Don't (f**king) ask me where I'm from, please
The experience of being stripped of my identity and agency melds into the threat of violence and being sexualised against my will. As a woman of Asian appearance, I am screwed twice over.
This is my reality.
SUPER-EXCITING NEWS: My piece Don't (f**king) ask me where I'm from, please was **highly commended** for the Feminartsy Memoir Prize.
Biff Ward (judge) says, ‘An impassioned and startling rendition of how the deadening amalgam of racism and sexism congeals around a young Asian woman – this universal truth brilliantly evoked in the particular.’
It took a YEAR to write and edit this piece.
I wish I didn't have to write it but the response has been overwhelming, in the best way. Many friends and strangers have shared their own experiences and thanked me for putting words to their discomfort. It means a lot to me, thank you. So often, especially as women of colour, we're wrongly accused of 'imagining' injustices and 'overreacting'.
For a long time, I too doubted my experience. Nicole Chung (quoted in the piece) gave me the words and courage to say, "No, this is real." I hope I can do the same for others.
After plodding along with writer's block for months, this prize couldn't have been better-timed. The piece was originally declined by a different publication. A friend generously gave me feedback. I set it aside for several more months. I wouldn't have entered, if not from a nudge from another friend. I edited my old draft and submitted.
Thank you for reminding me why I write xo