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Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by [Law, Benjamin]
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Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Language: English

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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.

Law takes his investigative duties seriously, baring all in Balinese gay nudist resorts, and taking Indian yoga classes designed to cure his homosexuality. The characters he meets – from Tokyo’s celebrity drag queens to HIV-positive Burmese sex workers, from Malaysian ex-gay Christian fundamentalists to Thai ladyboy beauty contestants – all teach him something new about being queer in Asia.

At once hilarious and moving, Gaysia traces a fascinating quest by a leading Australian writer.

‘A terrific read … gonzo anthropology and great storytelling’ —John Safran

‘One of the most surprising and entertaining voices in Australian nonfiction writing … Gaysia is a book of powerful, enlightening stories on a fraught topic, told with care, empathy, grace and good humour’ —Australian

Gaysia is like a Louis Theroux documentary in book form’ —Bookseller + Publisher

‘Benjamin Law is funny and honest and handsome – Gaysia is a delightful, occasionally confronting adventure’ —Josh Thomas

Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law and Gaysia, and a frequent contributor to the Monthly, frankie and Good Weekend. Benjamin writes for publications, businesses and agencies worldwide, and co-wrote the TV adaptation of The Family Law for SBS and Matchbox Pictures.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1296 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Black Inc. (19 June 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DH83B1M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Funny and thought-provoking, this is a great intro to the trials and tribulations of gay life in Asia. Benjamin Law writes intelligently and draws on his own experiences. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not as funny as I expected it to be and like all electronic books I haven't read it all yet...not sure in retrospect why I bought it now. Must have seen the author on TV and thought it'd be a good read.....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 36 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Law's "Gaysia" is not quite what you expect... 10 January 2013
By Ulysses Dietz - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I just finished "Gaysia," recommended to me by a friend, while on a business trip to Chicago. It is promoted as a wild romp through all of gay Asia - but ultimately, it is a far more fascinating and, indeed, moving book than that. I might venture to say that this is an important book - particularly for westerners who don't know much about life in Asia. Most of us, in fact.

Law, an ethnically Chinese Australian, begins his peregrinations in Bali at an all gay resort that seems to be setting up the book as a somewhat leering view of gay foreigners and Asian sex workers. But that's the trick of this book. It does indeed deal a lot with sex workers, and gay folks (and lesbians and transgendered folks) - but the leering tone rapidly turns to one of thoughtful observation. In what I'm sure was a calculated move, Law gradually moves his readers from the fun side of being gay in Asia to the side of oppression and marginalization. He explores aspects of gay truth in Asia that are as alien and disturbing to us as they are to him (him being a happily out 20-something Australian). And yet, unfailingly, Law approaches everyone he meets on his travels with respect, from transgender beauty queens to anti-gay yoga gurus. Sure, there are plenty of snarky asides - intended only for our eyes - but I gained enormous respect for Law, as I followed his journey along sometimes harrowing and often unnerving paths, meeting people and going places that are hard for me to imagine.

For someone known as a comedian, and someone so young (young enough to be my child), Law evinces a deep maturity and sensitivity in this book, and the one of the penultimate moments, when he attends his first gay pride march - in Mumbai - was as moving for me as it was for him. This book is not all fun and games; but there is much here of great interest and value.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Romp through Seven Countries 3 November 2015
By Greg Polansky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beginning with the idea that Asia is the gayest continent, the author then takes on a most fabulous journey through Asia. Along the way we meet a colorful cast of characters. From the world of moneyboys in Bali to the world of transexual pageantry in Thailand to the hidden world of online gay meeting in China. The chapter on China was particularly powerful due to the description of a society not ready for gay men to live public lives as gay men.

And the adventure continues in Japan in what was one of the more sad chapters. Though Japanese people don't see gay people as sinful, they do seem them as shameful. And then pretend that the non campy gay men ones do not exist. Lesbians are completely ignored.

After Japan, the adventures continue in Malaysia, Myanmar, and India.

For all the people that may emphasize cultural relativism, at the end of the day if you are reading this book in the US, Australia, or Western Europe, then be happy that your culture is much more open and welcoming. Still, the path to openness is one that all countries take and there are hopeful signs that gay rights and visibility are getting stronger in the region. I only wish that the author had visited Taiwan where gay rights are strongest so we could see what that kind of Asian acceptance looks like.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a fun book! 31 October 2014
By Celeste Thayer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fun collection of what are essentially short single-country essays about gay culture in Asia. In some places, gay is ok but in others it's a horrible shame on your family. As an Australian man of Asian heritage, Law has a unique ability to jump right in to Asian cultures but has a distinctly Western point of view. It's an interesting place to be and I love how Law explains his thoughts and ideas.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, witty, and I highly recommend it! 3 May 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be insightful, hilarious, and I think Benjamin Law is a very witty writer. I couldn't put this book down! It is a book that deals with truth, and tragedy, that GLBT people face in Asian countries. But it deals with these tragedies, because the truth is, there IS a lot of tragedy that GLBT people face in Asian countries. Unlike GLBT in America, parts of Europe, and Canada, who enjoy many rights, regardless of the people who are homophobic and don't like them, GLBT in Asian countries face a lot of discrimination, ignorance, and challenges, just because they are GLBT. They have no rights. Basic rights that all people should have.

So I am not sure how this book could have been written without talking about these tragedies, unless the book was to create a fairytale-like existence for the GLBT in Asia. And then it would have been a fictional book about GLBT in Asia (not the purpose of this book). This book opened my eyes. It made me not only realize how fortunate I am to live in a "free-er" country like the USA, but it also made me ask my self, "What can I do to help my GLBT brothers and sisters" who are still discriminated against"? It made me realize that while I sit here all comfortable as a gay man, there are many people who don't even know about HIV, how to get it, prevent it, or avoid it. That to me is a very sad, archaic reality that GLBT in Asian countries still face today.

I love his candid insights, the sharing of his honest feelings, and his willingness to share his feelings about each country he visited.

Great job Benjamin, and I hope you keep writing more books like this one!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic insight 9 September 2012
By jonm_ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gaysia: Adventures In The Queer East is a fully fascinating book, right from the get-go I was hooked by Law's voice and his journey around Asia would be fascinating without the queer aspect. Being serious here, man should write a travel book. But learning about how these various countries tackle homosexuality, and learning about these features is wonderful, and well worth a read. The characters he interviews throughout are intriguing and there was no boring sections to the novel. Law's an excellent writer, and I'm excited for his next work.