Like a boomerang, Shirley Liu’s journeys have taken her all across the world and back, searching for a community where she “could be able to express and share all [her] experiences with identity”. Growing up in South Carolina in a primarily white community, she was one of three Asians in her high school of two thousand. After segueing into a queer, and still white, community in San Francisco and exploring her queer identity, she moved to Taiwan in 2007, immersing herself in Taiwanese and Chinese culture for six years. Since coming back, it has been her goal to cultivate a community of spirituality within the queer POC community. She is currently involved with APIQWTC (Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community) and API Equality – Northern California, and serves on APIENC’s fundraising committee. Shirley identifies as a queer Chinese woman and her gender pronouns are she and they.
I grew up in South Carolina which is definitely, at the time there were not many Asians. I was one of three Asians at my high school of 2000, and I wasn’t out–I didn’t know I was queer at the time either. I was definitely in a white community all through my childhood, and then I think it did make sense for me to segue into a white, queer community because that was what I was used to. And then my travels to Asia, that’s when I reconnected with my heritage.