Growing up, I always thought I belonged, even in the corn-fed white Midwest. Our neighbors and classmates were always nice to us, and the immigrant Chinese church I grew up in provided a strong connection to our heritage.
But that belonging I felt turned out to be superficial, based on assimilation, erasure and “fitting in.”
In this cultural moment where we see unprecedented Asian American representation in media and politics, right next to shouts of, “Go back to where you came from,” the eternal question remains: Do we truly belong? And do we want to?
We close out the year with stories of Asian Americans who choose not to belong to gender binaries, conventional careers or traditional beauty standards. We also talk about the beauty of belonging found in friendship, self-acceptance and creativity.
Also new this quarter: podcasts! Sara Porritt will be sharing inspired conversations with fearless Asian women on Hear Us Roar, while I have finally reached my peak Auntie form with Chief Executive Auntie, a podcast exploring the work lives of Asian Americans beyond the conventional doctor, lawyer and engineer. We’re also hoping to bring you more audio and video content, so let us know what you’d like to see and hear most!
In the last few years, particularly since the 2016 election, I’ve worked to find a more active belonging, places where my identity could simultaneously fit in and stand out. Mochi has been one such place for me and I hope it can be a place of belonging and empowerment for our readers as well.
So glad you’re here,