Anthony Christian Ocampo

Dec 28, 2023

Brown and Gay in LA and the Craft of Writing Nonfiction

A Discussion with Anthony Christian Ocampo

NYU Press 2023

In this episode, Dr. Anthony Christian Ocampo takes us both inside and beyond his new book, Brown and Gay in LA: The Lives of Immigrant Sons (NYU Press, 2022), to talk about the craft of writing nonfiction, the importance of writing communities and fellowships, and about putting your writing out into the world.

Today’s book is: Brown and Gay in LA: The Lives of Immigrant Sons, by Anthony Christian Ocampo. Growing up in the shadow of Hollywood, the gay sons of immigrants featured in Brown and Gay in LA maneuver through family and friendship circles where masculinity dominates, gay sexuality is unspoken, and heterosexuality is strictly enforced. Dr. Ocampo details his story of reconciling his queer Filipino American identity and those of men like him. He shows what it was like to grow up gay in an immigrant family, to be the one gay person in their school and ethnic community, and to be a person of color in predominantly White gay spaces. Brown and Gay in LA is an homage to second-generation gay men and their radical redefinition of what it means to be gay, to be a man, to be a person of color, and, ultimately, what it means to be an American.

Our guest is: Dr. Anthony Christian Ocampo, who is Professor of Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of Brown and Gay in LA, and The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. He is an Academic Director of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, and co-host of the podcast Professor-ing. His writing has appeared in GQ, Catapult, BuzzFeed, Los Angeles Review of Books, Colorlines, Gravy, Life & Thyme, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Tin House, and the VONA/Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. He was recently featured in the Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch,” as he was one of the employees involved in suing the company for racial discriminatory hiring practices. He holds a BA in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and MA in modern thought and literature from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in sociology from UCLA.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is the producer and host of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell.

For more author-talks that consider the craft of writing, try:

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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