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Kelly Marie Tran addresses online harassment for first time in new essay

After experiencing a wave of abuse from internet trolls, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI star Kelly Marie Tran left all social media platforms earlier this year, and has since remained silent on the issue. Now she is breaking that silence with a powerful new essay in The New York Times, in which she opens up about how those words of hate affected her, and how she now refuses to deny who she really is.

 “It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” she writes at the top of the article.

“Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories,” she writes. “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was “other,” that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them.”

Tran, who only a handful of small credits to her name, got her big break when she was cast in THE LAST JEDI (which went on to make over $1.3 billion worldwide), becoming the first woman of color to star in the franchise. Most people praised her work as Rose Tico, a maintenance worker on a Resistance vessel who joins Finn (John Boyega) on his journey and later saves his life. But she soon started being attacked on social media for her appearance and race, leading her to quit social media altogether. Fans and castmates rallied to her side, showing their support for the actress.

She continued, writing, “Because the same society that taught some people they were heroes, saviors, inheritors of the Manifest Destiny ideal, taught me I existed only in the background of their stories, doing their nails, diagnosing their illnesses, supporting their love interests — and perhaps the most damaging — waiting for them to rescue me. And for a long time, I believed them."

She concluded on a strong note wherein she writes that she will no longer let such hate tear her down or make her doubt who she is.

These are the thoughts that run through my head every time I pick up a script or a screenplay or a book. I know the opportunity given to me is rare. I know that I now belong to a small group of privileged people who get to tell stories for a living, stories that are heard and seen and digested by a world that for so long has tasted only one thing. I know how important that is. And I am not giving up.

You might know me as Kelly.

I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a “Star Wars” movie.

I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair.

My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.

Do yourselves a favor and read the full essay at the source link below.

Source: New York Times

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