Asian-Americans Doing Things → Maia and Alex Shibutani combined music by Frank Sinatra and Jay-Z for the hip-hop section of their short dance. The music was arranged by Ryan Conferido, and the dance was choreographed with the help of Hokuto Konishi and Aye Hasegawa.
On the 21st of May, 2017, an Asian-American man was severely beaten in the parking lot at the OC Night Market by a tall white man with full tattoo sleeves and two white women, one of which was the original instigator. He is currently in ER. When the Asian man refused to let the white woman cut in line for a drink, she told him to ‘eat dogs’ and go back to Asia, and then gathered her companions and stalked the Asian man until he was leaving the event and alone in the parking lot.
When more information is revealed about the hate crime that occurred last night, I’m going to thoroughly follow the case and do my best to spread the info, make sure that the three perpetrators are caught and brought to justice, and raise awareness about the shocking and dismaying prevalence of anti-Asian sentiment and violence even in the most diverse of Californian communities.
What happened tonight is disturbing, and I feel as if my knowingly false sense of security in my own home territory here in SoCal has been somehow proven even more false than ever before. I grew up in the LA suburbs on the border of the OC where the majority of the residents were Asian-American, and in this insulated bubble, many of my peers grew up complacent and ignorant of the reality of life as a person of color in America. After all, the horrific events surrounding the death of Vincent Chin seemed to us like it was so long ago. But that has never truly been the case, and I hope that in this influx of overt anti-Asian racism in the places where we feel the most safe, we can come together as a community and face the fact that none of us were ever safe here. All we can do is fight for a voice of our own and do what we can to see to it that the systematic injustice that aims to bring down all people of color in America is faced with all of our collective strength.
I was out in Hollywood all of yesterday, in a group of mostly Asian-American (and entirely POC) friends, and ate at a Japanese izakaya filled with white people spouting microaggressions just a few hours ago. And the frightening thing is, we were contemplating heading out to the night market ourselves. This story hits home because it could have been me or anyone I was with. It could have been a member of my family. It could have been my significant other. And it happened to this specific Asian-American man simply because he was the one that was there.
And it happened in the OC: Asian-American territory. Racists have no fear any longer, and we are no longer safe even within our own communities, at our own events centered around Asian food and culture, in the heart of what is supposed to be one of the most tolerant, progressive and ethnically diverse places in the world.
As you may be able to tell, I’m pretty angry about it.
None of the perpetrators of the crime at the OC Night Market have been found as of yet, there seems to be no mention of the attack on the local news, and I haven’t been able to find any information other than the first-hand accounts posted to social media by friends of the victim. Please follow the link for more information on the perpetrators, and stay safe, folks.
so a lot of people still reblog my “60+ queer books” post from 2014. ngl, i was barely 16 at the time and had not read a lot of books on that list (it was def intended to be more a listing than pure recommendation), mostly because adult fiction was and remains far from my favorite literary category. this list isn’t as intensely detailed, but i just thought that since the year is over i might jot down some of the lgbt+ books i loved or at least moderately enjoyed this year, in case anyone was interested! happy reading!
gives light (6-part series) by rose christo — m/m. centered around a mute main character on an indian reservation (written by a native author!), features one of the most uplifting romances of recent media (cw for csa mention later in the series)
other ya books ordered approximately by rating
far from you by tess sharpe — f/f. bisexual protagonist (drug addiction, murder cw) a book on recovery, love, trust, justice, understanding… gut punch!!!!!
not your sidekick by c.b. lee — f/f. DOES THE TITLE NOT MAKE UR HEART SQUEEZE ALREADY? features half-chinese & half-vietnamese bisexual protagonist in futuristic superheroic universe! the second book will be about a trans black side character *___*
starting from here by lisa jenn bigelow — f/f. you will cry and be made a better person for it.
the great american whatever by tim federle — m/m. if you enjoy mg or find its lgbt+ subsection especially important (or both, like me!), definitely make sure you check out federle’s better nate than ever series!
true letters from a fictional life by kenneth logan — m/m. tbh people call it the “male version of ‘to all the boys i’ve loved before’” but also neglect mentioning that it’s a lot whiter, too. where’s that supportive covey family goodness… that precocious but caring lara jean spirit? it’s just not there…
radio silence by alice oseman — f/f, m/m, not hugely romance-focused
middle grade there were very few releases this year that i was aware of, unfortunately! my old list’s selection remains a good place to look. here are 3 that i would recommend though:
(i think i might have read george in 2015, but i felt that i might as well put them all together!)
george by alex gino — follows the story of a trans girl. its storyline is similar to gracefully grayson, but unlike gg it is written by a trans author!
the other boy by m.g. hennessey— follows the story of a trans boy. pretty solid story except… uncalled for random racist comment in the middle of the book… wyd (waiting for the mg genre to grow more inclusive of lgbt+ children of color! not being racially hostile is the FIRST STEP.)
+ A GRAPHIC NOVEL MOST OF U HAVE PROBABLY READ ALREADY: LUMBERJANES!! love it breathe it read it
if you want some mg books that have casually gay side/main-ish characters, i can name the wolf wilder and the thing about jellyfish, although… you have to kind of dig for it, so i wouldn’t call these revolutionary moments of representation, but! it’s just a nice addition to separate stories that remind you that the middle grade genre can be inclusive w/o becoming entirely issue-based (which i find sometimes more inaccessible for children? i ramble!). i do believe it’s good for young children to read this kind of fiction, too!
finally, some lgbt+ books i did not enjoy or care for in any capacity, for posterity: highly illogical behavior (gross narrative surrounding mental health, sexuality), symptoms of being human (ya book abt a nonbinary character; written by cis author who bscly uses sexual assault as plot device & doesn’t acknowledge neutral pronouns?), know not why (really unapologetically homophobic tbh), whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked, more happy than not (so… bleak…), see you at harry’s, and lily and dunkin (this is the fourth mg book about a trans character that i’m aware of; i found its message hugely alarming and invalidating). that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy them, though!
Gooood day everyone! 👋😄 I’m a lucky son because @javanese_vegan mum’s home & she went on a cooking frenzy! 😜 I can’t be bothered to cook traditional Asian dishes, just too much work for me
If I ever have a wedding 👰🏻, this is the sorta food that will be served. People are gonna be pissed 😡 & weirded out because there’s no meat, getting tummy aches 😖 because they’re not used to eating lotsa veggies & I’ll be sending them home with good bowel movements 💩👍 (the best wedding favor ever)!!
Clockwise from top: Tofu Rendang, Green Lentils, 🍀🍄 Chye Sim-Oyster Mushroom Stew, 🐢 Turtle Beans, 🔶 Sambar Sweet Potatoes, Barley, ☘ Kang Kong Stew, Black Pepper 🍄 Shiitake Mushrooms, 😷 Sambal Petai (Stink Bean), Tempeh Asam Miso,🌱 Bok Choy & 🍘 Brown Rice
Eddie Huang (i.e. “RICH HOMIE HUANG” on Twitter)? I have no love for him. He is a serially appropriator of black masculinity and hip hop culture, and even his Twitter handle is a play off of a black rapper, Rich Homie Quan’s stage name. In essence, he constantly uses blackness to his own ends as an Asian American man, so why should I?
The fact of the matter is that this Asian guy grew up in Orlando. He isn’t black. He isn’t from the hood. So why does he parade around in grills, serially appropriate AAVE and hip-hop culture more generally? Yes, hip-hop is a political art form, space of resistance and culture which many marginalized people across the world identify with now, extending beyond its roots as a black and Latinx art form. But just because he identifies with hip-hop, doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t black. That running around in grills in his Asian body is not the same as a black person doing the same, as we get relentlessly criminalized, policed and profiled when wearing grills (and even when we don’t), while doing the same makes him more “edgy” and allows him to “reclaim” his masculinity as an Asian man? How is that okay?
This is where the question of “appreciation” versus appropriation of a culture comes to the fore. Just because you are an Asian American man who is “emasculated” (which is a problematic patriarchal term) in American culture, doesn’t give you an excuse to waltz around pretending to be a black man. You can love hip hop music without calling yourself “RICH HOMIE HUANG,” without using AAVE constantly, without wearing grills and hip-hop styles day in and day out. You can resist the white supremacist patriarchal conceptions of Asian male masculinity without having to hack into and appropriate black masculinity. You can resist your sense of dislocation in America as a “perpetually foreign” Asian American without having to lay your claim to citizenship on black bodies.
People talk a lot about how “genuine” Eddie Huang’s “love” is for hip hop culture and black people more generally, but people don’t talk enough about how his “appreciation” has crossed far over the line into appropriation. I think that people honestly try to give him a pass because he’s Asian-American, which makes no sense at all given how non-black POC are so deeply complicit with antiblackness. It is an act of violence when white people parade around appropriating black culture, and it is also violence when non-black POC do the same.
Iggy Azalea exit stage left, and Eddie Huang enter stage right.
You can appreciate hip hop and black cultures without running around pretending to be black, which is what Eddie “Rich Homie” Huang does. And just as I don’t fuck with most Asian-American YouTube stars due to how incredibly antiblack most of them are, I also have no love for Eddie Huang due to all of his cultural appropriation and how he implicitly rests his claim to salvation from the racist “emasculated” depictions of Asian men on the backs of black men and black culture more broadly. As black people, we are always made into the mules for the salvation of others, and I’m sick of it, especially when non-black people are talking about how much they “love” black culture and then waltzing around in modern blackface like our dear “RICH HOMIE HUANG” does.