The title sounds strange I know but recently a friend of mine got really upset at me for basically lying about my ethnicity and making her look ignorant.
I am an American of Kazakh descent but I never really had any contact with my father and my mother quickly remarried and I got a Russian step dad. I love him and he raised me like his own son (plus he’s the father of my brother). So I consider him my dad more than my biological father who I never really met.
I myself look a bit ethnically ambiguous (I’ve gotten anything from thai to hispanic to Eastern European) while my mother looks practically Mongolian so upon first glance, you would think my step dad is my biological father. This gets tiring to correct as people keep making the same assumption over and over again.
My friend when I met her assumed the same and I tried correcting her but she didn’t really understand what Kazakhstan was. She just kinda assumed I’m from russia with a Russian dad and an Asian mom. I stopped trying to correct her every time she’s said it since cuz honestly it’s tedious. Plus I thought having people think my dad is my real dad isn’t a terrible thing.
Fast forward a few years to the present, we were all meeting up with a group of friends and she was going on a long speech about how beautiful half asian babies are and how she’s envious of me for being mixed race, and I just point blank told her “I’m not mixed race, my biological father is asian”.
This seemed to blow her mind and she doubled down saying I don’t look asian and there’s no way I could just be Asian. She kept digging herself into a deeper hole as this went on and eventually a friend stepped in and explained to her that kazakhs tend to look asian but some look ethnically ambiguous. She yelled at me that I’ve been lying and I just told her I tried to explain you just didn’t listen.
She was mortified and didn’t really talk much the rest of the night. Later my other friend told me my original friend was really embarrassed and basically hated me. This other friend is kazakh as well and she got on my case about being ashamed of my roots and I’m such an asshole for lying to her and causing this misunderstanding that I could have prevented if I had just corrected her before.
I’m not ashamed I just don’t feel obligated to play history teacher for every person who assumes my ethnicity. Especially if they don’t understand.
What do you guys think?