The first person I learned to imitate was Nana. Then Aunt Annie. Then everyone else, from teachers to ornery strangers. Nobody was spared. 

Later, I wrote as other people-- amateur sociologists, lesbian-affirming country singers, and public service announcers for small matters. Whenever I asked myself, “What if this existed,” I found myself reaching for a pen to make it so. 

Basically, creating and projecting different voices has always felt natural to me. When you’re a biracial queer lady (i.e., me), you find that people feel threatened by your own voice and frustrations. 

But then, you get good at telling people things in the way they want to hear it, in a voice they can relate to. You find  that existing between worlds gives you different perspectives and voices to project from, and all of them feel familiar. 

Drawing: Judy Yao