Photo courtesy of Jon Mabuni

There is a diversity within our racial category that defies naming (AAPI/AANHPI/APIDA, etc). What assortment of letters fits who we are?

It becomes hard not to ask questions like, Am I Asian? Am I Asian enough? What if I’m not like other Asians? Where do I fit? Western media shows us a very specific and limited perspective on what it means to be Asian, and it’s painful for those of us who never get to see ourselves.

Our series, PersPAACtives, is dedicated to showcasing (a small amount of) the vast breadth of experiences among our community members, particularly in regards to identity. We are queer, trans, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian, Desi, multiracial, third culture kids, immigrant, second/third/fourth/fifth generation, descendants of our ancestors, and parents to our children.

We are more than the limited narratives and spaces we’ve been given. Our stories are broader, our food more vibrant, our heritages more layered and complex than the tiny outline of “Asian American” we’re asked to fit into. Our identities are not bisected or pieces of a whole; they are multiplied.

It may be impossible to capture the wholeness of our identities and our heritages with a label or a series. But we believe that as we see one another, we’ll see the things that unite us all. We will keep making our table large enough to fit all the food and tradition and joy and sorrow and community that comes with being who we are. Large enough to hold all of our wholeness in all of our multiplicities.

For the next eight weeks, we hope you’ll join us as we share some of our PersPAACtives.

You can catch up on our series here:

  • Stella (she/her) is a writer, editor, and also serves as a moderator in PAAC. She’s second-gen, queerean, an elder millennial and a homeschool mom in sunny SoCal. She loves reading, making art, and connecting with the PAAC community whom she credits for teaching her to be salt and light. Her hair is rarely the same color.