Winter is here and for me so is a “spring” semester of college. It’s kind of exciting, but colleges are crawling with Asians! And I don’t mean other adoptees. I mean Asians with Asian parents, with Asian last names, who can look right at me and know I’m American. Or at least it feels like they can scan me and know like some sort of racist video game. “Target acquired! Barrels down, Barrels down! Target is Korean! Oh wait.. She’s culturally Caucasian. FIRE!” It’s quite the intimidating experience for me.
No matter how much I own being Korean and dressing Korean, I feel like a fake around them. I see them with Asian-American friends, Caucasian-American friends, so why don’t I feel like I can belong with them? I feel judged and paralyzed around non-adopted Asians. Perhaps it’s from my upbringing of being told everything culturally Asian is negative. When you’re in openly social situations (school, work, parties, malls, etc) how do you feel about yourself around those who are the same race as you, but not adopted? Do you avoid those people or do you try and interact with them? Lately I’ve been manning up and saying hello, but mostly I runaway. Sometimes literally.