Phenotypically, I look more like my father’s side of the family. So it’s no surprise that when I tell people that I’m mixed, or that when they meet my mother (who is a full-blooded Filipina from Cebu) the response is usually, “Oh, so that’s why you don’t talk like a black girl,'” or “Ohhh, ok…I figured there was something else in there!”

Even stranger, I grew up in Norman, Oklahoma which is predominately white. My friends (95% of which are white) affectionately labeled me as “whiter than they are,” thus a member of such an exclusive group. Even having this “support,” however I felt very out-of-place growing up. I couldn’t fully identify with one side (either being “not black enough” for the black culture or “too dark” for the asian culture), so I started embracing my identity: 100% hapa. I don’t have to “choose one” on those forms requiring you to mark your race, and I never do. And I’m proud of my heritage.

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