Don’t call me delicate.
I like cupcakes and flowers on my doorstep,
but I’m strong and fight battles and win wars too,
daily actually.

 

Don’t call me nice.
That’s too simple.
I’m not, because I am.
I am, because you and I have lived different lives
and no matter how similar or far apart,
I will never understand or experience
the winds of this world as you do.
You won’t ever know this life, but it’s okay.
Because I won’t ever live yours.

 

Don’t call me easy.
Life is hard,
people are hard,
and generally, everything is a game
that wins if you lose.
It’s an awkward text match
that doesn’t want to admit you
victorious.
But I work hard.
I get back up when pushed down,
shoved back.
No,
you won’t put baby in the corner.
When I’m shrunk to size
and sized up,
I puff up and settle in.
I’m here to stay.
I’m ready to go.

 

Don’t call me normal.
Pretending that I’m like everyone else,
only puts my story and your story
in perfect little boxes that fit in straight lines.
Buffing down our stray edges,
cutting away at the fringe,
sanding over every rough texture.
It’s never a privilege to be
othered.
But it’s also never healed anyone
to have a part of their identity
severed or erased from their
being.
I am a woman.
I am Korean.
I am 24.
Those are a part of me.
See them, accept them,
or don’t,
and know that there is
also much more.

Just call me Gina.

 

Photo: Carolyn Emily

Gina Yu

Gina is a storyteller, locavore and expert coffeeshop-conversationalist. She has been working in print and digital media with a focus on culture, food and local communities. Most recently, she leapt into the world of public radio, in hopes of contributing to a world that listens better and deeper. Gina aims to celebrate people and ideas, in all their unique and textured glory. Visit her website and say hi on Instagram.

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