Why Eugene Lee Yang’s ‘I’m Gay’ Video Is Perfect For The LGBTQ+ Community

Standing at over eight million views on YouTube in just a few days alone, Eugene Lee Yang not only stood up for himself, but also represented the LGBTQ community marvelously with his video titled, “I’m Gay”. No words, no blissful chords from a singer, just pure cinematography magic and yet, the video spoke volumes.

We start out with Eugene in a red ensemble where him and his siblings mimic the actions of his parents — actions respective of typical gender roles where the man screams and drinks, while the woman is to be bright, bubbly, and appealing. He finds himself more geared to putting on lipstick and the portrayals of his mother and sister, until his father and brother wack him into masculinity as he should “naturally”. From an early age, we’re taught how we must match what gender we are assigned to at birth, and any kind of expression of the opposite is considered wrong.

Orange is the next scene, in which we follow Eugene in a Naruto-style outfit, dancing around a church set, trying to vividly be himself, only to be corrected by the people around him. He sits along with people on the right side of the benches where those around him are peaceful and obliging by what the church and Bible states, while the left side is full of rowdy individuals challenging the preacher to test these Biblical controversies. Many individuals who come out struggle to find a relationship with God and those in the church on after, as their lifestyle is considered a sin. Eugene’s look at the end of this scene definitively describes the confused state we all face when questioning our faith.

Yellow is the next color, and it was represented in such a sweet light. Not only was this set absolutely beautiful and fairytale-like with draping flowers and a park bench and lights, but the contemporary choreography by Eugene sold us a story of love — the soft side of it, despite how painful or confusing it can be. Eugene, in a pale yellow vest and yellow flared bottoms, dances with a lady until a man passing by catches his eye and they begin to dance with one another. Not only do the men dance elegantly, but the elegance highlights a connection established between the two, and show how natural the movement with one another becomes. The woman recognizes this and sends her best wishes for Eugene and the man. The representation of the woman is a key component to those who have been disowned by others in their life, as all it takes is one person to believe and accept you.

The next scene is green, and one that strikes a cord with nearly any person. We watch Eugene walk down the stairs to a club, gorgeously dressed as Cheyenne Pepper, greeting his new family, his fellow drag queens and inspirations, making his way down to the dance floor with them all to have a great night out. We cut to a man walking up to the dance floor with his hand shaped like a gun and starts shooting. People fall to the floor, with Eugene hoping he doesn’t shoot more. As someone who moved to Orlando, Florida, three months after the Pulse nightclub shooting and still drives by the memorial of the nightclub every so often, it doesn’t get easier. Even if you’re not a part of the community, we’re in a country where mass shootings are the norm, and it’s safe to stay we are all affected and sick of seeing people die for another’s reckless decisions. The green scene is powerful, and yet the story continues to unfold, setting our emotions up for a ride.

Blue, my favorite color, is up next. The scene opens up with Eugene in long blue jeans, covered in blood as he’s beaten up and kicked on the ground by strangers, in what seems like the back of an alley. As they stop and run away, he crawls out for help, bleeding from his mouth, to which his siblings find him but his parents intervene. The family argues, leaving Eugene to hold onto whatever strength he may have left in him to keep moving forward and to get back up. Many LGBTQ individuals are beaten on a daily basis by random people or even by family members, just for the fact that there is a disagreement on who they are. People can find the individuals “disgusting” or a “disgrace”, verbally abused with slurs no one should be attacked with. By Eugene representing this phase he or individuals have been through, he advocates that they are not alone in terrible incidents like this, and how you can make it through.

The last color to be expressed is purple, and I find this to be the most powerful scene. Eugene is dressed in a beautiful purple dress, and walks through a crowd of people that are all pushing on him and/or yelling at him. The people are either dressed in black or white, representing the viewpoints of that person — either they respect the community or not. As we watch and hear the blacks and whites argue with one another in the back, we zoom in on Eugene’s face, trying to maintain his composure amongst the noise. I easily cried in this scene because I know what it feels like to not only have people argue with you on who you are or who you should be, but also how strong your inner voice can yell at you. Your mind gets so cluttered with worrying about satisfying others and meeting their needs that you tend to compromise what makes you happy. The purple scene is empowering, and gives us a glimpse into how Eugene has to stand tall and strong when people use their words, especially on the internet.

Even if you’re not a part of the LGBTQ community yourself, you must know at least one person who is. After you watch this video, soak it in and really feel around in their shoes. No matter how “different” you live your life, it should not be definitive of how you are treated in this world. So long as you do not harm another individual, let others live peacefully. We live in a time where we could not be more accepting of diversity and yet, we still face backlash. I guess that is how the world works.

And while I’m not a part of the LGBTQ community myself, I know many people around me who are, and they are the most wonderful and loving individuals you could ever meet. For me, I feel as though this video can speak out to anyone who feels alone, or feels disgusted for trying to be who they are, especially when family or close people around you try to state otherwise.

I hope what you take out of this video is not only to recognize the genius mind, hard-work, artistry and creativity of Eugene Lee Yang, but also learn to respect others, even if you don’t align with their beliefs.

Eugene Lee Yang Of ‚The Try Guys‘ Comes Out In Hauntingly Beautiful Music Video

Eugene Lee Yang came out to the world through an emotional, visually stunning music video. 

The 33-year-old internet star of “The Try Guys” fame, wrote, choreographed, and directed the video, set to music by electronic duo Odesza. While he’s been out as queer for some time, Yang wanted to make it clear that he identifies as gay. 

What’s more, the project served as a fundraiser for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. 

“I created this music video as my personal way of coming out as a proud gay man who has many unheard, specific stories to tell,” Yang wrote on Twitter. “I withheld because of fear and shame shaped by my background but I promise to give my full truth in the rest of my life’s work.” 

Through contemporary dance, Yang takes viewers through the different stages of self-discovery with his sexuality. There are nods to his Korean American family, critical relationships in his life, and the both pain and celebration that came with his journey. The video also includes cameos from several celebrities and big names in the LGBTQ community, like drag queen Kim Chi and fellow internet personality Curly Velasquez. 

Yang told The Advocate that growing up in Texas, he already felt like an outsider because of his Asian identity, contributing to his gradual coming out process. 

“I was already dealing with the fact that I didn’t even know I was Asian until a certain age. I just was informed about it in a somewhat negative way by [my peers]. And that immediately put me into that mind-set where I felt very othered, you know. My safety always felt like it wasn’t something that I could consider a given,” he said. 

He said that that experience “sort of shaded a lot of my first sort of ways that I covered in regards to my openness about my sexuality because I already had seen the way some other openly gay kids were treated in my school — and it was really, really terrible.”

“There were a lot of elements in society that were kind of pointing me in the direction of being very careful,” Yang explained.

As he tweeted along with the video, “Coming out is a lifelong process – your safety always comes first – but know that there’s a vibrant community waiting to welcome you with open arms,” he said. 

Through the video, Yang has already raised more than $65,000 for the Trevor Project as of Monday afternoon. He’s also received an outpouring of support from fans across the internet, lauding his raw honesty. 

Or course, his mother had the most Asian mom response to his project. 

Being gay and Asian is your mom seeing your coming out video and the first thing she says is “오모 you look too skinny.”

Eugene Lee Yang Of 'The Try Guys' Comes Out In Hauntingly Beautiful Music Video

I’m Gay – Eugene Lee Yang

Wow. What a powerful and sad depiction of the joys and sorrows of being queer.

Right? People are getting so caught up in the „Wasn’t he out“ conversation and I’m just looking around like, this video was gorgeous can we focus on that?

Saw them in concert in Indianapolis, IN and seeing this song live was amazing.. yet seeing this song (which is also a favorite of mine) used is nothing short of amazing at minimal

this is seriously amazing … like the vision the creativity the choreography … this is art

The video made me cry because it was so beautiful. I rewatched it 3 times and notice something new every time.

one detail i really appreciate about this is that a man wearing „women’s things“, dresses, make up, etc, isn’t treated as a joke. in fact in the end scene with the blue clothes i think it is framed as a sign of strength. i really am grateful for that.

This is beautiful. I’ve watched it twice and cried both times.

Can we talk about the metaphors? I want to make sure I have everything right.

here’s what I’ve seen (or think I have), plus some questions;

White clothing represents Christians? Maybe Non-LGBT+ people and non allies.

the choice of white being “bad” and black being “good” is very interesting as we typically see the opposite. I wonder if this choice was due to racial connotations of the typical color choice, or for some other reason.

the only people in color are at the pulse night club scene, the man Eugene dances with, and at the end with I assume people he considers close friends (jazz and curly are in there! People he worked with at buzzfeed). I wonder what exactly the use color represents? Impactful people in his life maybe. If so why aren’t his mother and brotherin color?

back to the portrait. I wonder why the choice was made to show the whole family in black when later on the sister and father are in white.

his mom gave him a lipstick secretly and his dad found out and scolded/screamed at/beat him.

Did the pastor flirt with Eugene, or was he trying to make Eugene more Christian?

The woman he dances with (but leaves) is in black. I wonder if she was LGBT+ or just an ally?

the gun scene was pulse night club right? That was so powerful. I cried.

in the scene was does Eugene reaching out and being pulled down mean exactly? (Rewatching it is arms with white clothing pulling him down. Not the colorful people at the club)

his family couldn’t stop fighting each other over Eugene’s sexuality so they ended up leaving him beaten.

The scene right before the end where white and black clothed people are fighting. If you notice the people in black are pushing Eugene back up, but the people in white are pulling at and pushing him down/away.

the choice of when Eugene does and does not smile is amazing. His smile seems so real

Did you guys notice anything else? Have I misunderstood anything?

I’d really just like to talk about what it all means.

It’s worth noting in some East Asian cultures they don’t see white and black the same way. If I remember correctly white is the color of death in Japan.

I understood the woman dancing with him as a gf that figured him out and let him go benevolently.

Perhaps in the beginning everyone was in Black because he saw his family initially as his allies, but later that changed when his father and sister rejected him.

I’m not sure if the gun scene was pulse or a more general representation of violence against the community

The end mirrors the beginning, symbolizing he’s with his chosen family and can be himself now. That’s how i interpreted it at least.

I believe the „colorful people“ (lgbt+) being posed at the end there was to symbolize them being his new family.

Maybe white is bad because white is the absence of color whereas black could be interpreted as all the colors together.

Yes! I rewatched it 3 times and the video is so powerful, especially if you keep track of Eugene’s facial expression from scene to scene.

There’s a new video out and you can see the script(?) at 4:19.

This was truly amazing, made me cry. I’m so happy for him, even though the video ended in a sad note. I hope he’s well <3

I’m sobbing… Watching his face as he attempts to keep composure while they are all shouting and fighting in the background… What a powerful piece! He should be very proud of himself and his cast and crew. ?️‍???

breathtaking? something about it reminds me of Perfume Genius.

Seeing this made me want to live my life even bolder

I’m Gay - Eugene Lee Yang

Eugene Lee Yang Comes Out as Gay: ‚I Finally Felt Safe‘

Eugene Lee Yang Comes Out as Gay: ‚I Finally Felt Safe‘

„.. queer person has the moment where they are elegantly perfecting the craft of withholding just enough, and I realized I was doing that with the audience.“

„I’m Gay.“ The title of the Try Guy’s latest video is simple, but it’s a momentous coming out for Eugene Lee Yang.

„I finally felt safe,“ Yang tells PRIDE. „I feel like every queer person has the moment where they are elegantly perfecting the craft of withholding just enough, and I realized I was doing that with the audience.“

Yang, who rose to digital fame with the peak of BuzzFeed, has been creating queer content from behind the camera for years, even launching their Queer Prom. He’s been comfortable with his sexuality but didn’t want to make it public. „Imagine maybe it’s you and your friends hanging out with your family, and your parents don’t know, and you’re kind of just making an aside at the table during dinner, that’s kind of how I felt like I was with the audience.“

He felt particularly guarded with his personal life and constantly had to edit himself, especially when he began to become more of a personality in front of the camera with the Try Guys. 

„I do feel like yeah I always had a very particular wall up, and that it was totally because of personal protection,“ he explains. „There were relationships that could become tenuous should they know the full extent of my sexuality.“

For certain people close to Yang, „the word gay for them is very toxic. It’s the word that scares them. It’s so silly how it all comes down to vernaculars, and people are very simple that way. But if I do enact this terrible negative reaction from people I didn’t want to have that from, I then thought, ‚How much of a positive reaction on the other side can I enact by saying that I’m gay?'“

The benefits outweighed the cons for Yang, and he’s ready to share his truth. 

„Knowing that I am explicitly and I have always been 100% a gay man, and not being able to completely show that, or tell that, or express that, and then seeing the impact I was able to do while dancing around something, I do feel like I owe it also just as someone who’s been in front of people’s eyes for over five years now, to give them more to connect with, and hopefully more to potentially take and learn from.“

There are very few openly-queer, Asian-American people in media. Yang knows the power representation has, and he’s willing to share his story and lead the way for other LGBTQ Asian Americans who might be struggling. 

„We feel obligated to still abide by this patriarchal system,“ Yang says of Asian-American familial structures. „It’s something that makes people feel like they have to be a certain way, or look a certain way, or act a certain way. And that becomes this sort of not only a personal vendetta for me to sort of help break that.“

„That sort of persecution of otherness in my background is something that I just personally detest. There’s a lot of issues not only for Asian Americans or even for other people of color, but also people who I think grew up with a hardcore Christian background, or had very, very strict rules set in place, and essentially your life was sort of predestined. 

„I’m a gay Korean American man from Texas. And I think that even saying and having to feel compelled to say that I’m just LGBTQ Korean American from Texas, it’s again I’m trying to help a culture of questioning why we feel we have to be covering ourselves to begin with or conditioning ourselves to begin with. And if I condition myself in any way, then I am inherently detracting from my work and my messaging.“

In just two days, Yang’s coming out video has been viewed over 6 million times. It features a stunning dance sequence, written, directed, and choreographed by Yang.

It begins with him surrounded by a family. We watch Yang interact with them, but wanting to put on lipstick and dance in line with the girls. He quickly gets scolded by the men. He learns to hide and march in line with everyone else. 

The next scene is a church, where Eugene uncomfortably rehearses obedience. He begins a romantic dance with a woman until a shirtless guy twirling past him catches his eye. He struts over and their dancing quickly falls in sync together. He says goodbye to the girl and lays with his new partner. 

Then we cut to a club scene, where Eugene kikis with his community, including Drag Race stars Kim Chi and Mayhem Miller. The fun is cut heartbreakingly short when a gunman walks into the space, a nod to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. 

We then see Eugene bruised and bloody on the ground, kicked relentlessly by anonymous people in white. His family comes to help him up but they’re too preoccupied fighting amongst themselves to truly help him while he’s down.

At the end, Yang dons a gorgeous, purple gown and as a boisterous crowd rages behind him, he walks up to the camera. A choice dances behind his eyes: stay silent amongst the chaos or stand strong in his truth.

„The first video is not just really about me,“ Yang explained. „It’s kind of my creative exploration of one’s journey of being anything under the LGBTQ umbrella, and so ideally by exemplifying moments in my life, and expressing it through dance and movement, and through cinematography, and styling, hopefully that it speaks to a lot of people, and that it could represent parts of what they went through.“

Alongside the video, Eugene and the Try Guys launched a campaign for The Trevor Project, the largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ young people. At the time of publishing, they’ve raised over $68,000. 

Eugene is forever grateful for his platform with Zach, Ned, and Keith. „They’ve known that I’m a gay man since I walked into the offices of BuzzFeed,“ he says. „Even though they are not people of color, even though they’re not gay, they are inherently sympathetic because the nature of being even a digital personality is pulling back every single layer and using your own personality and your own life to fuel work and concepts in videos, and that’s a very stressful position to be in.“

No matter the consequences, Yang knows he has a loving family of his own behind him every step of the way. 

„If I’m afraid of some people I know having a less than glowing reaction to a gay proclamation, then I have people like the other Try Guys who can fill that void because they are like brothers to me. They’re kind of a testament to a community that I have that helps to this idea that I have security and safety regardless of anything that happens to the people I know. And I think that is always going to be a through line of when I discuss this moment, which is look at those people that you clearly see hold me up and I have that to fall back on with decisions like this that can actually have darker, deeper implications. But those implications now are outweighed by the family I have obtained.“

 Eugene Lee Yang Comes Out as Gay: 'I Finally Felt Safe'

Eugene Lee Yang: I’m Gay June 15, 2019 12:10 PM   Subscribe

« Older Rapturous Ecstasies!   |   Lustucru: From Severed Heads to Ready-Made Meals Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments

Eugene Lee Yang: I'm Gay June 15, 2019 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Eugene Lee Yang Is Making the Internet More Gay

Eugene Lee Yang never thought his „I’m Gay“ video would do well. In fact, he wasn’t really sure what to expect at all.

Sure, he could use our obsession with the cult of internet celebrity to give „I’m Gay“ an initial push, a reason for people to watch, something for his millions of followers and subscribers to talk about. But after the buzz blogs had picked apart the announcement, how would his fans react? Especially to a decidedly high-brow piece of art combining interpretative dance, dramatic camerawork, and a downtempo Odesza track? Something, undoubtedly, a far cry from the relatable, nice guy authenticity his audience had grown to expect from him.

„I had this inherent fear and assumption that people would not respond to it,“ he admits, crossing his legs on the sofa of his VidCon hotel room. „I carried that old assumption people have about internet — that it’s quantity over quality. I had the old-guard assumption it wouldn’t do well.“

Yang takes a deep breath, „But the output I’m getting from it is so much more important.“ He pauses, before describing the similar responses he’s received for the „severely-abridged queer history“ lesson he performs as part of The Try Guy’s national tour, Legends of the Internet.

„It’s not just magnified, it’s important. I’ve never felt more invested in being more bold with the work I want to make in the future,“ he smiles — that small, side-mouth quirk that’s propelled him into fan-fiction stardom. „Now, I can finally dash this assumption.“

For those unfamiliar with Yang, the 33-year-old internet personality initially shot to fame as one of The Try Guys — a group of BuzzFeed video employees whose goal was, simply put, to try out new things that would normally be considered outside of the straight, male comfort zone. And while they tackled everything from becoming bald to UFC fighting, some of their most infamous videos were the ones in which the Guys did drag, donned high heels, or wedding dresses — tasks designed to push straight, white, heteronormative men outside of their comfort zone. Except, Yang didn’t actually fit into any of these categories.

That said, Yang’s always occupied an interesting position within the group as the sole person of color and only openly queer member. And while he’s always been a vocal proponent and advocate for the LGBTQIA community, he had never definitively said, „I’m gay,“ until the making-of this video.

„I was clearly queer to a general Western, younger audience. Constantly winking at the camera in regards to people knowing I wasn’t heterosexual,“ he says, before crediting his fans — some of whom told him that his videos had inspired them to come out to their parents — as the catalyst for „I’m Gay.“

„I was skirting the subject, sort of beating around the bush, even when I was directly asked about it, because I’d kind of revert back to the family dinner table where nobody’s talking about it, even though they may know,“ he said. „And when I realized that this was a direct reflection of my relationship with the audience… I realized I wasn’t giving [my fans] as much as I could.“

However, this metaphorical family dinner table proved to be a difficult thing to overcome. The son of Korean immigrants, Yang grew up in a small Texas town attending a conservative Korean Presbyterian church in the shadow of the AIDS crisis — a moment in history that posited the queer community as a potential threat within mainstream American media.

„It was this classic cocktail,“ Yang reflects. „I had this sense of otherness, where I was constantly looking from the outside in at myself. I never had full-fledged ownership of my identity until I graduated college, because I was so informed by all these external factors that were so oppressive.“

For many Asian-Americans, otherness is something we’ve been conditioned to co-opt as a formative identity. As Yang points out, while every minority group can attest to the idea that we’re been trained to view ourselves through the perspective of older, straight, white, cis men, it’s „hard to hide our ethnicity,“ and that became the first hurdle he had to overcome.

„I was clearly detaching myself from a lot and distancing myself from a lot of truths, which were very hard to confront, because I was seeing it from the side of people who were saying it was bad. So I saw myself as bad,“ Yang says, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts. „It took me a long time, even in college. That came with its own set of trials… this whole set of stereotypes and rules I had to confront.“

Because though he attended USC in Los Angeles, he continued to feel like a subject within his own story — continually being told by his professors that his identity as an Asian filmmaker was „edgy.“ Yet, like many minority creators in the arts, Yang continued to wrangle with the question, Why is my perspective even considered transgressive in the first place? Why am I not allowed to just say what I want without having arbitrary qualifiers attached to my work?

„I was always told, again and again by others, that I was different,“ Yang says. „But weirdly, what oppressed me in my childhood was what I could sell in my career.“

At this point, we begin talking about his time in media as a producer for BuzzFeed — as a content creator who was forced to embody the quintessential millennial affect of upbeat candor — and occupying this platform at a time when media decided diversity was profitable. For his part, Yang isn’t as cynical as me about the identity-focused shift that occurred during this time, though he does admit that it is a very real issue he hopes dissipates in the next 10 years or so.

„There’s been this evolution to see the ways we represent ourselves and how we speak about it,“ Yang notes. „There’s a progression of what do we have to do or say to first be seen as ‚mainstream‘ or ‚accessible‘ or ‚relatable‘ or ’sellable.‘ You have to think in steps.“

He refers back to when he „first started doing videos about my Asianness“ and „pimping out the right jokes from my perspective about my identity“ — something embodied by the things like the (incredibly on-the-nose) „If Asians Said Stuff White People Say“ concept.

„We see these things happening, and now we’re experiencing this culture where we’ve at least broken through enough of that ceiling,“ Yang pauses for a moment, before rephrasing, „Perforated it enough. To where the people who don’t want it to happen are swinging so hard against it, which explains the nature of discourse today on social media.“

Yang hypothesizes that this is perhaps a factor in his more cerebral work finally been able to flourish — this desire to explore the unique intersections of identity each of us occupy.

„It did take time for me on these different paths for it all to converge,“ he admits, before we launch into a conversation about the next barrier that he continues to grapple with internally. Namely, the ever-present conflict between his external presentation as someone who feels the need to rebel against media-perpetuated emasculation of Asian men and his internal desire to occupy a truthful space in which he is able to explore his more femme side.

„We all grew up with a certain amount of binary, Koreans and lot of East Asians, especially,“ Yang says, before recalling the ways in which he was treated differently from his sisters as the only boy in the family. „It was just ingrained in everything we did — you’re a boy, you’re a girl. Like, I didn’t know how to work a stove or microwave until I was 13.“

However, when Yang was 13, his parents divorced. And while it was a shock to him, Yang credits the divorce as the „catalyst“ that helped both of his parents become „way more open-minded“ and something that has inspired a lot of his subsequent work.

„[I want to ask], ‚What’s the dynamite that some of these structures need to crumble?“ he says, adding that both of his parents have since moved on and flourished. „Mine was the divorce, which was the craziest but most amazing thing that could’ve happened to my family.“

That said, the divorce still didn’t erase an entire childhood of having rigid gender binaries and the notion of filial piety ingrained within him. Yang notes that at the beginning of his video career, he felt the need to „police“ his dress or the way he spoke, „because I didn’t want to look soft.“

„When I first became notable online, people generally didn’t know I was gay. And as one of the first Asian faces in casts of non-Asians, I had to beat everybody. I had to be better. I had to be stronger. I had to be smarter which, again, fed into my Asian complex,“ he says, explaining that he felt burdened to be seen as the antithesis to the Asian male stereotype perpetuated by mainstream pop culture. „It was complicated, because I didn’t want to be the soft, submissive, wilting, quiet Asian person. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we are constantly in flux with that relationship.“

For Yang, it took years of self-reflection to even reach this point where his family and fans, „could witness me proclaiming… this thing I’ve been screaming in my head for 33 years.“ Naturally, he now hopes that his art acts as a revelatory shortcut of sorts for other young, queer Asian-Americans questioning their identities.

„Sometimes we think it’s us versus something else and that’s what gets us into these weird quandaries of how to police our own gender and race. And that’s the most difficult thing — for gay people and Asians, in particular — [stopping them from] releasing that self control,“ Yang speculates. „So I want my work to speak from this idea of, ‚How does one maintain and navigate these very particular relationships under circumstances that sometimes take more time, more care, more self-discovery?'“

And the first step for him? Well, it all comes back to the making-of „I’m Gay“ — that definitive, unquestionable proclamation of an identity he spent so long being scared of. Something that signaled the ushering-in of a Yang who felt empowered enough to finally own his identity, even if it happened to be something completely at-odds with the disparate cultures he was raised in. But it’s also something he believes is necessary for his growth — not just as a person, but as an artist as well.

„There was the framework I was operating in, and I had to confront that,“ Yang concludes, that impish grin appearing on his face once last time. „I needed to inhabit myself in order to be an effective artist-filmmaker and be a more fully-realized person.“

Welcome to „Internet Explorer,“ a column by Sandra Song about everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, „Internet Explorer“ is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.

Sure, he could use our obsession with the cult of internet celebrity to give „I’m Gay“ an initial push, a reason for people to watch, something for his millions of followers and subscribers to talk about. But after the buzz blogs had picked apart the announcement, how would his fans react? Especially to a decidedly high-brow piece of art combining interpretative dance, dramatic camerawork, and a downtempo Odesza track? Something, undoubtedly, a far cry from the relatable, nice guy authenticity his audience had grown to expect from him.

„I had this inherent fear and assumption that people would not respond to it,“ he admits, crossing his legs on the sofa of his VidCon hotel room. „I carried that old assumption people have about internet — that it’s quantity over quality. I had the old-guard assumption it wouldn’t do well.“

Yang takes a deep breath, „But the output I’m getting from it is so much more important.“ He pauses, before describing the similar responses he’s received for the „severely-abridged queer history“ lesson he performs as part of The Try Guy’s national tour, Legends of the Internet.

„It’s not just magnified, it’s important. I’ve never felt more invested in being more bold with the work I want to make in the future,“ he smiles — that small, side-mouth quirk that’s propelled him into fan-fiction stardom. „Now, I can finally dash this assumption.“

For those unfamiliar with Yang, the 33-year-old internet personality initially shot to fame as one of The Try Guys — a group of BuzzFeed video employees whose goal was, simply put, to try out new things that would normally be considered outside of the straight, male comfort zone. And while they tackled everything from becoming bald to UFC fighting, some of their most infamous videos were the ones in which the Guys did drag, donned high heels, or wedding dresses — tasks designed to push straight, white, heteronormative men outside of their comfort zone. Except, Yang didn’t actually fit into any of these categories.

That said, Yang’s always occupied an interesting position within the group as the sole person of color and only openly queer member. And while he’s always been a vocal proponent and advocate for the LGBTQIA community, he had never definitively said, „I’m gay,“ until the making-of this video.

„I was clearly queer to a general Western, younger audience. Constantly winking at the camera in regards to people knowing I wasn’t heterosexual,“ he says, before crediting his fans — some of whom told him that his videos had inspired them to come out to their parents — as the catalyst for „I’m Gay.“

„I was skirting the subject, sort of beating around the bush, even when I was directly asked about it, because I’d kind of revert back to the family dinner table where nobody’s talking about it, even though they may know,“ he said. „And when I realized that this was a direct reflection of my relationship with the audience… I realized I wasn’t giving [my fans] as much as I could.“

However, this metaphorical family dinner table proved to be a difficult thing to overcome. The son of Korean immigrants, Yang grew up in a small Texas town attending a conservative Korean Presbyterian church in the shadow of the AIDS crisis — a moment in history that posited the queer community as a potential threat within mainstream American media.

„It was this classic cocktail,“ Yang reflects. „I had this sense of otherness, where I was constantly looking from the outside in at myself. I never had full-fledged ownership of my identity until I graduated college, because I was so informed by all these external factors that were so oppressive.“

For many Asian-Americans, otherness is something we’ve been conditioned to co-opt as a formative identity. As Yang points out, while every minority group can attest to the idea that we’re been trained to view ourselves through the perspective of older, straight, white, cis men, it’s „hard to hide our ethnicity,“ and that became the first hurdle he had to overcome.

„I was clearly detaching myself from a lot and distancing myself from a lot of truths, which were very hard to confront, because I was seeing it from the side of people who were saying it was bad. So I saw myself as bad,“ Yang says, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts. „It took me a long time, even in college. That came with its own set of trials… this whole set of stereotypes and rules I had to confront.“

Because though he attended USC in Los Angeles, he continued to feel like a subject within his own story — continually being told by his professors that his identity as an Asian filmmaker was „edgy.“ Yet, like many minority creators in the arts, Yang continued to wrangle with the question, Why is my perspective even considered transgressive in the first place? Why am I not allowed to just say what I want without having arbitrary qualifiers attached to my work?

„I was always told, again and again by others, that I was different,“ Yang says. „But weirdly, what oppressed me in my childhood was what I could sell in my career.“

At this point, we begin talking about his time in media as a producer for BuzzFeed — as a content creator who was forced to embody the quintessential millennial affect of upbeat candor — and occupying this platform at a time when media decided diversity was profitable. For his part, Yang isn’t as cynical as me about the identity-focused shift that occurred during this time, though he does admit that it is a very real issue he hopes dissipates in the next 10 years or so.

„There’s been this evolution to see the ways we represent ourselves and how we speak about it,“ Yang notes. „There’s a progression of what do we have to do or say to first be seen as ‚mainstream‘ or ‚accessible‘ or ‚relatable‘ or ’sellable.‘ You have to think in steps.“

He refers back to when he „first started doing videos about my Asianness“ and „pimping out the right jokes from my perspective about my identity“ — something embodied by the things like the (incredibly on-the-nose) „If Asians Said Stuff White People Say“ concept.

„We see these things happening, and now we’re experiencing this culture where we’ve at least broken through enough of that ceiling,“ Yang pauses for a moment, before rephrasing, „Perforated it enough. To where the people who don’t want it to happen are swinging so hard against it, which explains the nature of discourse today on social media.“

Yang hypothesizes that this is perhaps a factor in his more cerebral work finally been able to flourish — this desire to explore the unique intersections of identity each of us occupy.

„It did take time for me on these different paths for it all to converge,“ he admits, before we launch into a conversation about the next barrier that he continues to grapple with internally. Namely, the ever-present conflict between his external presentation as someone who feels the need to rebel against media-perpetuated emasculation of Asian men and his internal desire to occupy a truthful space in which he is able to explore his more femme side.

„We all grew up with a certain amount of binary, Koreans and lot of East Asians, especially,“ Yang says, before recalling the ways in which he was treated differently from his sisters as the only boy in the family. „It was just ingrained in everything we did — you’re a boy, you’re a girl. Like, I didn’t know how to work a stove or microwave until I was 13.“

However, when Yang was 13, his parents divorced. And while it was a shock to him, Yang credits the divorce as the „catalyst“ that helped both of his parents become „way more open-minded“ and something that has inspired a lot of his subsequent work.

„[I want to ask], ‚What’s the dynamite that some of these structures need to crumble?“ he says, adding that both of his parents have since moved on and flourished. „Mine was the divorce, which was the craziest but most amazing thing that could’ve happened to my family.“

That said, the divorce still didn’t erase an entire childhood of having rigid gender binaries and the notion of filial piety ingrained within him. Yang notes that at the beginning of his video career, he felt the need to „police“ his dress or the way he spoke, „because I didn’t want to look soft.“

„When I first became notable online, people generally didn’t know I was gay. And as one of the first Asian faces in casts of non-Asians, I had to beat everybody. I had to be better. I had to be stronger. I had to be smarter which, again, fed into my Asian complex,“ he says, explaining that he felt burdened to be seen as the antithesis to the Asian male stereotype perpetuated by mainstream pop culture. „It was complicated, because I didn’t want to be the soft, submissive, wilting, quiet Asian person. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we are constantly in flux with that relationship.“

For Yang, it took years of self-reflection to even reach this point where his family and fans, „could witness me proclaiming… this thing I’ve been screaming in my head for 33 years.“ Naturally, he now hopes that his art acts as a revelatory shortcut of sorts for other young, queer Asian-Americans questioning their identities.

„Sometimes we think it’s us versus something else and that’s what gets us into these weird quandaries of how to police our own gender and race. And that’s the most difficult thing — for gay people and Asians, in particular — [stopping them from] releasing that self control,“ Yang speculates. „So I want my work to speak from this idea of, ‚How does one maintain and navigate these very particular relationships under circumstances that sometimes take more time, more care, more self-discovery?'“

And the first step for him? Well, it all comes back to the making-of „I’m Gay“ — that definitive, unquestionable proclamation of an identity he spent so long being scared of. Something that signaled the ushering-in of a Yang who felt empowered enough to finally own his identity, even if it happened to be something completely at-odds with the disparate cultures he was raised in. But it’s also something he believes is necessary for his growth — not just as a person, but as an artist as well.

„There was the framework I was operating in, and I had to confront that,“ Yang concludes, that impish grin appearing on his face once last time. „I needed to inhabit myself in order to be an effective artist-filmmaker and be a more fully-realized person.“

I’m Gay – Eugene Lee Yang

Eugene comes out as gay in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA.

CREDITSWritten, Directed, & Choreographed by Eugene Lee Yang

MUSIC by ODESZA“A Moment Apart” & “Intro Instrumental”

EXECUTIVE PRODUCED by 2ND TRYCo-produced by EVERYBODYNEEDSUSExecutive Producer – Cathleen CherProducer – Sally Sujin OhDirector of Photography – Adam LeeProduction Designer – Matt SokoEditor – Jonas ThorhallssonColorist – Jakob Thorhallsson

STYLING FOR EUGENEHair – David DangMakeup – Arianna Chaylene BeanStylist – Farren Jean AndrèaStylist Assistant – Kali MackayHair for Ensemble – Cayla SolomonMakeup for Ensemble – Kasha Lassien

WARDROBE DESIGNED BYOscar UtiérreA-JANEFarren Jean AndrèaMalan Breton

STARRINGEugene Lee YangSister – Grace YooBrother – Intae KimMother – Terumi ShimazuFather – Gary MurakamiGirl – Sophia OddiBoy – Joshua Blaine

FEATURINGKim ChiJazzmyne JayRhea LitréMayhem MillerCurly VelasquezArisce Wanzer

MAIN ENSEMBLEJason Beaubien, Ryan Blake, Sol Deleo, Mitchell Flores, William Fryt, Mario Godiva, Delaney Goodman, Carter Lee, Jake Mason, Ava Minett, Loretta Minett, Rene Punzalan, Hector Sanchez, Donavan Sanders, Daniel Suarez, Aus Wang, Roman Young

BACKGROUND CASTHind Boa, Justin Chen, Isaac Chu, Felicia Coito, Maiquel Denee, Kate Duffy, Alexandria Herring, Gideon Jacob, Samuel Johnson, Dyan Jong, Aris Kakkis, Danny Lam, Jeremy Lam, Shantell Lamb, Doinelle Macabugao, Lesha McBride, Annie Nguyen, Pat Nguyen, Robyin Nguyen, Devin Parker, Nick Rufca, Alyssa Santos, Zain Shami

CREWAssistant Director – Clyde Goins2nd AD – Dolly GrayMusic Supervisor – Cathleen Cher1st AC – Dawson Taylor2nd AC – Oscar MartinezGaffer – Devon WilsonBest Boy Electric – Vince ValentinKey Grip – Huan MantonBest Boy Grip – Justin LeeArt Director – Spencer TrentSet Dresser – Devin ParkerCrane Operators – Ryan Elliott, Mike PusatereProduction Assistants – Delaney Goodman, Izzy Mojamiid, Sergio OchoaCatering – Humberto’s Catering

SPECIAL THANKSWeho DodgeballNow More Than Ever ArtistsEast West PlayersVirtual World ArcadeAdam Foley & Ninja Tune

YouTube Star Eugene Lee Yang: ‚I’m Not Just Queer — I’m a Gay Man‘

An exclusive Q&A with filmmaker and social media sensation Eugene Lee Yang on the eve of releasing his coming-out video.

Eugene Lee Yang first rose to prominence in pop culture with his YouTube troupe, the Try Guys — a group of young filmmakers that consists of Yang, Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, and Zach Kornfeld.

Initially on BuzzFeed, the Try Guys started their online endeavor with the simple goal of trying new things, especially things outside of one’s usual comfort zone, and encouraging others to do the same. They have since started their own production company (2nd Try), amassed nearly 6 million subscribers, published their first ), and started their own weekly podcast, and they are about to hit the road on their first national tour.

Though Yang has been identifying as part of the queer community for some time now, he has decided to completely come out — this time with his full truth, as a gay man. The Advocate got a chance catch up with Yang on the eve of his coming-out video’s release.

Check out a portion of the interview below as well as Yang’s beautifully poignant and amazingly artistic video (but grab a box of tissues first, because it will touch your soul).

The Advocate: So, why is it important for you to come out again, now as a gay man, when you were already pretty out as queer? Is there a difference? Yang: I think that there’s a lot of different factors that played into the sort of coming-out process I’ve had with the public. You know, it’s always gradual and very individual for each queer person.

Growing up in Texas, I was already dealing with the fact that I didn’t even know I was Asian until a certain age. I just was informed about it in a somewhat negative way by [my peers]. And that immediately put me into that mind-set where I felt very othered, you know. My safety always felt like it wasn’t something that I could consider a given. And so that sort of shaded a lot of my first sort of ways that I covered in regards to my openness about my sexuality because I already had seen the way some other openly gay kids were treated in my school — and it was really, really terrible. … There were a lot of elements in society that were kind of pointing me in the direction of being very careful.

Even if it’s just the smallest thing, like what label I go by, I think to find the truth and express it with full confidence. … I’m just announcing I’m a gay filmmaker, actor, producer, viral video maker, whatever you want to call me — but I’m gay, and that’s the perspective I’m coming from.

Did becoming an internet star influence your decision to be more open about your identity in terms of sexuality and gender norms? I was very quickly confronted with this reality — I’d always been 100 percent prepared to speak through my work as a writer-director, behind the camera, as someone that could be openly gay through my [work]. But when I became a YouTuber, it kind of changed things because so much of my impact and my content is solely centered on my identity and my voice. 

Yeah, it’s such personal medium. You can’t be so behind-the-scenes on YouTube. Exactly. And you know, it’s funny, because when I used to work at BuzzFeed, I was able to slip in every now… things that were very explicitly queer and gay. But because of some personal issues I had with things back home, I didn’t feel like it was the right time to make it public knowledge before it was, you know, a hundred percent private knowledge first. So that was some of the reasons why I never was 100 percent comfortable about saying that I was “gay” on camera.

So, speaking of gender norms, you seem to be really experimenting with gender-fluid fashion lately, which you also touch on in the video. Care to elaborate?You know, it is all such a process. It’s like a shedding of the fears and those worries about what other people think — and it’s such a great place to get to. When you finally kind of move that last rock out of the way and say, “You know what, this is me.” I really hope people receive it well.

Read the complete interview in the August-September 2019 print issue of The Advocate magazine.

I’m Gay – Eugene Lee Yang

Eugene comes out as gay in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA. CREDITS Written, Directed, & Choreographed by Eugene Lee Yang MUSIC by ODESZA “A Moment Apart” & “Intro Instrumental” Set Photography by JD Renes Photography EXECUTIVE PRODUCED by 2ND TRY Co-produced […]

Eugene comes out as gay in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA. CREDITS Written, Directed, & Choreographed by Eugene Lee Yang MUSIC by ODESZA “A Moment Apart” & “Intro Instrumental” Set Photography by JD Renes Photography EXECUTIVE PRODUCED by 2ND TRY Co-produced […]

I Gave People $70,000 If They Finish My Painting! Added 14 days ago

New Play Control! for Wii – Scott The Woz Added 13 days ago

$1000 spent at my Favorite Steakhouse (108oz Wagyu + King Crab + more!!) Added 24 days ago

Former Presidents and First Ladies ‘It’s Up To You’ :60 | Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Added 38 days ago

Miami Heat Player Meyers Leonard Uses Anti-Semitic Slur While Streaming Video Game Added 38 days ago

What ACTUALLY HAPPENED at UFC 259! (Israel Adesanya Vs Jan Blachowicz) Full Fight + Highlights Recap Added 41 days ago

Boosie on Gucci Mane Dissing Jeezy’s Dead Friend During Verzuz Battle (Part 37) Added 46 days ago

Eugene (Oregon) cruising map with gay areas and spots where to practice cruising and to have casual NSA encounters

If you are gay and you want to practise cruising and to have casual NSA encounters in public places in Eugene in an anonymous way, here you can find spots such as beaches, parks, forests and other spaces next to urban areas, as well as every kind of public toilets and rest areas of highways where you can practise cruising in Eugene, Oregon.

Below we show a Eugene cruising map with all cruising areas and spots that shared our gay community. Click on the map markers for details of each spot.

In the tab for each zone you will find a location map with directions to the place: driving, walking, public transport or bike. You can vote the area and leave a comment for the rest of the community guys know your opinion, and if you want people to know you’re in the area, do not hesitate to check in.

More Like This 

A group of motley friends try to accomplish not-so-everyday tasks from stepdancing to drag performing.

An unyielding look into the personal lives of The Try Guys, their departure from Buzzfeed, and their creatively disparate aspirations as they embark on a nationwide tour.

A musical exploration of the historical abuse of Korean women by foreign powers.

„The Professor,“ an expert accredited by Puppet U, hosts a ruthless competition for the title of History Master, quizzing contestants on subjects from history.

Conspiracy theory enthusiast Ryan deep-dives into mysteries surrounding notorious unsolved crimes, in order to convince his dubious friend Shane that, sometimes, the evidence isn’t always as it seems.

Ryan, ever the believer, embarks on a quest to convince his skeptical friend Shane that the paranormal exists by investigating the evidence around the most notorious supernatural folklore.

Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej explore 3 horrifying cases of ghosts and demons.

A brave-hearted girl and her charming best friend make a bewitching pair as they embark on a mission to take down the oppressive schooling system of K-12.

Players start off isolated in an apartment, and with their online interactions as their only means of any communication. The players use a social media platform called „The Circle“.

A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

Spring Bloom is a complex romance that unfolds at a gourmet restaurant between a brilliant but troubled chef (McDorman) and a mercurial younger man on the run from his past (Lettau).

„I created this music video as my personal way of coming out as a proud gay man who has many unheard, specific stories to tell,“ says the Try Guys artist.

Eugene Lee Yang has come out in a music video titled „I’m Gay.“

The five-minute contemporary dance piece, posted Saturday during Pride Month, was shared via The Try Guys official YouTube account and is described as an original, deeply personal music video.

„I created this music video as my personal way of coming out as a proud gay man who has many unheard, specific stories to tell,“ wrote Yang in a Twitter post when sharing the video. „I withheld because of fear and shame shaped by my background but I promise to give my full truth in the rest of my life’s work.“

The powerful story, which was written, directed and choreographed by Yang and features music by Odesza, follows Yang through different stages as he discovers, fights for and celebrates his sexuality. The piece ends with a title card that reads, „For the LGBTQIA+ community.“

The video stars Grace Yoo, Intae Kim, Terumi Shimazu, Gary Murakami, Sophia Oddi, Joshua Blaine, Kim Chi, Jazzmyne Jay, Rhea Litre, Mayhem Miller, Curly Velasquez and Arisce Wanzer.

Yang is part of the viral video quartet that makes up The Try Guys, along with Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer and Zach Kornfeld. The foursome began posting videos while working together at BuzzFeed at 2014 and have since launched a production company. Their online comedy series streams on YouTube.

The 33-year-old is a vocal member of the LGBTQ community but had not previously put a label on his sexuality.

The video had nearly 500,000 views at posting time. Watch below.

© 2021 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. All rights reserved.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC.

Terms of Use |Privacy Policy |Sitemap |AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Do Not Sell My Personal Information |

#1 – Mount Pisgah Arboretum

If you know any other places or spots where Cruising can be practised in Eugene, you can add them to the map and share them with the rest of gay people through this link: Add a new cruising spot in Eugene, Oregon

About this entry

Eugene Lee Yang is a producer, writer, director and one of today’s most recognizable Asian-American performers. He recently made his directorial debut with his visual coming-out piece titled, I’m Gay, which Yang not only directed, but also wrote, choreographed and starred in as the lead actor and dancer. This extremely personal, artistic, and beautifully cinematic piece of content, which was released during Pride month, had such a large and positive impact on viewers everywhere. With over 23 million views across platforms (and counting), fans and viewers continue to share with us how meaningful the video has been to their own personal journeys. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Eugene’s debut directorial piece also served as a fundraiser for the Trevor Project, raising over 130,000 dollars to help LGBTQ young people by providing support through free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs.

Results

For his work in and out of The Try Guys, Eugene is part of the Logo30, Logo’s inaugural list of extraordinary LGBTQ+ people of 2018, and one of Gold House’s A100 list of the top 100 most influential Asian-Americans of the year. The work that Eugene does is so important to the community and we think this piece of content has been one of the biggest stand-outs of the year both in terms of creative craft and social impact.

Share this with

YouTube star Eugene Lee Yang – one of the members of The Try Guys – has come out as gay in a ‘deeply personal’ music video.

The 33-year-old, who wrote, directed and choreographed the video, ‘I’m Gay’, is now raising money for the Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation which aims to ‘save LGBTQ+ lives’.

In the video, the star can be seen dancing as powerful images pass him by, including being preached to in a church and going to a party full of people dressed in rainbow colours.

‘Eugene comes out as gay in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA,’ the video description explains.

The YouTuber added: ‘I created this music video as my personal way of coming out as a proud gay man who has many unheard, specific stories to tell.

‘I withheld because of fear and shame shaped by my background but I promise to give my full truth in the rest of my life’s work.’

His fundraiser has already hit $20,000 (£15,800) after just four hours.

Fans and fellow YouTubers have been sharing the love for the star after the release of the video with Daniel Howell, who also recently came out, telling him: ‘This was so incredibly beautiful and powerful thank you.’

‘Beyond incredibly proud of and for @EugeneLeeYang today,’ Zach Kornfield, another member of the YouTube group, wrote.

‘Both for his courage and pride in choosing to express himself to the public, but also for what I consider to be his greatest work yet as an artist. THIS is expression. All the love.’

Meanwhile, fellow YouTuber Daniel Preda added: ‘Such a beautiful way of telling your story Eugene!!!!! I’m so proud of you! LIVE MAMA! LIVE!’

The Try Guys – also made up of Keith Habersberger and Ned Fulmer – currently boast a following of almost 6 million, after creating videos which see them trying weird and wonderful things.

Fellow YouTuber Daniel Howell also recently came out as gay, uploading his video ‘Basically I’m gay’ after a year long hiatus from YouTube.