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Reading GAM in craigslist personal ads: Constructing gay Asian males during the negotiation of anal intercourse -and- Remembering spatially: Refocussing the history of Vancouver's gay community

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(Essays) M.A.
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The identity “gay Asian male” (GAM) is proposed and contested in online personal ads, where ethnicity and other visible traits are used to describe individuals as attractive suitors and request or refuse potential partners. This paper explores the relationship between identity and desire, focusing on representations of GAM in craigslist ads, a site where men seek men for sexual encounters. In particular, it considers GAM as constructed by cultural meanings derived from characteristics set by HIV/AIDS prevention literature. Existing historical geographies of gay communities in North America, including local media representations of Vancouver’s gay community, follow an identity politics metanarrative of gay liberation and subculture formation. This paper challenges this metanarrative, reframing Vancouver’s gay community’s formation by considering real estate events, key community relationships—highlighted in 1981, and nostalgic memory. The interaction of these components contributes to the maintenance of the community’s political visibility and concentration along Vancouver’s Davie Street.
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