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With the Burmese immigrant communities, I don’t necessarily find a sense of belonging, because I don’t fit their image of a proper college-educated young Burmese male.
Even in arts, entertainment and literature, it’s not quite easy to connect with the LGBT community in the US because the things I gravitated towards aesthetically growing up are drastically different from those of other queers.
For my acts, I like to perform really well-known songs the narratives of which, if superimposed on the circumstances of my existence, would completely change to tell a new story – a story of my own.
But I always have to provide some context; I very often perform for complete strangers.
I’m not actually sure how I’m reaching Burmese folks at home – if at all. They used to be skeptical of it, but are in awe of what I’ve accomplished by myself as a queer migrant; but sadly, of course, they can’t openly take pride in it in Burmese society.
I have few friends from high school who have religiously followed my work. They must find the confident self-proclamation and self-actualization of femininity/womanhood thought-provoking and aesthetically pleasing – even if it’s just an act.
After sending messages back and forth, Emi agreed to do an interview with us.