@mannygart Thank you for sharing your story! I thank your lolo for his service!
I'm American Chinese and I often reflect on my identity and how it affects my work. At the base level, I champion Asian characters and include them in my stories as protagonists (as seen in Demon House, Erie Waters, and At Ease) or include them in secondary/tertiary roles. All my work can be found here.
Having lost my grandmother, I've strayed a bit from my culture I would say. I'm not that proficient in Cantonese anymore, since that was all my grandma could understand, and it's been compounded by the fact that I live away from my parents now. So I want to depict characters like me in my stories. Ones that aren't 100% in touch with their culture, but almost always seen as different in the setting they live in where the demographics largely aren't Asian.
Asian creators, characters, and actors are celebrated in anime, manga, k-dramas, k and j pop, xianxia, wuxia, and so forth, but what about Asians who identify as a nationality separated from their birthplace or where their ancestors are from? Their presence in mainstream western media is far less.
My heart goes out to all immigrants and descendants of immigrants, but now living in a time where hate against these them is strong, it's more important than ever to support these people. And I'm talking about the AAPI community specifically since it's just so emotionally taxing for me to read about all these victims of hate and violence every other day, much of it in my own backyard. I'm sure Asians are experiencing similar in other Western countries, but I can't speak much on it since I'm not personally in touch with any.
Truthfully, I'm kind of relieved that 3 of my 4 grandparents have passed and my other grandma is in a nursing facility, otherwise I would fear for their safety at the moment. I worry about my mom too since she lives alone. Ending my piece before I make myself cry.