I am in this book called Best Gay Asian Erotica, edited by Joel Tan. I began my writing life writing nothing but Gay Asian life. Embracing who I am was part of my development as an artist and a man. From my recent work, you can see that I began writing about other things as well.
Not too long ago, I began going through old folders in my computer. I ran across a long short story that I started in the mid-nineties. It was really the first story that I'd ever cared about developing. It runs 50 pages long and it's about a gay Asian health worker in the mid-nineties and his unfulfilled love life. (Back then, I was a gay Asian health worker with an unfulfilled love life.)
I sort of abandoned it. Recently, I started picking at it again. It reminds me of a time and place in my life that I'd said farewell to. It was inspired from a bar called Mugi's that is now called The Stone.
I used to hate it here. I mean Ito's is not exactly the Bonaventure Hotel. It's old and dismal, a real dive. Ito's is located in the east end of Hollywood. Far from the Mann's Chinese theatre and the Walk of Fame. Ito's is surrounded with decaying brick buildings. These brick buildings would have probably housed starlets back in the 1930's, but not today.
Ito's bar attracts a very interesting clientele. There's a lot of Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Japanese, Thai, and other Asian languages spoken here. Most of the guys here aren't Asian-American like me. Most of these guys are from Asia.
Not too many Asian Americans come to Ito's. Many of us, American born or bread Asians, will party in the bars in Silverlake or West Hollywood. We look at Ito's as that embarrassing place where people who can barely speak English go, where their rough accents are painful to our ears.
I don't know why we divide ourselves: Asian-Asian versus Asian Americans. That's just so.
Lesson # 1: There are certain things that just are, no rhyme or reason.