Asians Loving Asians

Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics

by Shinsuke Eguchi (Author)
©2022 Textbook XII, 180 Pages


Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics examines media representations and everyday interpersonal intercultural negotiations of vernacular discourses around sticky rice—an "Asian" man building sexual and romantic relationships with other "Asian" men. Specifically, Eguchi interrogates the following elements of sticky rice: the way sticky rice recycles, rethinks, and shifts the settler colonialist logics of whiteness that sustain ongoing histories of anti-Asian racism; the way sticky rice resists and reifies the mundane operation and execution of whiteness that organizes gay sexual cultures; the way sticky rice reproduces, reconstitutes, and challenges intra-regional political rivalries, economic hierarchies, and historical tensions in and across Asia and Asian diasporas; and the way sticky rice suggests alternative mappings of queer sex, desire, intimacy, and relationality. By taking further steps to unpack the complexities and contradictions of sticky rice as a gay vernacular, Eguchi offers an additional and alternative space to question and critique "Asians loving Asians." Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics will be of interest to academic audiences coming from various disciplines such as communication, cultural studies, critical race and ethnic studies, Asian and Asian American studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, sociology, and more.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics
  • Part I: Reading Media Representations
  • Chapter One: Queerness of Sticky Rice: In and Across Yellow Fever and Front Cover
  • Chapter Two: Queering Gender Borders of Sticky Rice: On Koreatown
  • Part II: Speaking with Racialized Asian Queer Male Subjects
  • Chapter Three: Living in Paradox: Seeing “Alternative Cartographies” through Sticky Rice
  • Chapter Four: Pedagogy of Unfreedom: Building Queer Relationalities through Sticky Rice
  • Part III: Returning to the Self
  • Chapter Five: Monstrous Onē Performance: Sticking with Hikawa Kiyoshi [氷川きよし]
  • Coda: Turning Points: Queer Desire in Progress
  • Appendix I
  • About the Author
  • Index

←vi | vii→


Since the summer in 2014, writing Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics has been a quite challenging journey for me as a scholar. Without receiving various supports from many people whom I have come across, I could not have completed this monograph book project. There have been multiple moments when I wanted to give up pursuing this project. I felt I was so disconnected from the trope of sticky rice at times. Hence, having been able to complete this book monograph projects is one of the major personal life accomplishments. And I want to take some time to acknowledge and honor people who have been supportive of me and this monograph book project throughout its various manifestations.

I want to begin by extending a very special note of my gratitude to people who have tremulously helped this particular book monograph project. First, I cannot thank you enough to Peter Lang’s Critical Intercultural Communication Studies series co-editors Tom Nakayama and Bernadette Marie Calafell who are my scholarly mentors and worships.

Tom, since my undergraduate study in Intercultural Communication, you have been someone I want to be like when I grow up as a scholar. Hence, I am so honored that my book is included in your editing series. Thank you so much for your presence and distinguished scholarly works in the discipline.

Bernadette, while my post-doctoral training at University of Denver, you changed my life SO MUCH as you suggested me to read Black Queer Studies ← | viii→co-edited by E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson (2005 – Duke University Press). I was so lucky to have you as my post-doc mentor, Bernadette! Thank you so much for everything you have done for me since then. And additional thanks to you for publishing this monograph book. I am VERY proud of this book published by two key Critical Cultural Communication scholars I look up to.

I also appreciate Claire Sisco King who has published my preliminary work from this book monograph project titled, “Sticky rice politics: Impossible possibilities of queerness in and across Yellow Fever and Front Cover,” under her editorship for Women’s Studies in Communication (2020). Along with two of your kind, amazing, and intelligent reviewers, you have intellectually pushed me to articulate my thoughts during the numbers of revisions. Also, special thanks to Taylor & Francis for granting permission to reprint my previously published essay described above as Chapter I of this book.

In addition, I extend a special note of gratitude to all of the seven co-researchers who have willingly participated in interviews with me for this monograph book project. Moreover, I thank the entire Peter Lang team for their support and for making sure the quality of this monograph book throughout the publication process.

I am also grateful of the fact that I have been given various speaking opportunities to present some aspects of Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics throughout the years. I thank for having received the productive feedback from the audience in the following venues: National Communication Association’s International and Intercultural Communication Division; University of Washington’s Communication Department; University of Denver’s Communication Studies’ Department; and Gonzaga University’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies’ Department.

At this juncture, I appreciate scholars who served as my professors, advisors, and/or mentors during my undergraduate and graduate programs in Communication (2001–2011) through which my scholarship was originated from. I cannot thank you enough for Victoria Chen who served as my undergraduate faculty adviser at San Francisco State University. Without your help, I could have never really gone to the graduate program. And thank you to Deborah J. Borisoff who invested in mentoring me to go on to a Ph.D. program during my M.A. program in Culture and Communication at New York University. You were such a great adviser and mentor who was willing to connect me to scholars in the discipline such as late James W. Chesebro, David McMahan, and William J. Starosta. Because of you (Debbie and Jim), I am so grateful of having gone to work on a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from Howard University in Washington DC. I am forever grateful of having worked with scholars such as Carolyn Stroman, Chuka ← | ix→Onwumechili, and Wei Sun who were so supportive of my scholarship. And, my dissertation chair Melbourne S. Cummings and my dissertation adviser William J. Starosta, I cannot thank you two enough for putting up with wild Shinsuke. Without you two, I would never have been a scholar like myself today.

I also want to extend a sincere note of gratitude to the Department of Communication and Journalism at University of New Mexico where has thus far provided an opportunity for me to grow as a Critical Cultural Communication scholar for last decade. While my faculty experience has been and is quite stressful, I appreciate I am learning how to struggle and survive with the harsh-realities of the U.S. higher education industry which cannot be simply ignored. I first thank to Ilia Rodríguez, David Weiss, Tamar Ginossar, Susana Martinez Guillem, Marco Briziarelli, and Judith White whom I have been working together since my first day at University of New Mexico. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with colleagues who inspire me to keep going as a scholar. Thanks to Jaylen deMaria, Cleophas Muneri, Yangsun Hong, Michael LeChuga, Mohammed Yousef, Evan Ashworth, and Dave Keating. Moreover, I thank to colleagues from my affliated departments and programs such as Nancy López, Assata Zerai, Glenabah Martinez, Bee Chamcharastr, Shiv Dasai, and Steven Verney.

Furthermore, I thank to our former department colleagues Mary Jane Collier, Myra S. Washington, Marissa Floyd, and Shadee Abdi who have moved on to other jobs.

In addition, I want to thank to all students whom I am working with and have worked with before. Teaching keeps me sane! I appreciate my former and current Ph.D. advisees who makes me feel why I need to stay in New Mexico. Thanks to Zhao Ding, Hannah Long, Anthony Zarinana, Sophie Jones, Kamela Rasmusen, Keisuke Kimura, Cassidy Ellis, Austin Miller, Ruoning “Arrow” Xia, Emerson “Kai” Armstrong, Anh Nguyen, Tomide Oloruntobi, and Olivia Roe. I also thank two of my former MA advisees Resile Cortes and Benjamin Bradley who both have gone to pursue Ph.D. degrees in Communication at Arizona State University at different times. Special thanks to Erin Watley, Godfried Asante, Myra “Nikkie” Roberts, Santhosh Chandrashekar, Seonah Kim, and Lindsay Scott whom I have worked with as their dissertation or thesis committee member.

Now I recognize scholar-friends or colleagues who have been supportive of me during my working of this particular monograph book project. Thanks to my quarantine squad and Howard University friends Nicole Files-Thompson and Sean Upshaw who regularly meet up for Facetime gatherings with drinks during nights. And thanks to my academic family members (of choice), Bernadette Marie Calafell, Dawn Marie D. McIntosh, Andy Kai-Chun Chuang, Sara Baugh, and Miranda D. Olzman who are regularly in contact with me. Without all of you, ← | x→I do not know how I could have gotten through the COVID-19 pandemic when I had to write most of this monograph book project while staying home. I also do not know how I can have fun in my tenured faculty life without you! You all know how to deal with wild Shinsuke! Thank you for your unconditional, loving, and supportive friendships. Love you all!!!!

There are also many scholar-friends or colleagues who have supported me during the course of this particular monograph book project whether they know this or not. Thanks to Leilani Nishime, Tina M. Harris, Bryant K. Alexander, Rachel A. Griffin, Rona T. Halualani, Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui, Diane Grimes, Gloria Pindi Nziba, Sarah Amira de la Garza, Ahmet Atay, Satoshi Toyosaki, Jeffrey Q McCune, Jr., Raquel Moreira, Chuck Morris, Amber Johnson (also known as Cypress Amber Reign), Lore/tta LeMaster, Elizabeth Whittington, Cerise Glenn, Marnel Niles Goins, Richie Neil Hao, Tony Adams, Aisha Durham, Robin M. Boylorn, Karma R. Chávez, Ralina L. Joseph, Kristina Scharp, David Oh, Lisa Flores, Ashely Mack, Kent A. Ono, David McMahan, Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Haneen Ghabra, Bryan McCann, Stacey Sowards, Javon L. Johnson, Gust A. Yep, Andrew Spieldenner, Stacey Holman Jones, Pavi Prasad, Sachi Sekimoto, Aimee Carrillo Rowe, Larry Gross, Christopher Brown, Chuyun Oh, Ako Inuzuka, Richard Craig, Mark C. Hopson, Kathryn Sorrells, Anthony Cuomo, Daniel Stern, Sandra Faulkner, Pamela J. Lannutti, Lucy Miller, Meshell Sturgis, Anjali Vats, Jason Wrench, Heather Hundley, Gina Castle-Bell, Late Dan Brouwer, Mohan Dutta, Jaime McDonald, James Welker, C. Winter Han, Jesús Gregorio Smith, Kimberlee Pérez, Lisa Hanasono, Shuzhen Huang, Terrie Wong, Megan Morrisey, Trina Wright-Dixson, Truman Keys, Jenna Hanchey, Jessica Johnson, Robert Meija, Dana Cloud, Nina Maria Lozano, Shaunak Sastry, Roberta Chevrette, and Meina Liu.

Before closing this acknowledgment section, I want to thank my personal friends such as Kiyoko & Bill Simmons, Marie Kuroda, Mika Oh, Fujiyo Ogata, Hiroe Takahashi, Nanako Onoue, Yukiko Kanatani, Etsuko Shinohara, Michiko Tamura, Paul Scotto di Pompeo, and Keiko Yoshi for having listened to my struggle of writing this monograph book project throughout the years. Now that this book is published, you won’t need to hear me complaining. Furthermore, I dedicate my efforts on Asians loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics to all who struggle every day to fight for intersectional queer politics of race in and across local, national, and global contexts. Lastly, I so appreciate my mother, Yukari Eguchi and my father, Itsuro Eguchi for their lifelong support system. There is no word on this planet I can use to thank you two.

Thank you, everyone!!!!!! Love you!!!!

←x | 1→

Introduction: Asians Loving Asians: Sticky Rice Homoeroticism and Queer Politics

In the mid July 2000, I attended the 9th Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (currently known as Rainbow Reel Tokyo) that took place in Omotosesandou (表参道). The film session I attended was a collection of short films. One of them was the UK/Hong Kong-produced 26-minute short film Yellow Fever directed by Hong Kong-born filmmaker Ray Yeung. This film represents how a British Chinese man living in London, Monty (played by Adrian Pang), struggles to accept his queer desire toward a Taiwanese neighbor Jai Ming (played by Gerald Chew). As the narrative progressed, Yellow Fever introduced me to a gay vernacular “sticky rice” for the first time. Sticky rice refers to an “Asian” man who is interested in building sexual and romantic relationships with other “Asian” men. At that time, I was confused with the intraracial queer storyline. I did not quite understand what really made this film so unique. So, I said to myself, why does Monty struggle to fall in love with Jai Ming? Falling in love with someone who looks like me isn’t a problem here [implying Japan]. What is wrong with this film? Apparently, I was quite naïve. Little did I know that I would feel connected to the trope of sticky rice through which Yeung represents in Yellow Fever later in my life.

In the present moment, I do not even remember the last time when I click to view the profiles of “Asian” in gay online dating sites. Maybe, I have done so for a few times after I moved to the U.S in 2001. Viewing “Asian” online profiles have been very, very rare. The racialized Asian men initiating to chat with me have been ←1 | 2→also rare. For almost two decades, I have rarely invested in meeting, dating, and relating with other Asian men in person after I chatted with them briefly online. As I think of my past dating experiences, the men I met have been neither Asian nor foreign. Does this mean I hate someone who look like and sound like me? Wait. I grew up and raised in Japan during 80’s and 90’s. My first queer crash was a high school cisgender male classmate who was a masculine-presenting swimmer. Apparently, he looks like me. My body still remembers how I was confused with Yellow Fever’s sticky rice narrative I had been exposed to in 2000. Still, when did I lose my interest in someone who look like and sound like me? What really got into me?


XII, 180
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2021 (December)
Queerness Queer of Color Critique Asian/American Intersectionality Racialized Gender Sexuality Desire Transnationalism and Diaspora Media Representation Interpersonal Communication International and Intercultural Communication Critical Cultural studies Asians Loving Asians Shinsuke Eguchi
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2022. XII, 180 pp.

Biographical notes

Shinsuke Eguchi (Author)

Shinsuke Eguchi (Ph.D., Howard University) is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of New Mexico. They are a recipient of the 2019 Randy Majors Award bestowed by the National Communication Association’s Caucus on GLBT Concerns recognizing a scholar making outstanding contributions to LGBTQ Communication Scholarship.


Title: Asians Loving Asians
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194 pages