Cao, Vi. “David Doesn’t Get It”, Webcomic, 2016.
David is 33-year-old asexual Vietnamese American who has a straight older brother, Mai an asexual younger sister, Miriam, and gay younger brother, Connor. We go into the life of David and learn of his family life, his abusive childhood and the emotional crises. The story is really about what it is to be a first generation Asian American, discovery and personal growth and how one deals with what happens to kinds and how this influences their later years. This is really about forgiveness as we meet the multigenerational Nguyen family. David’s father has remarried and there is tension between his dad, his stepmother and their real mom. Through flashbacks we get the family’s refugee history, their grandparents’ experiences, and vignettes of the siblings’ lives growing up. There seems to have been child abuse and David and his siblings had to deal with beatings, yelling, sexual abuse, and threats from adults.
In the past we have not heard much about asexuality. Only of late has it been recognized as a sexual orientations. Many young asexual folks struggle with people trying to fix them, telling them that their sexuality is only a phase and will pass with time. We read of constant questioning by the characters about sexuality and what the various identities mean and if the stereotypes attached to them are real. David shares how he realized that he is asexual only after he went through a bi-curious and gay questioning phase. The siblings are close and give each other solace as they remember how they have been abused and how that abuse has caused them to become who they are.
We see the blending of American and Vietnamese cultures and learn how they feel about racism. David and his family look at how Vietnamese family relationships differ from Western families and how in Vietnamese families there are differences between people from North and South Vietnam, and how this impacts the Nguyen family.