No matter where I live or whom I date, I will always be out of context.
Here’s how it all began: My mother and my maternal grandparents were born in Burma. My grandpa’s father was Chinese and my grandma’s father was British; both of their mothers were Burmese. Unlike many first generation Asian Americans, my mom’s first language was English. My paternal grandparents are first and second generation Americans of Eastern European ancestry with firmly established Jewish identities.
Because I was raised in the racially intolerant Southwest, the fact that I developed my own strong Asian American identity is somewhat of a miracle. After all, Phoenix, Arizona is home to the nation’s strictest anti-immigration policies and state university fraternities that host “dress like black people”- themed MLK celebrations. And unlike “majority-black” Washington, D.C., my current home of 14 years, nearly 70 percent of the Phoenician population self-identified as white as of the 2010 Census.
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