In late September, I had the privilege of being one of the featured speakers at Southern California Public Radio KPCC’s Unheard LA event in Long Beach. If you’ve ever wondered how I went from longtime evangelical pastor to women’s rights activist, today is your lucky day! My remarks run about six-and-a-half minutes:
Hers isn’t a household name yet, but actress Chantal Thuy’s growing body of artistic work will undoubtedly win her many more fans soon. Among her various projects, she has a recurring role on The CW’s Black Lightning, DC Comics’ first ever TV show centered on an African American superhero.
Chantal plays bartender, bookstore staffer, and comic book geek Grace Choi, a bisexual Asian American woman who has a budding romance with one of the title character’s two daughters, a medical student named Anissa Pierce (played by Nafessa Williams). Grace’s special powers have yet to manifest on the show, but her back story is laid out in the DC Comics source material; she’s half-Amazonian, giving her a common ancestry with Wonder Woman. Thus, in the comics, she possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and self-healing. Hopefully, we’ll see her powers at work on the TV version of Black Lightning this season!
But Chantal doesn’t just portray an extraordinary character. She’s an extraordinary person, which I’ve found as we’ve interacted over the last year. In this Feminist Asian Dad interview, Chantal discusses bisexual and Asian American identities, her family’s refugee experience, what she does for fun, and much more. It’s a truly heartfelt conversation which I know you’ll enjoy! (And it’s been gently edited for length and clarity.)
Back from a weekend of speaking, connecting, and schlepping in D.C.!
Collage top left: Speaking on a panel about blogging as a means of advocacy for OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates‘ national conference
Top right: With friends old and new! Panel organizer and moderator Aryani Ong, who has served on the staff and boards of numerous AAPI advocacy orgs; research scientist and author of Reappropriate (the longest-running Asian-American feminist blog), Jenn Fang; and campaigns and communications expert Tonia Bui, author of the Politics Within Politics blogContinue reading
Based on what I’ve heard in conversations, and on what I’ve seen on news sites and social media, the grown-ups of America have been really surprised and super-impressed by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. That’s the Parkland, Florida, school that experienced 17 lives lost, dozens of others injured, and countless others traumatized due to one man’s violence on Valentine’s Day. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers (of whom I’m one), and Millennials have all marveled at the courage, eloquence, savvy, and passion demonstrated by the Gen Z teens who, having seen their friends and teachers killed in front of their own eyes, are taking the fight for gun reform to politicians beholden to the National Rifle Association – and even to the gun lobby itself.