Bing bing. In the mouths of my Black students my ethnicity is the sound of an elevator rising past the floors of some anonymous downtown building they will never set foot in. Our security guard, also Black, uses Chinaman instead, which I’m busily un-teaching alongside the elevator’s ring. My aunt was a teacher, too, called her boys hak guai, as my grandmother called my mother bok guai. Devils of two colors, but devils nonetheless. And I was simply quai. No Chinese family praises too much its favored child, old fear of covetous demons. My students now, likewise naughty, troublesome, trembling not with fear but laughter at racial terms thrown about our room. To them I am something else entirely— a teacher by any other name is still fucking white-acting. My kids want to know what kinds of women I have loved. If I’ve ever dated a Black woman. They don’t know the word butch, but they know stud. I suppose I could tell them about the woman I wanted to go home with, spring break in Jamaica, the fear afterward. The young men hosting me imagining I had talked to another boy (apparently, they didn’t know the words butch or stud). And considering the way, the night before, the brother of my assigned fling flashed me the gun he packed into his waistband, nothing like the strapped-on packages I’d wanted to touch on butches and bois back at school who thought I was too straight-looking, I knew if they found out the truth we might get hurt, really hurt by these boys who called me Chinese Girl. But on second thought flings and bars probably aren’t what I should disclose to my kids. Happy marriage. Safely gay. When the driver’s buddy in our Beijing black car started asking me, tong zhi, tong zhi? I didn’t know where we were, or what time it was, so I gave my girlfriend a look that said silent, and I said, ting bu dong, ting bu dong, no, I do not understand you. Waiting for the safe escape into the hotel’s glass doors and swift, silent elevator up to a quiet room that held one double bed. Not telling them about spending years as the sweet roommate to my future wife, chatting politely about the Virgin Mary or the patience of being a Special Educator with my future father-in-law, who tells me I’ve been watching this minister on TV, last name Kim, I think he is Asian, and Do you know him? The way that closet collapsed, and suddenly we were both on an express elevator to hell, e-mails full of hate and anger, and me no longer anything even human to him. Everyone wondering how he could have missed it, his butch daughter who for years never brought anyone but a woman home, his deluded hope that I might wield a feminizing influence, before I became nothing but race, sex, sin. It’s a pretty good day, if the kids are just asking what kinds of women I’ve loved. They just want to know who it is I really am. What shape my name should take in their mouths. When I finally get home I will look my wife in her eyes unlike mine, and will wonder but will not ask, When you look at me, what do you see?