I was in a convenience store in Phuket one evening, looking for band-aids with my friend, when this European tourist walked in and made a bee-line for me. At least, I think he was a tourist. (He dressed like a homeless person so I couldn’t be sure.) The first words out of his mouth were,… Read More How much for this one?
I follow a couple of online media outlets to keep up with Asian American-specific news. This year, I noticed a strange pattern. At the very beginning of 2017, I was surprised to see violence against an 83-year-old Asian woman on my newsfeed. Strange that anyone would hurt an elderly woman, and an Asian/Asian American one at that.… Read More Violence is intergenerational
Whether you immigrated when you were 12, were born in the U.S., or came over so early you barely remember your birth country, none of that matters. We all know the drill, the “ching chong, chink” slurs thrown at you in the school hallways, the assumption that you’re from China, the guessing game that follows if… Read More to love a self
I’ve had multiple conversations with people during which I realized they don’t know what a lot of symptoms of mental illness looks like. And if I hadn’t both witnessed as well as experienced them myself, I wouldn’t have known either. For the longest time, I thought these behaviors were unique to me, or worse, character… Read More “I’m fine;” the mentally not-okay mind
If you didn’t already know, racism isn’t just violence, hate crimes, slurs, or other forms of explicit discrimination. And for the purposes of this post, it isn’t just recognizable microaggressions either. It can operate as innocently as choosing who to sit next to, or forgetting to invite certain people to an event. People know that exclusion is… Read More We’re Not Friends
I love you so much. I want these to be one of the first words you ever hear because I was not brave enough to exchange them with my own mother until I was 18. I will try my best to raise you with Vietnamese. I know that at times you may not find it something to… Read More Dear Daughter,
There are some really great writings on anti-Blackness in Asian and Asian American communities that reassure me I’m not alone in my thoughts and experiences. This is one of my favorites. (I love the author; seriously- go read more of Kim Tran’s stuff.) I would also recommend this article that better explains the link between the model… Read More Why appropriate?
A lot of people have been asking me why I don’t like Austin. Even my partner (until I explained it to him through quite a few tears) thought I was being overdramatic. And, I mean, I get it. It’s a green city, it’s pretty, there’s lots to do, the music scene is great, it’s “progressive.”… Read More Projections
In a recent conversation with a friend, I told them that it feels like “I’m a Jungle Asian disguised as a Fancy Asian.” That is to say, I have a complicated relationship with class within my own ethnicity on top of an already complicated relationship with race, as I am neither black or brown, nor… Read More Jungle Asians, Fancy Asians, and the Space Betwix and Between
Part 1 How does one tell a tale of undoing? Mental illness runs in my family. None of it diagnosed, of course, but the signs have always been there. From as early as the 4th or 5th grade, I knew something was… funny about me. Even earlier than that, I noticed the peculiar behaviors of my family… Read More Un-