I was 12 years old.I was 13 years old.I was 12 years old.
I was 13 years old when I was bullied.
When I was bullied there were confrontations in hallways.
It was pretty much directly face to face, verbal, contact.
I was being called a name from my so called friends.
Some person that I don't know slammed my head into the locker and called me a chink. And they just walked away.
I was dealing with a lot of, you know, acne problems.
This guy, he would just call me pizza face in front of people.
I was just walking through the cafeteria and someone called me a faggot.
It was kind of like my whole body had chills and I didn't know what to do.
They all giggled and laughed.
And it actually was a word in Cantonese and I don't speak Cantonese.
I think now I would say like, ‘feimei’.
What they were calling me was little fat girl.
This kid turned around to me with a Sharpie marker and for all the classmates to hear and he said, "Hey Zach, bend over, I wanna play connect the dots "with your face."
I was so embarrassed when it happened.
Bullies made me feel so bad about my ethnicity. Like, I really did internalize that.
It made me feel like I wasn't as good as anybody else.
I didn't really know what is friendship if the people you think you're close to are laughing at you.
It was something that was really heartbreaking for my mom to see.
I remember she just always looked so sad for me because I was just being myself.
And me being myself meant that I was being bullied.
You just have this fear, in middle school, in high school, that you're going to be called that for the rest of your life.
Now it's a word that I look back on and I use it to see how far I've come.
You know, I realized that that's not who I am.
I haven't been that since I was you know, 13,14 years old.
No matter what people think, I can accomplish anything that I want.
I was doing great things. I had great friends, a great family.
I love my life and I am more than just a little fat girl.
That word does not define me. It never did define me. I'm so much more as a person.
I could be whoever I wanted to be and I was extremely proud of being Asian.
I am great. I am happy. I am anything that I want to be.
There's gonna be a time where you realize that the thing that people target you for is actually your greatest asset.
I recommend building a support system and help each other learn that you are more than those words.
You be yourself, you grow up to be who you want to be, you're gonna be a great person, no matter what.
You are so much more than any of the words that anyone could say to you.