What are your intersections?
I am a half Japanese, half white (American) cishet woman. I am aware of my privilege as a (half) white cishet person in our current society and political climate. I am working on unpacking this privilege through education. I downloaded the FREE Me and My White Supremacy book and am currently working through it! (I have JUST started this book so I can’t say much about it quite yet)
What is your background growing up?
I was raised by a single Japanese mother in America. We were considered a “low-income” household in a fairly “low-income” city in Ohio. This affected my education since opportunities were slim and most of my high school was spent trying to just get out of my town and attend college. I was privileged with the opportunity to take college course credits, which allotted me time in college to figure out how to navigate higher education. My high school did not prepare me for college and I am sure many can relate to this. This caused me to struggle in college and even lead to my first experiences with therapy. While therapy hasn’t worked for me quite yet, I know that it is a privilege to be going in the first place! I am also a sexual assault survivor and most of it happened during my childhood. I used school as a focus coping mechanism because I was so young and didn’t understand my trauma. Because of this, I was able to leave my old town (literally climb up the economic ladder) and attend college.
How do your intersections affect you?
This question was a little difficult to answer only because I am still in the learning process on what intersectionality entails, especially in the feminist community. I first learned this term in a Comparative Studies course at my university and I’m continuing to learn through activists (many through Instagram). I’m a senior in college now and I’m still trying to work through my identity. One thing I did learn the hard way was that universities may be diverse racially (barely but it’s there) but it’s very rare to see income diversity in colleges! I will say that, as a sexual assault survivor, college did help me find my voice thanks to the community of survivors on campus. It helped me tell my story and show those currently going through it see that healing IS possible at any time in your life. All in all, my intersections made me both privileged and marginalized. As I get closer to graduating college, I find myself looking for jobs that align with my identity. I am in Public Health and I would love to tackle the issue of health disparity in the U.S. My dream is to work in social justice and use my privilege and knowledge to help other marginalized groups gain the resources they need to succeed, even if that means giving up some of my own.
#TWintersectionalfridays: Space to explore intersections of identity and systems of oppression. Space to tell your story. Space to listen. Every Friday of 2019. // Week 02/52. 'Miya' / 8x8 in. / mixed media on paper