Hotlanta River Expo 2000 Theme:

A Perpetuation of Cultural Ignorance

This year, the Hotlanta River Expo, a huge annual festival for gay men whose proceeds benefit Aid Atlanta, has decided upon the theme

"Year of the Dragon"

referring to the Chinese animal zodiac. The subthemes include:
Miss Hotlanta 2000: "China Doll"
Mr. Hotlanta 2000: "Shogun"
The River Event 2000: "Tsunami"
a "Dragon Dance" as Saturday's main event
Sunday Tea: "Happy Family"
a "Fried Rice" party to close the event
Not to Mention Ancient Chinese Secret: Boxers or Briefs?
As a Taiwanese-American, these subthemes highly insult me. They are a disgusting display of ignorance, which, even if unintentional, still has the same results of exoticizing aspects of a culture, thus stripping it of their value or cheapening a culture's image. Apparently, the HRE decided upon this theme with the intention of being more culturally diverse and more inviting to the Asian/Asian-American gay community. I have one thing to say to that: BS. My Thoughts on the HRE Theme
Additional Webmaster's Note: I feel the need to add
that I absolutely support the fight against the AIDS virus, but
I also feel that efforts toward the fight can be responsibily planned
and still receive the amount of attention and funds they require.
It is especially sad and ironic that an event that unwittingly
promotes cultural and racial division is sponsored
and participated in by people who support positive social change. For more information on this issue, scroll down


Thanks to all who contributed their voices to this site!
I am so pleased with the supportive responses I've received,
and hopefully, with further awareness, this won't happen
again with any major events!

An Imaginary Meeting of the HRE Committee By Andy Foskey
A satirical look at what the HRE's brainstorm
for this year's theme might have been like...
In Response to Stan Neal's Letter By Danielle Yamamoto
"...[H]ate crimes against Asian Americans are fueled
by the perception that Asian Americans are somehow different from
the mainstream population, that we have less right to be here,
and that all Asian Americans are part of one large, cohesive group.
Advertising campaigns which use Asian imagery irresponsibly...only
heighten those dangerous perceptions."
(White) Gay Pride & White (Gay) Pride: subjectivity, agency, and the phallus By Kohei Ishihara
"...[W]hen East Asians are the objects in pornography, they are
objects to be exoticized by the white male subject. In any Pride
Guide, you will find that among the perfected white male bodies,
positioned as subjects and objects of desire, there will be
the black drag queen, positioned as the entertainer; the exotic
Asian positioned as a boy in servitude; and the Latino, known
for his spicy flavor. It is only through these relations, that
the white manís subjectivity is constructed."
Webmaster's Note: This is an in-depth research-oriented
psychoanalysis of racial relations between white males and males
of other races and dominance dynamics in the gay community.
Well-written and well worth reading. Approx. 8 pages.
More Comments on the HRE's Letters By Danielle Yamamoto
"It's amusing how [the HRE board member] fluffs
himself up, pulls on his halo and wings, and
paints anyone who complains about the racism of
Hotlanta's ad campaign as a person who is standing
in the way of HIV funding and AIDS research."

Voice Your Thoughts!
What do you think of this year's Hotlanta River Expo Theme?
Submit your thoughts and have them posted.

Here's a handy message board for anyone
who would like to post short messages or comments immediately.
Otherwise, you can still email me and (hopefully)
I'll post them. Have fun!

More Info

News Item 8/3/00:  Asian Americans Force Changes in Gay Men's Festival
A Copy of the Petition/Letter Sent by the Ad Hoc Committee to Rally Support
Press Release 7/28/00:
Details of the Conference between the Ad Hoc Committee
for Racial Justice and the HRE Organizers
A Letter I Sent to Each HRE Board Member
HRE's Responses to My Letter
Action Alert for 8/12/00
Watch What You Eat...It Could Be Racism!
Flyers given out by the Ad Hoc Committee
See for yourself! The Hotlanta River Expo's Homepage

Your Questions & Comments Welcome
Comments will not be posted without permission.

Last Updated 12/24/00
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