Author Archives: flipette

About flipette

Activist masquerading as a student. All about love, sex, unity and community.

i’m not azn enough for azns: a rant

posted by flipette

“Thanks so much for writing to us, and for your interest in the project! Unfortunately, we are focusing (for the book) on women of South and East Asian background, as opposed to Southeast Asian.”

Here we go again. Not Azn enough for Azns. Again. Filipina…not Azn. Why, I ask? She answers,

“I’m interested in writing about renegotiation of values between cultures. If you check out the blog you can see what kind of stories I’m talking about.”

That’s not really a fucking  answer but off to the blog I go…again. Here’s the rundown:

1) Immigrant parents influence and demand over choice of a partner, career, freedom

Oh, you mean that time my father demanded why I dropped out of my sciences and math. “You can’t change the world,” he told me. He turned out to be right. But I still stayed out of math and sciences.

Or maybe it was the assumption that my partner would be a man. Or Filipino. At least (or better yet) white. The end.

2) How the above statement affects young Azn diasporic women

Do  you mean the fear of coming out to my parents? Telling them that they had, not one, but two queer daughters. And that my partner was genderqueer. And shorter than me.

Do you mean the constant nagging feeling of making my parents proud? Making sure that I made the right decisions so Icouldgetagoodjobbehappybeabletotakecareofthemintheiroldageandmostofallbeself

3) Relationship to feminism

Does my constant need to create space for people of colour in a movement that has been recognized as so overwhelmingly white count? Or maybe I can talk about how this white liberal feminism is something that I face in everyday community organizing and how painful it is to meet feminists who don’t think race is the issue. Most importantly, how meeting badass, unapologetic and angry feminists of colour reminds me that my feminism isn’t defined by white women and those that hide behind being colourblind can get the fuck out.

4) Relationship to family

Can I talk about my love for my family even though they can be so difficult sometimes? About how everyone gossips but can still sit around at the dinner table and laugh so hard it hurts. About how family doesn’t mean siblings and parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and their partners and families and friends. How everyone remains involved in my life much to my dismay/joy.

Are these the criteria? Have I met them? Are my answers Azn enough? Or maybe I could talk more about histories of colonialism and modern-day imperialism. About racism within my “tolerant” nation of Canada. About homophobia and sexism within my family and home. How losing the language that expresses more things that I could ever dare with my English tongue pains me in unimaginable ways? Or what it’s like to long for a history of a home that’s too expensive to even visit? Or listening to people talk about women from my country as if they were second-rate and only good for one type of labour? How being so often assumed to be docile, nice and obedient makes me think that smashing windows and throwing things at people are brilliant fucking ideas?

Is that Azn enough for you? Because it’s sure as hell as Azn as I’m ever gonna be.

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between worlds

posted by flipette

We are the 1.5 generation.
Too old to be born on Canadian soil
Too young to remember the politics of our homeland.
Stuck between cultures, I try to navigate
my way
through this mosaic
but my identity compass seems to be broken.

Finding that being a hyphenated Canadian
doesn’t mean I get the best of both worlds
Only the doubled struggle to belong.
To long for a place where I am an individual
For a place where I don’t carry the burden of knowledge that we
were duped to come here.

They told us it wouldn’t be that hard.
Had my family believing that a university education
and years of experience
Meant something to this country.

Instead, they had my father laying brick
Draining his brain of skills he possessed as an electrical engineer.
Had my mother re-taking tests to show she was worthy of her title
Disregarding the hundreds of students that have passed through her door
As a university professor.

Touching down at Pearson airport
with a small statue of Santo Niño in my backpack
I believed in a better life.
Snow, new friends and relatives.

I didn’t realize that dark skin meant difference.
That a flat nose was abnormal.
That a slight slant of the eyes categorized those who were ‘born’ smart
And those who worked hard.

I wander aimlessly without a destination.
Destined to be lost in all this multicultural talk.
Celebrating the diversity of a place
that uses our mothers as picturesque caregivers
Raising the children of elites in this nation.
Motherless children back home
Resenting the loneliness that this capitalist cycle provides.

Pulled in all directions I ask myself,
“Where does my allegience lie?”
In the ashes of Mt. Pinatubo
or on the shores of Lake Ontario.

How can I be happy with surroundings that had me denying my heritage?
The shame that I felt
For most of my life
At being Filipina
A wretched sister of the 1.5 generation family
If we don’t know who were are
How do we know where we’re going?

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posted by flipette

I keep losing my Pride.
I had it when my partner kissed me for the first time
And when my parents hugged her when they met.
But then I couldn’t find it.
I might have lost it amidst the staring at the ice cream shop
When I couldn’t decide between a sundae or a milkshake
Between judgements on my skin or my relationship.

I had it when we danced in the middle of the street
The paper-mache head of Harper just ahead of us.
But I lost it somewhere between riot police and illegal detainments
Between fear and uncontrollable anger.
I swear I had it when I packed my bag
Ear plugs, water bottle, bandana, Pride.
But then they searched me
And I couldn’t find it anymore.

I had it when I marched from Nathan Phillips Square to Queen’s Park
Queer women marching side by side chanting, singing, dancing
We walked in the sweltering heat of the summer
But I knew my Pride wouldn’t melt.
It’s stronger than that.

And I had it the night we danced.
With hip hop and dancehall blasting from speakers
Musical reminders of my teenage years
Sexy queers, dancing all up on each other.

I had it on the way to the march
Until we passed by the group waving flags of Israel
And Islamophobic signs
It reminds me of the way that my sexuality is used
As a barometer for progress
And I’ve lost my Pride again.

Then I remember places that don’t celebrate with parades
But accept love and sex in the various ways it manifests.
No doubt, they will seem backward, ignorant, enemies of queers.
While our nation is complicit in the war that indiscriminately murders people, including those we want to “liberate”.
So I sit, reading anti-capitalist, Palestine solidarity, free speech signs
And I find that Pride again.
That Pride steeped in politics.
That Pride that wants to queer the government.
Even more, the one that wants to fuck the government.
With thigh high boots
Flogger in one hand
Dildo in the other.

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