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  • Netflix star Guy Tang speaks out about Asian hate crimes and racism in powerful new interview
  • March 30, 2021

Netflix star Guy Tang speaks out about Asian hate crimes and racism in powerful new interview

 

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Guy Tang stars on the hit Netflix reality series Bling Empire, which documents the lifestyles of wealthy Asian and Asian-American socialites in Los Angeles.

In a new interview with Glamour, the 39-year-old hair stylist speaks openly about the uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes happening across the country as his own experiences with racism.

Looking back on his upbringing in Oklahoma, Tang recalls, “In Asian culture we were told: don’t cause trouble, don’t ever draw attention to yourself, be quiet… That’s something my parents always taught me growing up.”

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A post shared by Guy Tang® (@guy_tang)

“The problem with that is that it makes everyone else, but you, comfortable, and then we’re uncomfortable in our own skin,” he continues. “We are silenced. So if at any time we decide to challenge that and try to speak up, we are seen as problematic. For the majority of my childhood, I didn’t have a voice.”

Tang, whose Mother is Vietnamese  and whose father is Chinese, says he knew from a very young age that he was “different” and never fit into the typical Asian stereotype.

“I’m not good at math. I don’t know karate. I don’t know kung-fu. I had bad grades in school,” he explains. “But I was good at art and playing instruments. I played the cello and did orchestra. Those are the things I make good grades on.”

 

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A post shared by Guy Tang® (@guy_tang)

In high school, Tang was expelled for taking nude pictures of himself.

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“The reason why I took them was because I wanted to see myself as attractive and being a beautiful, sexual being, because I never saw that in the media,” he says. “I was trying to find something in me that was beautiful.”

“The media rarely presents us with a sexy Asian man.”

 

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Because of this, Tang struggled to find the courage to come out.

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“I didn’t come out the closet til I was about 27. Even when I did, I came out as bisexual because I was afraid of embracing who I truly was,” he recalls.

“It was scary to look in the mirror and own it and say, ‘I’m gay.’ It took so much ownership. You have to be brave because from that point on, your life will never be the same again.”

He says coming out was the hardest thing he’s ever done and that he’s “still recovering from it to be honest.”

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View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Guy Tang® (@guy_tang)

After the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent weeks, Tang says he hopes to use his platform to talk about racism and the impact is has on his community.

“A lot of people don’t want to speak on things that don’t directly affect them, and conversations around racism makes people feel uncomfortable,” he says.

“We all want to be represented, and we all deserve to be heard. We all need a voice. My biggest wish is leaving my future kids in a world that will be more tolerant and a world where they will be able to use their voice and live their true authentic life, with no judgement. So until that day comes, I’ll keep talking!”

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