I owe so much to YA Fantasy genre though. I don’t mean the current iteration of white girls in Dystopia, I mean like Tamora Pierce and Garth Nix and Diane Duane ‘cause they wrote girls of different ethnicities and sexualities who are complex and connected to their culture and unapologetically badass. Reading them over and over and over and over again in middle school when I was having my perception of myself shaped so drastically by those around me kept me in a safe space of empowerment, I think. Like, I didn’t see myself reflected in the movies or tv shows I was watching — tell me about mixed baby queers in media on network tv in the early oughts and late nineties — but I saw myself in those books. And I carried around those big, hefty books everywhere. Yeah I was getting bullied (honest to god accusations of witchcraft) and I would be crying every day but I would escape into a badass story of a brown girl murdering a gigantic ice snake and saving the world so like, it felt ok in the end.
Later when I realized the only representations of asian women I could ever remember in movies were hypersexualized geisha archetypes I felt really grateful to my favorite teen authors for never fucking with that. I have no idea what kinda babe I’d be if I didn’t have the Circle of Magic distracting me from basic assholes who wanted to beat me up at lunchtime.