Gou Qi (Pronouns: he / they / 他) is a genderqueer immigrant who has lived in Redmond for many years. They create digital art inspired by traditional East Asian brush painting.

You can find his cat pictures on Redbubble.

cat peering out of cave

Cat in Taihu Rock

Cat peering out of hole in rock. Birds are perched on the rock.

Digital print

This cat is a resident of the Eastside.

Autumn Cat

cat lying on grass, surrounded by fall leaves

Digital Mixed Media print

The leaves are referenced from photos of leaves taken in Redmond.

Dealing with stereotypes as a non-Western LGBTQ individual

I had no closet to come out of. My parents were aware of my queerness since I was a child. In retrospect, people outside my friends/family circle treated me unkindly because of their implicit bias, but I had NEVER been called a slur because of my same-sex attraction or gender expression. And I had never heard of anti-LGBTQ violence before I came to the United States.

I have great respect for the pioneers of the gay and transgender rights movements in the U.S., who fought for the dignity, safety and health of their communities at great physical risk and social risk to themselves.

But there is one thing that I wish was different here: people tend to make assumptions about my queer experience based on my ethnicity. They assume off the bat that I’m not out to my family, that my parents must be closed-minded towards LGBTQIA people. Reality is quite the opposite. Some people also tend to assume that my ethnic group is more homophobic or transphobic than what they consider ‘mainstream’ or Western society. I can only speak for myself, but none of these assumptions apply to my experience. 

Perhaps consider learning about LGBTQIA people in other cultures before coming to conclusions. Bisexuality and homoromanticism for both men and women were recorded in millennia of Chinese and Japanese history and literature. Non-cisgender identities and non-heterosexual behaviors were all present in the history, traditions and folklore of many non-European cultures.

History is more interesting than stereotypes.

Books about the history of homosexuality in East Asia

Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China (Available through the King County Library System)

Love of the Samurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Homosexuality  (Translation of 本朝男色考 – 男色文献書誌 by 岩田 準 Iwata Junʼichi)

Male Colors: The Construction of Male Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan

The Great Mirror of Male Love (translation of 男色大鏡  by 井原 西鶴 Ihara Saikaku, published in 1687)

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