Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

May 28, 2015

No Longer Invisible: Benny Tran

This personal submission is a part of the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project, a story series established to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month at the UW.

Benny Tran

Name: Benny Tran

Identity: Chinese American

Major: Biochemistry

Minors: Chemistry, Math

Organization Involvement: University of Washington Chinese Student Association, Lambda Phi Epsilon

“The AAPI community consists of unique stories, traditions and history. A lot of these values and cultures are often lost or misrepresented because of simple jokes and people’s lack of awareness.”

“Like many others, my family migrated to the US in hope of finding opportunity and a better life. They migrated in different waves and worked to establish themselves so that the next group of family members would have something to come to and look forward to.

Growing up with immigrant parents, my worst fear is thinking that my family’s cultural traditions and values would end with me. My Chinese speaking skills aren’t the best, and the language barrier is worst when communicating with my grandparents. I always wondered if they were disappointed that I didn’t grow up in the same setting with the same cultural values as them. This ultimately compelled me to learn more about my heritage and listen to my parents’ stories. I felt so proud of my family’s history and dedication to provide me with a good life that I can remember laying in bed for hours re-telling their stories to myself in my head. One day, I realized that this fear of stories and traditions ending with me had suddenly disappeared.

I hope that one day AAPI communities are no longer grouped into single categories, where every individual story / history can be shared without being associated with overarching stereotypes or generalizations. One day when AAPI communities can consist of everyone in the world who is willing to listen and respect each of the unique cultures.”

View mores stories from the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project.