Eugene Lee Yang
"In light of an anecdote my diving instructor, a Korean War veteran, once told me, everyone has a big pile of sticks in their likes they carry on their backs. Everyone has a mountain that they're seeking to climb. Others may give up, or take a lighter load, or think of clever ways to make the process easier, but every Korean I've known, no matter how heavy the burden, will carry it without batter an eyelash or raising a complaint." ~ Eugene Lee Yang
Eugene Lee Yang is a 34 year-old Korean-American filmmaker, actor, and internet celebrity. Growing up, being one of the only Asian Americans in the small city of Pflugerville, Texas, he was constantly bullied for his appearance, Because of this, he struggled with his self-esteem, body image, racial stereotypes, and sexual identity. Yang expressed these struggles through filmmaking, which he studied at the University of Southern California after being inspired from his participation in the visual art, illustration, theater, choir, and dance. Now, Yang uses his experiences and platform to encourage others to be proud of their racial and sexual identity.
Best known for his work with Buzzfeed and The Try Guys, Eugene Lee Yang produced multiple LGBTQ+ themed videos. Some of these videos include "The Try Guys Try Drag for the First Time" and "Buzzfeed's Queer Prom." He also shared his experiences and advocated for LGBTQ+ representation with the Human Rights Campaign on October 11, 2018, which was the 30th year of National Coming Out Day. In the same year, he worked with the Trevor Project to raise awareness about suicide among the LGBTQ+ youth through the video Eugene Volunteers at the Trevor Project. Prior to 2019, Yang referred to himself as queer but explicitly came out as gay in a video titled "I'm Gay" where he raised $65,000 for The Trevor Project in two days.
"Coming out is a lifelong process - your safety always comes first - but know that there's a vibrant community waiting to welcome you with open arms." ~ Eugene Lee Yang.
Eugene Lee Yang's most notable works include The Try Guys Buzzfeed (2014), The Try Guys (2nd Try LLC) YouTube Channel (2018), "I'm Gay" YouTube Video (2019), and Hidden Power of F*cking Up Published Book (2019).
"My advice is to center your experience, honestly and uncompromisingly, on yourself. Being Asian American shouldn't inform your work; your work should inform what being Asian American means." ~Eugene Lee Yang.
Not only does Eugene Lee Yang advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, but he also uses his platform to fight for Asian American representatives within the creative arts community. He mainly discusses the stereotypes and generalizations surrounding Asian Americans, which he highlighted in the Buzzfeed video "Awkward Moments Only Asians Understand". Yang also tackles the stereotypes and lack of Asian American casting, particularly focusing on Asian American men. He speaks on the issue in the Buzzfeed video "Why Aren't Asian Men Sexy?" and "Asian Men Recreate Iconic Underwear Ads", where he examines why Asian men are desexualized characters in the media. By using his platform to discuss important topics and to advocate for Asian voices. Yang is an exemplary figure when it comes to being Creatively Asian.
Originally created and posted on Instagram (@creativelyasian) Angela Nguyen and Joey Chen. Click to go to the original post!