by Amy Le Doan

I AM ME

Do you eat rice every day?

                                  You watch anime? Do you understand it?”

                                                      You listen to K-pop? Do you understand that?

                                                                              Are you Asian or Chinese?

                                                       Do you speak Asian?

                                 Does your mom talk bad about her nail clients in Viet?

Do your parents want you to be a doctor or lawyer?

                          Are your parents strict?

                                                             Your English is very good. Where are you from?

                                                                                          No, like, where were you born?

                                       Ew, what’s that smell? You eat that?

                                               Are all Asians cheap?

                                                                        Are all Asians smart?

                                                                                                  Do all Asians drive badly?

                                                                              Is it hard to see?

                                           Can you open your eyes?

                                                                 You’re so white-washed.

                                                                                        You’re so Asian.

                                                                 Questions and ideas invade my mind, 

                                                      ‘Who am I?’

                                        ‘What am I?’

                                               ‘Am I Asian?’

                                                         ‘Am I American?’

                                                                    ‘Am I both?’

                                                                I am me.

Amy Le Doan I am Asian-American, Vietnamese-American to be more specific. I was born and raised in America by my Vietnamese parents. Growing up around so many students of different cultures meant that I got asked many questions. Maybe they were never meant to be harmful, or maybe they were. These questions often led to me questioning myself and who I was. I now realize that I am in control of who I am and the best I could do is to educate others about stereotypes and how they can be, no matter the intent, harmful on one’s self-esteem.