dress at times, can hide the fact that I’m not quite white. The way I look can’t be overlooked.
I’m not brown enough to be a person of color either. Words that come to mind, though I’ve been fortunate to not have heard them directed at me, are banana and Twinkie: yellow on the outside, but white on the inside. I felt at home in Hawaii, with most of the population having a myriad of Pacific Rim identities being represented. Though I knew I wasn’t brown enough to completely fit in the community, I was born and raised in the islands and there was a camaraderie of being a local. Seattle is much different. Never more have I felt more different. The Greater Pacific Northwest is pretty white overall, but not only am I not white enough to be even partly white, but I’m not brown enough either.
At times I don’t know if I can claim to be Filipino while I’m here, not even close to speaking any dialect, not being familiar with any traditions, and barely knowledgeable of any Filipino food. My mother was far too Americanized to pass on any traditions or even family history. While I feel more at home as a person of color, there is no common history with people who look like me. I’m sure there are others who are in the same situation, but it seems like I haven’t yet found any of them.
Learn more about Asa!
Major/Year/School: B.S. in Biology, c/o 2017, Whitworth University; Spokane, WA
Fun fact: Asa loves to drive to new places. He once took a brief road trip Medford, OR to get an In-N-Out hamburger from Seattle. He returned to Seattle in the same day.
What they’re doing now: Working as an Administrative Coordinator at EarthCorps, an environmental restoration non-profit based out of Seattle that aims to train the next generation of environmental leaders through ecologically restorative projects across the Puget Sound. Asa also works as a Lab Assistant at CellNetix, a regional clinical pathology company, where helps inform accurate and timely diagnoses for physicians and their patients throughout the Puget Sound region.