To be more specific, My father is African American and my mother is Filipino.
I have two siblings, an older sister and an older brother.
For most of us who are mixed, we understand that if we have siblings, we may not all come out looking like the same mix, meaning we pull different features from each of our parents and sometimes may not look like we’re related.
This was somewhat the case with my siblings and I. We’re each different colors, shading from vanilla-sister, caramel-brother and coffee creme-myself, but if you put our colors aside, you can see the obvious resemblance between us all.
With this being said, growing up in military family, most of my childhood was spent living on the military bases where majority of the families are multi-racial/cultural like our family. I never felt out of place or different as a child because I grew up in communities where it was the “norm.”
However, when my father retired and we moved to the suburbs of Tucson, Arizona, I noticed my obvious difference among the caucasian community we lived in.
Most of the people who I grew up with in my early and later teens were never exposed to other cultures besides the Spanish culture Arizona brings, so I was like an alien to them. Most did not know of anyone who was Hapa, so when friends would meet my family, they would be surprised to see the “Asian lady” beside me, wondering the oh so familiar question, “Is that Asian lady your mom?” because when they saw me, all they saw was color, not features.
Although I was vey much mindful of being and looking different, I’ve never felt ashamed of what or who I am. In fact, I more so embraced my exotic looks and loved that I look so different from your typical girl next door.
I have always been proud of my family and culture and whenever anyone ask me what I am, I always communicate both races. I don’t feel that I identify with one more than the other for I feel I equally represent both.
I’M AFRO-FILO..I’M PROUD AND I’LL SAY IT LOUD!