“I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood as a half Chinese and half European girl and I remember I was lucky in that in my first year in pre-school I happened to find the one other girl that was half Korean and half European. And that actually went really well, as far as being comfortable in my identity. But later, she had moved out.
Then I remember after this, being more aware of the fact that I was the only one that did not look like everybody else.
I spent a lot of time trying to push my Chinese side because I don’t know my white side of the family really at all. And so, I was pushing my Chinese side because that felt natural to me. But then I remember everyone kind of thinking about me as being this fake Chinese girl, or like those weird kids that are too into Asian culture or something.
I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well, I look more white so maybe I should just pretend to be white’.
And after doing that then kind of getting accepted more by everyone else around me. Then when it was this very strange sort of getting back to that multiracial identity much later on in life and as I got more interested and I did more and more research.”
“After leaving the states, I remembered it was one of the first times that it didn’t matter what I looked like – I was just American. Then, I got much more confident with that and got more into this multiracial identity. I did a bunch of research online starting two years ago or so and remember there not being too much information on the Internet during that time, just a couple psychology reports that reviewed biracial people from the 90s and a census recording.
So, I pieced together a multiracial identity based around this and later with conversations I had with multiracial communities. I also started one this last fall in Germany, which is called, All Related. These are a group of artists in Hamburg who are all from a multiracial or multi-ethnic background. I founded this project to work to create internationally connected cultural centers based around multiracial and ethnic culture. We were planning on just getting started with a series of exhibitions this year until the COVID-19 outbreak began. Though, we hope we can continue that progress in the future.”
“In the book, I cover the range based is visual appearance and cultural identity to show that these aren’t really specified or stagnant. They can range from one end to the other. It all depends on person’s story and the idea that culture is more individual and fluid. A multicultural person can feel one identity or another, or even both at all different times. People are able to access any of those layers of their identity at any time.
I think multiracial identities are more multifaceted a like this.”
Discover more about Beth on her website
Read the guide here