i am other

Ben and I went to the County Clerk’s office today to perform some official wedding business. The entire process of obtaining a marriage license was (scarily) short and didn’t require a lot of work (basically, any idiot can marry another idiot). You just present your SS number, ID, parents’ full names and places of birth, yada yada yada. Everything was peachy until about ten minutes in when the nice lady had to (shamefully) ask me to identify my ethnicity (or rather choose one on the list). Shamefully because she realized that “Asian” was not an option. Errr, what was that? Asian is not an option?! Isn’t 60% of this earth populated by ASIANS? And even if that number isn’t accurate, there are a lot more Asian inhabitants on this green planet than Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and even Caucasians for that matter. Now I know how ethnically fractionalized people feel when they have to check “other” because their diverse makeup doesn’t fit into one of those lame boxes. I am now an “other” as well and I feel like a minoritized misfit in this grand red-neck desert. It was either that or “unspecified”, but I know exactly what I am and there was no way I was going to deface my entire heritage by being associated with that word. I am not unspecified! I am Asian dammit! This reminded me of that old commercial back in Hawaii. The educational clip that shows a bunch of kids from different ethnic backgrounds, confessing their love for reading and the public library system. At the end, each kid says something like “I am Hawaiian”, “I am Japanese”, “I am Portuguese”, etc. and I always thought how lame the whole charade was. But we kind of need stuff like that otherwise we’ll all settle for “other” and learn to be okay with it which, in my opinion, is morally unacceptable.

And that, folks, is my little Asian-pride spiel of the day/week/month. I never knew how much I loved being Korean until today :)

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3 thoughts on “i am other

  1. Melissa says:

    Hilarious, Ang!

  2. beth says:

    If we’re thinking of the same commercial, the kids said stuff like: “I am Hawaiian-Chinese.”, “I am Hawaiian-Filipino”, etc, and at the very end they were talking about how to “use your library”. I’ve been trying to find that commercial online for years now but to no avail. Sigh.

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