A fun fact about me is … I am the founder of this website! And I am currently working on a children’s book about being mixed race.
I racially identify as …. Mixed. Half Chinese, half white. Also, AZN.
When people ask me the question “what are you?” I usually say … I usually don't answer the question directly. I most often get asked “where are you from?” and I’ll say that I live in Phoenix. If they continue to pry, I’ll say that I moved to Phoenix from China, and that I lived for over ten years in China. Usually I don’t offer up my ethnicity to strangers who ask, unless they ask absolutely directly (like, "what is your ethnicity?”), then I say that I am mixed or half Chinese. If it’s in a setting where I might continue to interact with people on a regular basis (friends of friends, work, or school), I would probably explain that I grew up in China and that my father and his family immigrated to Phoenix in the 1960s.
My favorite thing about being mixed is … having other mixed friends from all over the world. And being proud of my Chinese heritage while living in a white-dominant country. And being able to float in and out of different communities and cultural settings with relative ease and comfort.
The most difficult thing about being mixed is … never being sure how other people perceive me, sometimes feeling like people are staring at me and not knowing if it has to do with my race (or is it my tattoos, my hair, my outfit, or something else?). And being questioned when I'm not in the mood to talk to a stranger, and especially being rejected/denied to my face when I state my ethnicity (“no you're not!”). Those people are seriously the worst.
If I could visit anywhere in the world, it would be … So many places… Greece, to start, this family-owned island-turned-retreat called Silver Island, I’ve been dreaming about it for what feels like ten years now! And a childhood dream of going on a Safari, I have a few friends in South Africa so I think I would like to start there :)
If I had one day left on Earth, I would eat … VEGAN DIM SUM from this yummy vegan restaurant in Chinatown, NYC. Vegan char siu all day…
When I was a kid, I wish I would have known that … Parents don’t always know everything, and your parents have probably never experienced what life is like as a mixed race person. Whatever you feel is legitimate and valid, and it’s okay to talk about it with people, even other adults like school counselors or other family members or friends. Whatever mix you are, I’m pretty sure you’re a cool kid, and you deserve to feel proud of every part of your heritage and your family. If anyone makes you feel otherwise, ashamed or embarrassed, they are definitely not half as cool as you are.