Tag Archives: Korean

CNBLUE: My New Favorite Band

My musical tastes typically tend toward the Barbra Streisand / Cher / Broadway show tunes types or toward the singer/songwriter types like Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams, who often perform with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Thus, I haven’t had a lot of favorite bands. I listened to some Hot Hot Heat and Flogging Molly back in high school, but I’d suppose that my favorite band was arguably not actually a band at all – the K-pop group Shinhwa, of the singer/dancer boy band style . And now I’ve discovered CNBLUE, an actual rock band – electric guitars and drums and everything – and I adore them. Continue reading

Languages I Wish I Could Speak

I’ve always wished I could speak Korean. Throughout my school years, I took Spanish classes, and I bitterly resented the fact that I wasn’t learning Korean — that my Spanish (elementary though it is) is so much better than my Korean. Being a Korean adoptee was central to my identity, and the fact that I didn’t know Korean was especially hard to handle in my early high school years. Continue reading

“Us” versus “Them”

This whole “us versus them” mentality really gets us nowhere.

I understand the desire — the need — to have community and to not always be the “other,” the “them.” (RENT, anyone? “To being an ‘us’ for once / instead of a ‘them!'”) As someone who has been part of a “them” for as long as I can remember, I get that.

At the same time, I think we often tend to go too far with the “us versus them” mentality. Continue reading

I Feel Like I’m Losing Myself

EXPLORING TRANS — SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2010, 8:11 PM

I feel like I’m being pulled in so many different directions. I don’t know how — I’ve never know how — to deal with multiple identities in a way that didn’t cause one of them to be neglected and ignored. I’m a Korean adoptee, but I’m also queer and trans, and I haven’t yet been able to figure out a way to unite those identities, instead of simply pushing one to the foreground and the other to the back. Continue reading

Tattoo Ideas

If you got a tattoo, what would it be?

When I was young, I always thought that I would get a single tattoo. Just one, black ink — my name, perhaps (one of them, anyway). Some of the first tattoos I saw and liked belonged to a few family friends — brothers who got their names in Arabic, I think, with the tree from the flag of Lebanon (they’re of Lebanese descent). It was strong, personal, timeless. Seeing their tattoos may have been the first time I decided that I wanted a tattoo.

Continue reading

“You Need To Respond Verbally.”

It frustrates me when the color of my skin makes people think that I don’t speak English. I was on a plane a few months ago, sitting behind the people in the exit row. The flight attendant asked the person whether they understood the requirements of sitting in the exit row; when the person (presumably) nodded, they were told, “You need to respond verbally.”

It brought back a memory of a flight I’d been on previously. I was sitting in exit row, and the flight attendant asked whether I understood the instructions. I nodded — I don’t remember how many times I’ve flown seated in the exit row, but it was enough to be nothing new. Instead of telling me that I need to respond verbally, the flight attendant then asked me whether I understood English. Continue reading

Belly Shack

Korean BBQ Beef (to go)

I was heading home from the office via the Blue Line when I walked past Belly Shack, just under the Western stop. I would have passed by, but the word “Korean” caught my eye (it’s a fusion restaurant). As I paused to check their menu, the door opened, giving me a whiff of Korean food. It smelled so good. I haven’t had Korean food of any kind in months, and I just couldn’t resist. Continue reading

Ink

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo. I’ve had it mostly planned out for almost a year. Black ink — I just think there’s something really strong and striking, almost classic, about black lettering. I want it to be on the inside of my left forearm so that it will be there, like a reminder, every time I look down. Continue reading

Legitimacy and Being Korean

This post was posted in its original form at 10:37 PM, November 8, 2009 on my former blog.

Issues of legitimacy have affected for nearly as long as I can remember. Nowadays, I have a whole bunch of ways in which the legitimacy of my membership to an identity group is questioned, but when I was younger, there was really only one identity that was challenged. Still, I’ve dealt with questions of legitimacy for nearly my entire life.

I’m a person of color, as most of you know. I’m Asian — Korean, if you want to be specific. I’m also — and here’s one of the big reasons why there are legitimacy issues — I’m an adoptee. I was adopted as an infant and raised by my two wonderful (and very not Korean) parents in the heartland of the grand U.S. of A. In a lot of people’s eyes, that’s makes me not Korean. Never mind my brown skin, my birth in the Republic of Korea (that’s the official name for South Korea), my status as a naturalized citizen (which, by the way, makes me ineligible for presidential candidacy), my self-identification as Korean, or the fact that people here in the States see me as “other.” I wasn’t raised by Koreans; I don’t speak Korean: ergo, I am not “really” Korean. Continue reading

And Why Should I Not Be Allowed to Run for President?

I know there numerous issues more pressing than this, and I realize that life isn’t fair, but can we just pause for a moment to note how unfair it is that I can’t run for President? As an international adoptee (a “naturalized citizen”), I am one of the few groups of people who, despite having lived in the United States and been a United States citizen for as long as I can remember (since I was six months old, which, in eight days, will be 22 years), are legally and constitutionally barred from running for the office of the President of the United States. Continue reading