My name is Yuri Doolan and I am 1/2 Korean, 1/4 Russian, 1/8 German, and 1/8 Irish. I was raised by my mother, a Korean immigrant – my parents have been divorced since I was three. And so, whenever I am seen in public with a parent it is with one or the other, never both.
My father has blonde hair and blue eyes so when I am with him I am perpetually perceived as adopted. And with my mother, to other Koreans, no one recognizes me as her son. They ask her “Who is this standing next to you?” When my mother responds that it’s her youngest son they gasp in disbelief.
Maybe if my parents would have stayed together people could have seen the two of them standing next to each other with me and figured it out. But the thing is, my mother raised me “Korean-style” I guess you can say. And so, I feel 100% Korean American, even though not everyone sees me that way. I want to show the world that being Korean American can look like this, like me, and that this “different type of Korean American,” is not so different after all, and it is definitely no less – not even by half. Because that’s what being Hapa is all about: showing the world our perspective and letting everyone know that things don’t have to be so black and white.