World-renowned Asian-American bodybuilder, international underwear model, gay adult film producer, adult entertainer, and personality Peter Le graces our fair city with his presence on an annual basis, so we decided to talk to him to find out just how he came to do what he does best: his club appearances at Funky.

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Of course, we also delved into how his Asian heritage serves him in the industry, in China specifically.

Le was born to Vietnamese parents in California: “Growing up I was bullied because I am Asian. This made me focus on getting stronger, working out, and trying to be more American. Almost like how a football player is built, but I did wrestling. Most Asian kids in high school, they play badminton, so I wanted to do something totally different and be more American. I put my mind to working out and finding the best way to improve my body and my health. It got me to where I am today.”

But growing up, Le still felt a strong link to his Asian heritage. “I do identify myself with being Asian as well, I can’t really speak Vietnamese that well, but enough to get by. It’s different with Asian-American culture, because living in America, you’re not raised as you would be in Asia so most people who are from Asia and who later live in America are unable to relate to you. And people in America, such as Caucasians, they don’t see you as American. So you’re like a small separate group from the whole world. And it’s tough, being Asian-American in America.”

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Le’s Asian descent might just be what sets him apart in the industry, becoming both a role model and icon. “Most of my fans are from Asia,” he tells us. “Funky started to bring to create a reputation of doing something outside the normal Chinese clubs, I think it was great for them. They reached out to me in particular because they knew I have a huge fan base in China.

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It is a great marketing strategy for them to have me there because most of my fans are Chinese. The second biggest group is Americans.”

Many Chinese people see Le as a gay icon in the same way that Asian-Americans do, because his Asian appearance is something that they feel they can relate by Margaux Schreurs to. “ see me as an icon, because growing up in America, most Asian kids don’t really come across any Asian role models. They see the American superheroes who are all Caucasians, but not Asians. I put myself out there and that’s why I got a great response. And I worked hard for it, too.”

But his Asian background has not always made it easy for him to work towards his goals, especially because of his sexuality and difficulty with the Vietnamese language. “ don’t really have a great way to communicate, it’s not really in-depth when we have conversations... and there are things that I have to hide from them, for example being an producer and having my face out on the internet. They do know what I do, but they try to pretend like it never happened, it’s just an Asian thing. I guess what I’m doing is going against all Vietnamese culture, like I’m not supposed to show my sexuality. I guess I’m not supposed to be out there in the world.”

As to constraints brought upon by China’s regulations on adult content, Le talks about the sales his brand is missing out on. “It’s like that joke about China, though, that we have in America. There’s only one original copy of Windows in China and the software has spread like wildfire, but Microsoft’s point of view is that that is good, because now people are accustomed to their layout. So if another competitor enters the market, people will still stick with Windows.”

And that isn’t all, the ban on adult content appears to add to Le’s desirability: “I guess I become more desirable because they haven’t seen me live, so every time I come to China everyone comes out, including people from Taiwan and Hong Kong who come to see me at Funky, for example.”

In a way, it seems like the ban on adult content in China has made him even more famous, and Funky even more successful, judging by the scenes on their dance floor every time Le takes the stage. He promises us that he will be back in China soon, and we will be sure to let you know when.

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