There is really nothing that makes me qualified to be giving any of you life advice, but alas, here we are. 

Although as brown kids, many of us have lived very different lives, there are so many things that unite us, including navigating life while managing our parents' reactions to our choices—or hiding our choices from them altogether.

It’s complicated. 

There are a lot of things in my life that I know I can’t ask my parents about, and what I’ve learned through the many articles I’ve written or experiences I’ve shared on Twitter, is that so many of you can relate. 

This doesn’t mean we should shy away from these tough conversations, but rather, this column is meant to give you the extra support to navigate through them, from someone who literally has no idea what’s going on, ever.

How fun!

What's given me solace through sharing my stories and experiences or helping unpack other people's problems, is that so many of us are just trying our best to reconcile our personal needs with the expectations and wishes of our families.

This column is meant to remind us that we aren't alone, and hopefully solve some of our personal quandaries, that are likely less personal than we think.

I recognize, however, that as I’ve made abundantly clear, I am not an expert. The good thing is, for questions I am unable to answer, I can do what any good journalist would do, and ask people who are far more equipped than I am. Occasionally, I’ll draw on members of the community to help with your conundrums, and so that we can build a sense of community around the chaos that is absolutely bound to ensue.

Feel free to submit questions and experiences related to all the things you can’t talk to your parents about, or all the things you’ve tried to ask them, only to be met with a terrible reaction. That includes: sex and dating, setting boundaries with your family, navigating moving out or living at home, wedding planning, in-law troubles, making choices for yourself instead of for your family, and really, everything in between. 

All submissions can be made anonymously on this form: 

Response blogs will be released on Monday afternoons. 

Can’t wait to answer your questions. Xoxox.

- Rumneek 

About the author

Rumneek Johal

Rumneek is a journalist, host and speaker. She is currently the BC Reporter at Press Progress where she focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism. Her previous work centers on asking tough questions within her community, starting conversation and chipping away at the status quo. Other focus areas for her work include the South Asian community, arts and culture, pop culture, and more. She is a proud Punjabi woman from Surrey, BC.

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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.