Being multihued: you think it would be something I could I understand very well. In a sense, I do understand the different lifestyle a biracial person leads. My life was different though. I didn’t endure the pains and emotional setbacks that Luckett did. I “received the best of both years” (Luckett 866). Luckett was “exposed to both the ugliness and benefits of multiracial life” -something I can’t say I’ve done. My family was good to me, I grew up quite fortunate, and I haven’t had any really traumatizing experiences. I simply haven’t suffered enough to attain true wisdom.But there is one piece of wisdom that Luckett talks about that I can completely agree with, even back up with my own experiences. The people around you completely and utterly shape who you are. While it is a pretty extreme view, I think everything that defines us, from our appearance, to our personality, to our everyday choices are ultimately shaped by how we were raised in society and how that society continues to affect us as we interact with it on a daily basis. Yes, we do make vital choices everyday: Will I choose to study for this test or just blow it off? Will I open the door for the girl walking behind me or will I ignore her? Heck, Will I go pursue a bachelors degree or give up and go live on the streets? But in reality, our choices aren’t as simple as we may think. Our choices are subconsciously molded by our past interactions with people, places and things in a incomprehensibly complex manner. We don’t really have as much control over our actions as we think we do. Luckett knows the importance of the people around him, so much so that he began the search for his father, “the man that had influenced his growth and sparked insurmountable curiosity.” (Luckett 868) If I was to generalize the influence of parents on their children it would be like this: When it comes to the important things, children either embrace the model that their parents have provided and live it themselves, or they struggle to break free and strive their whole life to live exactly how their parents had NOT intended. I am sure there is a little bit of a spectrum, but I am sure everyone falls a little-bit into one of the two categories. Johnny Lee is the latter example, but in his unfortunate situation, he didn’t really have a choice. Lee realized he was gay and more importantly realized it was part of who he is-not something that could be changed. He had to sacrifice his relationship with his parents. Johnny Lee understands that “his life will never be the same.” When it comes to his parents, “it is difficult to feel the same love [he] once felt for [his] mother and father” and is saddened by the realization that, “It is impossible to take any of it back.” (Lee 879) What is just as saddening is that Lee knows that his parents contempt is a product of cultural influences. Lee understands that he cannot change their minds and that they have long accepted that “There is no Korean gay” (Lee 228)
Betty Nguyen on her half Vietnamese identity.
Vincent Ng shares a similar problem, but his fear of confronting his parents has major effects on his actions. Again, I would argue that his strained relationship with his parents has, over the years, changed who he is. His fear resulted in silence and suppression. His “concerns about [his] race and the absence of any romantic or sexual relations even of the most fleeting kind had…remained tacit throughout high school.” (Ng 884) In the end, he still has to work on the “continuation transformation in my relationship with [his] father.” (Ng 887)
In the end, I’d like to think that mankind is working in the right direction, that we are embracing the good that society has to offer and pulling away from the bad. Part of me wants to say that everything is genetics and psychology, that our choices really aren’t choices at all, but another part of me wants to say that I underestimate the power of free will. Honestly?…I’m not sure. I guess I have time to figure it out.