Watch: 'SNL' Star Bowen Yang Says Being 'Gay & Asian Made My Skin a Little Thicker'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday May 9, 2021
Originally published on May 8, 2021

Just because Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang and actor Joel Kim Booster are both gay Asian comedians, it doesn't mean they should be friends. Luckily for us, they are, and the two recently had a hilarious chat about queerness and race for Booster's "Joy F*ck Club" radio show.

"I think [you're] the first other gay Asian friend that I have ever had. ... I think meeting you and becoming friends with you affected the trajectory of my own life in the ways I saw myself," Booster told Yang, in an exclusive preview of the podcast by People Magazine.

A friend introduced them in the most stereotypical way Booster explained: "[The friend] literally said the words, 'You're both gay and Asian, and do comedy. You should be friends,'" People reports.

Yang continues to delve into LGBTQ issues on SNL, recenlty recounting his gayest skit yet. On balancing the two identities of being gay and Asian, Yang shares that he believes it made his skin "a little thicker.

"It might be fair to say that at first consideration, it feels like they're identities that are somewhat at odds with each other. In terms of Western gay identities, which in a lot of ways sort of devalues Asian people or sort of puts Asian people in this weird purgatorial status in the gay community," Yang said. "That feels like it's at odds with my Asian identity, which in a lot of weird, bizarre ways is also messaged something around like, 'You don't be gay, don't be gay.' So having those two things be weird, diametrically opposed poles in some ways, having those two things have to be tightly wound together is really, really, really tough."

Look for a replay of the Joy F*ck Club on 88rising Radio on SiriusXM channel 305, and watch the full preview of the interview below.