Thank You for Sharing Your Stories

A message from Medium’s #StopAsianHate blog editors: It’s been an honor and joy to uplift your voices.

Ellen Lee
Published in
6 min readJul 9, 2021


Two months ago, as violence against Asians continued to escalate, we launched the #StopAsianHate blog as a space for us to reflect, share our experiences, and advocate for change.

We invited you to share your stories, and you did. You inspired us with heartfelt, poignant memories about your childhood and family; your sharp critiques of the problems we’re facing today; and your courageous calls to action.

Your identities reflected our multitude: teenagers, parents, members of the Asian diaspora, mixed-race and “white passing,” the daughter of Hmong refugees, athletes, allies.

And your stories resonated with us. They made us think, laugh, and cry. We shared your outrage, and the frustration that comes from how we’re treated because of how we look. We found ourselves nodding in agreement — a lot. We learned about our history. And, of course, there were stories about food.

While we’ll no longer be publishing daily, we invite you to keep the conversation going. Keep writing stories about the Asian American experience—your Asian American experience—and tagging them StopAsianHate. Let’s continue to stay connected. Hate is a virus, one that we can help fight by deepening our understanding of one another.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the stories from the past couple months that have stayed with us:

What to Do When You See Anti-Asian Harassment Happening

Reports of anti-Asian hate and violence were at an all-time high during the pandemic — but so, too, was growing distrust in the police. As allies and the greater AAPI community watched in horror as video footage of elderly and vulnerable Asian Americans surfaced online, many felt enraged, but also helpless. Enter Emily May: co-founder and executive director of Hollaback!, a global, people-powered movement to end harassment. May offers the 5D’s for effective bypasser intervention in order to help support a person being harassed: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. Read her post to see what the 5D’s look like in action.

It’s Time to Pronounce Asian Names Correctly

One simple way to fight back? Demand that our Asian names are pronounced correctly. Andrea Y Wang, author of the forthcoming middle-grade novel The Many Meanings of Meilan, writes: “It might seem like a small thing, to give someone a name or nickname that you are confident you can remember and pronounce. But far from a sign of affection, I believe it is a form of violence when the name or nickname is not asked for.”

We Need to Talk About What It Means to Be ‘White-Adjacent’ in Tech

Entrepreneurs and activists Ellen K. Pao and Tracy Chou are the co-founders of Project Include, a nonprofit organization working toward providing meaningful diversity and inclusion solutions for tech companies. Together they wrote a searing essay about the double-edged sword of being white-adjacent in tech: “Given technology’s outsized impact on society and our lives, the fact of our outsized representation in the tech industry is not to be understated; we are at least in those meetings where critical decisions are being made that have ramifications all across society.” What does it mean to be privileged, yet excluded?

Grieving Vincent Chin, 39 Years Later

The wrongful death of Vincent Chin, which led to the first federal civil rights trial for an Asian American, was a watershed moment in Asian American history. Screenwriter and author Paula Yoo wrote a reflective account of her reporting trip to Detroit to honor Chin’s legacy. Thirty-nine years later, she examines the collective trauma experienced by his death, with a spotlight on his fiancé Vikki Wong and the generations that followed.

Searching for Creative Utopia During the Pandemic

Like so many others during the pandemic lockdown, musical artist Jihae found herself in a creative rut. Her solution? Turning inwards and maintaining a consistent yoga and meditation practice. “Reckoning with your inner self is not quite like doing selfies; it’s a strangely unpleasant and resistant form of introspective surrender,” she writes in her lyrical essay. Ultimately, her meditation paid off. You can listen to her transcendent song, “Utopia,” which she worked on over the past year to jumpstart her creative process.

The ‘Black-Asian Conflict’ Is a Problematic Trope — and It’s Time to End It

Jeff Yang takes down the common yet problematic narrative that the primary threat Asians face is from other people of color. The trope’s origins: white establishment anxiety. In his piece that spotlights the deep history of mutualism between the Black and Asian communities, Yang calls for solidarity, the one thing that “cuts at the trembling legs of an infrastructure that’s desperate to maintain its hold on power and privilege.”

The Day I Was Told I Would Never Be Happy Because I Am Brown

Research supposedly suggests that people who were the first generation in their family to be born in a Western country are destined to have lower levels of happiness and feel like they will never fit in. But Amardeep Parmar rejects that notion: “You don’t need to escape a multidimensional identity and neither do I. Maybe you don’t fit into society’s boxes but the truth is few people do,” he writes. “Sure, some things are harder as an ethnic minority but don’t for a second ever believe this means happiness is impossible.”

Stop Fetishizing Asian Women

Many AAPI women can likely — and unfortunately— relate to Vidhipssa Mohan’s experience on Tinder, the dating app, where she received unwelcome messages such as “You look so exotic!” and “Asian girls are my favorite!” She calls on men to stop seeing Asian women as disposable sex objects, a shameful legacy that dates back centuries.

Not All Our Art Is #AsianExcellence. I Can Say That and Still Be an Ally.

Does tough love have a place when we are in survival mode? It’s a question that Frankie Huang asks as she confesses that she doesn’t think everything produced by Asian creators is actually good work. Huang writes: “Some day, and hopefully not too far from now, we can publicly squabble and even in-fight like creatives do, without having to wonder if this hurts the forced unity that protects us as it erases us as individuals.”

What Does It Mean to Be ‘Lucky to Be Here’?

In the aftermath of the Atlanta shooting spree, Kristin Wong grapples with the phrase that’s often uttered to Americans who came from someplace else: “lucky to be here.” “We live in a powerful, prosperous country full of opportunity and abundance, and there is no better place to be, which is why so many people risk their lives and leave behind their belongings to live here,” Wong writes. “At least, that’s the way the story goes.”

‘The Seeds You Plant Now Will Flower Many Years Later’

Author marie myung-ok lee co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop in 1991, a project that sometimes meant putting off the writing of her own novel. But she reminds us: “Change starts with you. The seeds that you plant now will flower many years later; you might not even live to see the change. But it will be there.”

Dreaming Beyond #StopAsianHate

During the pandemic, singer-songwriter hollis wong-wear questioned if she should continue making music, and if her music could make the impact she wanted. But inspired by Grace Lee Boggs’ call for radical imagination, Wong-Wear saw how art and creativity can inspire change. “I want so much more for us than to stop Asian hate,” she wrote. “I want us to not just end the harm, but to envision what healing the harm really looks like, what it looks like to create a world where harm is not perpetuated.” See also Alice Jennings and Scott Kurashige’s retrospective on Grace Lee and James Boggs and their impact.

It has been a privilege, honor, and joy to read your stories and uplift your voices.

Your stories need to be told. They need to be heard. We are still, and always, listening.

Your editors,

Ellen Lee, Gloria Oh, and Michelle Woo



Ellen Lee

Ellen Lee is an independent writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area.