Editor's Note: Mixing It Up

November 7, 2011

Despite the cover , you won’t find other references to manimals in this magazine. Hybrid is this issue’s theme, and we’re defining it more as a state of being because Asian Americans encompass so many combinations of ethnicity, generations, languages, race and sexual orientations.

Such a diverse mix can tear people apart or unite them. Various attributes of Asian Americans are simultaneously embraced and reviled by mainstream society. Hyphen strives to cover all of this, so in a sense, every edition is a hybrid issue. We hope what we bring to the discussion is informative and engaging and helps bring people together.

This issue is a hybrid also because we’re in transition after founding editor Melissa Hung stepped down this summer after five years on the job. She’s still around giving us sage advice, and we’re forging ahead with me at the helm as interim editor in chief and Neelanjana Banerjee as managing editor.

Hyphen has talented, hard working staff members who are all volunteers. Read their names in the staff box, and please, join me in thanking them for their efforts.

My first issue as Hyphen editor delves into the use of the Hawaiian word hapa to describe mixed-race Asian Americans. Some Native Hawaiians say using the term in this way is part of a larger trend of island culture being appropriated. A companion piece explores why the country’s largest mixed-race Asian advocacy and support group, the Hapa Issues Forum, shutdown this year.

We profile Jez Lee and Shawn Tamaribuchi, two queer performance artists who are also porn stars.

Now that I’ve got your attention, you may also be interested in a feature on how Asian Americans survive crosscultural wedding planning and make it down the aisle.

And we survey what books young adult Asian Americans are reading. They are so over Amy Tan.

So, here’s to the heterogeneity in us all.

Harry Mok
Interim Editor in Chief

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Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.