I’m Asian, not invisible, not disgusting.

Portland, OR.

It’s that look. The look I’ve seen all my life. Like you just found a gross bug in your house that you don’t want to deal with. I don’t think that the look is intentional but it’s the first thing I see when you see me, and I immediately know that you’ve decided you don’t like me before I’ve even opened my mouth. Then seconds later a white person who is just as new to you as I, walks in, and the look changes into one of sunshine and rainbows, and you greet the person as if they were your long lost best friend even though you just met them. “Finally, I can talk to a REAL person,” I imagine you thinking.

I don’t smell, I’m clean, and a few would call me attractive, so I know it’s none of that, besides you (usually) shouldn’t be the one to talk if that were the case. I’m not shy and quiet, and I speak with confidence regardless of how I’ve been treated by you folk.

What’s just as annoying is when you ignore my presence entirely. Like when I’m with my white boyfriend (also gay btw) and the only person you address from the start and throughout the conversation is him, even if I’m standing in front of him and I initiate the conversation. I am left unacknowledged. I notice it, he notices it. Why don’t you notice it? Is your disgust or utter disregard for Asian men just so deeply ingrained that you aren’t even aware of it?

I commonly hear things around my campus like “Asians are so annoying”, and “Asians are taking over the college”, or “Asians are only good at grades and nothing else”, “Asian men are too effeminate”, “Asians only hang out with other Asians and speak Asian” etc. Nobody calls anyone out on this because it’s acceptable to be prejudiced against Asians because everyone agrees with you. You’ve met a few Asians who fit into these stereotypes that you’re not really open to meeting those who might be different. The second you see (yet another… *sigh*) one of us, you’ve already put me into a box, that apparently becomes my responsibility to crawl out of. I’ve done a lot of crawling out of these boxes and you know what I’ve learned?: “You’re not worth my time.”

The next time I see another look of disgust on your face, I’ll know more about you than you know about yourself. That you’re a prejudiced dipwad that can’t see outside of stereotypes and judges people on the basis of their skin and appearance, and that all things being equal. I don’t want to be anywhere near you. I might have to deal with you for my job or my classes, but outside that, I’m not going to bother with you anymore because you’re not worth it, and I am.


Tweets by Michele Norris