Tag Archives: culture

Legitimacy and Being Korean

This post was posted in its original form at 10:37 PM, November 8, 2009 on my former blog.

Issues of legitimacy have affected for nearly as long as I can remember. Nowadays, I have a whole bunch of ways in which the legitimacy of my membership to an identity group is questioned, but when I was younger, there was really only one identity that was challenged. Still, I’ve dealt with questions of legitimacy for nearly my entire life.

I’m a person of color, as most of you know. I’m Asian — Korean, if you want to be specific. I’m also — and here’s one of the big reasons why there are legitimacy issues — I’m an adoptee. I was adopted as an infant and raised by my two wonderful (and very not Korean) parents in the heartland of the grand U.S. of A. In a lot of people’s eyes, that’s makes me not Korean. Never mind my brown skin, my birth in the Republic of Korea (that’s the official name for South Korea), my status as a naturalized citizen (which, by the way, makes me ineligible for presidential candidacy), my self-identification as Korean, or the fact that people here in the States see me as “other.” I wasn’t raised by Koreans; I don’t speak Korean: ergo, I am not “really” Korean. Continue reading