In light of Prop 8 ruling: Why a gay Asian couple chose Alhambra

The 9th Circuit declared California's gay-marriage ban unconstitutional on Tuesday. Last March, Inthava Bounrapseuth wrote about why he and his partner chose to live in Alhambra.

Forget West Hollywood: Choosing Alhambra as a Gay Asian couple | Originally published 03.01.2011

Mark and I have officially lived together as a gay couple in Alhambra for one year. The San Gabriel Valley may be more conservative — and less friendly to homosexuals — than West Hollywood or Silver Lake, but it’s a surburban environment that we value. Like any other family in our community we want quiet and safe streets, good schools and neighbors we know and to whom we can relate.

We also appreciate that living here is worlds apart from what it would be if we had remained in the countries in which we were born. Mark is ethnically Chinese, but grew up in the Philippines; I have Lao and Thai roots. In these countries gay people face more discrimination than here. Although Alhambra is composed of various traditional ethnic groups, we still feel very at home due in part to their assimilation into mainstream American culture, which includes gay rights. 

Still, Mark and I clearly cross the line between Asian modesty and American liberalism when we show affection in public. Just the other day we stepped out of the Rite Aid on Main Street and we looked at each other and spontaneously kissed.  We didn’t check behind us to make sure it was okay…

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