OPINION

For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, A CelebrAsian Of Dual Identities

Talking about, reading about and just being Asian-American today can feel like an incessant Socratic Seminar. We straddle dual cultures. We’re not any one thing. So, then, WTF are we? 

Well, we don’t fully know either! But we’re here to hopefully help explore it, define it together and/or possibly add to the confusion — and there’s no better time to do all that than Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 

Being a hyphen is more complex, and spotlighted, than ever before. What does it mean to be Asian-American and feel the draw of multiple identities in multiple ways ― an allegiance to your heritage but feeling fully American, gaining a voice but still left underrepresented, struggling with our own host of issues yet aware of our privilege. For this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we at HuffPost Asian Voices are exploring how our heritage intersects with who we are today. 

This also means drawing awareness to the fact we are not a monolith and that the Asian-American experience means celebrating an all-Asian cast onscreen ― but it also means highlighting the facts that populations of the Asian-American community face some of the highest dropout rates nationwide, increasing deportation rates, an increase in hate crimes, the second highest poverty rate in New York and other critical issues. 

We’ll be covering many of these topics in features on communities and topics including Native Hawaiians, Cambodian refugees, H-1B visas, queer Asian-Americans, Bollywood and more. 

Stay tuned for a photo series in which Asian-Americans who might not fit prescribed body norms talk about, for example, how fleeing Cambodia as a refugee influenced how they view food and body acceptance. And speaking of real talk, we’ll also have a piece on Asian-Americans and all things dating.

Check out our personal essay series that explores, in our writers’ own words, what it means to be a hyphen. We hear from a 34-year-old Indian-American woman who doesn’t want to get married. Another essayist writes about his search for his soldier father who met his mother during the Vietnam War. And an Asian-American activist and writer who has cerebral palsy talks opening in a post about a specific kind of stigma she faces.  

Our Opinion section will host some important takes about the group of Asian refugees the U.S. is turning its back on, the role of Asian-Americans in hip-hop and how Asian-Americans really feel about affirmative action.

On a lighter note, we’ll feature video on celebrities such as the Shib Sibs talking about Asian representation in sports. And we’ll take a look at how the Asian comedy space is taking hurtful stereotypes and turning them into jokes about “jungle Asians” and the like.  

And because who isn’t into skin care, we take a deep dive into a vat of snail cream and explore the latest in K-beauty. And please do check out our piece on “Asian flush” and whether our Pepcid intake is going to kill us all.  

Finally, please follow us on social media for a series on unsung Asian-Americans you might know about but should definitely be in #AdmirAsian of.

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