Humans of Khmer America

David Ke

“It’s interesting to look back at the messages of misogyny and hyper masculinity I was forced to adopt as a young man. I was always raised to show absolute respect and loyalty to my elders, more specifically my male elders. You could be like my father who’s an abusive criminal and a drug addict, and at the end of the day still hold some false entitlement to respect.

Since my father left my family robbing us of our life savings including college funds my mother put aside, I have learned a lot of things. I have taught myself how to walk, how to talk, how to tie my own damn tie, and how to treat all people with respect (This includes yes; other people of color, trans, queer, and non-hetero folks).

My entire life I was encouraged to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a wealthy businessman. I desire none of that because money doesn’t mean much to me. What I am raising myself to be, is what we should raise all men to one day become and that is to simply be a good father. So when you ask your fellow brothers and sons what they wanna be when they grow up, I beckon you to consider my answer.”

David Ke, 22, Amherst, MA

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