Jin Ha in the 2017 production of M. Butterfly at NYC’s Cort Theater. Photo: Matthew Murphy

A man was shouting from his car. “Hey! Lucy Liu!”

My name is not Lucy Liu, but I knew instantly that he was talking to me. I pretended I couldn’t hear.

“Come on now, beautiful geisha,” he tried again. Pulling up next to me, he leaned toward the passenger side window.

“Where are you coming from?” he asked, smiling.

My mind raced. It was 2am in Washington Heights, and I was still 5 blocks from home. I smiled and played along.

I was meeting friends downtown. Yes, it is very late, isn’t it? 4 blocks. I’m a freshman at NYU…


Chinatown, NYC. Image: Julius Drost via Unsplash

Confusing rhetoric from the media, fear of an all-powerful China, and leftist language that ignores the experiences of immigrants have converged to push first generation Chinese Americans to Trump.

At a glance, Biden won the vote of the Asian American community in a landslide, capturing 63% of their vote. But this obscures a troubling fact; where 17% of Asian Americans voted for Trump in 2016, a staggering 31% voted for Trump in 2020. This is a scary and seismic shift — and it has gone largely unnoticed.

I’ve known many Chinese Americans who have voted blue all their lives; citizens…


The opening message in a private chat between members at NYU’s Lambda Phi Epsilon, an Asian fraternity.

“is it fucked up that i think asians shouldn’t stand up for black people? serious question.”

“I agree that police brutality needs to end, but black people kill each other more often than any other demographic or cops do. I don’t see them looting stores or rioting when gang members kill one each other”

“When those communities are statistically more violent, it’s only logical that police brutality is more common within those communities.

“black people never did shit for us when we were down, they made it exceptionally worse for us, it’s not hard to understand why asians don’t feel…


After Mark Zuckerburg testified before Congress, my inbox was flooded with emails from tech giants about “updates to their privacy policy”. They were going to make data controls “easier to understand”. There was a lot of talk about “trust” and “community” and tons of fluffy promises to “do better”.

It was depressing. It’s not that I think Google or Facebook or any of these companies are evil, but it’s hard to believe that anything will really change.

Because after seven years of working with users in tech, I know the vast majority of people don’t fully understand internet privacy. What’s…


It’s hard to explain to friends that while I’m on social media, I’m not on social media. I have a reasonably up-to-date profile (the same way you might be listed in YellowPages), but I make a point to limit scrolling through newsfeeds. I’ve even gone cold turkey on Facebook stalking, previously one of my favorite pastimes.

Hidden camera footage of me digging for pics of my ex’s new girlfriend.

It’s made me happier, healthier, and I’m more connected with my friends than ever before. This is backed by study after study that links social media use with heightened anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

But while it seems like everyone knows that social media makes…

Christine Miao

Thoughts on tech, design, and life as a Chinese American cat mom.

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