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Hey, <i>GQ</i>! Put an Asian Guy on the Cover, Will Ya?

April's issue offeatures the most Asian Pacific Islander men that I'd ever seen. But there's still one part ofwhere Asian men are rarely seen, and that's on the cover.
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The April issue of Gentlemen's Quarterly features the most Asian Pacific Islander (API) men that I'd ever seen. In this iconic magazine, there were more APIs in that issue alone than in previous years: there is a story of boxer Manny Pacquiao; Asian men are featured as the best dressers at European fashion shows in Scott Schuman's popular column "The Sartorialist"; and soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata is an underwear model for a Calvin Klein ad. For extra measure, there's even an Asian guy in an ad for Volvo and an article made mention of D & G's Clement Kwan at a GQ party in Milan.

GQ has come a looooong way from when I first discovered the pages of this magazine back in the 1980s. However, there is still one part of GQ where Asian men rarely seem to be seen, and that's on the cover.

In 2007, GQ celebrated 50 years with a special anniversary issue. They ran past covers from the magazine and I couldn't help but smile at remembering some of those old issues. My first issue was back in 1981. I was a geeky 13 year boy hoping to be cool, and GQ seemed to have the secret. GQ remains my longest go-to periodical. (I was once a subscriber, until my issues failed to arrive. But that's another story.)

I'll never forget seeing the first Asian man on the cover. As an Asian teen, I was thrilled. It was baseball player Ron Darling of the New York Mets in the 1980s. The second man I saw that decade was Greg Louganis, who is part Samoan. In the 1990s, I saw action star Jackie Chan and Tiger Woods, who is half Thai. In this new century, there was Keanu Reeves, who is part Hawaiian/Chinese, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is Samoan. Since 1980, that equals to two API men every ten years. As we enter the second decade of this new millennium, I hope that Asian and Pacific Islander men will make the cover more often.

There are more visible API men in sports, politics, style and entertainment than ever before. GQ seems to know this. In past issues, I've seen pages dedicated to actors John Cho and Kal Penn; athletes Apollo Ohno and Ichiru Suzuki; and Journey's new lead singer Arnel Pineda. I've also noticed a higher number of Asian models in the pages also. All of this should be applauded and as a long time reader, I am giving a standing ovation.

But what about the cover? I know an aim for any magazine is to sell copies and a cover is a big part of making that happen. Any one of the men I'd mentioned above could have made great cover stories, particularly Manny Pacquiao, that even GQ billed as "The Greatest Boxer Since Ali." Other Asian men who could be good "cover" material: baseball player Chan Ho Park, action star Jet Li, film director M. Knight Shyamalan, actors Daniel Dae Kim and Dev Patel, even His Holiness, the Dalai Lama!

C'mon, GQ. Asians are gentlemen, too. Put them on the cover.

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