Tag: identity

Branded Rhetoric

Anti-black sentiment is long-standing in Asian communities and has impacted me personally with regard to colorism. The issue is so extreme that skin bleaching or color-fading products are given to young people in efforts to lighten skin. One only has to look at K-pop or Asian models to understand...

The Shake Sisters

The Shake Sisters worked at the street-side shop around the corner from our housing complex. They were probably 13 or 14-years-old and as adroit at sales as they were at making mango smoothies. Foreign students daily graced their shop and sat in small plastic chairs meant for children, their...

The Process of Reinvention

I once wrote a narrative about the time I failed land navigation at ROTC boot camp. I was out there in the Kentucky wilderness with a hundred other cadets roaming around trying to find 10 points on a topical map. I only found 6 before the bullhorn sounded (a...

Untitled

This is not a good story. It does not tell you what you want to hear. It tells you that I lived. Survived. Succeeded, even, in being a dutiful daughter, a good mother, a loving wife. It tells you that I was plucked out of precarious circumstances and made...

The Permanence of Memory

They call me a dirty chink and a gook, using the tips of their forefingers to slant their eyes upward while speaking to me in the tones of an Asian language. Ching chong choooww, and they laugh and laugh. One wants to spit on me, and I can see...

In Media Res

When I first saw Việt Nam, it was the year I got into UC Santa Cruz, the second-to-last in a string of colleges that kept my eye on the education prize while my mind still wandered, angry and discontent with the person I had become or angry at people...

Dear Adoption, I’m Tired.

Worn out from years of explaining who I am and who I am not. I have grown weary of trying to assimilate into countries and cultures that ask me to be for them and not with them. I have grown fatigued of tracing a story that befits only a partial narrative, left only...

Paper Trails

With the recent worry about providing paperwork to affirm one’s citizenship, I have been sorting through files and boxes in my basement looking for my naturalization certificate. I just recently received a new passport, but in this political climate, I’m worried that it may not be enough. When I...

When Difference Matters

First published on The Adoption Exchange Blog: https://www.adoptex.org/the-adoption-journey/blog/ Over the course of my life, people have been curious about my adoption story. It is a story that begins in the Vietnam War. At the time, adopting from Vietnam was as much a humanitarian movement as it was an opportunity for...

Get Back on the Boat

When I think of school I am caught off guard by the multitude of racialized experiences that sent me daily preparing for battle.  I remember the kid that pushed me down in a bus and called me a nigger, stepping on my head as he walked over me and...