Growing up, I always considered myself White. This was mainly because I spoke only English and had little interaction with other Asians. There were probably 4 Asian kids in my highschool, one of which was me. As I got older and starting seeing the world I realized that I wanted to embrace BOTH sides of myself.
Some people notice right away that I’m Asian. Others think I’m just White. My mother thinks I look Italian. In middle school I was assumed to be Hispanic. This type of guessing game isn’t anything new to us Hapas!
At first I didn’t like being mixed. “Why can’t I look more Asian?” I would lament. When I would tell people I couldn’t speak Chinese they’d look disappointed. I felt like an embarrassing excuse of an Asian. But now, after the passing of my Chinese father and German grandmother, I realized I should be proud. I carry a legacy; my father’s eyes, my grandma’s hands – and keeping them with me is more important that what media says is the perfect race.