Navigating My Mixed-Race South Asian identity

Navigating My Mixed-Race South Asian identity

March 23, 2022 | Author: Rahul Yates, Founder of HumSub GlobalTEEN

As a multiracial individual, I have grown up feeling very unsure of my identity, as if I was always the odd one out and never white or Indian enough. When I was younger, I would mostly identify as only Indian because I felt closer to my Indian side as it seemed more tangible than my American side. I could participate in specific Indian cultural activities, like eating Indian food, attending Indian events, and learning Bharata Natyam (classical Indian dance). On the other hand, my dad’s “culture” was typically American, so it felt like there was not something in particular that I could relate to as it was my everyday life. 

Even though the multiracial community is one of the fastest growing populations, it is still vastly underrepresented in the media and school curriculums. In the U.S., the number of multiracial individuals increased 276% from 2010 to 2020. However, mixed-race people like me still struggle in understanding our own identity. As I grew older, I became more aware of society and how others perceive me, and I began to appreciate my mixedness. Since the transition from middle to high school, I have consistently and explicitly identified as mixed-race when someone asks me. While I have thoroughly embraced my dual heritage, there are still times when I wish I could just be one race/ethnicity because it would make my life easier.

In January 2020, I founded HumSub GlobalTEEN (HSGT), a platform dedicated to raising awareness and building a community for multiracial and multicultural young people. I took my experience growing up mixed-race and developed HSGT to foster a global community of multiracial and multicultural young people so they could share their experiences with their identity. In Hindi, “Hum Sub” means “All of Us,” and with HSGT, all voices, identities, and perspectives have come together to uplift and empower multiracial individuals. I create informative and engaging blogs and social media posts to educate individuals on multiracial and multicultural issues, celebrities, cuisine, books, places, and more. 

I am currently writing a book on the multiracial South Asian experience, which will be the first study specifically of this population. My main objective is to compile the experiences of individuals who are multiracial South Asians or parents with multiracial South Asian children, so that others can learn from their stories. If you or someone you know fits into this category, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/TKhipmNNafnvYpAE6

HumSub GlobalTEEN’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMv29OcKhgPdWXfutMZYGqg


 

Rahul Yates is a junior at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. He identifies as multiracial and multicultural, with South Asian and white/European heritage. In school, he is a student diversity leader, and is involved in the peer tutoring and mentoring programs, student council, orchestra, debate team, and musicals, and maintains a strong academic standing. Outside of school, he passionately advocates for multiracial and multicultural teenagers through his platform, HumSub GlobalTEEN, and is also a Bharata Natyam (classical Indian dance form) dancer with over 12 years of training.