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What does it look like for Asian women and gender non-binary creators to flourish and thrive?

Growing up as an Asian woman in America, I’ve felt like I’ve been pulled in so many different ways. At home, it was expected that I would take on more of the domestic responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, and then eventually be caregivers for my aging parents. At school, thanks to the model minority myth, I was expected to be the studious type who got good grades. In dating, I was expected to be meek, unconditionally patient and supportive, and also appeal to the partner’s parents. At work, I was expected to be quiet and agreeable.

In addition to those expectations because of my outward appearance and cultural background, I’ve had a really hard time trying to get a sense of belonging, especially in the United States. Even though I was born in the United States, I am always afraid of facing microaggressions, unconscious bias, discrimination, or racism anywhere I go. And when I go visit my parents’ home country, Vietnam, I am “too American” and “not Vietnamese enough” to be considered Vietnamese.

I once heard a native-born Vietnamese person say something that caused me so much envy because I wish I could have had her experience. She said that because she was born in Vietnam and everyone there is Vietnamese, she had never felt like she couldn’t do anything because she was never discriminated against. The thought of being an outsider, in that sense, never crossed her mind. And it shows because I can see how much she’s thrived as a result because she radiates confidence whereas I am a bumbling, anxious mess.

I thought I was alone when it came to these kinds of struggles, but then I came across The Cosmos, a community of Asian women and non-gender binary creators.

They host workshops and events in a handful of different cities (and they’re expanding), and one of the first workshops I attended was on anxiety. For some reason, I had always had a lot of difficulties with things like talking on the phone (I always made someone else do it) or excessive worrying (did I remember to lock the door and turn off the stove?), but it never occurred to me that what I was experiencing was anxiety. But thanks to their workshop facilitated in a safe setting with other people from similar backgrounds, I finally understood what I was going through.

I share this because this month, The Cosmos is hosting their first-ever summit in Brooklyn, NY! The workshops look amazing, and I wanted to spread the word in case someone else was looking for a community and struggled with the same things I’m struggling with.

The amazing workshops for this year’s summit!

Another thing I’m looking forward to at the summit is the marketplace. They’ve curated a great list of Asian women and gender non-binary owned businesses to vend at the event, and I’m excited to browse the marketplace and support these businesses!

If you’re interested in visiting the summit this year, you can buy tickets online here. But if you can’t make it, you can still join the community by entering your email on the website.

13 Comments

  • Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads
    August 5, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Wow! This is such an amazing group. I’m glad you were able to share it with your followers. Will you be at the summit in Brooklyn?

    I think the anxiety workshop would have been so beneficial for me to attend. I feel like I have really bad anxiety and while I am working on it with my therapist, I hope that I can get better.

    Reply
    • Mai Nguyen
      August 8, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Yep! I will be there, I’m so excited!

      And yeah, I didn’t realize I had a lot of anxiety until the workshop was like, “This is how anxiety sometimes manifests…” I’ve been on the lookout for a therapist to help me with it.

      Reply
  • Lovely
    August 5, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    What an amazing post hun thank you so much for sharing!

    xoxo
    Lovely
    http://www.mynameislovely.com

    Reply
    • SundayDahlias
      August 5, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      I totally feel you about being too american in the homeland, but too asian here in the states as well. The Cosmos sounds super cool, will def check it out!!

      http://www.sundaydahlias.com

      Reply
  • Atsuna Matsui
    August 5, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    That’s so amazing that you’re spreading awareness about this workshop! Unfortunately, I live in California so I won’t be able to attend, but I would have loved to check it out. I definitely had similar struggles being an Asian American woman growing up in the US.

    BLOG | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

    Reply
    • Mai Nguyen
      August 8, 2019 at 10:16 am

      I think there’s a Cosmos group in the LA area and they host local events sometimes :)!

      Reply
  • Jennifer
    August 6, 2019 at 7:25 am

    This is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    Reply
  • Ashley
    August 6, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I love this- a group of like-minded people with similar experiences is so key in navigating these tough socio-cultural issues. You are brave for sharing, babe- and I hope you get so much out of the summit!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    Reply
  • Alyssa
    August 7, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Sounds like a great group. I like it 🙂

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    Reply
  • The Exclusive Beauty
    August 8, 2019 at 4:10 am

    These workshops looks very interesting. I’m sure that is hard live with feeling of belonging somewhere and I’m happy to see that you find group where you feel happy.

    New Post – http://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2019/08/kerastase-resistance-serum_5.html

    Reply
  • Jessica
    August 11, 2019 at 6:10 am

    I love that you are engaging in this conversation as I can relate to it as a woman, and as an Asian woman.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    Reply
  • Nancy
    August 13, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    I will be real with you, I feel the same way. I’m expected to do everything and it is hard when you want to live your own life. I am here who wants to do so many things but feel like I have responsibility at home. It is so frustrating to face microaggressions, especially over the smallest things. I mean we always see the grass as greener on the other side. When we get there, it is not as green as we thought. I love these workshops! Hope you had fun going through them!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Reply
  • Julie | This Main Line Life
    September 9, 2019 at 10:14 am

    This sounds like a great group. I grew up with a good friend who was Aisian/American and she talked to me about a lot of the same feelings… and her parents were always trying to set her up with Asian boys and she really wanted to go to the prom with Kirk, who was American and her parents weren’t happy about it. I still remember her talking about that.

    Reply

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