I don’t want to know about your Asian wife
Or your Asian friend or Japanese girlfriend or your study abroad in China.
Prefacing with: I do not want to hear about your shock. I don’t want to hear about your apologies. Express that to your white friends. I don’t want to hear about how you or your friends aren’t like this. I fucking guarantee you know someone like this.
I haven’t been able to wear this shirt out yet but what a perfect time to wear it in a photo. Two nights ago, I saw the breaking news roll in and very actively compartmentalized it until the next day. Tbh, I was numb and reaction-less. Should I be angry? Should I be sad? Should I be unsurprised?
I took a mental health day yesterday. I would be okay one moment and then read some stories from friends or the news and then burst out into tears. I had a really fucking BAD DAY but I didn’t go out on some murder spree.
I have written about being exoticized before, always received with mixed reactions. “It’s a positive stereotype! Take it as a compliment!”
“I’ve never been with an Asian before.”
“I’m trying to collect them all” as if I was some playing card.
“I love Japan, the women don’t talk back.”
“Where are you from? I studied abroad in China.”
“It’s okay, I have a Chinese girlfriend.”
“Have you eaten dog before?”
I was raised to not speak out, internalize feelings, don’t bring attention to myself — all the markers of assimilation. I’m also naturally more quiet and more of a listener than a talker, which doesn’t help with being part of that stereotype.
Reiterating what I wrote on Twitter: Have you ever made a pun out of gesha coffee when geisha was acceptable? Have you confused me with another Asian person in coffee? Am I the only Asian-American person in coffee who you follow? Do you love dumplings and ramen and matcha and kimchi and incorporate them into a life that has no Asian friends? Do you think sometimes that your Chinese takeout shouldn’t be that expensive?
I have no pithy words of forgiveness or hopefulness. I am EXHAUSTED.