By April D. Rongero, APIASF Staff
It’s cliche, but I was actually on the receiving end of those playground “ching chang chong” taunts. I can still recall the panic, frustration, and anger that welled up in my chest as I shouted back, “I’m not even Chinese!”
Being Asian American — and Filipino American, Texan, and a woman — is complicated. It means I’ve been attempting to understand my identities since my youth. It means I’ve sometimes wondered whether I was too Asian or too American, or not enough of either, and if any of that really means anything at all. It means searching for faces that look like mine on TV, in magazines, and in the movies, but coming up short.
But, it also means having a community with which I can celebrate successes and lament failures, and it means having a rich history that I can only continue to learn from. It means feeling a sense of comfort when I hear someone speaking Tagalog or some other Filipino dialect, even though I don’t understand a word of it. It means pride and hope, and an unconditional love for SPAM. Being Asian American means all this (and then some) to me…
What does being AANHPI mean to you?