If you have read any of my previous work you have no doubt begun to garner some idea of who I am, or who you think I might be. You may have been able to piece together, detective that you are, that I am Asian (South Korean actually, we generally HATE to be called Asian), I was adopted and grew up with white parents, had white and black friends growing up, and really did not realize I was Asian Asian till I went to Korea in that long Summer of 2000. That being said, I really didn’t touch on the topic yet, but during this time period I also came to the realization that I would marry someone of similar color. This decision was based solely on race period, so we can go ahead and bypass the suspicion of racism, because that is what made the decision so easy.
Let me explain, I grew up “dating” girls that were mainly black and white growing up, though we use the term “date” loosely here because my father was both a Priest and a Doctor and the iron grip of communism might find a competitor in what I went through as a child. I laugh here, it really was not so bad, because who can really tell how suffocating a bubble truly is when a person has never known the freedoms of the “outside world?” That is why I was perfectly happy in my soft, protected, and comfortable world. A world of structure and organization, of coming home from high school and immediately cooking a whole DiGiorno Pizza and scarfing it all by myself because guess what… I could. The enviable bubble, enviable now that I look back at it and can compare to the hardships that might or might not have been going on beyond the boundaries of my own domain, that had clean and freshly laid sheets by a maid every Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school, which I would uncaringly threw my backpack onto. You never realize what you have had in the past until reflection.
This is the world that exploded in 2000 for me. It was not the Y2K bug, sorry to disappoint, if that was the inevitable word you were waiting for you can do a U-turn at the next stoplight. My world exploded due to internal torment and a new self-awareness that was more powerful than any terrorist attack or global catastrophe. My new ethnic and worldly identity left me broken and hoping to be mended at the same time. And in that moment I knew, I pieced together my past and my past hardships and I knew, I could never marry anyone that was not Asian.
When I journeyed to Korea, wide-eyed and excited, I went with the love and support of my girlfriend, who was black, whom I had been with for my whole senior year of high school. I left thinking that was perfectly normal and I was content with her at the time. She did nothing to change that outlook, far from it; she was not the cause of my ultimate reverse in personal preference. For some odd reasons when I learned of the existence of my birth sister and my birth mother it bred hope with the hate and anger. Something also “clicked,” I realized I was Asian. Perhaps some cheesy self-epiphany occurred here, if so I will spare you the audacity of trying to put it into words, but let us just say at this point I knew I was Asian and not white or black.
Growing up I dealt with so many trials and tribulations of being Asian, with no Asian friends, and being picked on by any and every race that it built a complex inside of me. I did not know who to relate to. I remember some days praying to God to change me, stop the suffering, I would rather be ANY race but Asian. Black, white, even Mexican it did not matter, I just did not want to be yellow with small eyes. Surely God has a sense of humor right? I saw the joke every day. I had the smallest eyes at my school and yet I saw the most pain. The humor only works if the joke saturates for a few… twelve years or so, so don’t be fooled if you just don’t see it.
I made a decision way back then; I would NOT allow my kids to have both the hardships of being Asian and also of being another race at the same time. It was hard enough being Asian, how could I ever want my kids to ALSO have the discomfort and shame of dealing with the mocking and jabs of being two races, not even fully one or the other. Some may look down on this, I am sure someone will even comment about “moving on and the end of racism and how this type of attitude empowers racist,” I don’t care, I simply know what I think, what I have been through, and what I want to save my kids from.
So to conclude, in a less lengthy fashion, yes I knew around that point I would always marry someone of like color. I would not mix races or mix hardships. If you are of mixed races and you dealt with any challenges you may have had and were stronger for it, kudos to you I salute you, I obviously would not have been strong enough for that additional obstacle, and perhaps God knew that.