UsToo: A #MeToo Conversation with Five Asian American Writers

How do issues of race, gender and community intersect with sexual harassment? Who is being left out of the conversation? What issues are being overlooked?
August 15, 2018

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, much has been said about people (mostly women) experiencing harassment in the face of power. Yet we wondered: how does intersectionality play into this? Do these incidents affect those in the Asian American community differently? And what about for those who don’t fit as easily into the gender binary? We assembled a group of five Asian American writers — Jordan Alam, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani and Christine Hyung-Oak Lee — and discussed these issues over email. Interestingly, yet perhaps not surprisingly, the conversation strayed towards questions of community, transformative justice, whisper networks, perpetrator/victim binaries and advocacy.

(Note: The bulk of this conversation was initially conducted in April, ahead of allegations against Junot Diaz. Nonetheless, all participants had an opportunity to revisit their thoughts in light of the allegations.)


Karissa: Something I've been wondering about in the #MeToo coverage is how incidents of harassment and assault might be experienced differently by Asian Americans. I was wondering if you might talk about whether or not you think this is the case in your own experiences, and if so, how that has manifested itself?

Christine: My experience with harassment and assault are both from an editorial standpoint and a first-person perspective. As someone who has experienced both, I don't think my experience is different from any other woman — at the very least it’s demeaning. For me, it was debilitating.

But I can't help but think that it is different for women of color to speak out. As an editor, I have gone through a slushpile of #MeToo/sexual assault stories. And the vast majority were written by white women. I don't know why this is. It may be because fewer women of color submit — or maybe we have a pressure to represent and our own testimonies fall by the wayside? What say you all?

Jordan: I think for me the challenges of having been assaulted don't stem from my identities themselves but because community is so small. I am a nonbinary femme and queer, and Muslim and Bangladeshi (and so many other things of course), and I organize in these spaces because I really believe that healing our communities means bringing us into greater connection. But one of the times I was assaulted was at a gathering for people of shared marginalized identities and then I felt like I couldn't access that space that had made me feel so fully myself again. It feels more intense for me to tell my queer Muslim community that I was assaulted in that space because everyone knows each other and will talk. So people believing me will make all the difference in how I can create new community.

Something that I've been thinking about a lot — and working through in therapy — is that I am often able to share the content of my experiences (e.g., writing and reading a piece about sexual assault on stage) but not the full emotions of it. I think that there is distrust for me that people in my community will hold my emotions well, and it is very easy to dismiss my experience because I know there are people facing so much greater hardship. In a set of communities facing quite severe hardship from straight up poverty to hate crimes to erasure, I can sometimes seem like the 'rock' or the 'most stable' one. But I experience 'stability' as stoicism and that's not really in the interest of our collective healing.

Christine, it's interesting to hear your viewpoint about who is submitting pieces around this topic! I am doing less editor work these days, but I wonder if there is a delicateness about women of color wanting to share a piece when it might be easily identified and traced back to you. But even as I say that, I wonder whether there are other factors 

Christine: I can only imagine what it feels like to already begin with a small space of safety and then to have that taken away from you, Jordan. I agree and suspect that that is one factor in silence from women of color. It’s not just patriarchy keeping us silent, but our own sense of safety and perhaps loyalty to our communities?

Dulani: I do think loyalty to our communities is an issue, particularly in the context of state violence. I remember in 2003, I was interning for AALDEF (Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund), and I was translating legal advice, in the context of post 9/11 “special registration” that targeted Muslim men and boys. I was shocked at the state-sanctioned racial profiling and doubly devastated when domestic violence issues came up in the legal history of men we were supporting. It was so hard to process. This feeling of the community being under attack and so many layers of interpersonal violence within that. What Jordan said about small communities also really resonates with me. I found a lot of community through spaces that centered queer people of color. Since the person who harmed me was active in these communities, both in terms of poetry and activism, I found myself leaving or avoiding community spaces that were really important to me. I remember feeling though that I didn’t want either of us to not have access to community.

Ching-In: The sexual harassment and assault I’ve experienced was when I was presenting as a more femme Chinese American. The sexual harassment was mostly by white men who were strangers on the street in the United States. I did feel that I had been targeted when harassed because of racialized stereotypes (of being meek, submissive, not likely to make a scene). Often times, I felt like these men felt entitled to approach me and remark on my body and appearance — what they considered ‘exotic’— to introduce themselves to me in either terrible Chinese or Japanese, or to talk to me about “prostitutes” they had known in the war and/or solicit me for sex work. I’ve been followed home a few times by men I didn’t know and propositioned as a sex worker. At times, I’ve been called names if I indicated I didn’t want to talk to them or respond in the affirmative. As for the sexual assault, it was from an acquaintance who I met through a friend while out of the United States. The context was a bit different but I often heard from men that they thought I was both an “exotic” foreigner and a “sexually available American.” I’ve noticed that I don’t get harassed (sexually) now that I’m presenting in a more androgynous or masculine fashion, but I’ve been harassed in a more overtly hostile way for appearing queer or androgynous in public spaces.

What Jordan and Dulani have brought up about being part of small communities also resonates with me. As a writer of color who was greatly impacted by not having teachers of color as a K-12 student or an inclusive curriculum, I sought out writers of color and writers who I believed had expertise in this area, both in academic programs and in writing communities committed to writers of color. I got what I was seeking in terms of writers of color being on the syllabus, but I also bore witness to sexual harassment as a member in these writing communities. The predatory behavior of these teachers impacted our entire ecosystem/network, both for those who were targeted for harassment and for those of us who were witnesses. This was further complicated when those who had been harmed did not want to go public and were sharing in confidence.  

Rowan: Like most women, I’ve experienced verbal harassment and unwanted touching. But on some level, I think it was the more subtle stuff that did the most damage.

As a mixed-race person, I’m not sure I feel part of a particular community in the way some of you have described. I identify strongly as Asian American, but I didn’t grow up surrounded by anyone who looked like me. I was very confused by my body and what it might do. I didn’t know what to expect from puberty or adulthood. I didn’t know if I was pretty or ugly — a ridiculous binary, but one which for a young teenager can loom large. And so I was always looking for signs. And many of the signs came in the form of men telling me where I fell in their rankings of racial hotness. These rankings were presented without anger or aggression, so it took years for me to understand how loaded and damaging that information was. It was confusing to have an arm or shoulder touched by some male acquaintance and to be complimented on how much smoother it was than a white girl’s. All I wanted was to look like my mother and feel like a “real” Asian person — so part of me wanted to accept the compliment, while another part of me wanted to run a million miles. I began to feel I had to perform as small-bodied and smooth-skinned if I really wanted to count. I realise now that this was a form of internalized racism and that there are so many types of Asian bodies. Of course, mine is one of them.

Karissa: These are such great thoughts. I’ve been thinking, too, about how reluctant we are about calling out people in our communities, because on the one hand, they have done some important work in many ways, and yet on the other, have done such damage by wielding the power that they have. It feels fraught and complicated to call out one of our own when we’ve been given such a small slice of the pie to begin with, so to speak. I wonder what you guys think would be a way that we can support each other more? Do whisper networks work differently in these small, marginalized communities?

Christine: My personal experience with whisper networks as a person of color is that yes — we are aware of those who overstep boundaries and also those who are violent offenders. And I have no experience of what it would be like in a white community, because of course, I’m not white — but there is a code of silence that draws the line between protecting ourselves and throwing someone in our community to the wolves. There is a general expectation that we tell each other who the perpetrators are, but also to not take interviews or tell the world who they are. This is part of the moral dilemma of loyalty.

The “shitty men in media” list comprises mostly white men. I acknowledge that it may be that in the hour and a half that that list was live, not many women of color could access the list, but the proof is in the pudding: with the exception of one or two men, the list was largely white. And I find it interesting that they haven’t been investigated — it’s like they were outed, and that was the worst of it. Is there perhaps a different standard for white male writers?

And I am sad — sad for the survivors. And sad for our community who have lost two warriors in Sherman Alexie and Junot Díaz — the reality is that they behaved badly around women, but the other reality is that they were outspoken activists who have been taken down. This is tragedy in 360 degrees. I’m messed up over it.

Ching-In: I think that whisper networks protect those who are more “connected” and have built up a strong network and a certain social capital — and those who are often targeted for harassment are often those who are newer and greener to the community. As I’ve spent more time in writing communities, I’m more aware of some of the whispers as I’ve grown my own social network — and it’s particularly disappointing when it’s another writer of color. Yet I also have seen quite clearly how the whisper network doesn’t work because it very much relies on who you know and whether they are compelled to share information with you. I also think that it can be really confusing to be on the receiving end of the whisper network, especially if the whispers conflict and you are inheriting the whisper not directly from a person you trust and who directly experienced the harm. It can be hard to figure out what might be true or not.

Dulani: I think in the context of Hollywood, the focus was white men because it is a white-dominated industry. But if we are talking about issues of sexual abuse and rape generally, it is most often people in our families and communities who are causing harm and it is so painful and devastating. I think an intentional space or container is needed to address harm, which is why I am weary of whisper networks and social media call outs. I think we are hungry for our social justice values to be reflected in our practice and so folks are drawn to transformative justice as a process that doesn’t rely on the state. But as adrienne maree brown has written, “a lot of messy shit goes down in the name of transformative justice.” I have seen social justice language be used as a weapon for public takedowns of people. I really appreciated adrienne maree brown writing about this and about how everything feels urgent in social media but how “real time is slower than social media time. Real time often includes periods of silence, reflection, growth, space, self-forgiveness, processing with loved ones, rest and responsibility. Real time transformation requires stating your needs and setting functional boundaries.” I think we could all support each other more with models that work in real time.

Jordan: I know some amazing people who are doing transformative justice work and healing in ways that go to the root source of the thing. I return again and again to this interview that Nia King did with disability justice activist Mia Mingus in 2014 for Nia’s podcast, We Want the Airwaves (featuring queer and trans POC artists):

“We know we have to work with people who have caused harm and who have been violent. We’re not going to be able to end violence by just working with survivors and bystanders. Those categories are not mutually exclusive either. So many people occupy all three, occupy two. [They] are survivors and are people who have been violent. Have witnessed violence and are bystanders, and are people whether they did anything or colluded with that violence they witnessed … and they survived violence.”

Mia here is referencing how many people experience child sexual abuse and how that informs their later interactions with others; I think that it can be expanded to include what others were sharing about community members experiencing the violence of racism and etc. I think that it’s still hard to hold this for me as I’m actively unlearning the ways in which we separate “perpetrator” from “victim/survivor” that was taught to me when I started out in domestic violence response work. And yet I think that this is really the bind that we in our small communities have to face upfront — we are going to be encountering these people in our spaces again, often whether we like it or not, and so there isn’t really an easy way to escape the responsibility of repair. With the glaring caveat of course that I don’t think the direct survivors are required to do that work with the people who harmed them, and the equally obvious problem that some (many) people who cause harm don’t want to admit it or come into an accountability process at all.

As an aside, I have been reading the follow-up to Junot Diaz’s piece (still haven’t read the piece itself) and am interested in peoples’ thoughts on it! The premise of the critique that I have seen and respect is that (cis, straight) men often use women and queer/trans people as the vehicles for their own healing — not in the ideals of transformative justice but as stepping stones to their own growth.

Christine: Jordan — wow, that quote by Mia Mingus! It’s so true — so many of us hold more than one category. I know that I wasn’t especially kind to my partners for a good number of years, because of my own trauma from surviving rape and a childhood replete with abusive relationships. It’s a reason, not an excuse. I’ve apologized to the men I’ve hurt with my lack of vulnerability; I lived behind a wall for many, many years and presented to them a face that wasn’t mine, but the best mirror I could muster. They fell in love with someone who wasn’t truly me, but someone who reflected their image back onto them. Which, come to think of it, is why I was so attractive to narcissists. Lovable narcissists, but narcissists all the same. Thank you to this interview for bringing something to light.

So in that sense, I identify with Junot Diaz’s piece — an essay that has complicated the conversation.

In turn, my rapist, which was a boyfriend of mine, was not raped as a child. But he had his own trauma to deal with. He was suffering from undiagnosed manic depression. He was an alcoholic. He explained this to me when I finally discussed “that night” two decades later with him over coffee in a mall. He knew he had no excuse by explaining — but what I felt he was doing was trying to tell me about his own humanity.

We all have our own reasons for our behavior. Part of being a human being is coming to that understanding and unpacking our past and feelings and stepping forward with wisdom and a renewed commitment to be a better person to others and ourselves. Part of that wisdom is forgiveness — mostly forgiving ourselves.

Karissa: That quote, Jordan! That’s the thing I’ve been thinking about a lot, even before Junot’s piece came out — if we believe in restorative justice (and I think many, if not most, progressives and radicals do, at least in theory), how do we allow space for a perpetrator's humanity while still making sure that survivors/victims are placed at the center of the conversation? What happens when a person is both a perpetrator and victim? Does the solution lie less in individuals and more in systems and how we rethink the way we deal with people who are the products of a toxic society? Particularly if we think about the difficulties people of color in this society face — is it more likely that these traumas are then turned around to be taken out on those around them? Who is to blame here? I’m not asking for answers but just wondering out loud, because I suspect that any solutions require more than simply asking individuals to face consequences for their actions and is perhaps much more complex than we have the capability as a society to address.

Dulani: I think part of what our communities inherited from the legal binary of perpetrator and victim is an oversimplified — and ineffective solution — to a range of violence. While this framework is helpful in certain contexts, challenging the binary of perpetrator and victim helps us talk about how we are all capable of violence and harm. The prison industrial complex models punishment as accountability. It models removing the person who caused harm from the community, But accountability doesn’t happen in isolation. Transformative justice is about addressing harm in a way that gets at the root cause of violence —which requires so much from us. For people, relationships, communities and institutions to fundamentally transform, it requires all of us to show up for each other, to unlearn violence, to know our own trauma stories and how we are shaped by them — how we are triggered and how that impacts how we engage. I think this self-awareness is key — knowing our own boundaries and capacity and tending to our healing is ultimately the core of the work that helps us show up to address harm in community. I think by its very definition restorative justice is about acknowledging the humanity of everyone involved and creating the conditions to repair harm. It is not punitive. But I don’t think restorative justice looks like just one thing. It can look like Circles — a practice that comes from Indigenous communities. It can look like different teams of people supporting a process and having different roles — one team supporting the person who caused harm to be accountable, and another team supporting the survivor. I think there is a lot of work for communities to do to figure out and unpack what accountability actually means in any given situation and what centering survivors means in any given situation. Is accountability listening to the harmful impact one has caused, acknowledging the harm and committing to change? Is it leaving a community space? And what does supporting a survivor or survivors look like? Who defines that? Who is speaking on behalf of survivors? Anyone who identifies as a survivor? What if multiple survivors have opposing views? I was processing some of this with my friend Soniya Munshi and she said something I found so useful — that there is no universal survivor — and I really appreciated her saying that because it’s important to remember in terms of not stripping something of its context and not co-opting someone’s real-time tragedy in the name of accountability.

Jordan: I agree with Dulani about the over-simplified solutions offered by the legal definitions, while still wanting to hold a lot of compassion for folks who feel like that is their only recourse. And also that transformative justice is not always the solution that solves everything, as Dulani has said.

I participated in a really healing space called Movement to Power through the South Asian Women's Creative Collective, which combined movement, writing and somatics for a survivor's group. None of us had to expressly talk about our story, but we were able to express the feelings and emotions through other modes. I think that there is something to be said about body-based practice as a way to offer, if not a solution, then a way to process feelings for all people involved. I want more of those spaces to exist.

Ching-In: I agree with Dulani — that fundamental transformation requires a community to show up for each other and to figure out ways to unlearn violence and agree that the way to do that can look very different. I do think that we can’t look at these situations in isolation — the person who caused harm has often learned this behavior in a society which has supported this kind of behavior by looking the other way or not acknowledging it. On the other side of being concerned about public takedowns of people is that I’ve also seen a kind of processing on social media — of voicing what can be seen as support for the person who caused harm in a way that can be triggering to survivors. In these situations, I try to ask — whose stories and voices and concerns are being centered right now, and why?

Karissa: I want to go back to something Ching-In mentioned earlier, about how they experienced more harassment when they presented more femme. I think absent from a lot of the #MeToo conversation is how non-cis experiences and/or perceived gender/sexuality plays into this. One can’t help but think about the appalling statistics of violence against trans people. If our culture of toxic masculinity tells cishet men that they are entitled to a ciswoman’s body (and allows for the rage they must feel when told they are not), the reaction has proven to be even more violent when individuals don’t quite adhere to the gender and sexuality norms they’re expecting. Also, I wonder if the experiences of trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people are not highlighted in this conversation because they don’t fit comfortably into a gender-binary narrative and are therefore easier to dismiss or overlook? I wondered if you guys might speak to this a little bit.

Dulani: I think we still have to fight for our experiences to be acknowledged because we’re still fighting for our humanity and for our experiences to be legible. I have definitely seen trans folks speak out about being left behind in the #MeToo conversation and use their voices and platforms to bring to light trans communities’ experiences of sexual violence — Laverne Cox, Gabriel Arkles, Tiq Milan, just to name a few. There is a lot of transantagonism that pushes us out of the framework of what a survivor looks like.

Rowan: As a mostly femme presenting person, I know that I am very lucky. I am exposed to far less physical threat than I would as a transperson. That said, I know that my own gender identity has been shaped in many ways by exhaustion. In my head, I use they pronouns to refer to myself. But I feel like asking people to wrap their heads around Chinese-Japanese-British-Americanness and bisexuality is already such a big ask. So I rarely mention it.

In recent years, this has led to me wearing a lot of tunics and large shapeless dresses. Friends joke that this is my suburban lady costume, but it comes from a desire to cover up the body. Everything about it — fat, thin, femme, curved and straight seems so separate from the person I am inside my head. Yet I am aware that it informs so much of social interaction, even outside the realm of harassment.

This isn’t something I’ve ever written about before, I didn’t want to push this story when I know there are those out there in positions of greater danger. In a social-media culture which thrives on competitive pain, it felt inappropriate to mention. Yet, as I write this, I wonder if there are others out there who feel the same way and if such narratives would be helpful. Perhaps it is a matter of reframing the ways in which we talk about the challenges we face. I’d like to find a way to talk about the smaller day to day issues, in a way that supports and upholds those who are at risk of great threat and violence.

Jordan: I identify as a nonbinary femme, and femme also exists as a costume for me to put on in my gender expression. It's something that feels so powerful, and yet it also can be a source where I am cut down. Something I've thought about is the hierarchy of prioritization — like oh, we must first address cis white women's concerns about sexual assault before we move on to the other intersecting identities because they're too 'complicated.' And it is true that when queer and trans people are experiencing violence in their relationships, they can rely even less on the criminal legal system — it can happen that both of them are arrested, or that their experience of violence is dismissed because it is not legible in a hetero framework. But then what recourse is there intra-community? And especially how do desirability politics play into this in terms of protecting someone who may be well-loved in the community such that they are shielded from accountability? Truly there are some similar patterns that play out in any marginalized community, but I feel like the stakes are raised so high.

What I also believe is that there is a way that wide scale public movements try to pick out a 'poster child' of who a survivor is and, as Dulani mentioned, it is almost never a trans or GNC person. It hurts me to know also that queer and trans people facing homelessness or who have less support due to their identities stay in harmful relationships longer because they have no other way to get their basic needs met. Scarcity is something that fuels the cycle of violence and I feel like until we can address those broader challenges in meaningful ways, there will continue to be greater risk for queer and trans survivors to be part of that movement space.

Karissa: That’s the thing, right? There are so many intersecting systems that are at work. For instance, I think about the recent coverage of the “incel” community, which I think are the flip side to those who actively prey on folks using their “alpha” status — these being cishet men who claim they are beta and claim marginalization because women won’t sleep with them. When reading about them, I couldn’t help but also think about the small subset of Asian men who feel anger towards Asian women they perceive to be “race traitors” by dating outside of their race (specifically white men), a harmful thought process borne out of the intersection between toxic masculinity at large and how American society has emasculated Asian men through harmful stereotyping. There are so many issues that need to be addressed in order to break down the ramifications of this large problem.

Rowan: I’m not sure what to make of the incel groups. But I’ve dated both Asian and non-Asian people, some of whom have felt sexually-isolated and who have expressed feelings of resentment. (Though as far as I am aware none of them had channelled those feelings into harassing women.) I can understand the anger felt by so many Asian men. It is horrible to be trapped in a world in which you are desexualized and ignored. But I think some men eventually see that it is the same system that means that as a woman you are often seen only in terms of your sexuality. Of course, some men are too deep in their anger to see beyond it. We don’t owe them infinite patience any more than we owe them our bodies. Beyond a certain point our energies should go towards those in our communities who need protecting and support.

Karissa: Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences here. One last question: now that the first steps towards opening these conversations have happened, what do you hope happens next? What can we, either as individuals or a community, push toward?

Christine: I think we need to complicate the discussion — for which I’m grateful for this roundtable.

Jordan: I find myself really wanting to break down the challenges into their elements and work on only the manageable piece that I can hold in my hands. In some ways I feel like this question overwhelms me because it makes me feel like there is so much to be doing (and that I need to be doing all of it!).

Where I've focused my energies has more and more been about providing emotional support to my people, as well as writing and performing work that allows people to witness me in process. Somehow bearing witness has allowed audiences and groups that I've worked with to start offering their own stories, to move toward some sort of collective wisdom/experience. Professionally, I've been offering doula services and am working on becoming a therapist (because we honestly know how few mental health providers of color there are). Ideally, we would all be able to help each other to our unique capacities — survivors helping other survivors while not also having to take on the responsibility of working with the people who've directly caused them harm, for example. There should be other people to do that work. There should be others who are starting this conversation in their own particular communities. When the load is distributed is the only time I can see us working towards truly disinvesting from violence as a form of taking power.

Rowan: Jordan, I loved what you said about working on a piece you can hold in your hands. What I think about these days is how we can listen to people who might not have the background or inclination to write a think-piece about their pain. How do we be there for those who may not verbally articulate the trauma they’ve experienced? I think the thing #MeToo has really revealed is the depth of trauma in our communities and the need for gentleness and understanding. I’m trying to assume that when someone is rude, inconsiderate or hurtful that their behavior may stem from unarticulated pain.

Recently, a few friends were playing a game where we all got assigned dog breeds. One described me as a corgi — friendly, but does its own thing. She meant it kindly and as a joke. What she didn’t know is that I set limits on certain types of social interaction because of particular traumas. Hence my habit of doing my own thing. And I doubt I’m alone. I suspect that everyone’s traumas manifest differently. One person always leaves the party early, another cancels at the last minute, another is always late to work, someone talks too much and someone else not enough. I think when we can, it is good to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Dulani: I hope for all of us individually to commit to unlearn our own violence. Years ago, I co-facilitated a workshop called Unlearning Our Own Violence as part of an initiative called Transforming Silence Into Action (TSIA). The workshop acknowledged that to confront any potentially unhealthy and abusive behaviors in ourselves, we need to lift the shame and silence about these behaviors in a direct and constructive way and we had to cultivate self-awareness about our behaviors.

I think we can push toward a culture of consent. We can push toward trauma-informed institutions that build skills in addressing harm. I hope we can push even our most beloved institutions to do better and I hope we can recognize when they do. I believe in transformation — of individuals and institutions.

Ching-In: I think the first step is to name and acknowledge this harm, which is a harm to all our communities. I agree that we can work toward changing our culture to one which has more skill in building safer communities with clearer protocols around how to address harm.   


Jordan Alam is a queer Bangladeshi American writer, performer and birth worker based out of south Seattle. Her work engages with moments of rupture and transformation in the lives of people on the margins. At present, she is creating collaborative performance pieces about stories of the body through a fellowship with Town Hall Seattle and editing a draft of her debut novel. Find out more about her work at

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR 2017 Great Read. Rowan's short writing has appeared in Granta, The New York Times and The Atlantic. She is the editor of Go Home!.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic and recombinant, winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Chen is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets. A poetry editor of the Texas Review, they teach creative writing at Sam Houston State University.

A multi-genre writer and interdisciplinary storyteller, Jai Dulani's work has appeared in SAMAR, bustingbinaries, Black Girl Dangerous, Teachers & Writers, Open City and the anthology, “Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic.” As an educator and organizer, Dulani has worked for racial and gender justice at the intersections of queer, immigrant, youth and anti-violence movements for over 15 years in New York City. He is co-editor of the anthology The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities.

Christine H. Lee is the author of the memoir Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Zyzzyva, Guernica, the Rumpus, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. Her novel, The Golem of Seoul, is forthcoming from Ecco/Harper Collins.


Karissa Chen


Karissa Chen is Editor-in-Chief of Hyphen magazine. She also serves as the Senior Literature Editor.