Guest Post by Julianne Hing
Hello Angry Asian Man readers. My name is Julianne Hing, and I'm a reporter. You can find my work at The Nation these days. I hope you'll indulge me as I attempt something I've never done before: give personal advice in a public arena. A young writer wrote to me earlier this month with questions about her cultural identity, and she said yes when I asked her if it'd be okay to write her back here, on Angry Asian Man. Big thanks to her and to Phil for inviting me to share my thoughts with you.
Recently, I've been trying to understand my ethnicity, racial heritage, and my experience as a Chinese American. In the past, I rejected my heritage because I didn't really have many positive experiences and tried to distance myself from my roots. I branded myself merely as "American" and forsook the "Chinese" part of my identity. It's funny, I've never been interested in understanding the Chinese part of me and was even repulsed by the thought of embracing myself as Chinese. It's only as of late that I became interested in understanding my Asian identity. In my quest for understanding, I'm trying to find good outlets to discuss these topics. Would you happen to have any ideas about where to start?
Caveats first: I'm no Asian-American studies scholar, and no expert in cultural identity formation. I've thought a lot about the issues you're exploring for yourself right now, but I certainly have not arrived at some plane of enlightenment in my journey to understand my cultural identity. Consider me a fellow traveler walking alongside you.