Brown and Gay in LA

Happy Pride Month! This week's review looks at the lived experiences of gay men from immigrant families in LA, exploring the intersectionality of the interviewees' identities.

Brown and Gay in LA: The Lives of Immigrant Sons

Ocampo, Anthony Christian. New York University, 2022
240p bibl index, 9781479824250 $28.00, 9781479837366

Brown and Gay in LA book cover.

Brown and Gay in LA comprises the personal stories of gay men of color who grew up in Los Angeles as the children of immigrant parents. The book details how they feel caught between public authenticity and family expectations and highlights the power of masculinity, identity, and silence in the pursuit of one’s dreams. Ocampo (California State Polytechnic Univ., Pomona) notes that many of the second-generation men he interviewed were raised to be socially conservative, which contributed to their fear of “coming out” to their family and friends. He further addresses the struggles they face in negotiating their race, ethnicity, and sexual identity. The book takes a very personal stance, allowing readers to relate to these individuals and their lives. The well-written preface provides helpful context, explaining the author’s use of certain phrases and labels. Ocampo does a very good job of presenting qualitative research on a much-needed subject. The author makes it clear that the book does not represent all queer POC experiences but rather examines how the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality shapes the experiences of those interviewed.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.
A. J. Ramirez, Valdosta State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Asian and Asian American Studies, Latin American & Latina/o Studies, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Sociology
Choice Issue: Jul 2023

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