My name: Lauren-Kelly Gleason. Were you expecting a Caucasian woman? It’s funny to see people’s reaction to my name, especially because I look nothing close to a blond-haired, blue eyed beauty.

My identity is quite simple: I am Japanese first, and Irish second. This is mostly because of my upbringing. I really only knew my Japanese family and grew up around all its rituals. Also, because I am from Hacienda Heights, CA, a Chinese suburbia, I have very few friends that are not Asian. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I never knew what it was like to be “Caucasian” because there was no one around to enforce it.

But do not assume that I am not proud to be Hapa. I am full of Hapa pride. I feel identity is shaped through one’s surroundings but also through one’s personal journey and experiences. This is what makes Hapas so unique, we all have a story about who we are and where we came from.

One thought on “Japanese, Irish

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