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They were posting photos of themselves, discussing social justice, sharing viral videos.
The activities they had seemed genuinely fun: vineyard tours, game nights, beach outings, and so on.
I messaged Ron, the group administrator, and suggested a meet-up I wanted to attend: "South African Food @ Madiba Restaurant." He approved, and addressed any apprehension about my presence in the event description: "A writer, Zach Schwartz, may be in attendance.
He promises that the article will be positive; he is Asian himself, and a recent member to this group." In the way that Asian men have been distorted to reflect femininity, so too have black women become masculinized.
As a biracial Asian-American growing up in Ohio, I felt that because of my Asian features, there was something inherently unattractive about me.
One of my most vivid childhood memories was sitting in my dad's car after he took me to ice cream because I was upset about being called a "chink" the week before, crying as I told him that "no girl would ever like me because I'm Asian." I'm no longer insecure about my Taiwanese heritage—it's one of my biggest blessings—but I did have reason to be insecure about my looks.