SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA:
After seventeen painful years of only being able to be friends with other minorities, Alex Kim finally harnessed the confidence she needed to make her first white friend.
“It was a long process and a lot of hard work,” she said in an interview with Chamnah. “All I had to do was watch them wear shoes inside my apartment and pretend like I wasn’t dying inside.”
Braelynn Thomas-Crockett, Alex’s white friend, met Alex during her rush week for her sorority. In an effort to “put herself out there,” Alex participated in most of the sorority’s rush events but was not able to complete the entire recruitment process.
“I just didn’t think I was ready for that kind of commitment yet,” Alex answered nervously when asked about her unsuccessful rush experience. “It was just… too much.”
Nevertheless, Braelynn had nothing but good things to say about Alex. “She is always so nice to me. We don’t really argue and we both have the exact same tastes in food. So it was really easy to allow myself to be her friend.”
Alex says that in order to foster this friendship, she and Braelynn had to avoid talking about controversial topics like politics, race, and Alex’s opinions. They also have regular brunches at restaurants that have menus in English.
“I mean, it’s not that bad,” Alex noted. “It’s easier that way. Teaching Braelynn what a chopstick is took way too much time.”
But was all of her hard work worth it? For Alex, yes — she barely recognizes herself anymore. But at least she has Braelynn to let her know exactly who she is.