Essays

Troubling the Surface of Identity

Coming into queerness in the diaspora – M. Huang

While home alone one day, when I was still in secondary school, I happened to channel-flick to E4 and catch the episode of the Canadian show Being Erica that featured Anna Silk as Cassidy Holland. Cassidy was the titular character’s best friend in grad school: we learn that she is gay and had, in 1999, and in keeping with the trope, fallen for her best friend. In one scene, she tells Erica plainly, “I think you are beautiful. I'm really attracted to you. And I know you just want to be friends and that’s cool, but in the spirit of being frank? I have wanted you since the moment we met.” Her eyes are intent and piercing. It must have been 2009, and I didn’t yet have the language to describe or articulate what it was that I was seeing. All I know is that, watching that episode, I felt something, and although I didn’t know it at the time, that something would stay with me.