QUEER VOICES

Queer Asians Reveal How They'd Come Out To Immigrant Parents In A Perfect World

A new film reminds families they "don’t have to choose between loving their children and being faithful to their culture or to their religion."

10/16/2017 16:46 EDT

Six LGBTQ Asian Americans share what they’d say to their parents in a world without language and cultural barriers in this poignant short film. 

Released on National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), “Unspoken: Asian Americans On Coming Out To Immigrant Parents” aims to remind families that “they don’t have to choose between loving their children and being faithful to their culture or to their religion,” filmmaker Patrick G. Lee told HuffPost. 

The nearly seven-minute film’s subjects don’t hold back in the clip, reading heartfelt letters they’ve written to their families. Their experiences are incredibly diverse. “I know I promised you that I would be straight, but I’m sorry to say that I cannot be,” one man, identified only as Kevin, says in the clip. “And God knows I tried after all of that.” Later, a trans individual named Sen explains, “I hope you can understand that I chose to stay alive as a fem, but I do not choose the hardships that come with it.” 

Lee, who is of Korean descent said the film is for “all of us who remember growing up and feeling weird or different from everyone else.” The idea for the project came about after the Chicago native came out to his own family as queer this summer, but realized the cultural divide between him and his immigrant parents prevented him from opening up as much as he wanted to.  

Hence, the documentarian is hopeful that LGBTQ Asian Americans will see themselves as “resilient” and “valued” after watching his film. He’s also at work on a 25-minute version of the film that will expand on the theme and be screened at Asian American community events across the country. 

“Our hope is to show immigrant parents of LGBTQ kids that they don’t have to choose between loving their children and being faithful to their culture or to their religion,” he told HuffPost. “We want to show our families that unconditional love is possible.”

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