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Yellow Glitter

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Welcome to Yellow Glitter! Mindfulness through the eyes & soul of queer Asian perspectives. Every episode, my guests and I share with you what’s on our minds on topics around racial identity, queerness, activism, and life. Come join our conversation.


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Welcome to Yellow Glitter! Mindfulness through the eyes & soul of queer Asian perspectives. Every episode, my guests and I share with you what’s on our minds on topics around racial identity, queerness, activism, and life. Come join our conversation.




#39 Inclusive Healthcare & Showing Up for Our Communities with Dr. Jonathan Tolentino

In this episode, we’re joined by an extra special guest, Dr. Jonathan Tolentino, Program Director of the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Miami. We chat about intersectional healthcare and the importance of understanding our history, legislation, and evolving healthcare to show up for our historically marginalized communities & youth. We chat about: You can more of JT at: @jonjon980206 You can follow me at:


#38 The Transformative Power of Community & Joy with Kim Thai

In this episode, we’re joined by a returning friend, Kim Thai, a queer Vietnamese writer, Emmy-award winning producer, social justice advocate, and mindfulness teacher based in New York. We chat about community building, cultivating joy, and her latest work with Ganeshspace, a mindfulness organization that creates healing spaces for historically excluded communities and social justice education for all. In this episode we talk about: You can more of Kim at: @kthai6@Ganeshspace You can follow me at:


#37 Finding belonging at the intersection of art & activism with Haruka Aoki

This episode we're joined by an extra special guest, Haruka Aoki. Haruka (she/they) is a queer Japanese artist, author and illustrator of children’s books based in Queens, New York City. Their narrative artwork, which has appeared in New York Times and the Washington Post, aims to inspire individuals with both wit and sincerity as their hand drawn characters engaged with the world around them growing up. In this episode we talk about: You can find Haruka at: You can follow me at:


#36 Fire Island and the gay white gaze with Johnathan Gibbs

In this episode, we are joined by a special returning guest, Johnathan Gibbs, to talk about the latest gay movie Fire Island, and also reflect on the harmful impact of the gay white gaze on our queer Asian communities. In this episode we talk about: References: BaBEC Fire IslandGaGaOOLaLa You can find Johnathan Gibbs at: @jonahsahn@jonahsahn@blasianFMA You can follow me at:


#35 Journey into the world of design and creating inclusive toys with Linda Jiang

Excited to be joined by Linda Jiang, a toy designer living in Los Angeles, California. In this episode, we delve into the world of the doll industry and the representation of gender-inclusive doll design. Linda Jiang (she/they) is a toy designer living in Los Angeles, California; unceded Tongva land. Linda’s work centers around designing inclusive toys to create social change through play. They designed the recent Barbie Inspiring Women doll, specifically the doll for Ida B Wells, and led the design for Creatable World, a gender-inclusive fashion doll line. When they're not designing, Linda enjoys building community with her friends, reading mystery novels, and learning fashion history through vintage clothing. In this episode we talk about: You can find Linda at: You can follow me at:


#34 Chasing perfection: body image, PEDs, and social media with Dr. JT (Jonathan Tolentino)

We’re joined by Dr. JT (Jonathan Tolentino) once again to talk about our society’s obsession with the perfect physique. We chat about body and muscle dysmorphia, PEDs, the impact of social media, and how this ultimately impacts both our queer and Asian communities. Dr. JT is the Program Director of the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Miami. In this episode we talk about: You can find JT at: @jonjon9980206 You can follow me at:


#33 State of COVID & healing our queer Asian identities with Dr. JT (Jonathan Tolentino)

We have another beautiful episode chatting about COVID, our mental health, and our future. We're joined by an extra special guest Dr. JT, Jonathan Tolentino, who is the Program Director of the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Miami. In this episode we talk about: You can find JT at: @jonjon980206 You can follow me at:


#32 Rainbow-washing and performative allyship of pride

This week, we're joined by our favorite Derek Tran once again to chat about the state of COVID, rainbow-washing, performative allyship, and showing up authentically. In this episode we talk about: References Goods Unite UsQueer Liberation March You can find Derek at: @findyourfearless You can follow me at:


#31 Activism & Asian culture: showing up & calling in our community with Derek Tran

Another wonderful episode with our lovely guest Derek Tran, to talk about issues surrounding activism, current-day events, and the Asian culture. In this episode we talk about: You can find Derek at: @findyourfearless You can follow me at:


#30 Stop Asian Hate and addressing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes with Derek Tran

Derek Tran and I chat about the rising anti-Asian hate crimes and what we can do to keep ourselves safe and sane during this time. In this episode we talk about: COVID and where we are at with vaccinationsIssues with performative social media activistsHow allies can show up - with more actionable stepsThe intersection of mindfulness and activismStruggling to find our voice as Asian-AmericansStanding up within our romantic relationships to microaggressions Why addressing cultural issues in Asia, by denigrating Asian-Americans don’t workOur social media feeds full of trauma pornWhy we both still hate Chick-fil-AHow can keep ourselves safe from hate crimes and attacks You can find Derek at: Instagram:@findyourfearless You can follow me at: Instagram:@stevenwakabayashiYouTube:@stevenwakabayashi Weekly Newsletter:


#29 Leading by example: compassion and mindfulness with Kim Thai

This episode, I’m joined by Kim Thai, founder of ganeshspace, an organization dedicated to making mindfulness a more equitable space. We chat about the current politics of America, how we can show up with compassion in activism, understanding ourselves before helping others, and her journey of finding her queer identity after marriage. Enjoy! Kim Thai is a writer, Emmy-award winning producer, and the founder of ganeshspace, a community organization dedicated to pursuing equity through mindfulness. She is a proud daughter of Vietnamese refugees and is currently living in NYC with her partner and two cats. In this episode we talk about: Advice on managing this pandemic for extrovertsWhat politics of today say reflect what is happening deep down inside of AmericaHow to hold compassion for those we don’t agree withWhy we need to first assess our own bandwidth before we giveThe truth behind humor when it appears during traumatic conversationsHer journey coming out of a marriage to discover her queer identityHow to show up for oneself to bring change to others around usGaneshpace and creating equity and collaboration in the mindfulness space Show notes: Roque Rodriguez You can find Kim Thai at: ganeshspace:ganeshspace.comganeshspace Instagram:@ganeshspaceInstagram:@kthai6 You can follow me at: Instagram:@stevenwakabayashiYouTube:@stevenwakabayashiWeekly


#28 Storytelling and the richness of our Asian history with Randy Kim

On this episode of Yellow Glitter, I’m joined by Randy Kim, a queer, second-generation Viet-Khmer American from Chicagoland and podcast host of The Banh Mi Chronicles, highlighting uplifting important Asian voices. We chat about the Asian diaspora, how to heal the trauma of our parents, coming out, the importance of storytelling history of Asian culture, creating inclusive spaces, and why the slogan “representation matters” needs updating. Randy Kim is a queer 2nd generation Viet-Khmer American from the Chicagoland area. Randy currently serves as a board member with the National Cambodian Heritage Museum. He is the co-producer with founder Ada Cheng for TALK Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show in Chicago. He is the producer and host of “The Banh Mi Chronicles” podcast which can be on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast. Randy is currently working on his Master's in Non Profit Management at DePaul University. In this episode we talk about: How he started his podcast,The Banh Mi ChroniclesHis relationship with Ada Cheng and creating space for Asian diasporaThe creative process of focusing on need over entertainmentImportance of inclusive and diverse spaces in storytellingThe issue with “representation matters”Randy’s story of his heritage, coming out, and finding a communityHow to help our parents heal and process their traumaWhy Asian history is paramount to our growth and activism Show notes: Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc TranAda ChengNational Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial Banh Mi Chronicles - MILCK Banh Mi Chronicles - D&I with Michelle Kim Banh Mi Chronicles - Kathy Park Hong You can find Randy Kim at: Facebook: @banhmichronicles Instagram: @banhmi_chronicles You can follow me at: Instagram: @stevenwakabayashi YouTube: @stevenwakabayashi Weekly Newsletter:


#27 A graphic tale of honesty, darkness, truth and love with Mike Curato

In this episode, we are joined by Mike Curato, a queer Asian author and illustrator, to talk about his latest graphic novel, Flamer, inspired by his own personal life story. We cover a lot of topics including, mental health, bullying, suicide, and the wave of intolerance plaguing our country, and also looking ahead at how we can all do better. Mike Curato is a gay first generation half Filipino-Irish American author and illustrator of books for youth. He has created many picture books for young children, and just released his debut queer young adult graphic novel, Flamer. In this episode we talk about: How Mike is managing quarantine life and Zoom datesExperience of growing up biracial in an intolerant worldThe importance of finding communityWhy honesty is important in writing a book and how our shared humanity connects us togetherFinding family in the queer community - but also facing racism within our queer circlesNavigating intolerance within dating apps and within our own gaysian communityMike's experience with bullying and thoughts of suicide and how it inspired the plot of FlamerWhat got him through the suicidal ideations and difficult high school experiencesThe journey towards self-discovery and turning towards healingWhy sharing our story is so critical to help us understand each otherThe importance of looking inward at our own internalized racism and intolerance Show notes: Kuku Hughs - DisplacementTrung Le Nguyen - The Magic FishAlison Bechdel - Fun Home: A Family TragicomicAlison Bechdel - The Essential Dykes to Watch Out ForOcean Vuong - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous You can find Mike Curato at: Twitter: @MikeCurato Instagram: @mike_curato Website: You can follow me at: Instagram: @stevenwakabayashi YouTube: @stevenwakabayashi Weekly Newsletter:


#26 Paving ways & coming out in the world of hockey with Jon Lee-Olsen

In this episode, we are joined by Jon Lee-Olsen, a professional ice-hockey player who made headlines as the first openly out player in Europe and third in the world. We talk about his experience coming out nationally, managing relationships alongside a sports career, and his experiences as a transracial adoptee. Jon (he/him) is Danish transracial adoptee from Korea who currently lives in Copenhagen Denmark. He was the first to come out as a gay man in professional ice-hockey in Europe and the third in the world. Now he is harnessing his story to help uplift LGBTQ+ and the Asian community. In this episode we talk about: Experiences of being an Asian transracial adoptee growing up in a white communityHow he discovered hockey while coming to terms with his own sexualityHis experience coming out on national television for the first timeCombatting the fears of being the first openly out gay ice-hockey player in EuropeHow being open about his identity improved his hockey Lessons in relationships balancing a professional sports career Show notes: LGBTQ+ organizations (list on Wikipedia)Jon Lee-Olsen comes out nationally (OutSports)You can find Jon Lee-Olsen next at Copenhagen world pride 2021, Eurogames 2021, Athlete ally, Sport leaders conference 2021 (CPH), and Human rights forum 2021 (CPH). You can find Jon Lee-Olsen at: Instagram: @jonleeolsen Twitter: @jonleeolsen Facebook: @jonleeolsen You can follow me at: Instagram: @stevenwakabayashi YouTube: @stevenwakabayashi Weekly Newsletter:


#25 Moving mountains and the importance of visibility with Rain Valdez

In this episode, we are joined by Rain Valdez to talk about her journey from the Philippines and Guam to the Emmy-nominated actress and producer she is today. We talk about her Emmy-nominated show, Razor Tongue, as well as her recent work on Disclosure highlighting the impact Hollywood has had on the trans community. We have a beautiful conversation with Rain about trans talent and the importance of visibility and stories in media. Rain Valdez is an Emmy nominated actress most notably known for Razor Tongue, Transparent and Why Women Kill. She's an award-winning filmmaker and an out and proud transgender woman and activist. Rain is also the founder of ActNOW, the first and only LGBTQIA+ acting class in Los Angeles that teaches beyond the binary. On this episode we talk about: COVID-19 check-in and finding motivation to get fit during quarantineHer story growing up in the Philippines and GuamFinding pride in her heritage and how it translates into her workKnowing her dream to become an actress early on and getting started with her careerThe struggles of finding work as an Asian and trans actressWhen she quit acting and boomeranging backWhat she asks herself when she questions her dreamsHer response to Disclosure on Netflix and why we need to raise trans voices now more than everWhat the Emmy nomination means to her, especially as the very first Filipina trans actressGiving trans talent access to more opportunity to tell different storiesWhy being accessible and creating a loving set is critical towards equityRain’s inspiration behind her acting class, ACT NOW “Move mountains with the people that you love. Find people in your community that you want to move mountains … you’ll find joy in creating with those people because you’re doing it together." Show notes: Fitness classes with Chloe| @chloe_tDisclosure on Netflix: Tongue (Rain’s Emmy Nominee!) on FX: NOW: You can find Rain Valdez at: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (@RainValdez) You can follow me at: Instagram ( YouTube ( Weekly Newsletter (


#24 Discovering our voice & living our unapologetic truth with Amazin Lêthi

In this episode, we are joined by Amazin LeThi, LGBTQ+ sports ambassador, former competitive bodybuilder, entertainment executive, and fitness author to chat about current events and her life journey. We talk about trans-racial issues, equity and representation in media, and body positivity, homelessness in our queer community, and so much more. Amazin LeThi (she/her) is an Athlete Ally and Stonewall sports ambassador, former competitive bodybuilder, entertainment executive and the first Vietnamese internationally published fitness author. Through her personal journey of homelessness she founded the Amazin LeThi Foundation. Amazin has shared her story for ‘Its Gets Better’ campaign and the first White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Asian anti-bullying campaign 'Act to Change'. She has been recognized by GLAAD and NQAPIA for her LGBTQ advocacy. She was the first Asian LGBTQ Athlete in 2020 to be honoured at the Brooklyn Nets 4th Annual Pride Night, she has also been listed in the Australian Pride Power List, Out 100 List, Go Magazine 100 Women We Love List, 2020 Global Changemakers and acknowledged in the Human Rights Campaign - Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Honours list. On this episode we talk about: Managing through this current pandemic and ways Amazin is finding balance of news with classical music and fitnessHer story growing up in Saigon and being adopted into a trans-racial family in AustraliaThe complexities of racism and prejudice between trans-racial adoptees and their familyGetting involved with weight training as the only queer and Asian individaul as an eight year old.Going back to Vietnam and reconnecting with her Asian identityThe duality of identity between East and Western culture, hypersexualized and de-sexualized Asian men and women in mediaBecoming open to vulnerability and accepting ourselves unconditionallyBody positivity within the queer community and gender roles we are often asked to play intoQueer Asian representation in our media, education and history booksHomelessness and its impact to our LGBTQ+ youth, mental health, and livelihoodsThe power of solidarity and sharing our stories together You can find Amazin at: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (@AmazinLeThi) You can follow me at: Instagram ( YouTube ( Weekly Newsletter (


#23 Representation and equity in media with Ian Alexander & Vivien Ngô

I am joined by none other than Ian Alexander (Buck Vu of The OA) and Vivien Ngô (Trinh Phan of Queen Sugar) to talk about what it’s like being gaysian in the entertainment industry, their humble beginnings as children of Asian immigrants, and their latest thriller, Daughter. They share some mindful advice on how to create a more equitable workspace for queer actors and having more diverse representation for cast and crew. IAN ALEXANDER Ian (he/him) is an actor best known for his role as Buck Vu in the Netflix sci-fi series The OA. He will be making his video game debut as "Lev" in the highly anticipated The Last of Us Part II for Naughty Dog. Ian is a passionate advocate for transgender and racial justice, and he hopes to see more representation of transgender youth in media. When he's not on set, Ian loves taking naps and walking his dog Max. VIVIEN NGÔ Vivien (she/her) is most known for her role as Trinh Phan on Ava Duvernay's Queen Sugar, and roles on NCIS: New Orleans, Shameless, and films that have played at Slamdance, SXSW, Fantastic Fest, and Cannes. Other career highlights include being drowned on primetime tv, eating nước mắm on cable tv, and talking to an imaginary dagger on Shakespeare's Globe. In her free time, she enjoys browsing the web for Vietnamese memes… and dogs! On this episode, we talk about: What it was like navigating their queer identity with Asian immigrant families Growing up Asian and discovering Asian prideExperience working on The OA as one of the first trans Asian roles in mediaHow was it like being transformed into a video game characterWorking with Ava DuVernay and learning how she casts for rolesFundraising and leading a POC-led film, DaughterAdvice on how to casting more diverse crew and talentCreating a more equitable work environment, especially for trans and POCWhy representation is so important in media and entertainment GLAAD trans resources: Daughter’s Seed & Spark campaign: You can find Ian at @ianaiexander You can find Vivien at @vivientngo You can follow me at: Instagram ( ( Newsletter (


#22 Activism, direct action, and expressing solidarity with Kalaya’an Mendoza

In this powerful episode, I’m joined by Kalaya’an Mendoza, a nonviolent direct action trainer and disaster preparedness expert, to talk about the current climate and advice for those who headed out to protest in the streets. We chat about how we can show solidarity with Black folx and addressing racism within our Asian community. Kalaya’an Mendoza (he/him) is a nonviolent direct action trainer, Disaster Preparedness expert recognized by TIME Magazine and has spent the last twenty years of his life fighting for social justice on Turtle Island and around the world alongside Human Rights Defenders in the Global South. In this episode we talk about: The current social situation and what is happening all around the USWhy Black lives matterHow he discovered activism in high schoolThe importance of activism on the streets and behind the keyboardTips on how to prepare for going out into the streetsUsing OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loopsDoing the work in our communities and in our Asian familiesWhat are some common issues affecting first-time protesters?Taking care of yourself to take care of the communityNever showing up empty-handedHis experience protesting in Beijing and facing possible deathWhat does it mean to be in solidarity with Black folxAddressing racism in the Asian communityHow to connect with our friends and family to have these tough conversations People we mentioned on the show: Mia Mingus(disability activist)Alice Wong(disability activist)Alicia Garza(Black Lives Matter)Patrisse Cullors(Black Lives Matter) You can find Kalaya’an on Instagram (@kalamendoza) and Twitter (@kalamendoza) and his email Check out his nonprofit Across Front Lines at You can follow me at: Instagram (


#21 Combating racism towards Asians amidst COVID-19 with Derek Tran

With the novel coronavirus spreading all around the world, so has intolerant attitudes towards Asians. Hate crimes have increased to unsettling amounts and it seems to get worse with each passing day. I am joined in this conversation with our returning guest Derek Tran to unpack the racism towards Asians and offer some advice on how to navigate it. This episode, we talk about: The current climate of COVID-19 and racism Why is this racism different from many others? Addressing the op-ed by Andrew Yang Derek’s personal experience with recent racism Why we struggle to call-out and stand up for ourselves as Asians Why is this even harder for gaysians? Defining what a hate crime is Why we love Cardi B What is the difference between calling in and calling out Some resources to stop AAPI hate Things form our show: Stop AAPI Hate: Our favorite activism socials: @Next Shark, @JackFroot, @AsianswithAttitudes Our guest on this podcast: Derek Tran (he/him/his) is a gay, second-generation Vietnamese-American entrepreneur residing in Los Angeles. His interests include mindfulness, fitness, environmental sustainability and has been an integral part of the LA Gaysian scene for more than 20+ years. You can find him on instagram @FindYourFearless You can reach out to me on: Instagram @StevenWakabayashi Facebook @wakuu and Twitter @wakuu And if you want to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter, you can find my writings at


#20 Managing Change During Turbulent Times with Ning Zhou and Marti G Cummings

We are living in an unprecedented era with many of us confined in our own homes, facing uncertainty around COVID-19, and experiencing sudden changes in employment. Join us for a session as we have a chat on staying physically and mentally healthy amidst COVID-19, establishing mindfulness to stay present and peaceful, understanding trauma responses during difficult times, and managing sudden shifts in employment. This episode, we talk about: Establishing mindfulness to stay present and peaceful Managing physical health with COVID-19 and what are recommendations on staying safe from this virus Maintaining mental health with balance and routine during shelter-in-place Establishing boundaries to prioritize ourselves Staying connected and navigating social media and news during a pandemic Understanding trauma response during turbulent times What are some opportunities we have during these difficult times Managing sudden shifts at work Resources to help those that are facing unemployment Our guests on this podcast are: Ning Jo (he/him) is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He specializes in gender, sexuality, and cultural influences on mental health. Marti G Cummings (they/them) is a candidate for NYC Council District 7, drag artist, comedian, activist, and spouse. They currently sit on community board 9, serving the people of Upper Manhattan and are an advisory on the Mayor's nightlife council. Instagram @MartiGCummings Twitter @MartiGCummings Facebook @MartiGCummings You can follow me at: Instagram ( YouTube ( Weekly Newsletter (