West Dakota, K Rizz, DJ NK Badtz Maru, and others celebrate finding community and defying rigid gender expectations.
“For as long as I can remember, Asian men have always been depicted as subservient and not ‘strong’ enough to be featured in leading roles,” says Paul Bui, creative at-large for The Face. “Asian women were overly sexualized, fetishized and often portrayed as quiet and obedient. And queer, trans and non-binary Asians were practically no where to be seen when it came to representation.”
His new video for Document, Othered: the queer future of Asian-American identity, stems in part from Bui’s experience growing up in Australia, when these sorts of reductive portrayals of Asian identity and gender expression were commonplace. But in large part, the video is a celebration of the strides in representation which have followed—and the Asian communities reclaiming their power by choosing authenticity over white, gendered ideals.
In this video, Bui asks musicians, performers, and activists—including model and drag queen West Dakota, “Slaysian” pop star K Rizz, and Brooklyn-based DJ NK Badtz Maru, who performed at Document’s S/S 2019 launch party—for tips on challenging the binary, building community, and ensuring an intersectional future.