I went ahead and watched all of the They’re All So Beautiful episodes, which you can find here–they get more interesting, in my opinion. However, the focus remained on heterosexual couples throughout the series, with the exception of a comment in the first episode that “rice queen” is a term used in gay communities for someone with “Asian fever”.
I would be interested to know if “Asian fever” exists among gay people about as much as it does among straight people (or more or less). Maybe that topic is covered in the full-length documentary, Seeking Asian Female, that’s associated with They’re All So Beautiful, but since I can’t access that film, I relied on the OK Cupid by-race response rates instead.
In contrast Asian women receive the most replies from men of any group:
At the end of that article, there was a link to information on same-sex OK Cupid response rates. That post shows that the rates at which men reply to Asian men vary all across the board:
But women reply to Asian women at a very high rate (while Asian women are picky about who they respond to):
According to that OK Cupid post, “Asian lesbians are in demand”, much like their straight counterparts. Yet none of this explains why “Asian fever” is so much more commonly directed towards women.
Is it because the submissive and docile traits stereotypically associated with Asian people are considered more attractive in women than in men? That may be true of physical features, at least: an Asian woman pointed out in the third episode of They’re All So Beautiful (at 2:24), “When a woman has chinky eyes, it’s called exotic, but when a man has chinky eyes, they’re chinky.” It may come down to the idea that general “Asian” characteristics more appealing in women than in men, but there may be (and likely are) other factors at play here as well.
One drawback to relying on the OK Cupid data rather than hearing about this behavior in documentary format is that this data doesn’t tell us anything about others’ responses to “Asian fever” amongst gay people. Is it found similarly creepy by those around the couples in question? Are many lesbians candid about their preference for Asian women?