Kimmi Cupcakes, on-air radio and TV personality and I’m in my early 30s (stop being so damn nosey:)
WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
My mother is from a small town near Yeosu, South Korea and my father is from San Lorenzo, Panama
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
Brooklyn, NY baby!!
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
When I first moved to Brooklyn from Hawaii 10 years ago, my neighborhood was majorly Carib/ Afro-American (few Chinese here and there at the restaurants and Middle Eastern people working the corner stores). Since then we have experienced a gentrification boom and there is a decent mix of ethnicities here.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I grew up a “military brat” and have lived all over the world- Japan, the Carolinas, Alabama, Hawaii; I studied in Lansing, Michigan, call the South home but have lived in New York for the longest. The typical military duty station is 3 years so we moved around a lot. In my opinion, the largest communities of multi-racial / blasian are a result of military parents. I don’t think I’ve met one blasian person that father was not in the Marines or Army!! Growing up, most of my friends were mixed with Korean since our mothers all stuck together since they were first-generation.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
My father was on the United States Marine Corps boxing team and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. The boxing team would often get to travel to other Far East military bases and he met my mother through her brother, who was a Republic of Korea (ROK) Marine.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
As with any new union of different cultures there are always be some obstacles- there was definitely a language barrier since my father wasn’t fluent in Korean and my mother wasn’t fluent in English or Spanish but they made it work. When my mother first moved to the states, my father was stationed in North Carolina and it was still a little segregated in towns outside of the base.
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING BIRACIAL?
My father’s side preferred he not marry my mother and made that clear. It created a separation in his family and he was estranged from them for +30 years. He obviously didn’t listen to them; my parents have been married over 30 years.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
Since we weren’t raised around my father’s side of the family, my younger brother and I didn’t learn to speak Spanish or Panamanian traditions. We do, however, speak Korean, regularly eat Korean food and know the culture.
WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Yes, I speak Korean, understand Spanish and since we lived in Japan- speak conversational Japanese.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
What I enjoy the most about being bi-racial is the individuality of each culture- everything from the traditional dress and customs to the food.
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
When my mother moved to the states, she was not fluent in English so, of course, we learned to communicate in Korean. My father was almost always deployed being in the Marines so my mom- for long periods of time- raised my brother and me by herself. It’s interesting thinking about it now, but how do you teach your kids that they are no different from other kids because they’re bi-racial but make them feel special because they are unique.
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
We did not talk about race a lot in my household, with exception of when we lived in the Deep South where we had to remain mindful that we will encounter people who have hate towards any race other than Caucasian.
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
I proudly identify myself as mixed/ bi-racial.
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE? OR IF YOU HAVE A PARTNER WHAT RACE ARE THEY?
Everyone has their own preferences.
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
Being mixed to me means I am unique.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED? IF SO WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THEM?
I think in this day in age, being mixed is more prevalent than not.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE? TELL US YOUR PET PEEVES:)
It’s annoying when people classify all Asians as being Chinese. No, fool- not every Asian is Chinese.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
As I mentioned before, in this day in age you will find that most people are mixed. We are no longer the minority.