• Molly Adea

Subtle Asian Anything is Everything

Subtle Asian Dating

Subtle Asian Traits

Subtle Asian Creative Network

Subtle Asian Women

Subtle Asian Mental Health

These groups have become some of the most important Facebook groups I have ever been a part of and they are the ones that have been missing my entire life and I didn’t even know it.

Have you ever heard "Ignorance is bliss"? Well it’s true. I didn’t realized how I had been depriving myself of my own culture, of my own Asian identity - my Fil-Am identity. These subtle Asian groups kicked me in the face and told me to remember who I was.

I grew up in San Diego - in a very white part of it. I grew to think that I was actually white and it isn’t until I got older that I started realizing “I am not one of you” . I wasn’t made fun of necessarily for being Asian. Although I do remember telling my parents that the only types of lunches and snacks I wanted to bring were sandwiches and chips like the other kids. If anything any aggressions were micro. My parents were very strict. They didn’t give allowances like other parents or let me have play dates or invite friends over- I had to beg them to let me do girl scouts. We had customs we had to adhere to otherwise we’d be punished.

Forward to now.

I am 23 years old, graduated, and have started to embrace my identity after years of unknowingly suppressing it. But now I have people who let me feel that I can accept and live as my Fil-Am self.

This all started in college.

The University of California, San Diego is a predominantly Asian campus. Everywhere you looked there were Asians. It was strange to me. I was used to being surrounded by mostly white people in a school setting, even when I went to community college...

My housemates were almost all Asian both years. But the second year I lived there, they were the ones who really let me live my truth. Kat, Justin, Jenny, and even Stef and Ana who were Latinx. They all embraced their cultures and openly shared it within the walls of our apartment and outside of it. They showed me that their parents did similar things to mine and their customs were similar to mine. They made me feel empowered and made me want to embrace my "asianness". I then started to follow Subtle Asian Traits and Subtle Asian Dating through a recommendation by a friend. My life was changed.

Seeing all these posts about what people were going through, memes, and how people reacted really warmed my heart. It made me feel like I had a community. Like this is what I was missing all along. It’s true what Sandra Oh said, something along the lines of, “You don’t know how invisible you are until you finally see yourself don’t see how much you actually need this.” I never really got into memes until now and I finally realized it was because none of them were directed specifically toward me until now. I also started to feel encouraged seeing the struggles that other people are going through because of being Gen 1 with Asian customs in a white America. I felt that people understood, and helped you understand what you were going through. It made you feel less alone. Some people would even post something they were dealing with and needed advice on. From what I have seen there is nothing but openness and positivity as well as encouragement for each other in these groups. Every reply comes from a wholesome place, from good intentions. All of these subtle Asian groups are everything to me and I am grateful they exist now so the next generation doesn’t have to feel so unknowingly alone.

Subtle Asian groups have made me not so subtle and I love it.

To: Subtle Asian anything

Thank you from an unknowingly deprived, self-white washed, 1st gen Fil-Am. Thank you for letting me understand myself more and embrace my identity 💛💛💛💛

From: Your not a Filipino nurse Filipina, Molly 😘

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