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I’m in love with defying stereotypes, to the point that I worry I lose myself. I refuse to date East Asian men or white men for fear of becoming a trope. The tired image of the East Asian woman who only dates within her race or, arguably worse, the East Asian woman who falls for white supremacy. This extends to platonic relationships, too. Fall semester, I’m invited to join a study group for a college math class, and, when I join the Zoom, every student on the call is East Asian. We compare answers for half an hour. After that first call, I never joined again. I’m not sure if I’m more embarrassed to be seen in a group of solely East Asian people or if I’m more embarrassed by the shame I feel when surrounded by my own heritage.

—Ingrid


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