As I Am

As I Am is a unique collaboration of PAAC writers. Together, our writers explore broad themes related to our identities as Progressive Asian American Christians. “Who are we? Where are we going? What do we have to say?”  We give shape to these questions through the act of written creation. All forms of writing are welcome.

Thank you Katherine!

Thank you Katherine!

For the past two years, As I Am was blessed to have Katherine Kwong as an editor. She brought liveliness, a creative spark, warmth, and an empathetic editorial eye to our collective writing endeavor. If you've interacted with her before--as a writer, colleague, and/or...

No More Miss Saigon: A Fil-Am Artist’s Work

No More Miss Saigon: A Fil-Am Artist’s Work

Filipinos and karaoke have always gone together like spam and rice.  There’s a rich, compulsively joyful liturgy of music inherent in Fil-Am culture that permeates every gathering I have ever witnessed. Whether that’s my eight-year-old niece nervously singing...

The Girl with the Rainbow Hair

The Girl with the Rainbow Hair

My parents have taken a while to come around on my hair. The first few times I dyed it, my mother would wrinkle her nose at me. If I had to dye it an unnatural color, why not a dark red, she would ask. Or a very dark purple? Whenever I was between colors, she would...

Suit Yourself

Suit Yourself

I say to you; put on yourself in the morning.The day will ask otherwise, that your skin be a reflection of the homogeneity of those seeking to belong. But you know better. Your moving through the world is both flesh and clothperson and polyester.Both, together, are...

God’s Unconventional Work

God’s Unconventional Work

“JESUS IS QUEER.” That’s the sign I’m holding up as I walk with an Asian American queer organization that was gracious enough to let my church, HA:N UMC, march with them for the World Pride Parade. Here I am, an Asian face, with a clergy collar, holding a sign...

Anchors and Compasses

Anchors and Compasses

The precariousness of my career building made finding paid writing work a challenge. It felt like another anchor got broken off from the ship. The whole journey hit my self-esteem and sense of self really hard.

Me and My Cottam Mouth

Me and My Cottam Mouth

Clearly, I am signaling my inner anti-establishment leanings with my flaccid, candy-colored mohawk; tattoos; moto jacket; and Kpop-esque accessories.

No, What Do You Really Do?

No, What Do You Really Do?

“So what do you do for a living?” I low-key hate this question, because I never know how to respond. I’m a web designer. And a copywriter. I’m also trained as an email strategist by one of the best in the field! Plus I’m a blogger, but...not that kind of blogger...?...

Why Not?

Why Not?

If you were asked to come up with a list of occupations that would induce the most amount of fear and shame for a traditional, conservative Christian Asian parent to a firstborn male son, you could do no better than some combination of “Pastor – Photographer – Stay At...

An Ovation

An Ovation

This outfit is the victory in a long war I’ve been waging with my Mom about church clothes. We’ve negotiated a tenuous compromise where I don’t have to wear a dress anymore, but I have to wear something that we both agree is “nice”.

Stories of Hope, Murmurs of Pain

Stories of Hope, Murmurs of Pain

“I loved going to school,” my grandma always says when she’s about to recount one of her favorite and oft-repeated memories of her elementary school years. Signaling to me with her hand softly grasping mine, and a nostalgic twinkle in her eye, my halmoni is letting me...

My Father’s Words

My Father’s Words

“The only reason you’re not class president is because you don’t have a penis.” My mother said this to me when I was 6 years old. Well, she didn’t say ‘penis’, she said ‘pepper’, a Korean euphemism. I was only in the 1st grade, but it was a big deal. Competition to be...

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