The student news site of Wayzata High School

Struggles of Being Biracial

March 11, 2018

Bella Brown

  When I was young, I would ask my dad about our ethnicity and why we were some of the only colored people in our family. He never would elaborate on the topic, except to say he was very thankful to be adopted by his loving parents.
  My father was adopted from South Korea by my grandparents after he was left at an orphanage. My mother was born in South Dakota to a nice four-person family. Being mixed comes with a lot of self-identity issues. One of the main struggles I have dealt with throughout my life is confusion with my cultural identity and where I fit.
   I was raised mainly by my mother throughout my life. My mom is a short beautiful blonde. I thought I was white for those years. I would always go to the store and look at barbies and dolls and I would always want one that looked like me, and I would always pick one that was blonde with blue eyes like my mom.
  I think part of my cultural confusion came from the fact that my father is similar to me. When he grew up and found out about his past, he had no interest in exploring his culture.
Throughout my middle school years, I was friends mainly with Caucasian girls. The concept of “whitewashed” was first introduced to me in about sixth grade.
  I wasn’t an honor student. When I needed academic help in 8th grade the jokes about being a “dumb Asian” came along. This made me feel as if I was an outsider in my own culture.
  My little sisters have a different father than I do: they are Caucasian and I am biracial.
  It was my little sister Maggie’s 8th birthday and she yelled “Sissy!” and all of her friends gave us both a confused look. They then pulled her aside and said with disbelief on their face, “That’s your sister?” When I saw Maggie’s face, it broke my heart.
  She was confused and hurt by the fact that they didn’t accept me as her sister because of something as meaningless as my skin tone. I heard this and was immediately hurt and felt isolated since I was the only colored person in the room.
  My mom simply laughed and said, “Kids will be kids.”
  It was eye-opening to realize that these children had never seen different colored siblings and were simply not educated on this topic.
  Throughout this struggle of self-identity and wanting to belong, I have come across many people who feel the same way. Even though both of us feel confused and long to belong, for once I have felt the true sense of acceptance and understanding from others.

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