For a costume party, I wanted to be Hermione Granger. My friend laughed at me and told me that I had to be Cho Chang or no one would get it. But I didn’t want to be Cho Chang, no one wants to be Cho Chang but apparently I didn’t have any other choices.
One day we all picked what princess we wanted to be. I was assigned Mulan. I didn’t have a choice. I have nothing against Mulan. I think she’s badass but I just wish I had a choice.
One day I made the mistake of telling someone that I didn’t like sushi and they laughed and said “But you’re Asian.” I told someone I didn’t like math and they said “But you’re Asian.” I said I was an English major and someone said, “But you’re Asian.” I was so confused. It not only made me angry but it made me feel like I failed at something I didn’t even know I was participating in. I didn’t understand why me being Asian had anything to do with my likes and dislikes.
I met a boy once that told me that he didn’t date Asian girls. He said that Asian girls weren’t his type. I sat there and wondered if he would like me if I was white. Would he have tried to get to know me more if I was? He didn’t even care if we were compatible or not, he just didn’t date Asian girls.
I met another boy who said he wanted to date an Asian to see what that was like. I didn’t understand what that meant. Would dating me be an experience he can put on a resume? “I dated an Asian once. It was an interesting experiment. She really liked me but I was only in it to see what it’s like to date someone of a different race.”
I didn’t realize that my ethnicity played so much into my love life. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal to some people.
Whenever I got accepted into anything, my friends would say, “it’s probably because you’re Asian.” I know they didn’t mean it but it made me question everything. “They probably wanted to fulfill the diversity quota.” I don’t think they understand that they were saying that I wasn’t good enough to get in, that I only got in because of how I looked. It makes me feel small and useless.
“You’re just here for decoration.”
Sometimes you have to learn to laugh at yourself. Sometimes you have to make fun of yourself. Sometimes you just gotta be a good sport about it. Sometimes you gotta laugh it off. Sometimes when someone tells you to open your eyes, you have to brush it off so that you won’t want to go home and rip out your eyes so people would stop saying that.
That way it won’t hurt as bad. That way you won’t hate yourself as much. That way you learn to survive better.
One day, I woke up and realized that I wasn’t colorless. One day, I woke up and I couldn’t be Hermione Granger anymore.