I’ve been asked by nosy women, “How long have you been studying English?” and by airport security, padding me down, “Excuse me, do you speak a little bit of English?” Obviously, the airport isn’t the place to get into a conversation about race, privilege, and power, so I just say yes and go along with it. Even though I remain silent, it doesn’t mean the words don’t hurt. These words are a recurring reminder that I am seen as a perpetual foreigner in my country of citizenship, the country in which I was raised, and the country I love and call home.
This is a new performance piece I wrote for the VASTA Cabaret in London this summer at my alma mater, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. I workshopped it at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, which I am quite proud to say that I am now summer faculty there, teaching Voice and Speech.
This piece has lived in me for over a year now, as the actual incident that opens the performance happened during the summer of 2013 in Brooklyn. I felt like it was important to highlight the idea that oppression does not come in only explicit, hateful forms but from the educated and millennial peers that I hang out and work with in my progressive circles.
When microaggressions happen, I don’t always want to confront the person and give them some diatribe about social justice; sometimes, I just want to drink my fucking cocktail…
View original post 195 more words