Danielle can’t get the toxic white boy in her class out of her head. He’s racist, presumptive and talks all over her – even if he’s kind of cute and well intentioned. Maybe it’s not so bad to just play along a bit?
Do you also write about [insert race] transformation?
This is a question that’s come up a couple of times over the years. I get variations on it, but Indian is by far the most common one.
While I gotten some really solid, hot prompts before – in my head I’m immediately hitting blind spots. Big fuzzy areas on cultural views on sex, social hierarchy, gender roles, family, etc.
Most of my writing on East Asian Americans girls comes from a place of knowing (second hand) what it actually can be like as 1st or 2nd gen immigrant – and then twisting is against stereotypes and racist shit they deal with IRL.
On the other end, of transformation – if it’s something I can go totally fictional? Give me.. idk, maybe ‘Dark Elves’? I can work with that.
But as a teen, I actually was close friends with a second-gen Indian-American girl.
I know she dated a couple white boys and it was an issue.
I know she had never set foot in India, but had to participate in traditions that felt foreign and awkward.
I know all this – her family dynamic, her feelings, the names and general concepts in very, very broad strokes…
And that oddly puts the Indian-American experience in an uncanny valley for me.
I know just enough to have a sense of where it should go, but I’m missing the nuance to fill in the blanks. There are these juicy twists and internal conflicts I can see outlines of – and they’re just clear enough that I don’t feel right coloring them in half-blind.
I don’t write about Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipina race change because I know how to make it accurate. It’s the opposite – I know just enough to warp it and twist it. I know how to make it wrong and pervert it for selfish enjoyment.
So, I don’t write Indian race/cultural change for any moral reason. If anything, it’s because I can’t subvert the culture properly