Wanna watch me talking about Asian dicks and porn star health insurance?
I can say with no hyperbole that it was one of the proudest and most amazing experiences of my life. Not only did I get to hear men and women who I’ve respected and admired for years but got to meet and speak with them.
Banana 2 was organized by Lac Su , who’s book I Love Yous Are for White People
really resonated with me , and Steve Nguyen of Channel APA. It involved a who’s who of the Asian American community so impressive I was wondering what the hell my skanky ass was doing there as soon as I arrived.
As I stated in a pervious post I thought that I was going to feel completely out of place. The only Black woman, only self admitted stripper and one of the very few fatties. I expected some looks and eyes nervously darting away from me but I was pretty much unanimously greeted with kindness and support.
I was nervous as hell just finding a place to sit and eat breakfast I was so relieved when I saw Daddy-Blogger and my fellow niche blog panelist Jason Sperber. I’m assuming he used his uncanny daddy powers to sense that I was about to puke because he stuck by me and found me a seat with him and mystery writer Naomi Hirahara.
The panels where outstanding, before the break out session there were speakers that were journalists, bloggers, community organizers and those that work in a business capacity for new media. Sadly I didn’t take many pictures I was very engrossed with each panel and what the speakers had to say. I only took a few seconds out here and there to tweet.
I was happy to hear and meet the woman behind HapaVoice.com , Erica Johnson. She was on a very difficult panel one that asked the question, who are we as Asian Americans. I was very happy that a mixed race woman was asked to take part, but I was a little saddened that I was the ONLY Blasian there.
I asked a question at the end of Erica’s panel asking how can people talk to other bloggers about expanding their own definitions of Asian America and how to include people that fit outside of what most people think of when they think “Asian”. She was kind enough to take some time after her panel to talk to me about the subject and introduced me to the Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage. I’ve never heard of such a thing but I really wish I had something like that growing up.
The other panel that was very engrossing was one on social activism that was brought together by the adorable Edward Hong of 8Asians.com. It addressed a lot of the grievances that I have with activism and new media.
It’s easy to call yourself an activist if all you think you have to do is tweet a link and change the world. What this panel did was show people how to actively educate and call readers to actually DO something. I hope that I can implement what I learned to make my own call to action post more fruitful.
The event also had an award luncheon, which honored the career of AArisings.com’s Nelson Wong. Who has profiled and chronicled Asian American achievements in entertainment and the arts for TWENTY YEARS! That’s almost as long as I have been breathing air!
Then of course I have to speak on my panel, which was just filled with fascinating people, Cynthia Brothers of BiCoastalBitchin.com, the first blog to link to mine, moderated and did an excellent job. The other panalists : Jot Voraphaychith (of live LAOd), Jason Sperber (of Rice Daddies), Marvin Gapultos (Burnt Lumpia) were all so varied but equally interesting. I must say that I think I was on panel with the hottest dudes. Jot Voraphaychith is lust certified, all men that can cook are automatically sex.
All of us write about completely different topics, we all were of different professional disciplines yet we call used writing as a way to explore who we were as people, and as Asian Americans. I was thankfully not the only mixed person on my panel the modorator and the daddy blogger are also. I was happy that no one stood up and asked us to provide a road map of our Asianness. All the Hapa, Quapa and beyond were met with grace and brotherhood.
All in all I was so honored to even be invited to this event and met so many talented and focused people. I was so impressed that many of the people that I thought might shun me for being a sex worker, or being big and black ect were not only open to what I had to say but wanted to help me create a platform on which to speak on.
I sincerely hope that at Banana 3 there will be more Blaisian present, and I for one cannot wait!
If you are interested in seeing the panels you can view them HERE!