I met Lee soon after I moved to Los Angeles because we had a mutual friend. I've leaned on Lee multiple times to assist with various marketing projects and gotten to know him and his girlfriend Korrina in the process. Lee always has a smile on his face and has such a kind energy! I was intrigued by him growing up half Persian in Alabama and was so happy when he agreed to share his story on growing up multiracial.
Enjoy getting to know Lee!
WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
Cherokee Indian, Persian, and Irish from Alabama.
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I am from Mobile, Alabama and no it was not very diverse. People never really treated me differently and I never really felt different. I identified myself with a lot of races actually because I could always find something in common.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
My father came to Alabama for college and my mom was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP?
I mean yea there were some racist people but no one really paid them any attention because they were closed-minded and ignorant anyway so to even worry about their opinion is a waste of time.
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL?
Yea, I like it. It makes me different.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
Yea sure, to totally disregard part of my culture would be pretty lame if you ask me. On my Persian side we celebrated Persian New Year called Norooz. We would also jump over a bonfire for ‘Chahr-Shanbeh Souri’ to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the lightness of spring, a Persian ritual passed down since ancient Zoroastrian times. The Persian New Year Festival is called Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, which literally means ‘ Eve of Wednesday’ because the festival is always held on the last Tuesday of winter, just before the Vernal Equinox or first moment of spring.
WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Yes, there was but no I do not unfortunately. I didn't feel the need to learn another language as a child because everyone spoke English, so I didn't see the point. Now I really regret not learning another language at a young age because I think it's really a benefit to do so.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
All of it really. I am a very open-minded person that loves spontaneity and new things. I hope I am not the only one who thinks eating the same food or listening to the same music over and over is boring.
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
They pretty much just taught me to be proud of who I am. I would ask questions and they would answer them but nothing was forced upon me.
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
Not really. It was never really an issue.
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Yea, I would say I am a trio.
DO YOU THINK BEING MIXED HAS BENEFITTED YOUR ACTING AND MODELING CAREER OR IT HAD IT'S CHALLENGES?
For me, being mixed made it easier because there's always a white guy, black guy, asian guy and then me for all the other markets lol. My first two commercials I booked were for the Latin market.
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?
I just go for what I am attracted to, My girlfriend Korrina is Latina.
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
Not just being from one source.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?
Yea, and we are all the same with the ultimate goal to just spread love, joy and peace.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE?
Answer goes here…. People who look for pity because of their race. There are strong and successful individuals in every race so what's their excuse?
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
That we care less about the race and more about the heart.