Buzzworthy books – Gaysia by Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law considers himself pretty lucky to live in Australia: he can hold his boyfriend’s hand in public and lobby his politicians to recognise same-sex marriage. As the child of migrants, though, he also wonders how different life might have been had he grown up elsewhere. So off he sets to meet his fellow Gaysians.” (from the blurb)

Benjamin Law’s writing credentials include an autobiography (The Family Law) and enough magazinges that I’ll just mention frankie and Good Weekend and move on. He’s been on Q&A, Sunrise and the First Tuesday Bookclub and he’s hilarious as all get out. Asia is this interesting paradox of incredible economic growth while remaining, at least in parts, traditional and old-fashioned culturally in particular with regards to marriage and sex. In this time of the internet and with the incredible amount of access we have to others around the globe its no wonder that Gay Asians – Gaysians, are becoming outter and prouder than they’ve ever been before. In his honest and sometimes confronting portrayal of today’s ‘queer east’ there’s insight into all sorts from Thailand’s lady-boys, ex-gay Christian fundamentalists to celebrity drag-queens (in Japan, if you were wondering). He finds places were transsexuals are okay, but lesbians aren’t. Places where being a gay man is okay, just marry a woman. As Law points out right at the beginning as the most populous continent on earth, it only follows that there would be more gay people in Asia than anywhere else. So he spent almost a year meeting quite a few of them and this is the fascinating, and hilarious, account of his travels. Part travel memoir, part social commentary, this large format paperback is brand new and $30.

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Filed under Non-fiction Reviews, Reviews

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