I Don'T Feel Like I'M Asian

I'm a 17 year old boy and I am of Korean descent. But truthfully, I've never felt asian my whole life so far and thats why I'm writing this. I have a lot to say about myself: outcast, leper, loser, etc. But my whole life, the one label I really hate is ASIAN. I can't say its not true, I am asian, but only in name. I don't feel asian one bit. I can't speak my language, nonetheless stand my culture's food or my culture at that. Don't get me wrong, when I say I hate being called asian is when some random douchebag who doesn't know me any better just labels me and assumes I'm just like any other stereotypical asian. I just can't stand it.

Anyways, the point of me writing this is to talk about the root of my problem. I suffer with identity issues (at least thats what the doctor said). I don't know whether to label myself as Korean or American. For some reason I just can't get around the fact I have Korean blood. I personally think my problems start with my father. *Sigh* my dad, where to begin...well it all starts with him. I think he may even be the root of the problem, but thats for another story.

My dad is old school, and I mean REALLY old school. He comes from a very patriarchal generation of Koreans, where the men were lazy pigs and let the women take care of them. My father never worked a day in his life, he always had everything taken care of for him (this thought just disgusts me). My mom on the other hand, is a completely different story. She came to the US from Korea when she was 6, and grew up with her 4 other siblings in Queens for almost her entire life. Growing up that in the US really westernized her I guess. Growing up she went through a similar (and worse) situation of being labeled as asian and all that. It made her tough, lol like classic New York tough if you wanna put it that way. Now back to my story. So by now you probably get that my parents come from 2 completely different spectrums. My old fashioned Korean father and my REALLY Americanized mother. Now that was a serious problem when my mom was fixed in an arranged marriage with my father. They were nothing alike! And pretty much there marriage went to ****. My dad would be out drinking all the time while my mom would work like a dog for slave wages just to support the them. Then a year later, my mom gave birth to me. Its funny, cuz my dad wasn't there at the hospital when I was born. I found out he was out at some bar drinking. Ever since I was young I would always remember my dad being somewhat distant towards me and always yelling at me. Growing up, he was never able to support my family. And as the years progressed, I would resent him more and more and more. Finally when I was 7 my mom finally got the guts to divorce him, something I felt really mixed about. MY whole life I've tried to get along with him, but there was this big cultural barrier between us. Since my dad wasn't around much, my moms the one who pretty much raised me, which is why I don't know much Korean anything. But truthfully, I also kinda abandoned my culture on my own will. I just never could relate to other Koreans. I never made friends with any of them. I was just...different.

Growing up, all the other Korean kids would make fun of me for being different. But I just couldn't help it. I was bullied relentlessly and it was becoming depressed. It got so bad to the point where I had to see a doctor. It was there where I was diagnosed with identity disorder. I was in a struggle with my cultural identity. I also found out the reason I would refuse to accept my Korean culture is the mental image I project of my father. Right from the get-go, my earliest memories of my father were very negative and didn't really reinforce a good image of him. Mentally, I would project all my hate of my father onto my own culture. Its really sad but its true.

So thats my backstory. MY main problem is finding someone who will like me for who I am. I've never really been into asian girls for some reason. I guess its cuz of the whole mental image thing I just mentioned earlier. I guess its like a psychological barrier. But I do find myself really attracted to girls of other ethnicities. But every time I try and start a relationship, I always get turned down. At first I thought it was no big deal, until it was every girl that turned me down. I honestly had no idea what was wrong and regret that I found out. One day during the hall, I overheard some girls gossiping about me how I asked out one of the girls in my class. My heart broke when I found out she turned me down because I was asian, same with the others is what I sadly found out later. I couldn't believe that was really their reason. Its weird because I'm not really that asian in the first place. I honestly don't think I can have a relationship with anyone anymore. If this is really why girls are turning me down, I honestly don't think I can start a relationship...period. I don't wanna sound like a wuss, but I practically cried when I found out. Its really a shame that even today people still judge you for what you look like. Anyways, bottom line is, I just want to be loved as I am now. I don't want to change just for the sake of others. I like the way I am now. And to my Korean community, I'm sorry. I'm sorry but I just can't be with you guys. Maybe someday, I will finally connect with my culture, but only on my own terms, no one elses. Overall, I just wanna be loved without being judged by my physical appearance.
dyoo17 dyoo17
18-21, M
16 Responses Feb 17, 2013

I am Vietnamese and I speak broken Vietnamese, but I feel you. I want to be like my Father, but it is so damn hard in my school to get all A I have A and B. I want to get in the college I want, but I cant now because of two damn picky teachers. I am very Americanized and act it too. I am one of the biggest jokers and pranksters in my school. I feel you and how it feels to be Asian but Very Americanized. I wish you all the best, things will get better. They have to get worse to get better.

I completely empathise. I'm a girl who was born in Hong Kong but I've always been told that I've been completely 'westernised' and not asian at all. I really wish I was more connected with my original culture and everything but the problem is that I just do not find the general popular culture of Hong Kong (and to be honest other Asian countries) very appealing or interesting, in fact - I find it bloody odd, especially with the fashions and hairstyles, slangs, behaviour, music, beliefs etc... and for those reasons I simply cannot get along with asian guys and I feel so terrible about it. I know some guys had told my friends that I'm some ***** that only likes white guys and that's why I won't go out with them. But when I'm in Britain, I hate the way I'm labeled as well as just "asian" and that's all there is to me - and it's infuriating the way everyone always has this face of astonishment when I respond to them in fluent english and say something along the lines of "Oh I was not expecting you to sound like that" and maybe it's just paranoia, but I know that's a polite way of saying "I honestly thought you were going to go 'ching chong ting tong'"
I'm really glad I came across your post... I've always thought similar things but I'm always so embarrassed and even ashamed to admit to it. I hope things work out for you (or even better - already have worked out for you!)

Sad to hear that you've had these awful experiences! I'm much like you - same age, Korean and feeling like an outcast - but I'd say the best way to deal is to just forget about pleasing anyone, or meeting other people's standards and just start doing your thing. I've gone through years of trying to meet expectations thinking that I had to change everything about me before anyone liked me; needless to say, I was completely flabbergasted when people liked me better when I just lived as I was

I'm oddly exactly like you, only I'm black, LOL. I don't know if I'm truly Black because I don't look it, and if I do claim to be black, black people never accept me. It's frustrating because I literally don't fit in with any race. Funny thing is that i LOVE Asian guys haha I think you guys are cute. Sadly the Asian guys I tried to pursue either didn't like me because i wasn't Asian, or liked me at first until i said I was black. Yeah it's discouraging. But as for your culture, I know how it feels to not want to be labeled by a stereotype. Every time someone asks if I like fried chicken or watermelon im ready to punch them. In the country we live in, minorities aren't too well understood. I'm 17 now , but for the longest time I wanted to be any other race than black. I hated myself. Now I'm not so bad, but I have my days. So i understand where you come from.

would greatly appreciate if u would read this and give your honest view on it. I am still wondering whether to make it public or not. I would be really grateful if u would do me this favour. thank you. :)


I'm sorry you had such a tough time and you continue to have a tough time. I'm Korean and I dont hang out with any other Koreans here. Mainly because there's not that many where I live and the ones that I do know are all kind of stuck up, pretentious douches ;)
Anyways, dont let the rejections bring you down. I know its easier said than done.
Both my parents moved to the states from Korea and my ******* for a father was like yours (at least thats what i've heard from others, I havent seen him since i was 3).
Anyways, its tough and unfortunately this is the hand that was dealt to us.
So what do we do with?
We play to win!

I know this is old but I cam accross it and can relate to it in some ways. I'm Puerto Rican, grew up somewhat similar to the way you did. Never had much of a relationship with my dad besides yelling and arguing and verbal abuse. I honestly think that's one of the biggest factors in why i'm just not attracted to hispanic men at all. Especially since the men in my dad's family seem to be the same..

Anyways, what I really wanted to say is you shouldn't let idiot girls discourage you into thinking that we all think the same way. There are some of us out here who find Asian men and men of other cultures and races attractive. I'm one of them but what i'm really attracted to is their personality. Being yourself is enough, you just have to find the right person who accepts every part of you no matter what.

I understand how you feel, when I was younger I often got turned down when I asked boys out, the sole reason being I was black, It made me hate my black side and go running to my tsalagi side, just hang in there, we'll find someone someday

Me too

You're a great writer!
You should take a screen writing course when you go to uni and move out here to LA when you finish up.
I'd definitely help you produce this as a film (if not star in it ;). Or both~!).

Anyway, you're in highschool, brother! Keep your head up! When you get to college, it'll be a LOT more fun and a LOT easier to meet hot girls.

(Preferably, move away for uni. There are waaaaay too many Koreans in your area that close to Fort Lee, and all ...)

If you can't connect with your father, don't sweat it. I don't talk with mine either. But I've still met more than enough wise men to guide me along my path with useful fatherly advice, as will you.

And regarding your Asian-ness, again, don't sweat it. grow a sense of humor about it and people will accept you instantly. I promise.

Wow that's quite long story...I did not read everything :) , but I understand how you feel. My parents were totally strict asian parents -.-' ... I was born in the netherlands....I did not have asian friends when I was younger. I feel dutch, but I am not and I feel less asian even though I know I am and look that way. And sometimes I do feel people don't like me because I am asian. But you know as you get older you realize those people are stupid. Asians are cool. I used to want to be white all the time, but the older I get the more I appreciate asian culture and I find a lot of asians to be very attractive. That girl turning you down because you were asian sounds pathetic anyways, so I wouldn't worry :)

dood i want your life. I am Mongolian, but would die to be Korean. Plus I do not look Asian at all and people think I am not. I am Puerto RIcan and Hungarian too though.

It seems that you have grown up in a region where most of the populations are white. (am I right?) I am a first generation korean guy studying in Wisconsin (duh) and I can see some identity crisis in second generation asians living here. (e.g. they avoid eye contact with me etc...) Why don't you have a trip to more diverse area where there are lots of second generation asian americans, like california and see how you feel there. Hope this helps.

actually the exact opposite really. the town i grew up in was definitely mostly asian, korean to be more specific and i always thought something was wrong with me until i moved out and made friends with people of other races. It sounds weird but if you meet me in person, you'll see what i mean. I'm not one of those asian guys who try to be black or those asians that try and be white, I'm just myself and thats who I want to be

Ohhhhhkay;Lets' turn that around Shall we---I'm white and have always like "ASIAN" girls/women----but would they date me ?? NOOOOOO;why you might ask ? Well this is my therory---I think your all brianwashed by your parents to marry some "collage" guy who will be very successful(and rich)!! I've been a mailman(letter carrier) fot the past 35yrs and loved the contact i had with my customers--but when i would try and date a "Asian" girl/woman and told her what my job was--it was like telling her i was a rapist or worse. So you see there are two sides to every story!! John

You know, I completely identify with you. I grew up in Cambodia until I was 6 and then was adopted by a white family. My father is American and my mother is French and they're Mormons so obviously I grew up in a family with no ties to Asian culture. My siblings would tease me about looking different and even though they weren't trying to be mean it always hurt my feelings. For a long time I shunned my heritage and tried to blend in and be "white" and was resentful of being Cambodia. I lived in a very tiny town in New Hampshire and I was the only Asian person at my school. To make it worse, I don't look Korean/Chinese/Japanese so I remember one girl saying to me "you aren't even the pretty type of Asian". It was so hurtful! But as I became an adult I've grown to appreciate my heritage a lot more and I hope the same for you. Until you accept who you are, Korean and American, I don't know how at peace you will feel!

Hi :) I read your story, sounds like you've been through a lot :( Life can be very unfair sometimes it seems (I think it's unfair a lot, lol). I understand what you mean about wanting to be loved for who you are. I'm kind of in the same boat in that I always get rejected for stupid reasons that never make any sense to me :( Always something wrong with me in their opinion. Anyway, if you'd ever like to chat, send me a message :) Or if you just want someone to vent to or anything, lol.