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Gaysia
Adventures in the Queer East
Benjamin Law, Foreword by Aaron Allbright
ISBN: 9781627780360
Book (Paperback)
Cleis Press
$16.95
6 x 9
288 pages
May 13, 2014


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"Law has unusual adventures here, but in between the funny asides and sharp perceptions, he offers serious observations to show that Asia may be halfway around the world, but it’s closer than we think. This book is explicit and profanity-laden, but it’s also funny and charming and worthy of being tucked in your carryon this summer. Take Gaysia with you on vacation, and you certainly won’t be bored." —Terri Schlichenmeyer

"Surprising, sometimes funny, and often poignant." —NonFiction Reads Book Reviews

"Law blends an accessible journalistic style familiar to fans of travel writing with solid research and investigation into various queer cultures in the countries he visits." —Queer and Now

"The resulting travelogue is packed with highly entertaining anecdotes about a grab bag of subjects, from tagging along with the finalists in a Thai transgender beauty pageant to suffering near-apocalyptic digestive troubles in Mumbai." —PASSPORT Magazine

Benjamin Law considers himself pretty lucky to live in Australia: he can hold his boyfriend's hand in public and lobby his politicians to recognize same-sex marriage. But as the child of immigrants, he's also curious about how different life might have been had he grown up in Asia. So he sets off to meet his fellow Gaysians. Law takes his investigative duties seriously, going nude where required in Balinese sex resorts, sitting backstage for hours with Thai ladyboy beauty contestants, and trying Indian yoga classes designed to cure his homosexuality. The characters he meets — from Tokyo's celebrity drag queens to HIV-positive Burmese sex workers and Malaysian ex-gay Christian fundamentalists to Chinese gays and lesbians who marry each other to please their parents — all teach him something new about being queer in Asia. At once entertaining and moving, Gaysia is a wild ride and a fascinating quest by a leading Australian writer.

Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law and a frequent contributor to frankie magazine, Monthly, and QWeekend. His work has been published in Good Weekend, Cleo, Crikey, Griffith Review, and The Best Australian Essays. He lives in Brisbane, Australia.
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Like Huck Finn, Aaron Allbright was born in Missouri and grew up on the banks of the Mississippi. He spent three years in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone before traveling overland through other parts of Africa for a year and crossing the Sahara twice. Later, he called Saudi Arabia (eight months) and France (four years) home. In Paris, he was a member of the Union des Artistes and acted at the Duncan Theater in the Rue de Seine and at the Theatre de l'Atelier in Montmartre. He and his spouse trekked extensively in the Himalaya before settling in Orange County, California.
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