On Tuesday, the hashtag #BeingAsian began trending on Twitter as a way for Asian Americans to share their life experiences — including racism and cultural pride and shame — in solidarity.
Inspired by a group chat, the hashtag was started by 17-year-old Michael Tarui to "start a conversation of what it's like #BeingAsian and the racism that comes with it," according to Tarui's original tweet. Ultimately, he hoped for people to "learn from one another," he told NBC News.
As a result, Asian Americans went online to tweet out their nuanced stories, from the frustrating to the funny.
Most of the tweets related to racism and the stereotypes they encounter — which sometimes seems so casual, but has lasting effects.
Many united in fighting back against the inaccurate but common idea that being Asian only applies to those of Chinese, Korean or Japanese descent (lest we forget that Asia is a massive continent).
But sometimes the racism was internalized.
Some users shared all-too-real stories on what it was like to come from immigrant families, which sometimes meant having different cultural values and experiences from those around them.
The candid stories, despite being on the funny or upsetting side, helped give a voice to Asian Americans, who "often feel like we don't have one," Tarui said. After all, how can they when they're so underrepresented in mainstream media?
"However, this conversation is a conversation that is necessary to start making progress," he added.