Being half English and half Korean, it was hard as a kid growing up in SoCal.
Even though my school was very diverse, I was the only Hapa. Moving to Hawaii changed that because it was a place where I didn’t feel like I stood out.
Now that I have been back in SoCal for 12 years, I will always consider myself as being from Hawaii.
I am proud to be Hapa because I believe it gives me a much more rounded worldview. I am able to understand things from multiple perspectives because I know that there is always duality in everything. There is no black and white, only gray.
Sometimes it is hard to be Hapa because I feel like an outsider amongst people of my own races, (sometimes my own family).
I do not consider myself to be truly Korean, I only speak a little Korean and culturally I feel very American.
Only when I am with my mom -who is Korean- do I feel Korean. Same goes for my white half, I am always reminded that I am a person of color and tend to consider myself a minority.
Since I look a little Latina, Koreans even speak to me in Spanish and while I understand that I don’t look Korean, it still hurts because it is a reminder that I don’t belong.
As I get older I have learned that I do belong, I belong to a beautiful group of Hapas. I belong to a much larger group of all people who are minorities and I belong to the future.
All of the children in my family’s next generation are mixed and/or Hapa. I myself am expecting my first child with my husband who is French, Scottish, Hawaiian and Chinese. I am looking forward to teaching my children about all of their cultures, and to love and embrace how special they are.