I’ve talked a lot about how my family has negatively affected me. For me, it will always be hard to see my family in a positive light because of how they treated me. I’ve always wanted to look more Vietnamese and with the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, I’ve had a difficult time expressing this. I don’t face the racism and micro aggressions that AAPI go through. That’s always had a part in me wanting to hide my opinion about being mixed. Because of my family (and opinions that I developed from them) I’ve felt like I wasn’t Asian enough to participate in Lunar New Year, or to talk about anti-Asian hate. I felt like I wasn’t Asian enough to belong in my family. I felt like an outsider. I felt that because I didn’t look Asian, I wasn’t able to talk to my family or join in with them. Which sounds silly, but they looked at me like I was a stranger. That combined with the fact that I wasn’t allowed to do anything wrong. I wasn’t allowed to talk or hang out with boys. I wasn’t allowed to wear shorts without my mother looking at me like I’d disgraced her. I wasn’t allowed to be queer. I wasn’t allowed to be non-binary. These were all unspoken rules with my family. Because I’ve been tolerated and not loved/accepted, being queer would make them banish me. I wouldn’t be allowed at family gatherings anymore. And my mother would never hear the end of it. My aunts have already used me as an example of what not to do, ‘Don’t dress like that just because your cousin does.’ ‘At least you don’t have an A- like your cousin.’ It’s made me sad that I won’t be able to have my family/culture. I don’t want to be tolerated or looked at like I’m a terrible person. It sucks that I have to choose between having my family or being myself. I only wish that I could go to family gatherings/cook with my family and be queer. But my mother would rather disown me than allow me to bring a girl to the family gatherings. That’s my harsh reality. But I feel a lot happier now that I can just be myself without being reprimanded. I may not be accepted by my family or seen as Asian enough but I have my dad, my friends, and my dog. That’s enough for me. I’m enough for me.