Asian Americans Are Allowed to Celebrate ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Fair warning, light spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own discretion. I performed my Asian American duty by heading out to the big screen in support of the opening weekend of “Crazy Rich Asians” and this is the story of how I went from “Crazy Rich Asians” cynic to stunned. Leading up to it, I was … Continue reading Asian Americans Are Allowed to Celebrate ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

The Evolution of My Name, My Identity

Bich Ngoc My parents gave me the name Bich-Ngoc after a beautiful greenish jade stone when I was born. They wanted people to know that I was as precious as jade. To them, I was a gem in the midst of a life filled with limited opportunities. My dad, a prisoner of war, was trying … Continue reading The Evolution of My Name, My Identity

The Night Before I Left Home

This story was shared by a Project Ava Storyteller. Learn more about the Storyteller Program.     Like hundreds of thousands of people, my mother escaped a war-torn Vietnam, risking her life to come to America, where the roads are paved with cheese (or something like that). She was jailed twice during her first two … Continue reading The Night Before I Left Home

Losing My Vote-ginity: Overcoming Asian American Apoliticism

Even as an American-born citizen, throughout my entire upbringing, I felt strongly disconnected to this particular American experience. I’ve always thought voter apathy was a personal issue but I wondered if the statistics spoke to a broader APIA narrative.

The Cultural Kinking of Halloween

This story was shared by a Project Ava Storyteller. Learn more about the Storyteller Program.   Halloween is a great holiday. It is a night of fear and fright and debauchery. It is a night of too much candy and too many screams over fake bones, fake blood, and fake spiders. It’s meant for gentle fun. … Continue reading The Cultural Kinking of Halloween

An Áo Dài’s Embrace

A piece originally published on Medium republished on Project Ava with permission from our Storyteller, Olyvia Chac-Nguyen. Learn more about the Storyteller Program. Embrace Standing at 5'3" and making weight as a super heavyweight boxer, wearing a áo dài was something far beyond how I wanted to display my “curves”. The traditional áo dài captures the grace, elegance, … Continue reading An Áo Dài’s Embrace

PSA: How To Avoid a Phở Fiasco

I know. It’s another piece about that Bon Appétit phở video. We just can’t get enough of that mess. And what a mess it was. If you’re tired of reading the dozens of thought articles this has spurned (as I am), I hope to provide a fresh perspective that might make the experience worth your … Continue reading PSA: How To Avoid a Phở Fiasco

What I Learned Walking Down The Aisle Without My Mother

It was quite the dilemma when it came time to send out wedding invites. Do I be the bigger person and invite her or do I avoid the risk of potential disappointment on what would be one the happiest moments of my life?

I am a Gay American

This piece was originally published on It Is What It Is (Not) the morning of the Supreme Court’s first hearing on California’s Proposition 8. For the past five months, I have tried repeatedly to write something entitled, “I am a Gay American.” In November, when the people of Maryland, Washington, and Maine voted to legalize same-sex marriage, … Continue reading I am a Gay American

Why Inclusiveness Efforts at Colleges Are Not Enough

No matter how many support systems the University of Denver has created for students of marginalized identities, the school has still effectively done nothing to solve the biggest reason for why those support systems are needed in the first place: its ignorant student body.