Coming Out of My Skin

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A compelling memoir that focuses on the intersectionality of race and sexuality experienced by a gay Asian man living in a white world.

Born to Chinese-Cambodian parents in France, Jean-Baptiste Phou has pursued a diverse artistic career since 2008. Through his public views and artistic works, he has focused mainly on the experiences of Asians in France. Up until now, he's always been careful not to raise issues of sexuality--in particular, his homosexuality.

In this searing memoir, Phou faces his fears and shame to examine the role his ethnic origin has played in the construction of his sexual identity and his romantic relationships in a predominantly white environment. An astute observer of the various ways in which his body has been perceived, Phou explores how these perceptions have shaped his relationship with himself and others. How does a marginalized person develop emotionally and build, reclaim, and express their sexuality? Drawing on various works of history, sociology, gender studies, literature, and popular culture, Phou sensitively examines various strategies developed in response to this question.

Being gay in a largely straight world is difficult but being Asian within this sexual minority can be a doubly oppressive experience. Coming Out of My Skin deftly tackles this challenge and aspires for a reconciliation that can empower people of sexual and racial minorities to joyfully inhabit their bodies.

About the Author

Jean-Baptiste Phou is a Chinese-Cambodian and French writer, actor, and artist. As an actor, he has performed in plays, musicals, films, and television in Cambodia, the United States, and France. He is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Edward Gauvin is a translator, writer, and independent scholar whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, Guardian, and World Literature Today. He is based in southern California.

Publisher: Seagull Books
Pub date: October 06, 2023
124 pages
Format: Hardcover