Look, let’s just hash this out here.
I am a young, half-Chinese ciswoman. I do not speak Cantonese or Mandarin (well, a little, but not enough for a conversation).
I have reaped some rewards for being Asian, but not a lot. I get the “good” stereotype of being studious, of being good at maths and sciences. Those are some privileges I’ve been lucky enough to live up to. I take pride in Mulan, both the character and the movie.
But I’ve gotten some shit.
I’ve had to sit in classrooms, eyes burning with tears while kids who I thought were my friends make “ching chong chang” noises to mock how Chinese people talk.
I’ve been objectified.
I know that one day I will be propositioned for a “happy ending”.
I’ve had to listen to people make jokes about “you want happy ending? Me love you long time!”
I’ve struggled with maths and sciences because I felt a constant heavy expectation to be good at them.
I’ve grown up with only one mainstream media role model (Mulan) and thank God she was a good one!
My ancestors paid exorbitant taxes to come here. They separated from their families for months, even years at a time.
They were running from the Japanese.
They were escaping the crushing Communism that would come soon after they left.
They went without education.
They worked their asses off so that they could provide their children and grandchildren with the resources and opportunities they didn’t have.
They did this while learning English, while being constantly barraged with racist slurs and assumptions.
They worked the worst, hardest, most menial jobs that paid the lowest - because that’s all they could get.
Yeah, my grandparents owned a fucking corner store.
And you know what? They were really fucking good at it.
So if you want to say you’re “trans-Asian”?
But know that you better be able to tell me exactly fucking why you think we’re the same on ANY ethnic level.
You better be able to tell me why your experience is ANYTHING like the stories I carry under my skin - the legacy I carry, the responsibility I was born with to live up to the hardships that my family has endured to get me to where I am today.
You better be able to fucking tell me.