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When Blood is Not Thicker

I am not gay. I am not black. I am not Muslim.

I do not experience the same degree of fear, discrimination or misplaced-anger that others do.

I won’t even pretend that it’s close. But, I can empathize. I have felt a small fraction of that.

I am the [proud] product of a [beautiful] interracial marriage.

And to be honest with you, just typing that out feels weird. “Interracial”. Because to me, they are “Mom and Dad”, not “Asian Mom and Caucasian Dad”.

But, I carry the weight of knowing that a woman, who I would have otherwise called “Grandma,” chooses not to know me. That weight lessens as time passes, but it cannot be entirely removed.

Some days I feel anger. Anger when I remember how my parents were left to ask older friends from church to stand-in on “Grandparents Day” at school so I wouldn’t be alone. Anger when I think about the difficulties she put my father through- making him choose between his family and wife or her. Anger when I think about the fact that my Mom came to the United States to build a better life for herself, only to be met with such blatant racism, it’d make your skin crawl.

Other days I am thankful. Thankful because trials and tribulations shape our character. Thankful because struggles teach us about life. Thankful because I learned to treat others how I would want to be treated.

I will not pretend that I know what it’s like to have my life threatened because of who I love, or that people make preconceived judgments about me just from my appearance. But I do know what it feels like to have someone dislike you for who you inherently are. Especially someone who is supposed to love you. I cannot go back to my birth and rearrange my genes to come out looking a little more like my Dad.

Even if I could, I wouldn’t.

When I think about what it means to choose to love someone, I think of him. I think of how he fought for my mom, fought for their marriage, and fought for his children. My heart swells with so much pride knowing my mom didn’t tuck tail and run. That she stuck by him, stayed here, and raised her children to love bigger.

You might consider me only ‘half’ a minority, but that half of me has made a profound impact on my life and my perspective of the world we live in. It has made me intolerant to racism and prejudice. It has made me unconditionally accepting of all people.

I am not gay. I am not black. I am not Muslim.

I have not walked in the same shoes as you.

But, my parents fought for me.

So I fight for you.

This month, in 1967, interracial marriages became legal in all U.S. states.
My parents were already 9 & 11 years old.

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5 thoughts on “When Blood is Not Thicker

  1. Excellent essay.

    Forgive me please for one little note: being gay is not a “lifestyle choice.” For those of us who are LGBT, it’s who we discovered we are, who we discovered we love. It’s no more a choice than being heterosexual.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words are so moving best friend. I can’t believe in all of the years I’ve known you, didn’t know your grandma didn’t want to be in your life. You have so much love to give, never lose that. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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