In a new interview, Saturday Night
Live star Bowen Yang says his parents rejected him when he came
out to them at 17.
Yang said that after coming out he
agreed to attend therapy sessions to alter his sexuality.
“They just sat me down and yelled at
me and said, ‘We don’t understand this. Where we come from, this
doesn’t happen,'” Yang
New York Times.
“I’d only seen my father cry when
my grandpa died and now he’s sobbing in front of me every day at
dinner. … And I’m thinking, ‘How do I make this right?’ This
is the worst thing you can do as a child of immigrants. It’s just
like you don’t want your parents to suffer this much over you.”
“The first few sessions were talk
therapy, which I liked, and then it veers off into this place of,
‘Let’s go through a sensory description of how you were feeling
when you’ve been attracted to men.’ And then the counselor would
go through the circular reasoning thing of, ‘Well, weren’t you
feeling uncomfortable a little bit when saw that boy you liked?’
And I was like, ‘Not really.’ He goes, ‘How did your chest
feel?’ And I was like, ‘Maybe I was slouching a little bit.’
And he goes, ‘See? That all stems from shame.’ It was just crazy.
Explain the gay away with pseudoscience.”
Yang joins Saturday
First Asian queer castmember.)
Yang added that while attending college
he had a second coming out with his parents who continued to reject
“I had this second coming out with
them while I was in college and went through this whole flare-up
again with them, where they couldn’t accept it,” he said.
“And then eventually, I just got to
this place of standing firm and being like, ‘This is sort of a
fixed point, you guys. I can’t really do anything about this. So,
either you meet me here or you don’t meet me,'” Yang said.
The Times notes that Yang's parents and sister came to his first show as an SLN cast member last fall.