I’m tired a LOT. Thank you to those who come towards me, who find me in my space. I am, as usual, typing this on my phone while stuck in bed. Last night I didn’t talk about my mental health last night and I regret it. I didn’t feel like reading my essay from The Good Immigrant and I used a mic when I don’t normally need amplification. It was a good thing to have curated an amazing, large, panel.
It’s important to face & expose my shame around depression and anxiety. And to connect my health to the stress I feel from living in a white-centred space. It helps me to hear about others facing the same struggles so I should be brave too.
I felt uncomfortable a lot last night but we managed to talk things out into the open. Out in the air is better than hidden, and recognising that when we leave the room, it doesn’t mean the talking and thinking and learning and compassion ends. We plant and grow seeds and movements. Nothing is solvable in a session but we mentioned political blackness, anti-black sentiment from other PoC, the hierarchy of skin colour, racism from PoC, going into survival mode and not engaging or standing with fellow marginalised groups. What it means to be a white ally, how to give up space/not take up too much space, to signal boost, to allow space for (in this case), PoC to feel safe enough to share the pain, hurt, questions they deal with every day.
We didn’t one to “a conclusion” about terminology – East Asian, yellow, Asian, brown. It doesn’t matter. Proceed with sensitive and cares We are all different and we have varying ideas about who we are and where our allegiances lie. I don’t want to erase my Malaysian culture. I do not feel East Asian in the way people mean. That’s ok.
I’m so glad I had a group of 6 women with me. 5 Asian women, 1 incredible ally. When do we EVER see 5 different Asian women from different spaces, with different points of view, given space? Jeez, thinking about it now makes me feel odd. If no one said anything, being visible, on stage, is a political statement already. Women as submissive, quiet? Women as united? Women are people and we are varied. Multiplicity of people is important. I’m so glad these people met and I hope we weave together and shore one another up by existing. We don’t have to be best friends or even friends. Existing is tough enough.
Violence happens easily to those we don’t protect. It is easy to be violent if we are not enacting the violence with our bare hands. It is easy to allow violence against those we don’t see as “people like us”.
I am so so glad that last night happened. Thank you.