Why should the community support you for Miss Crowd Favorite?
I will be entertaining to watch; showing poise, confidence, and charisma!
Why did you join MAC? / What is your goal with MAC?
I joined MAC for several reasons. The first is to challenge my internalized misogyny. The second is to form friendships with other Asian women. And the third is to grow more in self-confidence.
Tell us about your community platform project.
My project is to educate the broader Asian community about the complexities of adoption and immigration stories of international Adoptees. I hope to give presentations to various organizations, alongside other adoptees, to bring awareness to adoption issues and to empower other adoptees to speak out.
What about your heritage makes you proud?
Similar to biracial children, but not quite, I have pride, compassion, and appreciation for my mixed background. Growing up transracial, I am learning about my Chinese heritage and I also carry along the white culture I was adopted into. And while at time, I struggle to feel included in either communities, I am lucky as a person of color to get an insider view of white people and how "whiteness" was created and is maintained.
Share about a time you amplified someone's voice.
I have corrected others when there is misnaming or misgendering of a nonbinary/trans person. As a person with privilege in this case scenario, it is important for me to speak up to protect someone from gender violence.
What three things would you bring with you to a remote island?
Playing cards, a new journal, classic iPod for tunes!
What's a fun fact about you?
I am a disney adult.
What's your favorite quote?
"This, you see, is my ultimate ambition – to live a simple life with the frog I love" - Miss Piggy
I grew up in Connecticut and moved to Chicago in 2019. I fell in love with the Midwest and can see myself living here the rest of my life.
I want to compete in MAC to show myself that I have a place in the Asian American community as a Chinese adoptee.
I am a transracial adoptee, which means I was adopted into a family of a different race than my own. Up until 2020, I did not think much of my adoption nor did I identify as being Chinese or Asian. I was forced to assimilate into my adoptive family and community around me which was majority white. It was too painful for me to claim my Chinese identity because it’s what made me “other” in my community and also reminded me of the people and place that abandoned me. If I were to learn more about my Chinese culture, I feared my new home and family would abandon me too for not adopting their culture and identity.
Growing up I was not taught “how to be Asian” because I had no access to Asian communities, and for most of my life, I struggled to connect with other Asians because they shared food, holidays, language, and the immigrant background that I didn’t have.
My platform for MAC is education and awareness for the Asian Adoptee community; showing the complexities we face being on the fence of racial belonging.
The intention of my platform is to have Asian Americans understand the perspective and viewpoint of Asian adoptees, and for the Asian Adoptee community to feel more belonging in Asian spaces.
Haley received her Bachelors’ in Religion from Heidelberg University (Tiffin, OH) ‘19 and Masters’ in Religion from Chicago Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL) ‘22. She currently works as a major gifts officer for Chicago Theological Seminary.