Mr. Hyphen 2007 contestant Tingwei Lin will represent the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, which develops affordable housing and community facilities with integrated services, focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander communities and diverse low income populations in the East Bay area of California.
I hope to be a positive representation for Asian American males and the Asian American community as a whole. I guess I'd like to help that one awkward kid struggling with his identity by perhaps giving him an alternative archetype of Asian-ness than is typically presented. Damn, I know i struggled with it a lot growing up.
For Tingwei Lin, pride and humility comfortably coexist. A champion swimmer, he credits his humbleness to his years spent a la Speedo in the public eye. Although he still maintains that coveted swimmer physique, Tingwei now channels his efforts into helping those in the APA and low income community buy their first homes, save for college and start their own businesses. With that athletic build and heart of gold, you'll agree there's not a "Ting" wrong with him!
As a friend observed, I have been growing more and more into my Asian-ness, my Asian identity, since I moved to California almost 2.5 years ago. Envisioning myself as Mr. Hyphen is a culmination of all of that self-acceptance.
Mr. Hyphen 2007 will take place on Saturday, June 9
at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.
Buy tickets here.