“In activist spaces, I’m surrounded by people I know I’m safe with, my opinions are safe with.”
I do a lot of activism. I like to go to protests and stuff. At my school, I’m part of a student organization where we advocate for an Asian American studies major on campus.
I also do other protests. I attended a protest after the election, I went to Defend DACA protests. There are also a lot of protests I’ve had to miss because of school.
There are a lot of Black Lives Matter protests that I’ve unfortunately been unable to attend. When the Muslim Ban was passed, I was out of the country, so I couldn’t attend those. I think that people should be treated equally and they’re not.
In my high school years, I used websites like Tumblr a lot. That exposed me to a lot of things like feminism and LGBTQ rights. I feel like the first time I really felt a push to attend a rally or something was when Michael Brown was killed.
In my everyday life, I don’t feel like I can express my opinions on things. I feel like sometimes my views on different political issues are controversial.
In activist spaces, I’m surrounded by people I know I’m safe with, my opinions are safe with. I can express my opinions freely.
It’s not just that I feel like I can express myself through my opinions, either. I also feel like I can dress however I want. I don’t have to shave.
When I’m in these spaces, people won’t say anything. They don’t judge.
In these kinds of spaces, it’s nice to meet people. In the club that I’m part of at school, I can meet other Asian Americans that are socially active.
At other spaces, I’m able to meet other LGBTQ people and people of color. People I know I can feel comfortable with.
It’s a different type of relationship when you’re meeting someone who knows these things about you. Instead of being friends with someone first and not knowing what kind of politics they have.
“I started getting into several artists’ work, such as Alex Grey, and I realized that I could put my feelings into what I was doing. I do abstract art so that my feelings can be visually observed.”
I loved drawing when I was younger but, as I got older, I realized that I could do a lot with art. Portraying my emotions, telling a story about my life visually, etc. I started getting into several artists’ work, such as Alex Grey, and I realized that I could put my feelings into a hobby that I already liked.
I do abstract art so that my feelings can be visually observed. Art, for me, is very therapeutic and it helps me to understand how I feel. My art can also be used to work out my emotions by physically drawing and visually seeing them.
For the most part, I draw mandala style. Because of that, there is usually not a specific subject that I focus on. My various lines and patterns just change based on what I am feeling at that time.
I draw in my mandala style because I like to express my emotions in this abstract way. Rather than trying to replicate something exactly, my style allows my hand to flow freely based on my feelings.
I have thought about taking art classes to improve my expertise, but I have not actually taken a serious one yet. Even though it is not in an art classroom, I do show my abstract art to people who I feel comfortable with, like close friends or relatives. I do not show it do everyone since my work is personal to and for me.
Someone negatively judging my art is the same as them negatively judging me. So, I show my art to the people I trust. For example, I show my work to my family, especially my mom.
My sister used to draw, but she does not anymore, so I am the only one who draws now. When people do see my drawings, I usually get nervous.
I am basically exposing a part of myself by showing them an art piece. But, depending on the reaction of the person I show, I may also end up feeling accomplished.
That feeling of accomplishment is partly why I would recommend drawing to others. Any art form in general. I think it’s a great outlet for people who enjoy art.
“I never felt like I was truly being myself on stage or screen before acting in comedy.”
Los Angeles, CA
Ever since I was young, I always loved acting. Growing up in California, I admired the glamorous lifestyles of actors and actresses. I just found it so fascinating that they could transform into whoever they wanted to be.
They inspired me and gave me ideas for what type of productions I would like to be a part of. I remember when I was around four years old, I would put on plays for my family.
I would have my siblings and cousins play the supporting roles, but they never had many lines! As you can see from a young age, I enjoyed how acting gives people the ability to collaborate with others.
However, this soon was enough for me. I wanted to act in a theater group with a real organized cast. Soon enough, I was in acting classes and starred in many musicals and plays throughout my childhood.
I took pride in my work and took it very seriously. Acting in theater group also helped me expand and perfect my craft.
Learning from professionals who were so passionate about acting really inspired me to keep growing as an actress. Furthermore, I was also inspired by my cast mates who have become some of my lifelong friends to this day. Even though we all now young adults with busy lives, we still make a point to keep in touch.
Currently, acting is still a hobby of mine. However, I am not currently in a theater group and have strayed away from theater quite a bit.
It is not that I do not enjoy theater, but I found a such a profound love for comedy. Personally, I feel that comedy is very underrated and should be celebrated more in society.
It’s such a great genre that brings smiles to those who watch and those who act in the field. I first became hooked on this genre after acting in a comedy seminar around two years ago.
It complimented my outspoken and bubbly personality perfectly. Also, I never felt like I was truly being myself on stage or screen before acting in comedy.
This was never a problem for me though, as I loved portraying different characters. However, comedy makes me feel like I am truly being myself and expressing myself in the most natural way!