“Asians need more representation in Western media!” we’re quick to extoll – and yet, “being an Asian artist often means being ostracised by families and friends.” Oftentimes, even 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants want to see more Asian faces on the screen: so long as it’s not one of their own kids.
AANY’s personal account illustrates that sometimes, it’s not Hollywood diminishing our cultural capital, but that rather, sometimes we’re the ones making it hard for us to find ourselves.
When… old classmates make me feel like I am weird for choosing New York over Yale I have to spend hours explaining:
1. I work just as hard as people in offices.
2. I am not a slacker living off my parents.
3. I do what I do out of choice.
4. My job is not a hobby or a phase.
My father listened to my heartfelt monologue about how I was going to make him proud, then he threatened to cut me out of his will… I did not see him for another three years… His silence was the greatest rejection I have ever faced; it was a deep, hairline fracture to my soul.
I would spend hours questioning whether I should give it all up and be the son that he wanted. After all, didn’t he leave China to give me a better life? Didn’t he spend hours in the office to give me a good education? I went through moments of loathing and hatred for my father and myself in equal measure.