‘You F*cking Ch*nk!’: Queer Chef Attacked With Homophobic, Racist Slurs During Zoom Cooking Class

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A queer Asian chef in North Carolina reportedly endured homophobic and racist slurs while hosting a recent cooking class via Zoom.

J. Chong, a sous chef at a local restaurant, was 30 minutes into her spinach pesto-making class when a wave of newcomers joined, but only to attack her with malicious comments.

 

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A post shared by Chef J. Chong (@jchong_eats) on

In an Instagram post, Chong noted that she had been warned of “Zoombombers” — trolls wreaking havoc on the platform — who may join the class, but she shrugged it off at first.

Unfortunately, little did she expect that the seconds-long “interruption” would be so offensive that it caused her to freeze for “what felt like 10 minutes.”

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“At first I was excited! I was proud that more people were interested in watching my class,” Chong recalled. “Then all of a sudden, we hear vicious slurs come over the speakers — ‘f*ggot,’ ‘d*ke,’ ‘lesbian,’ … ‘You f*cking ch*nk’ [and] ‘You ch*nk, the coronavirus is happening because of you!’

“I froze for what felt like 10 minutes but it may have only been 30 seconds.”

 

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#TBT to last summer @jhfoodandwine where Daniel Boulud was cooking right beside us. #preciousmoments #ecstatic #starstruck

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The class was among a series of webinars scheduled by the LGBTQ+ rights group Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Chong sits on the organization’s board of directors.

Fortunately, CSE’s communication director was present to block the Zoombombers, Chong said. But her wife, who was filming the class, and her best friend, who was watching the live stream, were visibly upset.

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“The words that were projected at me at me did not affect me as much (because I’ve been called all of those things in my life, it wasn’t anything new) as seeing the pure shock and pain that I saw on my wife and best friend’s faces,” Chong wrote.

“It’s one thing to read about racial and xenophobic attacks. However, when you actually hear such hate projected at someone you care about, the sheer weight and impact of it changes. It hits a little deeper.”

 

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#TBT #dowhatyoulove 📸 by: @jackflamesorokin

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Chong shared her story in hopes of educating the public on the struggles currently faced by Asian Americans. She cited instances of hate towards the community and explained why calling the pandemic the “Chinese virus” is harmful.

“Asian Americans are being attacked when the world is suffering,” Chong noted. “So when people ask me if it’s a big deal that the President of the United States calls COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus,’ yes it’s a f*cking big deal…”

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Comment 1 of 3 I sat on this for a little over a week now, processing and wondering if I should even share it. So I decided yes, because I have a strong desire to share my story and I believe in education and awareness. How are we supposed know and help be the change if we don’t know what’s happening to people in our community, our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Forewarning, there will be some disgusting words that you are about to read…but the story will not translate well and allow you to understand what hate is and what racism sounds like if I leave these words out. Last Friday, I participated in a virtual cooking class for Campaign for Southern Equality, an organization that means a lot to me and provides a voice for our LGBTQ community in the South. The class was through Zoom, a virtual meeting platform where multiple people can join at once for a class, meeting etc. Before the call, I was advised that there may be some zoom bombers that may interrupt my class. Cool, I thought. No biggie, if it happens then we will work through it.

A post shared by Chef J. Chong (@jchong_eats) on

Chong said she now wonders whether the stares she gets “on a daily basis” comes from her looking different or that people are afraid to come close to her because she is Asian.

Instagram users also offered messages of support.

“You are an amazing and strong woman. Thank you for sharing this unfortunate experience,” one user wrote in the comments. “May it shine a light on the senseless hatred and ignorant people who call themselves human beings. Stay strong and know that you are loved for your strength and confidence in sharing this terrible experience.”

Feature Images via @jchong_eats

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