Los Angeles, CA
I’m proud of my heritage because we Taiwanese are a wack, creative, capitalistic, entrepreneurial, make it happen even if it looks ugly and smells, people.
Who are you?
I was born of two Taiwanese immigrants in Cleveland, Ohio. I call them Mom and Dad. Under their care, I learned to read and play piano at a a very young age. Atypical of the Asian American experience, however, there was no pressure from my parents to become a lawyer or a doctor. They always told me and my siblings: “Do what you love” and “try your best.” The result of their support and advice was time in college and grad school studying language and writing and trying to figure out how to be a super power. The side effect was realizing that the artistic vocation is a life of great passion and intrigue and few guarantees. That said, if I have kids someday and they ever show an artistic impulse, I’ll to pay for college only if they study business, or Spanish. “Open an art gallery in Spain or get out of my house!”
What do you do?
Currently, I am working on a public safety project for Los Angeles. It started out with a bike accident (a woman hit me in her van while I was on my two wheeler) and I had a number of crazy visions following the black-out / concussion. The vision was awesome and involved a performance art concept I’ve been calling, “Version Mary 10.1.7.” where the idea is that the Version Mary (not to be confused with the Virgin Mary) comes to warn and prepare Los Angeles for the Big Earthquake that everyone’s been anticipating and isn’t ready for, by setting a calendar date for it (10/17), like it’s a wedding (that will hopefully be canceled) and appearing all over LA in wings and a bicycle helmet. Ahem. I have the wings, but even better, I have poems… and GarageBand. I’m set the stuff to music. Ta da.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
I’m 2nd generation Taiwanese. I’m proud of my heritage because we Taiwanese are a wack, creative, capitalistic, entrepreneurial, make it happen even if it looks ugly and smells, people.
And we have a strong sense of kindness towards strangers and hospitality. Maybe this is just my parents, but I’ll generalize and say all Taiwanese people exhibit some of these characteristics, unless they’ve eaten one too many McBuger.
I’m proud to be Taiwanese American because I think it’s one of those gifts in life that takes a while to claim. Especially if you were born in the 70’s like me. Like a bottle of wine (I never drink wine that old), but it does take time to realize how your circumstances, if challenging, sweetens over time, especially as you come to understand how feeling a little outsider / alien / freaky is good for your soul and can give you an advantage whenever a situation calls for a little empathy. Having been judged / rejected helps you to know not to do the same, I’d like to think.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
Well, I can only speak for myself. But, maybe it’s an indicator.
I’m planning on running for office on the web. Actually, I’ve decided to forgo the election process and appointed myself to a position…
I always marvel at politicians who have the energy to wrestle with… the gov’ment. Me, I’m happy offering my opinions and perspectives in a creative way. As a creative thinker, I do have a lot of good solutions to problems, but my platform is not like the othersl. I own the domain name: chairmeowww.com. Because I see my future as Chairmeow of the World Wide Web. Chairman. Mao. You get it, right? We need more women in leadership. And I have some agendas to fulfill.
Any additional information you would like to share?
TAF, the place where all Taiwanese kids go to be groomed to be future leaders of America… I remember you. You taught me faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is…