Intern Corner: July 5th

What About My Story? by Steven

While perusing Google for more information on bullying and LGBT youths, I did not manage to find any articles on the experiences of AAPI LGBT students. That is really unfortunate, because once we intersect race with sexual orientation, the way our youths experience bullying becomes much more complicated. What does it mean to be doubly oppressed, to be thought of as abnormal for both not being straight and not being white? These are the questions that we need to ask to better support our AAPI LGBT youths.

When David Phan committed suicide in Utah as a result of bullying, it was not just because he is AAPI nor was it just because he is LGBT. It was in how these identities are simultaneously and symbiotically oppressed that David ultimately took his life. In David Phan’s case, we saw a clear glimpse of how being both AAPI and LGBT can lead to bullying in school. However, it shouldn’t take a suicide for that fact to be clear. After all, the story of how our communities are hurt and the knowledge of how to respond won’t come if that intersectionality isn’t acknowledged.

 

Whose Movement, Whose Stories? by Elizabeth

My dad has never taken a critical race or queer theory class. When I ask him about his experiences of racism, he thinks of a couple moments of interpersonal racism. He does not see the need for a disparate impact clause and is not offended when people ask him where he is from.

I often hear young activists describe older generations as being traditional, not understanding political work, having internalized oppression. Working on immigration reform the past few weeks, I started talking to my dad about some of the testimonies I’ve heard. My dad responded with stories of his own relatives.

My dad knows more about the specifics of the immigration system than I do. The flaws in policy that I’ve studied? He has lived them. My dad never had to learn that the system was broken because he never believed that it worked. Since there was no revelation for him, there was no reason to share.

Whose stories are you hearing? Whose stories are you asking for? When we think about whose movement this is, we should remind ourselves that we may speak different languages, but those differences are the reason to build solidarity – not the excuse not to.