Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

News & Features

« Newer | Older »
23 Aug 2006

famed malaysian columnist, oyoung wenfeng, comes out in new book

Well known and regarded former newspaper columnist in Malaysia, Oyoung Wenfeng, has come out in his latest book - an autobiography written in Chinese - which was launched in Kuala Lumpur on Monday and in Singapore on Thursday, Aug 24.

Oyoung Wenfeng's latest offering, Is Present the Future? - An Asian Gay Man's Coming Out Journey (现在是以后了吗?), was launched on Aug 21 in Kuala Lumpur and was attended by some 150 people, including gay, lesbian and straight readers as well as the press, television, radio and online media.

Oyoung, a Christian theology scholar, academic in sociology and former newspaper columnist in Malaysia, gave the audience a stark and detailed, but nevertheless touching and emotional, account of his life which took a dramatic turn with his coming-out as a gay man at the age of 32 during his recent years of teaching and research in the US.

Malaysian dance artiste Lee Swee Keong opened the event held at Galleriiizu with a melancholic dance performance inspired by the classical Chinese story of ill-fated romance The Butterfly Lovers.

Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in New York, spoke about coming-out issues and related how she was a witness to Oyoung's coming-out in New York, where he currently lectures on sociology at St Peter University and is doing research for his doctorate in divinity with Boston University. Oyoung is also a PhD candidiate in sociology at the City Univeristy of New York (CUNY).

The 36-year-old Kuantan-born author is known to many Malaysians as a passionate speaker and newspaper commentator who was provocative at times. As a social commentator, his sharp and incisive writings on social ills in Malaysia and the US engaged both passionate supporters and indignant critics.

His column Under the Statue of Liberty ran in Malaysia's largest circulating Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily for eight years, with his popularity sustained by his vocal analysis and critique of social issues. In 1996, he won the Best Journalist Award by National Chinese-language newspapers.

Oyoung is known to stand his ground despite being attacked by his opponents from conservative quarters.

While he wrote passionately about gay pride, LGBT equality and queer studies (his weekly commentary on Fridae's Chinese website has been running since February this year), his own sexuality has been somewhat ambiguous in the public eye as he was married to a psychologist for seven years.

His recent publication God Loves Gays (神爱同志), a close examination of biblical interpretation of the relationship between gay Christians and their faith, was widely read and discussed in Malaysia and made its way into the bestseller list in the Chinese-language regional news magazine Yazhou Zhoukan.

That book was followed by two other groundbreaking works Gays Love God (同志爱神) and Sociology of Body (身体社会学). The former examines the relationship between gays/lesbians and their religion while the latter looks at how society relates to the human body from a sociological perspective, exploring issues like birth, sex, food, customs, ethnicity - and literally one's skin colour, aging, illness and death and the many ways the human body is used and abused to control and manipulate, or to please and entice.

With this new book Is Present the Future?: An Asian Gay Man's Coming-Out Journey, Oyoung returns to his own life story for inspiration. He hopes for it to be an inspiration for gay men and lesbians who are struggling with similar issues.

At the book launch, the otherwise passionate speaker was calm and collected, as he expressed his guilt in having to lead a life of deception in the public eye with regards to his marriage to his ex-wife, who was mostly silent at the event.

While he said that he is not advocating for gays and lesbians come out publicly as he has, he hopes for his book to provide some form of support to those who are struggling to accept their own sexual orientation. He also warned against gay individuals marrying to hide their true sexual orientation as it traps an innocent party in an unhealthy relationship.

In his book, Oyoung gave credit to his ex-wife Chun-Yu for giving him the courage to step out of their marriage to date men and recounted a period of time when his Puerto Rican boyfriend Angel and his ex-wife lived as a family in the same New York apartment.

Is Present the Future: An Asian Gay Man's Coming-Out Journey (现在是以后了吗?) is available in bookstores across Malaysia and on Fridae Shop (international delivery available).

A book launch and meet-the-author session will be held in Singapore on August 24 (Thursday) at 7.30 pm, at Xpose Cafe and Restaurant (280 South Bridge Road, near Mosque Street and Upper Cross Street). For more details, please click here.


Reader's Comments

1. 2006-08-23 20:47  
Hi Oyoung,

DO you have plans to translate your book into other languages - esp. Malay and English?
2. 2006-08-23 23:03  
Groundbreaking. We need more voices like this in Asia!
Comment #3 was deleted by its author
Comment #4 was deleted by its author
5. 2006-08-24 01:39  
I've been sittin' here
Trying to find myself
I get behind myself
I need to rewind myself
Looking for the payback
Listen for the playback
They say that every man
Bleeds just like me

Everybody knows my name
They say it way out loud
A lot of folks fuck with me
It's hard to hang out in crowds
I guess that's the price you pay
To be some big shot like i am
Out skirt stands and one night stands
Still i can't find love

People don't know about the things
I say and do
They don't understand...
About the shit that i've
been through,

It's been so long
Since i've been home
I've been gone,
I've been gone for way too long

Maybe i forgot all the things I miss
Oh somehow I know there's more to life
than this,
I said it too many times...
...and i still stand firm

You get what you put in ...
...and people get what they deserve,
Still I ain't seen mine
No I ain't seen mine
I've been giving just ain't been gettin'
I've been walking down that line...!

So I think I'll keep walking
With my head held high
I'll keep moving on
And only God knows why

A Christian theology scholar...
...to step out of their marriage to date men

Like Kid Rock says.... "and only God knows why"

6. 2006-08-24 10:00  
Oyoung!!! Dude u made us all gay Malaysian proud and happy for u.

How I wish to have the courage like u to do the things u r doing!

Too bad I cannot read chinese words and hopefully your book will be publish in english version as well.

By the way, u r cute! ;)
7. 2006-08-24 10:10  
Yeah...Hey can we have it translated into English please!!!.... Am really interested to read it...
8. 2006-08-24 10:15  
Oh yeah! Oyoung Wenfeng is CUTE! And writing a book that benefit our society and culture! Not like that Ugly man who wrote about his sexual exploitation of Asian Men... Whats that book called again?.... er.. Porridge queen? Rice slut? something... Something... like that...
If only it's in English... Are they talking about translating it? What can we do to get it translated?
9. 2006-08-24 10:27  
WenFeng's wife ROCKs!!! I love that he WARNs "against gay individuals marrying to hide their true sexual orientation as it traps an innocent party in an unhealthy relationship".

No matter how you slice it, either for performing the duty of a Filial Son to being a Coward to go against society's accepted norm, women are not there for you to "USE"!!!

So I'm really glad this book address this issue with Asian gay men. I cringe when I hear of someone someone finally dating a woman or getting married to one... It's never that they are latent Heterosexual. It's often pressure from family or peers.

So if I could on behalf of all of us cowardly gay who at one time or another use a girl to cover up, May I apologize to you Chun-Yu (ex-Mrs Oyoung).

10. 2006-08-24 10:42  
Will the novel "Is Present the Future: An Asian Gay Man's Coming-Out Journey" be published in English?
11. 2006-08-24 17:56  
Truly a shining beacon of inspiration for other Asian gays who have similar situations like him. It'd be wonderful to read his words (in his book) translated in English as well.

As delighted I am to see another Asian coming out publicly in order to create awareness to the straight gay lesbian and bisexual people out there, I'm concern that other sexually challenged Asian men 'wishing to be free' are still trapped in their 'filial son' role. That of being the producer of a child and heir to the family name; a stounchly held culture among the Chinese and similar Asian familial institutions.

Perhaps yes or no; this revelation by Au Yeung Wen Feng shall inspire gay men to finally cross that threshold holding them back. Otherwise it'd just be another 'wishing for the moon' exercise and they just end up not being proactive about it.

Realistically, isn't the happiness of your own more important or being stuck to the hardline 'rules' more important? As selfish as this sounds to some, bear in mind that your own mental health will be affected by the internal conflicts. And in the end, not only YOU but your engaged/married partner WILL BE unhappy as well.
12. 2006-08-25 01:37  
Oyoung WenFeng, I can't wait to read your book. Please translate it to English as I would hope my friends can read it too.
I salute your courage to come out despite being a public known writer. I can understand the pressure from self suspecious to self discovery, from self acceptance to seeking others' acceptance. I would like to learn how you could do it.
Chun-Yu, you are my idol. Your wisdom and generosity in this homophobic society. You are total opposite of the selfish wives in the movie "Brokeback Mountain".
WenFeng, I agree with the rest. You are cute! I hope to see your speech in near future.
13. 2006-08-25 02:35  
歐陽﹐ 你真是勇敢。 對這麼多人承認自己為同性戀者﹐ 尤其是你的前妻。

這本自傳的出版確實叫人鼓舞。 在仍然大致偏向保守的東南亞社會﹐ 綻放異彩。 尤其以中文書寫﹐ 更是難得。 我想有關同志的華文自傳仍屬少數﹐ 希望能見到更多。

讀到一則你的訪問﹐ 得知你也對漢古文懷有興趣。 這的確令我振奮﹐ 也減少了些許寂寞。 因為﹐ 我沒見過持相同興趣的朋友(也或許我只是井底之蛙)。

無論如何﹐ 祝你一切順心。
Comment #14 was deleted by its author
15. 2006-08-25 03:24  
God, he is SOooo HOT! Damn i missed that event... Will there be another event held in M'sia? Wish i could see him in real person. Yeah, and if his book comes in English version, I might consider to buy one and read it too.
16. 2006-08-25 03:55  

17. 2006-08-25 11:21  
18. 2006-08-25 15:01  
Wow...He is so cool~~!
But...is it the right time to do such a big breakout.....?
Anyway.....AWESOME (=^0^=)/~~
19. 2006-08-26 02:41  
Vincetheon wrote: "You are total opposite of the selfish wives in the movie "Brokeback Mountain".

Chun Yu could have been that selfish wife at once stage too; doesn't she deserves the happiness of a married wife/partner as well?

Of course rationality got the better of her seing that her now ex-husband is more oriented towards men; she can't continue to be selfish either. It wouldn't be healthy on the relationship either.
20. 2006-08-27 21:15  
I hope there will be an English version of the book

Please log in to use this feature.


Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia