Love Your Asian Body
AIDS Activism in Los Angeles
- PUBLISHED: February 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Asian American Studies, History / American History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 304 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 13 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295749334
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
The AIDS crisis reshaped life in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s and radicalized a new generation of queer Asian Americans with a broad vision of health equity and sexual freedom. Even amid the fear and grief, Asian American AIDS activists created an infrastructure of care that centered the most stigmatized and provided diverse immigrant communities with the health resources and information they needed. Without a formal blueprint, these young organizers often had to be creative and agitational, and together they reclaimed the pleasure in sex and fostered inclusivity, regardless of HIV status. A community memoir, Love Your Asian Body connects the deeply personal with the uncompromisingly political in telling the stories of more than thirty Asian American AIDS activists. In those early years of the epidemic, these activists became caregivers, social workers, nurses, researchers, and advocates for those living with HIV. And for many, the AIDS epidemic sparked the beginning of their continued work to build multiracial coalitions and confront broader systemic inequities. Detailing the intertwined realities of race and sexuality in AIDS activism, Love Your Asian Body offers a vital portrait of a movement founded on joy.
Authors & Contributors
Eric C. Wat is author of The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles and SWIM, a novel.
"Wat does an excellent job of conveying these emotional and inspirational stories of activism... This book is an inspiring work that deserves to be read as it is an integral piece towards understanding the queer Asian American struggle for sexual liberation and health equity."- International Examiner
"Love Your Asian Body is a clarion call to understand one’s body not merely as a site for biotechnological intervention and individualized consumption but also as the source for envisioning social connectivities and political collectivities anew"- H-Net
"A brilliant, gorgeous, and nuanced rendering of queer Asian American activism in the 1980s and 1990s. This is the book I have been waiting for all my life."- Anthony Christian Ocampo, author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race
"An important contribution to the existing literature on HIV/AIDS. This community memoir brings a new aspect to the story of sex positive interactions, adjustments, refusals, and transformations during the height of HIV/AIDS."- Andrew Jolivétte, author of Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community
"Clear, engaging, and accessible. The informants’ stories about HIV/AIDS organizing illustrate the multiplicities at play within the category "Asian American.""- Cynthia Wu, author of Sticky Rice: A Politics of Intraracial Desire