Karen Zheng

2 posts

What It’s Like Being Chinese in America Right Now

To be honest, I didn’t believe that the virus could come to America. When it first appeared in Wuhan, China, and later spread rapidly and killed thousands, I still didn’t believe it would come here. Not America. I admit I had a “white-superiority” kind of mindset, which is so stupid in hindsight. As you can see from my last name, I am not white. I am Chinese American. I am a world of both. I am also a world of neither. 

Viruses don’t discriminate. When later it spread to neighboring countries such as Japan and Korea, I started to worry. But it was only until the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the virus as a pandemic that I seriously started stocking up on food and other essentials. I was initially reluctant to stock on food because I thought it would be alright here. I even scoffed at all the Asian people in my community panic-buying rice at Costco to the point that they sold out. I’m still not sure why I felt that way though. Perhaps, I was too afraid to acknowledge the gravity of the situation. 

Matchmaker: A Story of Growing Up Gay in a Homophobic Asian Family


Editor’s Note: The following piece was chosen as the winner of NextShark’s personal Essay Contest 2019. The views expressed in story are the writer’s own.

“Give me your bowl,” Mother commands me. As I lift it towards her, she plops down a ladle-full of the fish ball, potato, egg soup that we always have on Lunar New Year. Scrunching and sniffing my nose after the first bowl, I finally notice the ten-plus relatives around a table that’s supposed to fit six. They start to pester me with their usual proceedings.