Growing up in the shadow of Hollywood, the gay sons of immigrants featured in Brown and Gay in LA: The Lives of Immigrant Sons (NYU Press, 2022) could not have felt further removed from a world where queerness was accepted and celebrated. Instead, the men profiled here maneuver through family and friendship circles where masculinity dominates, gay sexuality is unspoken, and heterosexuality is strictly enforced. For these men, the path to sexual freedom often involves chasing the dreams while resisting the expectations of their immigrant parents—and finding community in each other.

Anthony Christian Ocampo also details his own story of reconciling his queer Filipino American identity and those of men like him. He shows what it was like for these young men to grow up gay in an immigrant family, to be the one gay person in their school and ethnic community, and to be a person of color in predominantly White gay spaces. Brown and Gay in LA is an homage to second-generation gay men and their radical redefinition of what it means to be gay, to be a man, to be a person of color, and, ultimately, what it means to be an American.

Prof. Anthony Christian Ocampo is Professor of Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race (Stanford University Press, 2016).

Sohini Chatterjee is a PhD Candidate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Western University, Canada. Her work has recently appeared in Women’s Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal, South Asian Popular Culture and Fat Studies.

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