Issue One: Proud
I have a Chinese mother, a Caucasian-Australian father and was raised in Australia. I’m in my twenties and although there are more mixed-race couples now, I’m not one of many mixed-race people my age. Funnily enough, one of the most awkward recurring moments for me being a Eurasian person living in Australia has been at the grocery check-out. So often when I’m shopping with my mum I quickly jump in and say we’re ‘together’ before the check-out person gives me a weird look for standing right next to my Asian mum (who they think is a stranger) or gives my mum a weird look for ‘pushing in’ when she puts her shopping next to mine. I started to notice it when I was pretty young as the check-out person would often ask if we were together. Now I’ll find myself unconsciously doing things to signal to people that we are related, like starting a random conversation with her at the check-out or touching her arm. It’s a small thing but it does bother you that people assume you’re not related, and that I’m not Chinese. They assume that I don’t look like how her daughter would look. And it’s a completely excusable assumption. I don’t look much like her. But I’m proud to be her daughter, and I’m proud to be half-Chinese. So I’m going to keep signalling that to people.