After months of campaigning by immigrant and LGBTQ rights groups, Nicoll Hernández-Polanco was freed from her detention by ICE. Her story, written by Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center, is a story of a young woman who escaped the broken immigration system, and how she was criminalized and psychologically tortured simply for being young and transgender.
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photo by Miko Lim
photo by Ejen Chuang
So, you might be wondering, what is in this new issue of Hyphen? Why a girl with a fish in her mouth? Why is her hair wet? What's up with that?
Well, here's a peek at the table of contents:
This story, Out of the Closet, But Still Under Cover, ran in the SF Chron books section yesterday. The review on Covering by Kenji Yoshino, was written by Sandip Roy (a Hyphen advisory board member and sometimes contributing writer).
Covering is what you do when you've come out but tone it down in some circumstances. The example Roy gives is you go to a family gathering and you bring your significant other, but you're careful not to show any affection with each other. And covering is not just a gay thing, but something that anyone might feel they have to engage in. The examples Roy cites are "whether it's Ramon Estévez becoming Martin Sheen or Margaret Thatcher using a voice coach to lower the timbre of her voice, or Franklin Roosevelt hiding his wheelchair behind a desk before Cabinet meetings, everyone covers."
Whoa, Margaret Thatcher used a voice coach? I totally missed that one.
Yoshino's argument is that this may seem like a small, innocous thing, but it's actually an assault on civil rights.
Here's a Los Angeles Times story about how the Huntington Library in San Marino, an institution built on the backs of Chinese laborers during the 1800s, is financing its new Chinese Garden with donations from Chinese Americans that its founder would have considered servants and "not equal socially at all."
Hey, self promotion time! I'll be speaking at a panel this Thursday at Third Thursdays—the monthly dinner series about Asian American community issues.
The title of the program is "The Asians are Coming" (which comes from a Beau Sia poem) and is about Asian American media in the internet age. Here's a brief description:
Bloggers and artists can now create content online on their own terms—in a cheap, easy, and unprecedented fashion. But are the same online trends also responsible for the steady decline of traditional media?
As San Francisco's Japantown turns 100, will it survive much longer? This story says there used to be 40 of them before World War II. Now there are only 3 left: in SF, San Jose and LA. SF's J-town is a mere 4 blocks these days. Sad.
Remember Hyphen's feature on Asian Americans and growing obesity rates in issue 7? The New York Times just put out its own story on the topic, concentrating on skyrocketing diabetes rates among recent Chinese immigrants in Queens, as well as the fast-food indulgence of kids in the community.
Regardless of the cheesy "East Meets West" headline, this article is pretty damn depressing, also because it points out the huge disparities in the public versus private school system (eight-minute recess? no gym class?) as well as the Pavlovian responses of kids to TV consumerism--says 10-year-old Tim Wong, "I see the new items on television and I want them." I guess I grew up in a similar situation: my family almost always ate Chinese or Filipino dishes at home, so eating crappy Burger King or McDonald's was an incredible treat for me. I would beg my mom to buy me Happy Meals. My adult stomach wants to retch every time I smell fast food fries, though.
Howard Stern made his move from the free airwaves to Sirius Satellite Radio and brought George Takei, aka Mr. Sulu, along with him as his announcer.
I suppose Takei's got the voice for the part, but it seems like an odd pairing.
Here's a story at my alma mater about the propensity of Asian Americans changing their names, usually to something more "Americanized."
The story says, "It is most common to place an American name in front of the native Asian name and to go by the American name." It also quotes a professor, who says of the Asian American student body at Northwestern University: "In all my time here I’ve only known about three Asian American students who grew up here but use their Asian name and don’t have an American name.”