Where were you born and where were you raised?
I was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario.
Growing up did you ever experience discrimmination? Did you feel like an outsider?
I attended schools that were populated by primarily white students. I remember feeling different from my classmates, which was further complicated by my gender. I was never explicitly discriminated against, but the whiteness of the spaces I moved through felt alienating. I started a high school group called Race Relations with the hopes of bringing more racialized students together. The communing of stories and experiences of difference helped affirm my commitments to social justice and equity.
What did you parents think of you?
I'm mostly unsure of what my parents think of me. My parents worked hard to support my sisters and I under what I imagine to be difficult circumstances. They left their families and migrated from the Philippines in the 1970's. With little money and minimal knowledge of what future Canada could provide for them, they (like many new immigrants) struggled to build a sense of security in an unfamiliar country. My parents and I share few conversations where the intergenerational, cultural and emotional dissonances of our lives unfurl. I don't need words to know and feel my parents unabiding love and pride for me. However, when words do slip out they are meaningful.
What are 5 words that you would use to describe yourself?
Curious, Shy, Bold, Brave, Silly.
What is the most badass thing about you?
Our child, Asa, was born unexpectedly in our condo apartment. I laboured for 12 hours and delivered him without the aid of an epidural. I felt badass for surviving what felt like unimaginable pain.