Event Photography: Mizzou Tiger Walk 2017

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Photo Journalism: Singer Tim Ouyang Isn’t Afraid to be Himself

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – Tim Ouyang’s parents didn’t approve of him pursuing a career in music. They wanted him to become a doctor or a scientist, something practical.

He laughed as he shared this anecdote. “I’m such a stereotype,” Ouyang said.

Despite his parents objections, Ouyang has been making a living as contemporary Christian artist for the past ten years. He turned 34 last month and has no plans to stop. The Mizzou Asian American Association (AAA) brought Ouyang here from his native California to preform as a part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebrations.

Secretary of AAA, Sarah Boyd, has been a fan of Ouyang’s for a little over a year. It was Linda Quach, another member of AAA who first turned her onto his music.

“We’ve all been really looking forward to seeing Tim preform,” said Boyd, “We all love him.”

A couple years ago Ouyang came out as gay. It wasn’t an easy realization to have, particularly as an artist in the Christian music industry. He’s still not used to talking about it in public. His performance at the Shack is one of the first times he’s ever said it before an audience.

Ouyang may joke about being a stereotype but in many ways he’s still very much an anomaly.  Asian’s have long been underrepresented in the entertainment industry, and homosexual Asians even more so. For him, this was the biggest reason to be open about it. To show others like him that they’re not alone.