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  • When I was in grade school, I was bullied for being Asian American, and the biggest problem with that is that ... I am not Asian American.

  • But when I was younger and this is absolutely true, people thought that I might be Asian American.

  • I have pretty thin eyes.

  • I had very thin eyes when I was a little kid and I had straight black hair that I wore in a bowl cut, and from the ages of three to eight people thought that I might be a young Chinese person.

  • On the first day that he met me, the guy that is now my best friend, he met me the first day of kindergarten, he went home that night and said: "Papa, today I met a boy with no eyes."

  • And that was me.

  • Kids would make fun of me in middle school.

  • Kids would call me a Chinaman, which of the racial slurs has gotta be the laziest.

  • That is just pushing two words together.

  • No work was done there.

  • It was very confusing to me because I'm not Chinese.

  • No one in my family is remotely Asian.

  • I mean, we take our shoes off when we come inside but that was more of a carpeting thing than anything else.

  • Here's how bad it got though.

  • I remember when I was in junior high we had this music appreciation class that we never appreciated.

  • And they took us to hear some classical music once at a symphony orchestra.

  • So we go to a symphony orchestra.

  • In one of these classical pieces, there's a moment where they bang a gong and every time they banged the gong, all the kids sitting in front of me would stand up, turn to me and bow like that.

  • Which is some racist ass bullshit, but also incredibly well coordinated, for a group of 13 year olds.

  • 13 year olds are the meanest people in the world.

  • They terrify me to this day.

  • If I'm on the street on like a Friday at 3 p.m. and I see a group of eighth graders on one side of the street, I will cross to the other side of the street because eighth graders will make fun of you but in an accurate way.

  • They will get to the thing that you don't like about you.

  • They don't even need to look at you for long.

  • They'll just be like, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

  • "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

  • "Hey, look at that high-waisted man."

  • "He got feminine hips."

  • And I'm like "No, that's the thing I'm sensitive about!"

  • When I was a boy I was also confused with a woman sometimes over the phone because before I went through puberty I had a voice like a little flute.

  • I was once on the telephone with Blockbuster Video, which is a very old fashioned sentence.

  • And ... it is.

  • I was on the telephone with Blockbuster Video.

  • That's like when your grandma would be like: "We'd all go play jacks down at the soda fountain."

  • You're like, "No one knows what you're talking about you idiot!"

  • You know how you talk to your grandma?

  • So--

  • I was on the phone with Blockbuster.

  • I'd called them a couple of times in one day to ask about a movie and I called for a third time.

  • I said, "Hey yeah."

  • "I was just calling to see if you had Addams Family Values yet?"

  • And the guy at Blockbuster went, "Hey lady, I'll tell you when we get Addams Family Values."

  • But look, I wasn't offended as a boy being confused with a lady.

  • I was offended as a lady who was getting pushed around by this chauvinist asshole that works at Blockbuster Video talking to me like I'm some floozy.

  • I am a proud Asian American woman, and you will treat me with respect.

  • I am a tiger mom.

When I was in grade school, I was bullied for being Asian American, and the biggest problem with that is that ... I am not Asian American.

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    lauren.huang posted on 2020/08/16
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