Farin: Growing Up AAPI

Growing up I always stood out in whatever setting I was placed in. Whether that be in group settings, classrooms or etc. As I grew up in neighbourhoods which lacked diversity, I understood then that this different I felt from the rest was not going to go away anytime soon.

Some of the earliest forms of discriminatory I felt primarily revolved around the way I look in terms of skin tone, hair and racial characteristics. I didn’t fit into the typical western beauty standards and the lack of representation on AAPI on media did not help either. Some of these would include micro aggressions from being stereotyped at a young age to racism marked as “humour”. Being specifically of south asian decent, the stereotypes from around the world and news outlets on what south asians are portrayed vs what they actually are caused much of an identity crisis for me growing up.

It wasn’t until high school and university where I felt more comfortable of my origins. This helped by connecting with other AAPI who also faced similar circumstances and situations as I did. I believe that connecting together as a community helped me more self aware and appreciative with my self and origins. Now since the spike of AAPI crimes throughout this past year, the community needs to come together more than ever in order to help and protect each other. I believe as a community, we are able to bring more awareness and recognition for AAPI and give them the right voice, representation and justice they deserve.