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It's fitting that some of the people I spoke to have embraced their backgrounds as they negotiate the challenges that come with dating as Asian Australian men."I've tried not to make my race a burden and instead use it to make myself more interesting," Chris says.It was the first time someone had given voice to an insecurity I held but had never felt comfortable communicating.My first relationship was with a Western girl when I was growing up in Perth, and I never felt like my race was a factor in how it started or ended.So, I consciously tried to be a boy from WA, to avoid being mistaken for an international student.Since then, my experience as a person of colour in Australia has been defined the question: "Is this happening because of who I am, or because of what people think I am?I identified with Western values over my birth country of Singapore in almost every aspect of my life but food (rice At the time, I rarely felt that assumptions were made about me based on my ethnicity, but things changed when I moved to Melbourne for university.
Having these conversations has helped me realise that although my anxieties around dating come from my experience with sex and relationships — they're also connected to how I value my culture.
That led him to downplay his background and present himself as something else.
For Melbourne-based hip-hop artist Jay Kim, this approach to dating is understandable, but not without its problems."I don't think that the single act of dating a white woman should ever be seen as an accomplishment," he says.
Chris agrees, saying the media plays an "important role in informing who we are attracted to".
When it comes to Asian men, they're often depicted as "the bread shop boy or the computer genius who helps the white male protagonist get the girl," he says, if they're represented at all.
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"It's all in the mindset, and there's a market for everyone," she says.