of their son’s “roommate.”
Breaking up with your Boyfriend – Asian vs White Parents
When white parents find out that their son has broke up with his boyfriend, it can be a rather devastating affair, especially if they liked him. They might lambaste their son for losing such a catch. They can’t help but get caught up in the drama of the breakup, taking sides with their son and/or his ex as appropriate.
In extreme cases, white parents (mothers especially) will travel across the continent to comfort their gay son after a breakup and make sure he finds a good therapist.
Asian parents’ reaction to their son’s breakup will range anywhere from total indifference to muted delight. They’ll quietly ignore their son’s suffering, but wait for just the right moment in his recovery to deliver some well-meaning advice…
“Maybe next time you try girl.”
14 thoughts on “Asian vs White Parents – Gay Edition”
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I’m sorry personal experience (which includes anectodal experience from friends) should NEVER be used for any study that draws out generalised statements.
I am white and 1/2 Ukrainian 1/2 Russian ethnically and trust me most Asian friends I have, had a much less traumatic coming out experience.
Does that give me a right to write an article saying that Asians have it easier than whites? No!
Also for f**** sake man, Asians are not a homogenous group. Someone coming out to his Taiwanese parents will have a different experience to someon from China or Korea, who will in turn have a different experience to people who’s parents are from HK or Thailand.
Also whites are not a homogenous group as well….
Just thought of something…
“Many gay Asians never come out to their parents, especially ones who still live on the other side of the Pacific. They’ll spin impossibly elaborate stories, engage in sham marriages and artificially inseminate lesbian women in order to appease expectations, things that would be unthinkable to white gay men.”
Maybe this, in part explains why so many Asian and White gay men prefer White men…a greater sense of freedom and liberation, whether actual or perceived.
I must be the stupid white guy, my asian boyfriend of more then 20 years has cheated on me no stop right from the start, some thing I only found out 3 years ago.
yes it has stopped but my life is gone down the drain…….
And if anyone thinks asians are not racist, well, how is the weather on your planet? LOL No really….
Your boyfriend might not be racist but his friends are…
I love your blog. This is so funny.
This is so not true. Most of my gay white friends (including myself) have had a very difficult coming out experience with their parents. The truth is that the vast majority of white Americans (especially older generations) are religious and do not want a gay son. I don’t have a single white gay friend who have parents that are excited that they are gay. Also note that I have lived in the midwest, the south, and NYC.
Hey… I thought I’d give you the head’s up that so many more white families buy into religious hate propaganda than you realize based on your shared ideas. Homosexuality is overly represented in homeless youth, many who are white. I must second the person who cautioned about generalizations. White people can be as nasty and accepting as anyone else. When I was a victim of an extremely violent hate crime when naively travelling abroad alone as an out queer in a non-gay positive country, they responded by wondering after if I was flaunting my homosexuality like the people in “the pride parade” and maybe brought the aggressive violence upon myself. This was evidence in their distorted hateful brains. The list of hate coming from my white family started as a teenager and never improved but only worsened. There was no coming around with love and acceptance like you suggest and certainly no desire to pay a wedding deposit like you suggest in this post. I was written out of all Wills and banned from seeing the children so that I won’t influence them to be gay. I haven’t seen them in years. My real family is a self-made queer family. I am happy to hear you know of many accepting parents, but most the close white friends I have over 25 years old, including myself had a terrible experience and don’t relate to this at all.
I didn’t edit very well today in a few spots. I’m sure you get the gist.
This is funny but not that the kids suffer on the Asian side but the fact it is true more often than not.
Though, I do have Asian friends that are out and their parents are supportive (so it is slowly changing). I got invited to my Asian friend’s parents for Thanksgiving (so I was there alone) with him and his white bf.
The parents asked why I didn’t have a date; now, that was totally unexpected and awkward. I don’t think it was meant to be negative though.
I recently made a friend of Philipino descent. His experience with his mother sounds like this. It’s not funny. 🙁
I just think it’s a funny article and some of it are kind of true. I’ve been through both the “spinning impossibly elaborate stories” and introducing my boyfriend as “best friend” (hey they’re both bf, close enough). To this day my parents are still in denial and holding on to the hope that one day I will “settle down” with Mrs. Kim’s “incredibly nice daughter” who “has a PhD, can cook very well and takes good care of her parents”. Well all would have been well if she were a guy…
Cool comment… well, if she is that good of a cook, I might marry her LOL
Generalization is always dangerous, especially when it further reinforces negative stereotypes (or faux positive ones) without providing backup data or reasonable logics. Asian vs. white parenting is way too complex. Do forth generation Japanese American families behave the same as first generation immigrant Indian families? Of course not! Do liberal white families from Massachusetts respond to their kids coming out like the Bush family from Texas? Can we see how ridiculous generalization could be?
I implore activists, angry or otherwise, to use data and well researched methodology to come to these conclusions rather than glamorizing “the others” while continuing to make “us” feel inferior.