Opinion Print

Letter From The Editor: I Am You

Letter From The Editor —

I Am You.

This issue is an important one for me.

Representation in media, politics, business, and popular culture is vital. It has the power to completely change people’s lives. If we don’t ever see ourselves reflected in anything beyond the mirror, how are we supposed to believe that our dreams can be anything more than just a dream?

Here at the magazine, we set out to create a media platform that was different from our contemporaries at the time (and even still today.) We wanted to create a place that served as an accurate representation of Canada, of the world we live in. Imagine that: a publication that aims to showcase the very people in its community. How novel.

I Am You.

This issue is an important one for me.

Representation in media, politics, business, and popular culture is vital. It has the power to completely change people’s lives. If we don’t ever see ourselves reflected in anything beyond the mirror, how are we supposed to believe that our dreams can be anything more than just a dream?

Here at the magazine, we set out to create a media platform that was different from our contemporaries at the time (and even still today.) We wanted to create a place that served as an accurate representation of Canada, of the world we live in. Imagine that: a publication that aims to showcase the very people in its community. How novel.

Growing up, I didn’t see people like me represented in media or popular culture..

Well, none outside of a crude caricature. None outside of “oriental” exoticism, which society used (and still uses) to blanket an entire continent of diverse cultures into one stereotypical identity. None that didn’t use my culture as a token to cash in for cheap thrills. Imagine the kind of impact that has on a young child. That your worth to society is only in your otherness, or to serve others. Maybe at best, to be the supporting role in another person’s journey to self-actualization. When you are repeatedly fed these messages during your formative years you don’t even dare to dream about being on the cover of a magazine or lead a major movie franchise. Sadly, the majority of you reading this may already understand this experience quite well.

Placing Simu Liu on our cover was a very conscious decision for us. And also a personal one for me. The Canadian actor is about to step onto the largest stage of his life, having been recently cast as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in the upcoming movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. His casting is larger than him.

It means the narrative around Asian culture can finally progress.

It means more Asian-led movies and magazine covers. More Asian heroes, politicians, comedians, action figures, and even just simple storylines around everyday people that also happen to be Asian. In a larger context, it means more diversity and inclusion. 

To put someone like Liu — someone like me — on our cover is momentous. To be in a position where we have the ability to make that decision and reframe the narrative around minority communities is deeply meaningful. We understand that we have the power to reframe perspectives. More importantly, that we have a responsibility to do so. We are not simply adding new seats to the table. We’re building a damn new boardroom. 

If you’re reading this, just know that this is a mantle that we wholeheartedly embrace and continue to fight for. Consider this my personal promise to you: for as long as my voice has any weight, we will continue to champion diversity and inclusivity in all its glorious beauty. We will push to share the stories of people from all walks of life and reinforce the idea that “success” comes in many packages.

I see you. I hear you. I am you.