“On those really, silly, totally American, almost hackneyed or clichéd topics, you find these commonalities, and then you can just burrow from there.”
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Transcript for I Have a Mohawk; I’m Scaring People
I hung out with people in the Asian American Association club and they were all seniors who had, in fact, made the club four years prior when they were freshman and so these people who were entrenched In these ideas of race and marginality had come together to form this really inclusive group. It had Asians in it, it had people who just identified as white, it had blacks, it had Mexicans, Russians. It had all sorts of culture going into it and it was people who on one level just liked Chinese food, and on this other level were really into the Diwali or the Indian New Year celebration.
So I met up with these people thinking that they were part of an Anime club which never materialized and ended up becoming really good friends with these seniors and I think they really located in me some really, they were really charmed by me and sort of proved to me that I had some sort of charming personality. I don’t think I ever wanted diversity qua diversity, it was just these people ended up being super cool so I was really good friends with them.
When I was a freshman this girl named Daisy and I would drive around and run errands for the Asian American Association. Daisy was just like, “Does anybody want to go with me to Aldi to get groceries for our upcoming dinner?” and I was like “I don’t have any friends because I have a mohawk and so I am scaring people from talking to me.” And then we went on this grocery shopping thing which was amazing. She was the first person in my college experience that I was like, “Oh, I’m gay,” and she was like “Oh, okay, whatever, I’m from the suburbs of Chicago, try something else.” We still had this really long conversation about how hot Chris Carrabba was from this band Dashboard Confessional. It was just like a really light moment. We just could not take ourselves seriously buying in bulk from Aldi.
Daisy, she was a Northern Indian family, she was second generation. I don’t think she was completely assimilated, although she was Christian and I think she would say that herself. That versus Neshasha who ended up being one of my really great friends and who was actually the president of the Triple A, her experiences were funny just because well we cooked a lot, so that was cool. But a first generation from Southern Indian family, she had a really hard time talking to her family about her boyfriend, as did I, so it was all good on that front. Like, well I mean, “You’re straight, but you can’t talk about your boyfriend and I’m not straight, but it’s really hard to talk about boyfriends too.” Just on those really, silly, totally American, almost hackneyed or cliched topics, you find these commonalities, and you can just burrow from there.