I first noticed Suey Park last month when I came across her daily infographics depicting the number of days that Marissa Alexanderwas spending in prison even after an appeals court overturned her conviction. As an Asian American woman who had been following Marissa's story and who has been active in prison abolition work for all of my adult life, I was thrilled to see another Asian American woman publicly working to free Marissa.
Then this past Sunday, Suey Park started #NotYourAsianSidekick, a Twitter conversation originally meant to discuss problems within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, issues with white feminism, and the voices of those usually excluded from more mainstream AAPI discussions, such as people who are queer, disabled, mixed race and/or sex-positive. Very quickly, #NotYourAsianSidekick exploded, with nearly 34,000 tweets using the hashtag that first day.
Television shows, movies, and other forms of showbiz are crucial parts of conversations about race and sex in our society. But ironically, the dynamics of what happens behind the scenes in the entertainment industry is not so well-known. As a feminist model and writer in eternally sunny Los Angeles, I'll be exploring issues of race, sexuality, and gender within the entertainment industry over the next two months with this guest blog.