Achariya Tanya Rezak


Being half-Thai and all, I’ll begin with a bit of cultural education. Did you know that in Thailand, people have beautiful first names that are mostly ignored in favor of short, amusing nicknames? That's why my first name is the elaborate Achariya ("teacher") and my second name is the shorter Tanya ("rice"). My name was chosen by a committee that included my extended family and an astrologer. The astrologer foretold that I would be a dancer, a writer, or a teacher. So far I’ve done all three but gotten closest to the last, and am All But Dissertation (ABD) in Education. This illustrates the fact that my ordinary life story is entwined with things that have nothing to do with Western thought. This is what I’d like to talk about at XOJane: what it’s like to straddle two worlds, and what these worlds looks like to someone like me.

I have published scholarly articles in the field of Education, and feature articles about Swedish indie music (long story). I get incensed about the treatment of multiracial people in the media. Notably, Newsweek once published my letter to the editor chiding them about forgetting Tiger Woods’ half-Thai heritage. I also have a blog that talks about my duodenal cancer, which is Stage 1 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). I have an energetic and wise daughter who is part Asian, part Palestinian, and entirely smarter than me.


Age:  So close to 40 I can smell it.

Twitter: @meowmalumpus


What I Do, Job-wise: Mother. Technical editor. Sometimes both at once.

What I Do, Fun-wise:  Skate around on my longboard, a Sector 9. Listen to Swedish indie music and write about it. Craft with Marianne Kirby and friends. Read things.

My Motto: ZPG.

My Anti-Motto: YOLO. I was born Buddhist: we don’t just live once.

The First Movie Star I Ever Had A Crush On: Andrew McCarthy of the cutest mullet ever.

My “celebs to make out with” list: Japanese singer and actor Yamashita Tomohisa. Korean actor Lee Min Ho. Half Japanese actor and model Shirota Yuu.

The Most Played Song On My iTunes: The Ramone's I Wanna Be Sedated, which I play faithfully before each chemotherapy session.

Last Book I Read Without Skimming Any Parts: Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint. It's like slash with all the good parts written into canon.

My Most Worn Item of Clothing: Cashmere cardigans. 

Beauty Product That I Hoard: Neutrogena moisturizer.

I Smell Like: Tom’s organic deodorant.

I Have Faked An Orgasm (Yes/No): I refuse to answer this in case my child reads it someday.