Fellow AAPI Folks — Tell Me About The Microaggressions You've Faced In The Workplace

It's unfortunate to admit, but as a Filipina who grew up in a predominantly white suburban city, I've had my fair share of microaggressions directed at me. For example, a coworker of mine once asked what I typically ate for breakfast, and when I answered, she genuinely asked, "What? I thought you ate noodles every day?" Big sigh.

Kitty from "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" says "This is a little dramatic, even for you"

Even more unfortunate, these types of comments can happen often to many other AAPI folks, as well as other people of color. According to Kevin Nadal, a psychology professor at John Jay College, microaggressions are "the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups."

That said, as a brown Asian American woman who's had to navigate life littered with microaggressions, I'm asking all my fellow Asian American Pacific Islanders: What are the microaggressions you've faced in the workplace or school?

Maybe you had an encounter with a coworker who'd assumed you couldn't speak English very well. They asked where you were from, then acted surprised when you said you were born in America.

Three people in a conversation, one confused about the pronunciation of "pho." Text exchange about the soup and being from Denver

Maybe when you were in school, your classmates would say comments like, "Aren't you supposed to be good at math? You're Asian." It became such a normalized thing to say that you didn't even realize until you were older how rooted in stereotypes such comments were.

Woman smiling at desk among other people working on laptops in a classroom or office setting
Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

Maybe you were the only AAPI person in your group, and though you really did enjoy working with the people in it, sometimes they would make unintentionally harmless comments alluding to your "otherness."

Person in front of a laptop with hands on temples, appearing stressed or concentrated
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Or maybe your boss or another person in authority made hurtful and narrow-minded assumptions about you solely based on your ethnic background.

Two actors portraying characters in a scene from a Prime Video show, standing together in an indoor setting
Amazon Prime Video

So, whether you're Polynesian, Micronesian, East, Southeast, South, Western, or Central Asian, share your stories about microaggressions with me in the comments below. If you'd prefer to share anonymously, you can use this form to do so.