The New School Archives Digital Collections

Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2008 ➔ Let’s Talk: Growing Up Asian and Gay


Related people/organizations

Kuoliang Lo (designer)
Stephanie Owens (thesis advisor)
Colleen Macklin (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
Robert Milazzo (thesis advisor)




LGBTQ youth can face many serious challenges including feelings of isolation and abandonment, gay bashing, suicidal behavior, substance abuse and/or addiction and prostitution. Many closeted Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth feel a sense of isolation from parents and families. Explicit support through group discussion gives LGBTQ youth a sense of hope through knowing that they are not alone and that it is possible to come out without risking physical or emotional well-being.

Let’s Talk: Growing Up Asian and Gay is a 10-minute film integrating live interview footage with comic drawing. The film focuses on the coming out experience of three Asian Pacific Islander American interviewees who interact with the comic character Brandon’s coming out questions. These interviewees and Brandon come together at the end of the film as Brandon decides whether or not to come out.

The project is designed for LGBTQ youth ages 15 to 18 years old who are considering coming out to their families, school and society. Let’s Talk: Growing Up Asian and Gay is intended to help audiences reflect and share their own stories in support groups, school, and among loved ones. The film speaks to any ethnicity of LGBTQ youth and according to my Asian Pacific Islander background, people often treat LGBTQ youth as either freaks or ignore that they exist. Discussing topics of sexual orientation and gender identity can be taboo in most Asian Pacific Islander American families. The final project will include the short film, additional interviews, comics, and other features in a DVD package. Let’s Talk is planning for a second series of the project that focuses on the topic of transgender youth and will be available in the near future.



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