HB

She/her

"I am proud of the ways my layered identity has allowed me to understand others more deeply. This understanding has made me a better journalist, as old-school journalism often prides itself on “giving voices to the voiceless”.

Growing up in China, I didn’t have much of a framework for what it was like to be different, especially the difference of sexual orientation. There were few out gay students in my cohort. High school culture is competitive there, so most people strived to be the poster child of an achiever, and that often means zero conflicts with mainstream values. The idea of being different is something to be avoided. One of my friends was taunted for being gay and not hiding it. But then I realized that nobody will fit the perfect image of all so-called "mainstream" values. People are hostile to others for various reasons, which can be different aspects of a person’s identity. All these layers make up a person’s identity, and anyone can be considered “privileged” because of one aspect of their identity but “deprived” when it comes to another.

Being queer is just one of my many identities — I am also Chinese, a journalist, an only child. All of my unique identities shape the way I think. I am proud of what these identities have taught me about others. I stopped trying to be perfect for others, and started looking for perspectives and voices."