Welcome to my Medium page! My glorified version of a lengthy Facebook status. Is it more legit? Is it more lit? Not sure but this serif font makes me feel more academic. Feels like an adult Livejournal.
Last night, some friends and I went on our annual fishing trip off of the coast of Coney Island. We rented rods and bait, drifted upon the sea and drank alcoholic beverages. While the other side of the boat reeled in bass after bass, our group only caught 3 sharks. All sharks were returned to the ocean.
While I was waiting to use the boat bathroom, a weathered gent broke his streak of muttering, looked at me wearing my patched denim jacket, and said, “You’re going to vote for Hillary, aren’t you?” As he started into his diatribe about how “she’s crooked,” I searched myself for a response and reflected on the past political year.
Every time someone brings up the 2016 American Presidential Election, I have to ask myself, is it worth it? Who is this person I’m talking to? Will they listen to my opinion, or is their goal to only tell me theirs? Am I supposed to magically switch sides after hearing them? Whether it’s IRL or online, I weigh the effort of dialogue and amount of time I have/want to spent on conversation/debate before attempting a response.
Last night was no different, and I deflected: “You know Trump is going to court this month, right?” (Note: at the time, I wasn’t aware that the defendant didn’t show up to court and a status conference is scheduled for December.) This quieted him for a beat before another person distracted him and I went into the Ladies Room to urinate.
Being an adult sucks. We have to make stupid decisions where no one wins. We have to debate about uncomfortable topics. We have to be around people who eat their own farts and we have to smile and take it.
After my father passed away, my family found a copy of our hometown newspaper where he was featured on the front page for obtaining his US citizenship. He was a man who loved America and the opportunities it gave us.
Our family owned the first Chinese food restaurant in my hometown. When the original location burned down, our community was very supportive while we got back on our feet. This is according to my family as I was around 5 at the time. I don’t remember much about it other than losing a Mickey Mouse pillow that I cherished.
It’s hard for me to think now that the people in that community, and those in other communities that I’ve been lucky to be a part of, are supporting a person and rhetoric that contradicts the love and humanity I know them to be capable of. Their thoughts, actions, words all have a subtext of unwelcoming aggression toward who I am. It deeply saddens me to witness conversations on Facebook and in person where people I respect make excuses for certain actions and statements and regard these as acceptable. Because to me, it’s excusing all the times I’ve been marginalized as a female person of color.
I’ve been well aware of my not-White-but-not-Black status since being labeled “Other” on paperwork in elementary school. I’m reminded of my race and gender when dudes call me “Chinadoll” on the street. I was teased as a child for being the only Asian person at school and I was called a chink during my first year of college in Boston. After 32 years of these moments and many other micro and macro aggressions, I “read the room” for other minorities when entering a room full of strangers.
My great friend Amanda once told me, “We’re all fighting for scraps of humanity.” This election year has brought to the surface things that I (and many other minorities) have dealt with since before my time on this Earth. There are people who will judge and harm us even though we have done nothing but ask for respect for our existence in our communities. I fear after Tuesday, there will be an increased chance that I could be harmed because I have black hair, almond shaped eyes, olive skin, and a vagina. What is sad is that other groups of people have been living with this fear much longer than I have. What is the saddest is that people I know think that this fear is acceptable.
This is America and you can do whatever you want. You can vote. You can opt out of voting. You can vote for whomever you choose. You can choose to only concern yourself with national matters and not be involved with local and state issues. You can also critique my and others’ view points and actions. You can react by updating your Facebook status Wednesday morning when we see our country’s fate. You can choose to be aware of how you talk and act around people different than you. Or you can choose to close this tab in your browser and continue with your life. Every day and every moment is full of decisions whether they are adult or not.
As the great Tatianna (the true underdog of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 2) says: