Cover Photo: Photograph courtesy of Jenny Tinghui Zhang; photo illustration by Matt Ortile
Photograph courtesy of Jenny Tinghui Zhang; photo illustration by Matt Ortile

Alone in Wyoming, I Found My Place Through Karaoke

As a woman of color moving to Laramie, Wyoming, I was afraid that I wouldn’t fit in, that I would be unsafe. But at karaoke night at The Ruffed Up Duck, I found my place among the the defiant.

lack

The Simpsons

UnforgivenThe Hateful EightWind RiverBrokeback MountainThe Laramie ProjectThe Matthew Shepard Story

’s only 10 p.m. when we walked into The Duck, but the place was already reaching maximum capacity (seventy-eight people, max). There was a small raised stage near the entrance. To its right, a karaoke jockey was taking song requests from a line of four people. A pool table occupied the space in front of the stage, shrinking as more and more people crowded around it.

that

not the same

Jenny Tinghui Zhang is a Chinese-American writer from Austin. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Wyoming, is a 2016 VONA/Voices alumna, and a participant of the 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Apogee, CALYX, Ninth Letter, Passages North, wildness, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Rumpus, with essays in Huffington Post, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others. She is a prose editor for The Adroit Journal and is working on a novel. Find her at jennytinghui.com