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caption: Portrait of a group of Asian men by Brooklyn-based photographer Andrew Kung. This portrait is from Kung's series The All-American, which aims to re-imagine Asian masculinity. See the series at apkung.com/the-all-american 
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Portrait of a group of Asian men by Brooklyn-based photographer Andrew Kung. This portrait is from Kung's series The All-American, which aims to re-imagine Asian masculinity. See the series at apkung.com/the-all-american
Credit: Andrew Kung »

On Asian America: Sex, gender and the 'exotic other'

From dragon ladies to geeky sidekicks, being Asian in America comes with complicated and contradictory expectations.

Over 6,600 incidents of anti-Asian assaults have occurred in the last year, with over 2,800 of those incidents reported in March 2021 alone—a 164% increase over the same period last year. However, discrimination against people of Asian descent living in the U.S. is nothing new.

In an effort to amplify Asian voices and experiences, for this special episode of Speakers Forum we’re passing the mic to KUOW’s Kristin Leong and her co-host Joe Kye. Their program highlights issues of gender, sexuality, and shifting images of Asian representation today.

In this episode you'll hear from Make Love Not Porn founder Cindy Gallop on how the adult film industry is disrupting stereotypes of Asian women.

Then, Professor Douglas Ishii of the University of Washington shares a look into the surprising history of the Asian American movement, and also what it's like to date as an Asian man.

You'll also hear from storyteller Simon Tran who joins photographer Andrew Kung to unpack how Kung's portrait series The All-American is re-imagining Asian masculinity.

And lastly, you'll hear I See In Color, the latest release from our guest co-host Joe Kye featuring artist Austin Antoine. I See In Color was produced for #AZNxBLM, a project of ROCK PAPER RADIO and The Slants Foundation.

Please note: This episode contains unedited language of an adult nature.

caption: Joe Kye, Portland, Oregon-based musician, storyteller, and guest co-host for Speakers Forum's special On Asian America episode.
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Joe Kye, Portland, Oregon-based musician, storyteller, and guest co-host for Speakers Forum's special On Asian America episode.
Credit: Tom Huynh courtesy of Joe Kye
caption: Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of Make Love Not Porn
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Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of Make Love Not Porn
Credit: Dorie Hagler courtesy of Cindy Gallop
caption: Douglas S. Ishii, assistant professor in the Department of
English at the University of Washington. Prof. Ishii specializes in Asian American literature and
culture.
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Douglas S. Ishii, assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington. Prof. Ishii specializes in Asian American literature and culture.
Credit: courtesy of Douglas S. Ishii
caption: Photographer Andrew Kung (left) and storyteller Simon Tran.  Kung's portrait series, The All-American, explores and re-imagines Asian masculinity. See the series at apkung.com/the-all-american
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Photographer Andrew Kung (left) and storyteller Simon Tran. Kung's portrait series, The All-American, explores and re-imagines Asian masculinity. See the series at apkung.com/the-all-american
caption: Multimedia artist Austin Antoine, who joins musician Joe Kye in I See In Color, their latest song for #AZNxBLM. Hear the song at RockPaperRadio.com
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Multimedia artist Austin Antoine, who joins musician Joe Kye in I See In Color, their latest song for #AZNxBLM. Hear the song at RockPaperRadio.com
Credit: courtesy of Joe Kye

This episode of Speakers Forum is part of the On Asian America project, a collaboration between Humanities Washington, KUOW Public Radio, Spokane Public Radio, and Northwest Public Broadcasting. The goal of the series is to amplify Asian voices and spark an ongoing dialogue about the experiences and contributions of Asian communities in our state.

Note from Kristin: Identity is a complex topic, and I welcome your feedback. You can email me at kleong@kuow.org and find me on Twitter @kristinleong. I also welcome your ideas for stories from our Asian communities that KUOW should look into next. Reach out. We're listening.

You can also submit feedback and questions about this episode by emailing engage@kuow.org, leaving a voicemail at 206-221-1926, or texting the word “feedback” to 206-926-9955 to send a text.