British | Hong Kong Chinese

Leo Wan.jpg

My dad came over from Hong Kong when he was 14 or 15. I was born in Sheffield. I stayed there til I was 18. I have this memory of coming home and being a bit surprised at seeing a non-white face in the mirror. In day-to-day teasing, something that would come up would be the way I look.

I'm very very British. I don't speak Chinese and I don't know that much about the culture. I've only been back to Hong Kong once. I was only 9 years old and had really long hair so my dad was very embarrassed because everyone thought he had a daughter. Not only a daughter but one who couldn't speak a word of Cantonese.

I guess now more importantly or more significantly, it’s not that I feel partially Chinese. It’s that I feel non-white. I really embrace that idea of being non-white and that kind of querying of the status quo. I revel in the fact that I am not perfectly normal. I have a slightly different perspective. I experience things slightly differently because I don’t belong to the mass. I like that a lot. In terms of my acting, it’s difficult to know how much I have been limited in what I have been able to play because I have not been seen for those roles. I would have guessed that I have been because for me, the role that I think I would be most suited to play would be the creepy vicar in a Jane Austen novel and of course, I don’t get cast for that. Personality wise I could get that spot on, I could nail that role but I’m never gonna be put in that type of period drama so yeah, there are those limitations.

I guess East Asian people tend to look a bit younger and, being gay, I did kind of think "Are all the guys who fancy me kind of paedos?" or "Is there some weird fetishisation thing going on?". That does linger with you for quite a while. I'm not into people with weird East Asian fetishes! I don’t think it has affected who I date thought. Aesthetically I don’t really have a type.