A review by bookdragon217
Brown and Gay in LA: The Lives of Immigrant Sons, by Anthony Christian Ocampo

challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective


"Coming out as gay is sometimes framed as a personal journey. But like the journey immigrants make, it's hardly an individual act."

Brown And Gay In L.A. was such an illuminating read for me. The focus of the book is on the experiences of Latino and Filipino men in L.A. navigating their sexuality within the frameworks of masculinity, education, religion, family dynamics & culture, immigration and American beauty standards to name a few. The writing was easily digestible and I wish more nonfiction was written this way. It was engaging and widened my perspective about queer studies.

What really resonated with me was how embedded intersectionality is in queer identity in brown communities, more specifically immigrant Latinx and Filipino cultures. The anxiety of being queer in opposition to immigrant dreams really repeats among many of the interviewees. Another theme that really stuck with me was how higher education can either be the freedom to come out or add more stigma due to how embedded the educational system is with racism, masculinity and heterosexuality. Latinx and Filipino immigrant families for many can be unsafe spaces due to cultural aspects, such as religion, forced assimilation and patriarchy. For many, places like Pulse Nightclub were safe havens because school organizations for queer people often exclude POC. 

This book really made me take a deeper look at the ways that queer people often have to exchange parts of their identities to gain acceptance in certain social spaces and it explored their methods. It reinforces the idea that true activism includes queer liberation. I highly recommend this one if you're interested in LGBTQIA activism and want to educate yourself more about queer issues. Thanks to @nyupress for the gifted copy. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
🏳️‍🌈 "This long-held worry-that being gay was inherently in congruent with the hopes of immigrant parents..."
🏳️‍🌈 "In normalizing heterosexuality, schools also breed  an allegiance to masculinity."
🏳️‍🌈 "Racism can happen everywhere, including a place that was established  precisely as a response to discrimination." 

#BrownAndGayInLA #NYUPress #AnthonyChristianOcampo 

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