Gary Lee Profile picture
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17 Aug 18
1. The first time I felt seen was in my elementary school library. I was by myself, as all my classmates had already picked out books for their book reports. I had the wild idea to find a book written by someone w/my last name but found nothing. Determined, I kept looking...
2…and then I saw it. I grabbed the book, clutched it to my chest, and jumped in elation. I couldn’t believe it!

Someone with MY last name was SO important there was an ENTIRE book on him!!!

My parents had to gently explain to me that I was NOT related to Robert E. Lee.
3. There were few other AsAms in ABQ, NM. When we played the celebrity look-alike game, I always got Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, which, you know, you’d prob have to be them to make that stretch. Looking for an AsAm author or book was part of my desire to belong, to be visible.
Read 13 tweets
20 May 18
I don’t know much about hockey but something VERY special is happening in Vegas right now.

This is a classic sports story in the making. It shows how sports can bring healing and solidarity to a community after a horrible tragedy.
2/ In every game this season, the @GoldenKnights have honored heroes and remembered victims from the Oct. 1 shootings. I went to a playoff game a few weeks ago and witnessed the emotion first hand. It was reminiscent of sporting events after 9/11.
3/ Fans told me how this postseason run has helped the local community heal. These people have been brought together by tragedy and now are being brought closer together by hope.
Read 4 tweets
12 May 18
THREAD: Thought I’d take a break from the news to share the story about how I was fortunate to witness an early glimpse into the genius of @Lin_Manuel.

9 years ago on this exact date, I saw him perform in the White House East Room. I even still have the program. White House Poetry Jam Program from May 12, 2009
2/ My first WH job was in the Office of Legislative Affairs. We were simultaneously working on Recovery Act implementation, credit card reform, Senate confirmations, ACA, to name a few. I’d get to the office before our 7am mtgs and often get home after 11pm. Worth it, but…
3/ OLA was located in the East Wing of the WH to be symbolically closer to Congress. This meant anytime we went to get food from the WH Navy Mess (in the West Wing), we would cross the bottom floor of the residence, where we’d stealthily walk by the guests for official events.
Read 12 tweets
18 Apr 18
1. In 2011, I was helping with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony by organizing all the recipients in the Green Room at the WH prior to the ceremony. Lots of important people in the room, so I decided I’d be the most helpful if I just stayed out of the way in the corner.
2. That’s when I felt a warm hand touch my arm. When I looked to see who it was, I couldn’t believe it was Barbara Bush, smiling at me with such warmth and familiarity, it felt as if we were old friends.
3. She held my arm to help steady her as she came into the room. The room, already filled with Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, suddenly felt full of warmth and light. As President and Mrs. Bush passed by me, she looked at me and said, “thank you”.
Read 5 tweets
12 Apr 18
1. I’m going to try and tell this story without crying, something I have failed to do every time I think about this story, which is often.
2. 9 years ago, during his first year in office and one of his first international trips, @BarackObama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. One of my closest friends and universally loved White House staffer @joshualipsky asked if he could be on the advance team.
3. Josh’s grandmother was sent to Auschwitz because she was too injured to work, having been brutally beaten by SS guards for singing one day. Her train broke down and she was sent to another camp, where at the infirmary, she met Josh’s grandfather.
Read 14 tweets
13 Jan 18
1. I’ve never tweeted before but today felt like a good day to start.
2. President Trump made a lot of upsetting remarks this week including this one. “Where are you from?” is a question that many Asian Americans dread.…
3. This struck a chord with me not only bc I’m Korean-American, but also bc I worked at the White House, for President Obama. I left the WH in 2011 for a Fulbright scholarship in Korea. President Obama knew I was leaving to learn more about the culture and language of my parents.
Read 14 tweets