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Nicola Koh, taken by leeane dunic  at : Malaysian Eurasian with long black hair in a in a black faux leather jacket against a wood paneled wall

I'm a citizen of liminality, one of a few thousand Malaysian Eurasians, the collective result of centuries of colonial men taking advantage of local women, a group of people even most Malaysians have forgotten exists. For the past 16 years I've lived in the American Midwest, where I've also gotten to be Indian (Asian or American), Malay, Indon, Latino, and many more, but mostly confusing.


My parents were once Catholic, I grew up Pentecostal, became Presbyterian, went to a Calvinist college in the U.S., then lost my faith studying for my second master's degree at the associated seminary (and seeing it through because I'm nothing if not an academic masochist). I'm genderqueer and was on hormones for a year before stopping treatment because of the adverse effect on my very precarious mental health at the time. I'm also a minor god in Tetris.

I believe being a perpetual outsider is what made me love books. They were the friends I didn't have, havens when I had no safe spaces, mirrors for the parts of me no one ever seemed to see. To me, the best works of art slice away the trappings placed on us and that we place on others, bearing what makes us more alike than different.


The transition to writing was natural for me, because it's through writing that I feel like I can communicate parts of myself to those who don't really understand me.

When free - and often when not - I enjoy embarking on random projects (some of which are best left to professionals), taking too many pictures of my animal frenemies, watching anime, playing old video games on emulators, and crafting puns (which I should note is both a form of Greek Rhetoric and also 90% of what Shakespeare did, so there).

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