Leah Nanako Winkler

Leah Nanako Winkler is a first generation hapa living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a writer of plays, essays and television pilots.  You can learn more about Leah and her work at www.leahwinkler.org.

Updated February 2013

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A Racial Criteria: Love, Family and Long-Term Consequences

Now, more than ever, we have the technology and freedom to manufacture and accommodate the specificity of our chosen families and social networks. In a mix-match world of diversity, tolerance, racism and cultural cluelessness, is love really blind when it comes long-term commitments? Or is it just a matter of social comfort?

A little less than two years ago, I flew to Missouri and became an egg-donor to an interracial, infertile couple seeking to make a part-Asian baby. Although I am in the dark about the outcome of the procedure, the thought that I technically may have a biological son ...

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Analyze My Face: Hapas, exoticism and the entertainment industry

I have hazel eyes. My skin is pale, my nose is tall and my hips are hopelessly wide. At first glance there is nothing about me, or so I am constantly told, that looks remotely Japanese. This is why he wanted to take me out of the shot. I heard him utter the recurring phrase of my life, the one that was born in the mouths of the children at Hiroba Koen and echoed to lips of an up and coming film director in New York City on the set of a big budget feature.

“She doesn’t look Asian ...

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Quarter Life Identity Crisis

My quarter life identity crisis began out of nowhere on the late night G train back to Bedford Stuyvesent. Four stops away from my apartment I am suddenly plagued by an overwhelming sense of bittersweet loneliness and deep-rooted frustration. All I can do is dig out my journal from my backpack and write the following four sentences down on paper:

“December 2007-
I have realized…that all of my feelings of loneliness resorts from lacking a sense of belonging in this world.
I would like to have a family who looks like me.
To marry someone who is half-Japanese like ...

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