First Person

Learning to Use Chopsticks: Coming Out as Korean-American

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“At 27, I came out as Korean-American. I was always Korean, of course. I checked the “Asian” box when filling out a form. My ethnicity was written on my face in the shape of my eyes and my small flat nose. But until a few years ago, it wasn’t an identity I felt connected to. There were many identities that came first — poet, bisexual, queer, feminist, activist, organizer, fattie, vegan. Being Korean was a fact, but not an identity.”

First Person

Me, Piper Chapman, the Psych Ward, and the Incarcerated 2.2 Million

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“Real human change requires space to be honest with yourself, honest with others; a space that doesn’t exist when you’re trapped by necessity behind a fortress of self-protection. As the inmate Poussey in Orange replies when a correctional officer pressures her to speak openly during a group therapy session: “Does it ever occur to you that actually feeling our feelings might make it impossible to survive in here?”

First Person

Take the Lead: A Beginner’s Adventure at Queer Tango Festival

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“Trying to be cool about it, I stood next to a woman with gravitas who immediately turned to me and asked me to be her partner. She told me she’d been dancing tango as a follow for three years and was now learning to lead. And so yours truly, a middle-aged butch dyke, happily took the position of follow to a 20-something lead in an A-line dress.”

First Person

Unalterable: On Accepting Myself As A Queer Person With Dwarfism

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“I am a person with restricted growth (or little person or person with dwarfism), and I am queer… I did not come out as queer until I was in my 30s. People asked me why it took so long… But the deeper answer is that accepting my disabled identity was necessary before I could accept my queer one, and for me this has been a long, hard fought struggle.”