Angry Reader of the Week: Amy S. Choi

"I get super adamant about being from Chicago."

Hello, folks. Please gather 'round because it's about time again to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Amy S. Choi.

Who are you?

Amy Sunjoo Choi. Amy S. Choi. ASC. I use my middle initial in everything, because when I first started working, one of my editors came across an Australian porn star named Amy Choi (how?) and then felt compelled to ask me about her, and it was awkward for everyone.

What are you?

I'm a first-generation Korean-American writer, editor and journalist. I'm wife to Gabriel, a first-generation Colombian-Mexican-American, and mom to Alejandro Jaesun, our beyond amazing Korean-Colombian-Mexican-American kid. They're the best.

Where are you?

Brooklyn, usually. L.A. sometimes. Honolulu, but not as often as I'd like.

Where are you from?

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. My parents and older sister immigrated from Seoul in the early 70s, and I was the first one in my family to be born in the U.S. When annoying people ask me "Where are you from" and what they really mean is "What ethnicity are you?" I get super adamant about being from Chicago. When they ask me where I was born, I say, "Chicago." And then when they ask me where my parents are from, I say, "Chicago." Mind you, I haven't lived in Chicago in 15 years and no one in my immediate family lives there any more. Other than my unforgiving stubbornness when people ask me vaguely racist questions, I am a total Midwesterner in New York.

What do you do?

I'm the editorial director and co-founder of The Mash-Up Americans, the best place for real talk about culture, race, religion, ethnicity, and the mash-up of all of the above. My co-founder, Rebecca Lehrer, and I launched the website in an effort to surface narratives about the multidimensional, diverse modern America that we all live in today. Our country is not the monochromatic, monolingual, monocultural behemoth that it presents itself to be in mainstream media. It's wildly varied and noisy and richly rooted in dozens of different cultures, and we want to share the stories from our America in an authentic, honest, and funny way.

What are you all about?

Being ambitious about the things that matter -- love, laughter, and being good to myself and to others. Everybody deserves the dignity to live an authentic life and to be their whole self without fear of repercussions or derision. I want to be a part of the movement that brings down the obstacles to people living complete lives, whether those are systemic injustices or ignorant microaggressions. Telling stories is my way of doing that.

What makes you angry?

Complacency. When people say things like "it is what it is" or "I had no choice" or "that's the world we live in." Is it? Is that true? Is there really nothing you can do to improve the situation or help in some way? I don't buy it. So, complacency. I get angry when people rank me as a Korean, like "well you're not that Korean" because I don't speak Korean that well and I didn't marry a Korean guy. Um, pretty sure I'm still Korean. Oh, and when white dudes who are total Asian daters insist that the fact that they only have Asian girlfriends has nothing to do with race. I mean, come on, guy.


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