Tag Archives: cathy park hong

Thomas’s Top Ten 2020 Reads

Though 2020 sucked on a broad scale, I tried to make the most of what remained within my control, which I feel like I did well by healing from a rough friendship breakup that happened toward the end of 2019, celebrating and further cementing my close friendships with folx I love, and forming new community. I also read 96 books. As I wrote about last year, I do not read for the sake of finishing some grand number of books. Rather, I read as a way to practice self-care amidst lots of time with clients and students, as well as to feel connected with people from various similar and differing social identities than mine. Over the past few years, I have made a more targeted effort to read books by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and this year I continued that trend by reading 76 books by BIPOC authors. This year was the first I actually counted and I will say I felt surprised seeing how many books by white folx I read. Furthermore, for the first time in awhile I felt really impressed and emotional about the fiction I read more so than the nonfiction I read, which has not happened in awhile (the love stories between queer BIPOC in #2 and #3 and the friendship breakup between two BIPOC in #1 probably did me in, ugh my poor gay non-amatonormative heart). Anyway, I included links to my full Goodreads reviews of each book and links to past years’ top ten lists for easy reference at the bottom.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books

Asian Frustration, Frustration at Asians

About two weeks ago I noticed myself judging and feeling frustrated with other Asian people. As someone who cares a lot about Asian American mental health and racial justice, I wanted to explore these feelings of judgment and frustration, because I like feeling my feelings and doing so helps me procrastinate my grad student responsibilities. Some incidents with fellow Asian Americans that have made me feel frustrated include: when I met a queer Asian American man last year who said he had internalized European beauty standards and is working to unlearn his automatic attraction to white guys; when I got dinner with an Asian American female friend who wondered about the truthfulness of reverse racism; all throughout high school when I saw other Asian American students obsess about grades and academic achievement and getting into prestigious schools.

When I sat with these emotions, I noticed a somewhat embarrassing thought emerge: you should all be better than this. I felt a literal judgment and I’m not proud of it. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society