So long as I live, I will never be able to get off these Hapa issues. After all the issue is me. I can’t escape being Hapa. I just had a post, saying maybe I spend too much time online dwelling on these issues. And here I’m back again. I will never escape it. I keep coming back. There was a Hapa girl who posted a comment, about how she wished she could stop reading my blog, because it was too depressing. But she can’t help but come back and read the new comments. Here I’m, the author of this blog, and I too would like to escape it. I haven’t been back since 2011. In 2013 I even took it down for a few months, thinking I could close the Eurasian chapter of my life forever. But its clear that this book will only close with my life.
I will never escape being Hapa. People will always see it in my face. My face announces my race. And all the crap that comes with it. I will never be free. Perhaps I’m a bit paranoid. When a sweet little freshman Jessica Simpson clone asks me sweetly ‘SEL, What are you?’ I perceive a racist KKK assault on me. The very acknowledgement of the strangeness of my identity, torments me. My answer is of course to not answer. In college, I had the same question from a very pretty European model. She is not some dumb American blonde Jessica Simpson. With her European sophistication, she waits for me to give her the opening to ask. She does not ask baldly out of the blue. I make a comment about the cold weather, being unnatural for my hot blood. She grabs the opening to ask “and what are you?”. As I did in high school, I simply refuse to acknowledge her question. With more conversational grace, than an American ditz, she seemingly picks up on my discomfort, and changes the subject. Delicately preserving my male dignity, from my greatest weakness. The question will never go away. Even from people I like. And it doesn’t matter if I’m a freshman in high school or in college.
In a way its a compliment. Since for me the worst thing you can be is a Eurasian male. The very fact that I look a bit strange, not fully Asian, is a compliment to my part whiteness. There was this one time I was trying to connect with an Asian exchange student. And so I told him that I was full-Asian like him. And this American born Chinese girl, who was his friend, asked me if I was just full Asian? I suppose this too is a compliment in its way. I complained in 2011, that my Asian genes dominate so much, that even full-Asians can be fooled into thinking I’m one of them. But despite me claiming to be full Asian, she had to ask me again. So perhaps I’m not as full Asian looking as I think. Even when I claim to be full-Asian, people can still see the Eurasian in me.
How do I walk outside of myself? How do I stop being Hapa?
If I ran a depression blog about my existential angst, and never bothered to mention my race, I would just be assumed to be a generic white guy. You don’t have to have a race on the internet. I could just shut up about being Hapa and blend in. And yet even here, online, my identity is totally bound up with being Eurasian. Even in anonymous cyberspace, I can’t outrun my race. This is a cage, I shall never exit, except in death.
I was forced to be me. And Me is a Eurasian. There is no separating my personal life from racial Hapa issue. For since earliest childhood, this has been the singular fact defining me. This was not by choice. But from an early age, this identity was imposed on me. No one would allow me to be a generic, colorless human. But lets be honest, colorless is just another way of saying white. Its true in recent years, I haven’t gotten many comments about being Asian or Eurasian, but its dare. Maybe it was worse in childhood and teens. Perhaps since SEML, it hasn’t come up in person as much, and I’ve let these large sociological issues define me. Sometimes when its not mass sociology, and its just me alone with real, human people. One has to wonder, how much Eurasian they see in me. How much my identity is shaped by these large social stereotypes by them. How much it prevents them from seeing a human person in me. Will I ever be a person to anyone? I no longer believe so. Hapa is contrary to human. I will not say Hapa Human. If you see me, 1st and foremost as a Hapa. Then as far as I’m concerned, I’m an Alien Mutant to you. It is in this sense, that I don’t feel that anyone has ever treated me as a human.
Oh sure, they might not openly say anything about me being Hapa. But that is just PC politeness to spare my feelings. They are not blind. They are not colorblind. They see a Hapa in me, with everything that comes with it. And if they bite their tongue, to spare my feelings, they spare nothing. When I look into the eyes of another human, I can see a Hapa reflection in it. This is what I fear most about humans. The mirror in their eyes, that shows my Hapa face back to me. They will never let me stop being Hapa, until I die. They might not even mean it maliciously. But whether they want to or not, they will see a Hapa in me. This is why a bag over my head would be an improvement. Perhaps then I could finally be a colorless generic man.