Today, I’m furious, heartbroken, and fearful, all at once. There won’t be any workout puns or theses on the future of internet communities today. This post will be short. The prose will not be eloquent. Regardless, I’ll always consider it my magnum opus because of how core it is to who I am.

Here’s my family.

The past few weeks have been especially heart-wrenching for the Asian community. We see a bit of our uncles, our grandparents, and our sisters reflected in every victim of anti-Asian violence.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Mom today. When my parents and I first immigrated to the United States, she worked a hodgepodge of under-the-table jobs to make ends meet, including working as a receptionist at an acupuncture and massage clinic. When I think about the six women murdered in cold blood in Atlanta on March 16th, I think about my 妈妈. In a different time and place, that could have been her.

Over the past 20 years, my parents have strived to be accepted into American society by working hard and staying silent. However, they never had the opportunity to choose what they’d be willing to accept in this society.

I have the privilege of being able to make that choice. And it’d be a disservice to my parents’ sacrifices if I chose to accept the storyline society has chosen to slot me into as an Asian American woman, instead of continuously challenging and rewriting that narrative.

I’ve chosen to speak out and take up space with 35mmusings, through Across The Lines, and at work. It’s hard. It’s scary. But I owe it to my parents, who never had the opportunity to find power in their voice, to keep doing it every day.