Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American “Oriental,” (Champaign, University of Illinois Press, 2018)

In the late 1890s, “wide and open” San Francisco appeared to be a place where men and women could configure their intimate lives in expansive and unconventional ways. Yet as whites explored and enacted new norms of romance and womanhood, increasing freedoms would be less accessible for Asians in America. Discriminating Sex details how middle class white expansion of their own gender and sexual norms conflated Chinese and Japanese - initially seen as two distinct races - and formed the pan-Asian “Oriental,” a deeply sexual racialized stereotype, more than a hundred years ago.


Scheduled Readings

Sonoma State University, Queer Studies Lecture Series, February 12, 2018

Woodbury University, Cabaret Volatire, April 5, 2018

GLBT History Museum, April 12, 2018

University of Toronto Centre of Sexual Diversity, April 23, 2018


Read about Discriminating Sex in SFSU news and Instinct Magazine.

Listen to the author talk about Discriminating Sex at New Books Network and KPFA's Against the Grain

See also Uncensored Pillow Talk!





Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012)

Introduction reprinted in Journal of Transnational American Studies 4, no. 1 (2012), available at


Poet Yone Noguchi, more famously as known as the father of acclaimed artist Isamu Noguchi, enmeshed himself in several duplicitous affairs at the turn of the century. As Yone wrote passionate letters of love to western writer Charles Warren Stoddard, he proposed marriage to Alabama’s first historian Ethel Armes and impregnated editor Léonie Gilmour. Private fantasies and frustrated intimacies attest to how even the most seemingly selfish acts of sexuality are bound up in socio-cultural norms.


Queer Compulsions in Hyphen Magazine: Asian American Unabridged


Selected Articles, Essays, and Edited Collections


"Breathing Fire: Remembering Asian Pacific Activism in Queer History," in LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, ed., Megan Springate (Washington, D.C.: National Park Foundation, 2016). Available online at


“Queer Asian American Historiography” in Oxford Handbook of Asian American History, eds., Eiichiro Azuma and David Yoo (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016): 267-278.


“Jendā, shakaiundō, soshite rezubianu de arukoto ni tsuite” ジェンダー、社会運動、そしてレズアンであるおことについて [Gender, Activism, and Sexuality], Okinawa Jendāgaku 沖縄ジェンダー学 [Okinawa Gender Studies], ed. Ikue Kina (Tōkyō: Ōtsuki Shoten, 2016): 177-208.


“Skate and Create: Skateboarding, Asian Pacific America, and Masculinity,” Amerasia Journal, Special Issue on Sport in America 41, no. 2 (2015): 2-24.


“Why Queer Asian American Studies?: Implications for Japanese America,” Pan-Japan: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora, Special Issue - Conjecturing Communities: The Ebbs and Flows of Japanese 11, nos. 1 & 2, ed., Lane Ryo Hirabayashi (Summer 2015): 104-120.


“What Western History Means to Me,” Western Historical Association Newsletter: Special Issue – Queer History in the West (Spring 2013): 25-28.


“Making Whites from the Dark Side: Teaching Whiteness Studies at San Francisco State University,” The History Teacher 46, no. 3 (May 2013): 373-396.


“Miss Morning Glory: Orientalism and Misogyny in the Queer Writings of Yone Noguchi,” Amerasia Journal – Special Issue: Further Desire 37, no. 2 (2011): 2-27.


“Intimate Inequalities: Interracial Affection and Same-sex Love in the ‘Heterosexual’ life of Yone Noguchi, 1897-1909,” Journal of American Ethnic History 29, no. 4 (Summer 2010): 22-44.


“Finding Fellatio: Friendship, History and Yone Noguchi,” in Embodying Asian American Sexualities, Gina Masequesmay and Sean Metzger, ed., (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009): 157-172.


“InnovAsian in Pornography: Asian American Masculinity and the Porno Revolution,” in 21st Century Sexualities: Contemporary Issues in Health, Education and Rights, ed. Gilbert Herdt and Cymene Howe (New York: Routledge, 2007), 78-80.


Guest Editor, Amerasia Journal- Special Issue: Asian Americans and the Marriage Equality Debate 32, no.1 (2006).


“Friday the Thirteenth – Love, Commitment, and then Catastrophe: Personal Reflections on the Marriage Equality Movement,” Amerasia Journal- Special Issue: Asian Americans and the Marriage Equality Debate 32, no.1 (2006): xi-xvii.


“Mindful Masquerades: Que(e)rying Japanese Immigrant Dress in Turn-of-the-Century San Francisco,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26, no. 3 (2005): 67-100.


To be reprinted in Contingent Maps: Rethinking the North American West and Western Women’s History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), in press.


“Sexuality and Asian Pacific Islander History,” Asian Pacific American Collective History Project, 2004 [online]; available from; Internet.




“For a More Queer-Friendly Japanese America,” Nichi Bei Weekly, 29 July 2010 – 4 August 2010, p. 2.


 “Threat to Asians,” San Francisco Chronicle, 21 April 2010, p. A15, 


Book Reviews


Review of Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and Law in the North American West by Nayan Shah, Pacific Historical Review 82, no. 2 (May 2013): 297-298.


Review of Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Journal of American Ethnic History (Fall 2005): 113-115.


Review of The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles by Eric C. Wat, Journal of the History of Sexuality 12, no. 3 (July 2003): 504-506.


Review of If They Don’t Bring Their Women Here: Chinese Female Immigration Before Exclusion by George Anthony Peffer, Law and History Review 20, no.2 (Summer 2002): 421-423.


Review of Asian American Sexualities edited by Russell Leong and Q& A: Queer in Asian America edited by David Eng and Alice Hom in Amerasia Journal 25, no.1 (1999): 194-200.


Creative Works

“The Same-sex Wedding Album, Amy & Sheree,” American Sexuality Magazine 2, no.3, March 2004 [journal on-line]; available from Internet.


Works in Progress


Queer Asian Pacific Islander History: An Introduction

While Asian Pacific American history and queer history have grown tremendously as disciplinary fields, queer Asian Pacific Islanders remain strangely absent despite their more than 150-year presence in America. This textbook project synthesizes existing works in queer API studies across disciplines to craft a narrative that underscores the central role of API queers in the making of a modern gay American identity in the 19th century and in the activation of radical social movements in the 20th century.