On a basic level, the premise behind the API/A Love Letter Project is reclaiming a sense of optimism and self/communal progression for the Asian/American community. What the API/A Love Letter Project is is a collection of essays and letters written by members of the community—whether academic or not—poeticizing their hopes and dreams for the future of the social circles they come from.

I think what started this whole idea of “the love letter” was seeing my first-generation Thai immigrant parents give up their initial aspirations and dreams to only to struggle daily in a self-run Thai restaurant in the United States. For decades they both worked from dawn to dusk in a family business which helps support the academic and personal ambitions of their children while simultaneously putting theirs on hold. However, this project is not solely for my parents, but for parents of other API/A children; for those same children who reach out for more; for refugees and immigrants; for people who believe they are forgotten while trapped within human trafficking; for nail shop owners/workers; the military wives; the Bay Area Filipino pop bands; postal workers; politicians; teachers; activists; and for you and for me.

Along with understanding my parents’ struggle, the notions of love letter writing came to fruition when I entered Asian/American Studies at San Francisco State University. Being in AAS, I have seen my fair share of displaced anger and resentment. I have seen how destructive as well as cyclical anger has become for the API/A community as well as other communities of color. However, the point behind the API/A Love Letter Project is to visualize that we do not always have to be lost our anger and/or disillusionment—noting that we don’t have to lose. In lieu of this, I would hope that the API/A Love Letter Project helps to trace the forgotten memory and the discarded dreams individuals and groups left behind while fighting for “something” more.

And so I reach out to you. Whether API/A or not, I reach out to you to hear your words and share your dreams and hopes for your community. Although it is still in its infant stages and under construction, I hope that maybe all of you will consider writing as well as donating something in the near future which illustrates your hunger, love, passion, optimism, and hopes for your community’s future and development. The point would be to evoke camaraderie amongst ourselves and our contemporaries; bridging the gaps and stories which lie in-between us.

Feel free to email me with your story, questions, or comments: 4APIALove@gmail.com

Your posts/love letters can be anonymous or can have your name imprinted – it’s up to you.




2 responses to “About

  • Suny Um

    I wanted to share this short video I made as a gay 2nd generation Cambodian American:

  • Huyen


    Thanks for sharing your story. When I watched this, I cried. Not out of pity, but out of relation. I am first generation, queer Vietnamese American. I never told my parents because I fear what they would do/think. But it breaks my heart every time we talk about about marriage and having children because I do not want to engage in a “traditional” heterosexual relationship. My parents are also refugees from the Vietnam war, and like you, I grew up poor and on government assistance. I am the youngest of four and the first in my family to attend college. I am now in my first year at Graduate school.

    I battle depression everyday. I hated myself for as long as I could remember. I’m glad you didn’t succeed in your suicide attempt. I’m glad that you are still on this earth to share the beauty that is you. Self love is a beautiful thing. I’m learning to find my self worth and love everyday.

    Much love,


    Much love,


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