Rena Brannan Playwright, poet and activist
How did your local community and family react during your coming out?
It was the 80s, it was hard and bleak and lonely but at the same time it was raw with an intense awakening like a bird finding its wings. My brother saved me and I had a group of friends – misfits – my family in the making – that loved me.
What do you think could be done to help promote the acceptance of LGBTQ people in the Asian community?
There must be a constant conversation – the changing of laws – the acceptance from the greater majority. It is those factors historically that have brought about change. I recognise it in my own family – how the conversation turns significant – when these events happen and change occurs.
What was the journey to finding your identity today like?
I watched a lot of films. I saw a lot of straightness, and that was not me – so there I was – looking for myself and I created it – a hothead cluster fuck of sexuality and defiance. Dresses and tuxedos. I still have those venomous fangs from, oh well, let me nibble your ear and you can find out what I’m talking about.
Do you believe there’s enough queer Asian role models celebrated today?
I see a queer Asian revolution happening and I think more and more role models will put their head above the parapet.
How does your intersection allow you to thrive?
It helps me to see all aspects of life it helps me to evolve and look at how things proceed. This evolution is the key to queer Asians. We meet, we exchange, we laugh, and we cry. We are special, we are the bouquet, and this point of view makes me succeed.