Maine is very white

Here is some recent fan mail. The concerts done in very whiteywhite communities whether it be portland maine or broome australia, always bring the most passionate responses after the show. In Broome 2001 we had all these mixed race kids and asian kids coming up and saying NO ONE got it and what a relief it was to hear us speaking. In Maine everyone was very anxious to say hello--what this means dear friends and slantyfiles is that as we form our identites in the world the signposts, gender, race, age, etc help us situate ourselves as people and find a way to feel hope, esteem, motivated. When a group is ignored or pushed out of sight by cultural streams be they T, film, news, lit, mags, etc etc isolation sets in, a sense of "not being welcome" or not belonging. We all know from high school how shitty that is. Imagine high school being your whole life, and because of your race, you are condemned to be one of the loser kids. You NEED someone like you to be a cool kid. We are trying.

Dear Kate,
I saw your show last Thursday night at the Center for
Cultural Exchange in Portland, ME and I was freaking
happy and overjoyed. You and Lyris were amazing and
unbelievable. As a Filipino American, I have been
growing up feeling invisible, oppressed by my country
and my family, and thrown in a model minority box. The
worst part was that I felt totally alone, like no one
could understand.

But after seeing your show, I felt completely
validated and that I am not alone. I felt FINALLY
someone speaks the truth about Asian culture and
growing up Asian in America, and pulls no punches.

Growing up, I was bombarded with so much oppression
and hurts. It started with my parents “encouraging”
me to go to medical school. I think it started
in-utero. Will my Mom’s voice ever leave me head?!?
It will be a good day when I finally decide that I am
NEVER going to med school. And you were right; the
only other ‘feasible’ profession in their mind was
president of the US. Yes, it would be to the demise
of all Asian youth in the US.

Then my parents moved the family from Detroit to the
suburbs. “It was suppose to be better for me, “ they
said. But I was thrown into a middle class life and I
was the only brown face. I was listening to Run DMC
and the others were listening to Bon Jovi. I knew I
didn’t belong but I couldn’t verbalize it. What could
I do?

Your show was a complete contradiction to the Asian
American stereotype; you were loud, not silent; you
were visible, not invisible; you set yourself apart,
you did not assimilate. During your show, I laughed,
almost cried, I shook, and I was just in awe. I
applaud you and your chutzpah (Ha!).

I am forever your fan. Thank you for coming to Maine.
Please add me to your mailing list.

Keep fighting the good fight.