Who are you?
My name is Jenn and I blog over at Reappropriate.co, an Asian American race activism, feminism and pop culture blog that has been online since 2001.
What are you?
I'm a blogger, but I'm also a few other things: a scientist, a feminist, a nerd, a gamer, a lifter, a social media addict and a chronic abuser of the semicolon. Also, I'm ethnically Chinese, and nationally Canadian (eh). And yep, I do still spell things the British way, and yep, I do still have the accent!
Where are you?
I'm a post-doc, so I'm in the lab right now (which is where I can be found most hours of the day churning out data for the powers-that-be). When they unlock the chains and let us roam free, I can be found exploring the fabulous state of Connecticut which I just moved to a few years back. Prior to returning to the East Coast, I was a graduate student in Tucson, Arizona, which is among my favourite places in the continental United States.
Where are you from?
I was born in a suburb north of Toronto, Canada, but I've spent my entire adult life going to school and now working in the United States. So, politically, I actually identify as Asian American, even though I'm nationally Asian Canadian. I actually know embarrassingly little about Canadian politics.
What do you do?
By day, I'm a vascular developmental biologist who studies how stem cells are able to make blood vessels. While things are incubating at the bench, I spend my spare time writing for my blog, Reappropriate.
What are you all about?
I know this is sappy but I really do believe this: I'm all about life as one great opportunity to leave the world a better and more beautiful place than when you entered it. Also, I'm all about taking the time away from work to have fun. And also, chocolate chip cookies.
What makes you angry?
What makes me most angry is when people are silenced. Bigotry and intolerance arise out of, and are protected by, ignorance of the broad diversity of the human experience; by contrast, racial and gender equality starts with giving voice to those who historically haven't had access to one. Every single one of us has thoughts, opinions, and ideas worth cultivating, expressing and sharing, yet I think too often people of colour, women and other minorities have suffered from feeling unheard in the greater marketplace of ideas. Part of the specific focus of my blog is to try and create dialogue around issues that typically don't get as much attention as they could: for example, the unique socioeconomic issues affecting Southeast Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities; intersectional identity politics such as AAPI feminism, gay rights, disability rights, etc; and community topics like mental health awareness. I think it's important that all AAPI have ownership of the collective AAPI identity by feeling like their specific stories contribute to it, too.
I think Asian American bloggers -- like Angry Asian Man, and (hopefully) Reappropriate, as well as others -- are a form of activism because we help to foster a diverse, online AAPI voice that I believe has helped to both incite and organize subsequent activism within the AAPI community by fostering greater passion in AAPI readers towards social change. Ideally, I think activism would stop being a thing that some people do full-time and most people don't feel like is a part of their lives; instead, I think activism should be the kind of thing everyone engages in at least a little bit everyday, even if it's as simple as educating yourself on an issue, writing a letter to your representative, re-tweeting a campaign, or donating to a non-profit or cool art project. Finding the thing that inspires you to develop your personal activism, though, is key. I like to think that AAPI blogs have helped some readers discover their own passion for activism within the AAPI community.
So, I guess to answer the question, what makes me angry (or at least what gets me fired up) is that there's still so that can be done to make the world a better place. That, and when there aren't any more cookies.