Transcending socialised limitations to facilitate forming and maintaining intimate relationships in Asian gay men in Australia

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tuesday, 14 March 2006 - 12:23am.

The pervasive nature of gender norms and prejudice toward homosexuality are powerful influences in the development of self-esteem of gay men. Self-esteem is recognised as one of the components fundamental to the capacity to enter into and function within intimate, loving relationships. While it is not a universal phenomenon, it is certainly not uncommon for gay men to feel inadequate and inferior to their heterosexual counterparts. Mainstream society's over-emphasis of male heterosexual gender roles and homophobic attitudes, often leaves gay men feeling alienated and inferior. Exacerbating this alienation are the impact of norms and attitudes of gay subculture. Asian heritage, racial prejudice within mainstream Australian society and gay subculture, impose a further set of challenges for Asian gay men. This set of influences complicates the capacity of Asian gay men, living in Australia , to form and maintain intimate relationships with same sex partners. A workshop, during which Asian gay men explored and discussed these ideas, was conducted. By encountering other Asian gay men in a group context, the participants were able to attain insight into the socialisation factors that negatively impacted on their capacity for intimacy. This encounter group provided the participants with the opportunity to normalise their own experiences and created potential to transcend impediments to functioning in intimate relationships with same sex partners.

Format: Conference Paper
Year of publication: 2007
Author: Themistos Themistou, John Wang, Warwick Allan
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