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Interview with Joyce and Amy

Introduce yourselves!

Hello! We are Joyce & Amy—we are your everyday couple who happens to be Queer and Asian.  We live in NYC with our namesake and our pupper, Harry, and we are so excited to work together with Overachiever. Thanks for having us!

How did you meet? 

A: Funny story about that—we apparently actually met back in 2016 at a NYC Pride party via mutual friends… I remember seeing a cute girl wearing a white tank top, but I had a girlfriend at the time and she seemed to have a girlfriend too, so I didn’t think much past that. 

J: I don’t remember this (lol). I don’t remember meeting Amy in 2016, but we met (again) in Fall of 2018 through NYC Pride Basketball League and we pretty much saw each other every weekend.

A: Even though I don’t play basketball (lol).  I used to go just watch the games and the fact that Joyce was in the league just became extra incentive to go hang out at the court… because I still thought she was really cute.

J: It was pretty obvious that she was into me… and eventually, she won me over 🙂

What inspired you to share your story on social media? What has the response been like?

A: Honestly, we were just really BORED during the pandemic. And TikTok was the newest thing so we thought we’d try it, just for fun, and posted a video about how Joyce decided to give us a chance since I had such a huge crush on her, and how it ended up with us getting married.

J: The response has been mostly positive.  We’ve received a lot of support but we also received a lot of sentiments around how there is a lack of representation of the Queer Asian community in media in general. 

A: This made us realize that our platform could potentially hold a bigger meaning for us and others as well, past just casual fun.  It’s a way to show people that we are here, living our lives, and a “happy ending” is possible for Queer Asians as well.  We especially want to get this message out to Queer Asian youths who may be struggling with their identity, just like Joyce and I have in the past. 

How have you handled sharing your lives with such a large audience? 

J: We’ve had to adjust a little bit in how we approach certain situations.  For example, we do get negative comments as well, obviously. 

A: I’m definitely more sensitive than Joyce, so negative comments, admittedly, give me lots of anxiety.  But we’ve had to not let every little thing get to us.  Joyce had to tell me on more than one occasion to “let it go.”

J: I don’t mean to say that to say fighting back doesn’t matter – there is obviously education and learning that needs to be done.  But I want us to take care of our own mental health first in any case.  That’s the most important thing to me.  We’re not afraid to share our lives or our personal stories with the larger public but we understand we can’t make everybody happy.  But at the end of the day, we’re sticking to our personal mission of bringing more visibility to Queer Asian experiences – that is our ultimate goal that we don’t want to lose sight on. 

How do you approach creating content?

J: Amy is definitely the creative director (and I like to say that I’m the featured talent). 

A: I actually have a background in theatre – my undergraduate degree is in acting.  So I’m a creative person at heart and I’ve loved the process of having to come up with interesting and funny TikTok or Youtube ideas.  My career right now is not a very creative role, so it’s been therapeutic to do more social media and come up with new content ideas. And the fact that I can do it with my wife is the cherry on top. 

J: We both have full time jobs so it’s hard to carve out time on weekends sometimes, but we try our best to create content that will be helpful or funny or somehow serve our community.

A: Not every video is serious (most are not) but it’s the idea of normalizing our existence and the existence of the Queer Asian community. We can be funny. We can be serious. We can feel, we can experience, and we matter. 

Favorite part of being content creators?

J: Being able to make people happy and laugh through our content.  

A: Relatability is also important to me.  That’s how the world connects, right?  Being able to relate to other people’s experiences and express empathy.  I love when people comment “relatable!” on our videos.

What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ Asians who are struggling with feeling seen and/or finding confidence in being LGBTQ+ and Asian?

A: We’ve both been told in the past that we “can’t be gay because we’re Asian” and “I never knew Korean/Chinese/Asian girl can be gay”, and of course, “You don’t look gay.”   These rhetorics are harmful.  Fortunately enough, there are a lot of communities now that you can be a part of to find more people that are alike to your experiences. 

 

J: What worked for us is that we found communities that we felt safe and comfortable in.  Even if you don’t live in a major city like we do, there are resources online and connections to be made with like-minded people.  You are not alone.

A: This might come across as obvious, but there is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about being LGBT+ AND Asian.  Marrying both of those identities within yourself is really hard–I know, I’ve been through it. But I’m really proud to love who I love, and I am really proud of my Korean heritage.  And I exist, right?  I’m here for a reason, for a purpose.  And I am LIVING PROOF that both of these identities can exist in one being.  And that’s a beautiful thing.  I want us to have more pride in ourselves and our being.

What has (self) acceptance meant and/or looked like for the both of you?

J: It’s been liberating to finally be able to express how I feel and not hide who I really am.  I feel lucky that I now have friends and family who accept me for who I am.  They’ve made my self-acceptance journey easier. 

A: I think it’s important to find your support system.  When I first came out, I started with my closest friends and took it from there so that the probability of a positive reaction was at its maximum. Having the support of my closest friends from the start and being able to come out to people one by one with that support behind me has helped my self-acceptance journey a lot. 

What room for growth do you see in the Asian LGBTQ+ community? What things do you currently see that you think are working?

A: Let me start off first by saying, I love my Asian LGBTQ+ community and what it stands for. But sometimes, at least from my personal experience, I see a lack of desire to share our stories.  I’m not saying everybody needs to go on social media and share their whole life but I do think the lack of visibility and representation stems from our cultural tendencies that we all have to be “normal” and being in the spotlight can only bring negative consequences.  I hope that Joyce and me sharing our stories will inspire others to share our experiences more (especially in light of everything happening to our AAPI community right now) and not let our voices get drowned out any longer. 

J: In terms of what is working, I do appreciate and recognize that the allyship is really strong in the community. I see in online groups the amount of support that people get from posts, comments, etc and the amount of learning being done.  I also want to specially point out that I see the younger generation being a part of these groups and I think it’s amazing that they get to start their self-discovery journey sooner and they get the good fortune to be more self-aware at a younger age. That’s incredible to me because it’s something I didn’t have when I was their age. 

Where would you like to see yourselves and your content go next?

A: There is something Joyce’s dad says often in regards to Joyce’s sexuality and her relationship to me, and it is that “As long as she’s happy.” It’s so simple but I think it’s so important that to me, Joyce and my happiness is everything.  And right now, being able to represent our community and potentially even help others come to terms with their identity makes me incredibly happy and is more than enough for me.  I hope we can keep continuing our journey towards this direction. 

J: I hope our content will continue to spread and reach others, not just within our communities but beyond that as well.  We can keep preaching to the choir but I’d like to see our message reach new audiences that may not be as conscious of our lived experiences.  Our hope is to spread awareness, educate, and start conversations about the LGBT+ Asian stories and hopefully, for the future generation, they won’t feel so invisible anymore. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much to those that already follow our journey, for however long or short period of time! We appreciate everyone for the love and support that we’ve received in the past 11 months.  Thank you for the invitation to participate in this article – we are truly honored and grateful to be given a platform to share our views and our mission.  We are filled with nothing but gratitude!



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Joyce & Amy (@harrysmamas) are a queer Asian married couple living in NYC with their dog (and namesake), Harry.  What started out as simple fun & games on TikTok became larger than what they expected when an outpour of love, support, and a cry for more representation for LGBT+ Asians followed.  Now, they are committed to doing what they can to help shed further light on Queer Asian visibility to say “we exist, we are here, and we matter”.  

All Socials: https://beacons.ai/harrysmamas

Instagram: @harrysmamas: https://www.instagram.com/harrysmamas

Youtube: Joyce & Amy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAqhAgzO2S_6iPbKL91wi3w

TikTok: harrysmamas: https://www.tiktok.com/@harrysmamas

Email: harrysmamas@gmail.com

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Why now?

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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