The Asian Diaspora

a storytelling project 

In Kevin’s own words: “As an Asian American, I’ve experienced a lot of hate and racism when it comes to my Asian identity. Sadly, much of this hate has come from myself.
         Growing up as a kid in Portland, Oregon, I was ashamed of two things: I was ashamed of being gay and I was ashamed of being Asian American. In my head, being ashamed of my queerness made sense—I was literally being told in various ways that it was wrong to be gay. Luckily, I had a process to unlearn a lot of this self-hate. I came out to friends in my early twenties, I went to queer spaces, I attended Pride, I started dating and eventually I came out to my family. By my mid-twenties, I had come to a place of acceptance regarding my identity as a gay man.
         That wasn't the case when it came to my Asian American identity and the self-hate I had because of it. As a kid I was never told it was wrong to be Asian. People were simply mispronouncing my name. School administrators were mistaking me for the only other Vietnamese boy in my school. Friends were telling me they would never date an Asian boy. Faces like mine were being erased from popular culture. People were laughing at me. And I was laughing with them.
         I’ve only recently began the process of unlearning the self-hate I’ve had for being Asian American because I’ve only recently began to realize the self-hate was even there.
         As we continually see incidents of anti-Asian violence and sentiment across the United States, it can be easy to feign shock and disbelief when an Asian man’s finger is bitten off in New York City by a stranger. Or when a 76-year-old Asian woman is forced to defend herself after being assaulted in San Francisco. Or when six Asian women in Atlanta are murdered by the same person in the span of one hour at their places of work.
         But let’s not fool ourselves. This is the same country that interned Japanese Americans during World War II. This is the same country where Vincent Chin was beaten to death by two white men who were subsequently given no jail time. The truth is, to some people, my Asian American face means I’ll forever be a foreigner in my own country. Black and brown people continually face racism and violence in this country, and until we can own up to that, we shouldn’t be surprised when Black and brown people are continually attacked and killed.”


The Asian Diaspora, a storytelling project is a personal photography and video project by Kevin Truong. Born out of his own anger, sadness and fear over anti-Asian sentiment and violence, Kevin decided to use his skills as a photographer, filmmaker and journalist to build a platform for individuals from across the Asian diaspora to share of their personal experiences with racism and bigotry.

If you would like to participate, send an email >>>