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Cultural biases made me question if I could love my white boyfriend, until I lost him

While waiting at the airport, my undocumented Mami would look for the camouflaged yellow of crocodile eyes. And when she finally spotted some — on the faces of patrolling white immigration officers and security guards — she would stand close to them and take out her tattered copy of The Wall Street Journal, flipping through the pages as though she understood every word. Mami was a woman of pretend. Growing up, I watched her mouth spin the lies and tricks that kept us safe in a white man’s world, learning to hold my breath whenever I saw her hold hers.


Rally at United Nations decries Filipino president’s arrival and demands human rights be upheld

Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr

Filipino activists will rally both outside the United Nations headquarters and nationwide on Sept. 20 while the Philippines’ current president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., delivers a speech. The rally is meant to demand accountability from Marcos and the Philippines’ former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war policy allegedly led to some 30,000 extrajudicial killings and whose daughter, Sara Duterte, is now the Philippines’ vice president. Led by national Filipino human rights organizations such as Malaya Movement, and Anakbayan, among others, the upcoming rally is also meant to demand that the West uphold and honor human rights worldwide.

Many Filipinos will mark the day after the president’s speech as the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law under Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whom many would call a dictator while others consider him a president. Believing that there was a communist insurgency threat, Marcos enacted martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, until his ousting in 1986 due to the People Power Revolution.

Asian Americans are still rarely represented in video games — here are 10 of our favorite characters

Video games have become an integral part of many people’s lives. Impressive graphics and visuals, catharsis-inducing soundtracks and compelling storylines have slowly shifted the stigma surrounding the interactive medium from mind-rotting wastes of time to legitimate works of art. 

With the rising popularity and prevalence of Asian American characters in mainstream film and television, I wanted to highlight 10 Asian American video game characters to not only celebrate some of my favorites, but to also critique the severe lack of representation in video games. For this list, I focused strictly on characters who are identified in their respective games or franchises as American and represent a spectrum of Asian representation. Frankly, it’s a miracle I was able to come up with 10 characters at all.

Ordinarily Visible: Am I the next target of an anti-Asian hate crime?

I clenched onto my pepper spray with my right hand in the pocket of my puffer jacket as I held onto the cold, metal pole of a subway train with my left hand. I kept my head down, occasionally looking up to scan the people filling the R train at every stop. 

I didn’t do anything wrong, but why do I constantly feel like I have to exist while also appearing nonexistent? Like a flattening lump of old chewing gum becoming one with the subway floor or a crumpled brown paper bag under the subway seats — something so ordinarily visible that it becomes unnoticeable. 

Sounds of the Asian diaspora: 6 must-listen albums of 2022 so far

The Asian diaspora has slowly but surely permeated the upper echelons of the cultural sphere, from starring in Hollywood blockbusters to racking up Olympic medals. If their musical releases so far this year are any indication, it is only a matter of time before Asian artists expand their influence on the music industry as the tastemakers of tomorrow.

From dazzling debuts to genre-bending opuses, here are six of our favorite recent albums from some of the brightest musical stars of Asian descent.

Filipino American sommelier wins James Beard award for essay on ‘white supremacy’ in the wine industry

  • Filipino American sommelier Miguel de Leon won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for his long-form personal essay, “It’s Time to Decolonize Wine,” published in online magazine Punch in June 2020.
  • De Leon, who currently serves as the wine director of the Michelin-rated Pinch Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, wrote about his experiences as a wine professional of color in the white-dominated industry.
  • He contextualized the appreciation of wine beyond its Eurocentric heritage with his own Filipino heritage and upbringing.
  • De Leon’s works in the media cover the topics of racism, social justice and equity. Last year, he was named the New York Sommelier of the Year.

Filipino American sommelier Miguel de Leon won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for his long-form personal essay on ​​dismantling white supremacy in the wine industry.

De Leon, a Philippine-born writer and New York City-based sommelier, received the award on June 11 for his essay, “It’s Time to Decolonize Wine,” which was first published in the online magazine Punch in June 2020. 

‘Proof’: A BTS journey in review

  • Released on June 10, “Proof” is BTS’ first anthology album with “Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)” as its lead single.
  • True to the album’s title, “Proof” is a collection of old, new and demo songs that provide proof of the South Korean megagroup’s identity, fans and legacy.
  • The first CD is the culmination of the group’s previous and current albums — a collection of the lead singles from all of their Korean albums.
  • The second CD begins with a new single, “BTS Run,” and also consists of hand-picked songs from previous albums that provide “proof” of how different identities can live in one individual.
  • Only available in physical print, the final CD is an intimate confession to ARMY, featuring three new singles and demos for previous hits.

BTS’s newest album “Proof” is the complete finale of the group’s first nine years together, concluding their first chapter in the spotlight while also reminding them to “get ready” for what the future holds.

Nearing the decade anniversary of BTS’s 2013 debut, the success and achievements of the South Korean megagroup in the musical realm have reached global dominance. From their consistent releases of chart-topping songs to their history of breaking records left and right, BTS has left their mark on the world. With the release of “Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)” and “Proof,” the group’s first chapter has reached its finale. True to their first anthology album’s title, “Proof” is a collection of old, new and demo songs that provide proof of the group’s identity, fans and legacy.

Masochist: A Father’s Day essay for a dad who didn’t want me

  • The clearance rack feels a little lonely tonight. I would mark myself down by 10% every day for you, never hitting zero — hoping that you would finally choose me and my melted crayons over your cheap champagne and Heineken. But you never do.

Somewhere in downtown Brooklyn, my future father is ironing his only nice dress shirt and practicing pulling out the chair for a girl he hasn’t met yet. He thinks about calling one of his older brothers for some last-minute kissing advice, having never locked lips with anyone before, but ultimately decides against it. He has very little hope for his mother’s weekly arrangements anyway.  


Honoring my scallions: How my Asian parents’ food waste made me an environmentalist

Growing up as a low-income, first-generation Asian American, I was motivated by my immigrant parents’ food insecurity to fight for our planet. 

I was born into an American culture of honoring consumption. I was never shy, taking extra servings of catering food home from school events. Not because I was stingy, but because my immigrant parents whispered their fears of starvation after moving to the United States to escape poverty and the Vietnam War. My Chinese Vietnamese family of six struggled to stretch our monthly food stamps, like most families in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.