Heather Noble, age 26
WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
Asian Pacific Islander, Hawaiian, Caucasian
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
Not really. It seems to be a more Hispanic/African-American area
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born in Germany but I grew up in Killeen, TX and yes it was as diverse as they come. Probably because it was a military town. Majority of my friends were mixed.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
I believe they met at a bar
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
It was rough when they had us. They didn’t make a lot of money and they had twins. My dad’s family had trouble accepting my mom because she didn’t “look” white enough. It’s part of the reason I don’t really know that side of my family.
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL/BIRACIAL?
Yes, my family has always been supportive. My dad’s side didn’t really like that my mom was more than just white. Since I only know my mother’s side of the family they have always given support about being mixed. My grandma made a comment the other day to my cousin that she needed more color in her dating life.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
We didn’t celebrate cultural holidays but we did learn to cook some of the traditional dishes. My favorite are Galbi and Teryaki (not like the sauce you buy at the store but real Teriyaki made with soy sauce and steak strips.)
DO YOU SPEAK MULTIPLE LANGUAGES?
No. My great-grandma spoke Korean but that was it.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
I didn’t learn much growing up about the music or religion but I enjoyed learning how to cook the food. My grandma taught me how to make Teryaki, Bulgogi, Galbi, Sticky rice, and Egg rolls.
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
I can’t say that they really did. Because growing up we never talked about what our background was and how it affected the way we were looked at. As we got older and were able to understand more my mom would tell us about my dad’s family and how they disapproved of her because she has brown skin.
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
Hardly ever. My grandma taught us some about our Hawaiian heritage. She is very proud and loves to show up videos and explain the dancing and what it all means. I started talking about race probably in elementary school. I’ve always had friends from various cultures and backgrounds.
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?
I don’t think race plays a role in who I’ve dated but it seems to be a trend. I have usually dated black or Hispanic. My ex was black and Mexican.
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
I see being mixed as positive thing. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It brings me joy to be able to broaden other people's horizons because of who I am and what my mom and grandma have taught me.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?
Yes, I’ve learned that some are more tied to each side due to their upbringing and some are like me. Kind of just who we are and not defined by our mixture.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
I get “You’re Asian? I thought you were Hispanic.” a lot. And I get that I don’t look like it but there are plenty of people who don’t look a certain way.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
My wish is that everyone get along. There’s a lot of dispute about race and racism but growing up the way I did and where I did I never really saw it so it’s hard for me to comprehend. I hope that one day everyone will be able to look at each other and not see the skin tone or haircut and realize that we are all here together working toward our goals. We should be helping each other not fighting.