Back in 1979, Phal Sok and his family were one of the many refugees who were resettled in the U.S. following the Khmer Rouge. Sok and his family struggled to make ends meet, his mother leaving when he was just two years old and his father permanently injured from being beaten in a labor camp. For Sok, school was not a place where he could seek help and shelter from the community’s violence, but rather a place of shame and bullying.
The U.S. is divided. It is a nation wildly divided on nearly all political fronts. Most intimate to me is the eruptive debate surrounding education.… Read More »The Attack on “Critical Race Theory” in America
TW // Discussion of gender dysphoria and transphobia/transmisia.
Dear Asian Youth,
My mother raised me in a household where my dreams had no limits and praying to Hindu deities was the norm. These deities had many forms and could present themselves in different ways; they could look like women, men, both or neither. I remember thinking at a young age, “I wish I could do that.” I promise, I don’t have a god complex. I’m just genderqueer.
TW: Suic*de, de*th, hom*phob*a
‘My mind is bisexual. It’s easy for me to love a woman. It’s also easy for me to love a man, too” – Leslie Cheung, 1992.
Dear Asian Youth,
Amongst the actors and singers of the canto-pop scene, the late Leslie Cheung springs into the mind of many as a figure who embodies the genre. My older cousins were especially fond of his music growing up and felt an affinity towards Cheung, they even called him “gor gor” (big brother), which I later found out was a nickname that the people of Hong Kong gifted him. It was clear to me that he was a figure of hope to my cousins for his determination to express his sexuality despite belonging to a largely homogenous culture. It was only natural that this admiration would be later passed onto me.
While social media can be a great asset to social progress, as demonstrated by a certain organization you are reading this from, it can also take us back quite a few steps. This is attributed to algorithms, group polarization, and confirmation bias. Even if we think we are on the “right” (but left) side of the internet, questionable rhetoric for social change still exists in the name of activism.