Sunday, April 11, 2010

Email response

I guess I just wanted to preface this with saying I hate writing posts like this! I hate how sad and pitiful my life seems and how weak and vulnerable things like this make me seem. I have had a hard life full of abuse, neglect, and family that never quite understood me, but when it's all said and done I honestly feel like in my 24 years I've had a pretty awesome life. I have amazing people who love me, I've never had to struggle with putting food on my table, or figuring out where I was going to sleep for the night, because somebody has always been there to take care of me. As independent as I like to think I am, I know there's no way I could live the life I do without having many people around to support me and care for me every step of the way. What I have written below sounds a lot worse than it actually felt living through it. When you read what I have written feel free to feel however you want about it, just don't feel bad for me. I am the lucky one.

When people ask me about my ethnicity I automatically respond by saying I am Asian. The thing is I am only HALF, but ethnically, I don't really think about myself as anything BUT Asian! In yesterday's post I was accused of being ashamed of my non-Asian half and the emailer wanted to know more about why I never really claim my other half. I had to think about this because I never consciously tried to play down my other half, but for some reason I ALWAYS do.

Thinking about this I came to the conclusion that I have never really felt like I was accepted into my white/hispanic family the way I was with my Asian family. Growing up around the whipanics, from the time I was old enough to understand them, my cousins and uncles always used to call me "chinese fortune cookie" or "Benihanna" or they would stop on the Asian channels and ask me what the actors on the tv were saying. They always made it clear that I wasn't really one of them, so when I think about that half of the family, I never really think of myself as part of them. I have never been the type to show anybody how much they've hurt me, so this heckling I grew up with I learned to laugh about even when I wanted to cry. Sometimes I wonder if telling my family how much it hurt when they teased me would have been enough to make them stop. I wonder how I would see myself differently if they could have accepted me as one of their own.

I never really thought about this heckling from my family as being something detrimental to how I felt about my heritage, but in a way it really has tainted the way I have been able to absorb different traits and customs and how I see myself as a multi-ethnic minority. As recently as last week when having lunch with my Great Grandfather, who immigrated from Spain in the 20's, told me (in a very casual manner), "I love you but you should not exist. Mixing the races is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Especially the Asians and the blacks because you people don't have the word of God to teach you!" Then he laughed it off and we went back to eating lunch. Granted he has no idea I am a homosexual because then he would have a whole new reason to pray me into oblivion. I am sorry if some of you out there feel that this unacceptable and you see my perception of myself as disrespectful to my Hispanic half, but I really don't care. I am who I am and that's all I am ever going to be. Being Hispanic is part of who I am, but I am always going to feel like an outsider when dealing with that part of my culture.

9 comments:

Formysake said...

First, I'm a full Asian and being that in America/Western World already brings into its own problematic stereotypes and advantages. Although, some think that I'm sometimes Hispanic...I never downplay any of it and just keep on trucking...

I don't really know what to say, I just wanted to comment on how this post, and your ethnic heritage is a welcomed and necessary viewpoint into the world we live in.

Mike said...

Hating on you seems to be VERY popular these days!!!

Albeit, you have mentioned a number of times on this blog that you are bi-racial. Dad (asian) and Mom (white). However, I don't recall you mentioning hispanic, but does it really matter? It's only a tiny part and Spanish is basically white anyway.

From what I've observed bi-racial kids identify in one of two ways: 1) by their appearance (hence, Obama), or 2) by how their families identify/refer to them, mainly their mothers.

Anonymous said...

The way you were treated was unfair and wrong. It's understandable how you shut yourself off from that part of your life, but you should try to embrace it now that you are older. Now that you have had time to get perspective on everything it would be a good time to see what you've been missing.

Chris said...

Just curious about what the breakdown of your ethnicity is?

RGB said...

Well Chris that's kind of complicated... On my dad's side I am Filipino/Chinese, my dad's exactly half and half. On my mom's side ummm, well my great grandfather is Spanish and my great grandmother was Puerto Rican, so my grandmother was Puerto Rican/Spanish and my grandfather was Scottish. So my mom is Scottish/Spanish/Puerto Rican. I guess that would make me, Filipino/Chinese/Spanish/Puerto Rican/Scottish. Or we can just go with American, because I'm like the ultimate stew in the melting pot.

Bold oy! said...

More and more people are of mixed race. Racism is so stupid. Think of a world where everybody was the same - how boring!

Tyler said...

I bet if they show a little more acceptance toward you, you'd ditch the asian heritage right out that second. Your claim of asian heritage is just a mere rebellious and pretentious act. There's a good reason why the asian community loathes people with 'banana' attitude like you.

RGB said...

You know what "Tyler"? You're kind of an asshole. You always have something kinda douchey to say though don't you?

I can be extremely pretentious when it comes to just about anything, it's in my nature to rebel against just about anything that could even remotely displease me, and I am quite literally the biggest banana (take it in every way you can) you will ever get the chance to never meet. But in this situation it really seems like you are just trying to exacerbate an already uncomfortable topic for me by denigrating my character with nonsensical bullshit insults.

I am not entirely sure what you are hoping to accomplish by equating my inability to see myself as a real hispanic, to my need to be "rebellious and pretentious". Of course it would make no sense to classify myself as an Asian just because ethnically I am more Asian than I am any other ethnicity. Please feel free to drop another knowledge bomb on me anytime! I thoroughly enjoy being insulted by anonymous losers such as yourself with nothing better to do. It feeds my ego and helps me feel superior towards ppl such as yourself who live out in the ether and I wouldn't actually give a second thought to out here in the real world.

Trevor said...

Fucking preach on rgb! The dude was a prick! Tyler go suck a fuck you micro dicked 50yr old virgin.