Eva Blue, via Unsplash

Growing up, my favourite foods were all Jamaican. The flavour of the food can speak for itself, but I’ve always known that there’s more to why we end up loving certain foods over others.

For me, the mental link I envisage when I think about the Caribbean food I love instantly connects me to a place that I love, and to people who I love. Even though now, as a vegan, I don’t eat the exact same things, the adoration for the culture I have is unchanged.

My mum moved to the UK when she was around 12. Had she…


Writing was the creative outlet that reconnected me to the joy of living and enabled me to find a sense of peace without my dad

Hanna Grave, via Unsplash

When I was around nine, my dad gave me a little red journal. At the time, I liked to sketch a lot, which is why he gifted it to me. I don’t think he expected me to write in it. I filled all 60 odd pages with my first story.

When I think back to what I wrote then, it seems very different to the book I’m working on now, even if they’re both comprised of the same characters. As a nine-year-old, I liked drawing warriors and writing about swords clashing in great battles.

My current book has that, to…


Anh Nguyen, via Unsplash

After watching Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You last year, I started to analyse some of my own precarious sexual experiences in the past.

When I came to the conclusion that I had in fact been sexually assaulted, I opened up about it. A lot of my gay male friends either laughed or didn’t take it seriously.

I’m fortunate that those threatening moments were all short-lived and quite far in the past, but I wished that I’d at least been taken seriously.

The reaction was different from female friends when I mentioned it to them. Especially those who had, in…


Dan-Cristian Paduret, via Unsplash

“But veganism is an eating disorder!” snorted the fossil-fuel tycoon.

“How can something that makes me feel so good be bad for me?” asked the heavy-hearted vegan.

“I dunno,” continued the tycoon, now red in the face. “I’ve never done anything that made me feel good, as such.”

The vegan arched their eyebrow.

“Unless there’s money to be made, of course!”

Content warning: eating disorders

First of all, I should mention that this is by no means a recommendation that anyone suffering from some form of unhealthy eating habit should look to veganism as the panacea. …


Daniel James, via Unsplash

There’s no gay rulebook. My god have some of us wished there was!

For most queer people, high school is one of the most terrifying experiences we go through. It’s the phase of life where people are discovering themselves, and often in the process, a lot of us who can’t find our voice are suffocated.

Oddly, that was never really the case for me. From quite an early age, I had always been aware of something that set me apart from the other boys I knew. …


Zhang Kaiyv, via Unsplash

“Are you even allowed to be gay in China?”

You’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard questions like this. Often, when people find out that I lived in China for a while, they’re shocked that I chose to go there at all.

The country has a pretty dark reputation among Western media nowadays, despite some progressive shifts over the years in China. While there are some potentially disconcerting subjects to debate, the life of Shanghai’s growing queer community isn’t widely reported.

So what is it like to be gay in China? Well, as with most things in China, the…


Do I still Get to Talk about Racism?

Jurien Huggins, via Unsplash

“You’re only half-black. Why do you care so much about racism?”

A friend once said that to me. We argued for a while; I got over it. But it made me dig deeper into how white folks perceive mixed-race people.

In some scenarios, mixed-race people are not given full recognition by either of our cultures, which, as I’ve mentioned in the past, can leave our identities a little disjointed, especially when young.

Although it’s not the focus of this article, I think it’s important to note that before certain watershed events in the last year or so, people of colour…


East Meets Dress, Unsplash

Migration can’t be pinned down to a handful of factors. The process requires so many agents and actors, that it is befuddling. In East Asia, migration remains a complex issue. The legacies of the former Japanese Empire, transnational marriage markets and the search for supposed capital overseas are all salient elements of the migratory process.

In the West, debate centred around migration is commonplace. But what is conjured in our imagination when we, ‘civilised westerners’ hear this word, is usually a harrowing journey. …


Clarene Lalata, Unsplash

In China today, the continuous, intra-provincial exodus of migrants constitutes the largest flow of moving bodies in the world. Under Mao, Chinese citizens were bound to their danwei, or work unit, which ensured that people worked close to their place of birth.

Along with the restructuring of this, and the loosening of state-sponsored migration after the 1980s, migratory flows have never been busier in China. Yet gender is often overlooked in this debate. Let’s take a look at how China’s enormous migration population, colloquially known as the liu dong ren kou, impacts the lives of Chinese women.

Remember when I…


Actually, I was just an intern. But that doesn’t detract from what I’m about to tell you…

Frank Zhang, Unsplash

In 2018, I started one of the most exciting ventures of my young adult life: an internship at Shanghai’s biggest lifestyle magazine. As someone with a huge passion for food and cooking, it was a dream come true.

China is known all over the world for its centuries, if not millennia of civilised cooking and eating habits. Really, when I try to compare it to what I know of British food culture, it’s humiliating.

And so, interning in the world’s biggest, and perhaps…

Tommy Gough

Linguist with an MSc in Chinese Studies. I live in North London, where I am writing a fantasy series and managing my vegan food Instagram.

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