I’m Lao American. I grew up in Florida, in the Clearwater area. When you grow up in Florida you don’t realize how odd a mix Florida can be sometimes, until you move out. Growing up in Florida definitely opened me as an Asian American or a Lao American, but I think it toughened up my skin a lot.
When I grew up, James Bond was my favorite person in the world. I wanted to watch all the movies. But at times I was like, “Oh, I’m Asian!” Like, people remind you of that. I think that’s very prevalent, especially in America, that you’re reminded a lot of your skin color. Sometimes it’s off-putting, especially when your own family or parents remind you, like, “Okay, this is not possible for you.” I know they had my best interests at heart, but my parents always told me that because we’re Asian we have a certain reserve: you’re not going to be in entertainment because only white people can. You know, it hurts. I had rebellion inside me at this. That’s where I grew a lot of my character traits.
There is this notion that Asian men are not sexual or sexually dominant that’s propagated by American culture. And so when I was talking to women, it was very difficult because you get rejected for things that aren’t your character traits. I think as an Asian American, and specifically an Asian-American male, you’re kind of emasculated a lot. Nowadays it’s a lot better, and I’m very happy for that at least. But in the time I was growing up you got a lot of pushback for being sexual, you got a lot of pushback for even owning your own sexuality because not a lot of people, especially women, saw you as someone they would want to have intimate relations with. They didn’t want to see you as sexy. They didn’t want to see you as attractive, in a masculine kind of way.
I mean, Asian men are sexy now. We have a lot of K-pop and K-drama to thank for that. But unfortunately that’s still such a specific type of Asian, right?
So when I came out to L.A. for acting there was a whole cultural shift for me and I was able to really explore and see a lot more of the world. Now I’ve been here in L.A. for quite a bit, I’ve been able to see both sides of the coin. I feel like I’m finally coming into my maturity and my understanding of my truth in the world. Now I’m finding myself out here pursuing my new path, which is in adult entertainment.
When you are a young Asian man everyone calls you “Bruce Lee” as a slur, to be made fun of. But the reason why we love Bruce Lee is because he’s comfortable in his masculinity and is comfortable in his skin. He’s a legend.
The best suggestion I would have is get comfortable in yourself, get experience, build up your values, whatever it is you need to help yourself get comfortable, whether it’s physical, whether it’s mental, whether it’s finances, and then you care less what the outside world thinks. Just learn to accept yourself, because when you’re comfortable within your own self people accept that.