My House in the Hamptons, My Trips Around the World

When I moved to Boston last year, I joined the Facebook group “Subtle Asian Boston” and saw this post:

I felt annoyed when I saw this. Tall white boys?? What about Latinx, Black, and Asian boys? What about short boys? What frustrated me even more: that over 25 people “liked” or “loved” this post without critically questioning the glorification of white men. At the time, I did not say anything because I had just moved and did not have the energy to engage with this stranger or group of strangers on the internet.

I reached out to the person who made this post earlier today and asked the following question:

To which he replied with the following:

Sometimes when I encounter Asian Americans in my day-to-day life who buy into upward mobility narratives, glorify white men, and endorse white consumerist culture, I get overwhelmed. I understand that unfortunately we need money to survive. I grew up in a family with upper middle-class status, so I did not experience the economic strife this person maybe has. Still, I feel trapped (e.g., “it’s so frustrating to me that there are Asian Americans who want to date rich white people for upward mobility without critiquing the systems of oppression that granted rich white people their wealth in the first place”) and isolated (e.g., “it’s lonely when sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who critiques the glorification of white wealth and white men’s privilege in general.”) These emotions of stuckness and loneliness feel unpleasant and at times like a catastrophe spilling out across my brain and heart, so I want to write about specific coping strategies I use to prevent these emotions from spiraling into self-harm and to help myself feel better.

Coping strategy #1: Reaffirming my own values and setting boundaries. Even if I can’t control the prevalence of internalized racism and desire for massive wealth among other Asian Americans, I can choose what I strive for, including racial justice, compassion for others, and questioning the status quo. If this person wants luxury goods, a house in the Hamptons, and trips around the world, that’s his choice and he can want those things. I myself do not care for luxury goods, a house in the Hamptons, or trips around the world, and I love that for me. I’m not going to engage further with this person, and aside from this incident, I tend to opt out of interactions with people who value whiteness and wealth, unless I’m trying to engage in a more constructive dialogue about furthering social justice. This approach reminds me that I do have a fair amount of control within my own life even if it feels otherwise at times.

Coping strategy #2: Finding community. I get disheartened when I encounter Asian Americans who perpetuate white supremacy and anti-Blackness. Thus, I strive to connect and form friendships with Asian Americans who share similar values related to furthering racial justice and questioning and deconstructing white supremacy. For example, last night I talked with one of my best friends, an Asian American woman, about how wealthy white people who’ve owned landed in the United States for generations have often acquired that land through displacing Indigenous communities and how neither of us would ever feel attracted to wealthy white land ownership. I often talk with one of my other close friends, an Asian American enby, about how we value love of all kinds (e.g., friendships, romance) between people of color and our dedication to embracing and promoting this racial justice-oriented love. These connections remind me that even if at times I do feel isolated and lonely, I also feel supported and loved and affirmed by a few people who share similar values.

Coping strategy #3: Speaking up. I regain power and autonomy in the face of white supremacy by sharing my perspective on these issues of racial injustice. I try to speak up through my research, my writing on this blog, and my day-to-day conversations with folks. Though I don’t always voice my opinions perfectly, I remind myself that I have room and time to grow and improve. Sometimes I must conserve my energy to speak up and speak out later on. By using my voice, I shirk off stereotypes of queer Asian American men as passive recipients of white supremacy and strike out on my own path, one unobstructed by other people’s wishes or expectations of me.

I recently set one of my dating app’s location to Philly. Several white liberal men have “liked” me, including a musician turned Doctor of Physical Therapy student, a hospitalist who disclosed his status as a top, and a writer who loves The Great Gatsby and uploads videos of himself singing the Backstreet Boys on YouTube. Though they all seem nice, I decided not to further engage with them because they honestly bored me okay if you’re somehow one of these three men and you found this post you do seem nice and I hope you end up with who you want even though it’s not me!! support “Love Me Like This” by NMIXX I don’t need a nice, educated white man in my life to further my financial security or to fund a house in the Hamptons or trips around the world. Compassionate support, intellectually-stimulating conversation, and action and art promoting social justice – I have all these things with my close friends, and, within myself.

How do you resist white supremacy? Or, how do you emotionally soothe yourself when you see upsetting stimuli generally? What is your favorite part of “Love Me Like This” by NMIXX given that the song is a smash? General reactions to this post? I hope you are well and until next post!



Filed under Personal, Society

7 responses to “My House in the Hamptons, My Trips Around the World

  1. I think you’re probably the sweetest, kindest person on the internet. That’s really lovely 🙂

  2. Well any white guy is going to need to be pushing back against his white supremacy and toxic patriarchy … let’s just say if I was single again I wouldn’t bother. Then again, I’m older, and my child-raising-possibility years are behind me, if that’s an issue. So.

  3. I feel so sorry for this guy. Maybe he’ll grow up and learn. I think it’s sad that these attitudes are so prevalent in our community and that we perpetuate them.

    • Yes, that’s a hopeful perspective on this issue in terms of the chance of him growing and learning. I agree. So important to practice self-awareness and not perpetuate this! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. C.A.G.

    Lol that guy is a real-life White Ivy (Asian protag whose social ambitions spur her to infiltrate high White society) 😂

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