The New York Times

Why We Struggle to Say 'I Love You'

FOR MANY ASIAN-AMERICANS, THE PHRASE BELONGS TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WHITE PEOPLE WE SEE IN THE MOVIES AND ON TELEVISION.

Is it true that Asian-Americans cannot say “I love you?” The striking title of the writer Lac Su’s memoir is “I Love Yous Are for White People,” which explores the emotional devastation wreaked on one Vietnamese family by its refugee experiences. I share some of Lac Su’s background, and it has been a lifelong effort to learn how to say, without awkwardness, “I love you.” I can do this for my son, and it is heartfelt, but it comes with an effort born of the self-consciousness I still feel when I say it to my father or brother.

This article originally appeared in .

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