Since the beginning of time (or at least me being on the Internet since in the Fall of 1989), I’ve seen the topic of Asian American women having a preference for white men being a subject of consternation. And certainly more so since I’ve been blogging for 8Asians and been on Facebook.
So it was quite a pleasant surprise to read this piece by San Francisco-based venture capitalist Andrew Lee in The New York Times about an experience he had during a first date:
I smiled, expecting something from one of the countless jokes we had shared that day. Instead, she said, “You’re the first Asian guy I’ve ever gone on a date with. I’m not sure how I feel about that.”
After talking nonstop all day, I was at a loss for words. Because here’s the kicker: Sarah is Asian-American. Her parents immigrated from Taiwan. Mine came from mainland China.
“If things don’t work out,” she said, “would it hurt your confidence?”
“Hey, don’t worry about it,” I said. “I’ve got enough confidence for both of us. When my friends ask what happened, I’ll say, ‘She had everything going for her, but sometimes things get between people.’” I smiled. “‘Like racism.’”
She gave a halfhearted laugh. “I’m sorry. It’s not that I don’t like Asian things. I love all Asian food, even stinky tofu. It’s just that I’ve never really been attracted to Asian men. I think it’s because there weren’t a lot of Asians in my small Texas town. All the Asian men I knew were either my friends’ dads or like nerdy brothers to me.”
I swear, I laughed out loud when I had read “Like racism.” The whole piece suscintly and at times, poignantly describes the issue that many Asian American men face dating in the U.S.
I had a close Asian American friend that experienced something like what Andrew had described, when an Asian American woman said that dating Asian men reminded her of her father and brother.
The piece is written beautifully and has some twists and a somewhat unexpected ending. I loved the piece, but there are a lot of haters out there too that hated it … and hated Andrew and/or Sarah.
Living in the Bay Area, I noticed on Facebook that we have 52 mutual friends, so I’m hoping to meet him one day and possibly interview him on his piece.