Rena Bran­nan Play­wright, poet and ac­tivist

Gay Times Magazine - - CULTURE -

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.

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