Features

Features

Dear younger me: Here’s what I need you to know about being female

I am writing to you from 2017, a time you probably can’t even fathom, since you’re still in high school and can’t see beyond the looming dread of the HSC (which, by the way, you will do fine in, and you will get into the course you want – so don’t stress too much, but probably don’t keep talking to that boy from Perth on MSN all throughout Year 12, because he’s a loser and you can and will do better).

Read more at SBS Life

Features

Do you have a type, or are you just racist?

There’s a difference between having a “type” and reducing people to a singular, uncontrollable factor about themselves, like race. I don’t message white guys to tell them I love garlic bread (for the record, I bloody love garlic bread); why would a white man think that telling me how much he loves bánh mì is a hot ticket into my pants?

Read more at SBS Life

Features

Mai’s Super Sweet Sixteen

I’m writing a monthly fictional diary column for Scum this year called Mai’s Super Sweet Sixteen, following the life of Mai Tran, a 16-year-old girl, in the year 2005.

Follow along here!

Features, Writing

I Have One Of Australia’s Most Common Surnames, But No-One Can Pronounce It

Nuh-goo-yen.

Nig-uh-dee-yen.

Nuh-gai-en.

Those are just a few of the ways I’ve heard my surname mangled by well-meaning Australian friends and strangers.

I’ll admit it’s only recently that I’ve begun to pronounce it correctly to non-Vietnamese people – for a long time, I didn’t want to inconvenience or confuse anyone. When they asked what my name was, I said New-en – it was less complicated for them, even if it made me uneasy.

Read more at BuzzFeed

Features

A Hiccup In Your Happiness

It always hurts the same way, like a new pain each time. The light goes out and you feel like you’re dying and you lie awake and become familiar with the stains and scratches on the ceiling, as if they are hieroglyphics with messages hidden in them just for you, or puzzles that are solved by staring at them for hours and hours and hours on end.

Read more at One Week One Band

Features, Writing

What Donald Trump means to a young Asian-Australian

We are living in a strange and frightening time where bigotry is legitimised and given the ultimate position of power. In the weeks since Trump was elected I have seen my friends, who are also people of colour (POC), vocalise their fears on social media; I have held friends as they cried, wondering aloud why the world hates people like us. I have felt the fear myself as I hear reports of violence in Australia against people of colour, of Trump supporters at universities yelling at minorities. I have felt despair grip me and have worried for anyone who is ‘outside’ of the white mainstream, especially my Muslim friends.

But there is hope in this time of abject terror, and it comes in the form of unity.

Read more at SBS PopAsia

Features

You or Your Memory: On writing memoir and family

Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to write a book about my family.

As a teenager, I wrote imagined stories from refugee perspectives. I wrote poems that ached for something I’d never had. I read voraciously, hungry for tales that reflected the reality of everything that came before: the loss and the fear and the tiny victories that sowed the seeds for people like me to exist.

But I haven’t written about my family, and every time I try to start, I balk.

Read more at Kill Your Darlings