I became a citizen of Taiwan, then often referred to in international media with the phrase “which China regards as a renegade province," in 1994. In the process I had to renounce my U.S. nationality.
At this point I’ve technically been Taiwanese significantly longer than I was ever American, especially considering the fact that I never felt particularly American. But Taiwanese identity has never been about a piece of paper. Rather, for me it has been a relationship with being so visible, so out of the realm of possibility that one is somehow invisible, and also to realize that such a dichotomy of visibility is sometimes the key to survival in a nation in a similarly Schrödingerean state of existence.
The stories in my head, however, are still a mixture of both cultures. Sometimes, when I’m feeling apart and disconnected, wrestling with this combination of visibility and invisibility, I spot myself on the streets, a glimpse of my ever-shifting role in this so-called province of renegades.