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East Meets Dress

My mom was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 12. There she met my dad, who is English/Irish American. They settled down outside of New York City and had my sister and I.

We grew up in a mostly white, suburban neighborhood. Like a lot of mixed race kiddos, growing up I sometimes felt out of place. I felt different from my white peers but I also didn’t feel like I was Asian “enough”. At times, I downplayed my Chinese roots to fit in.

But all those feelings changed for me when I played dress up in my Pau Pau’s wedding cheongsam. I was in awe of the beautiful embroidery, the high collar, and the feeling of connection to my family’s history. Wearing the dress, my shame turned into beauty and my embarrassment became pride and defiance.

Fast forward 25 years to my own wedding and I knew I wanted to forgo that shame for good! So here I am in my own cheongsam with my new husband, shouting from the mountain tops that I am so proud to be Chinese American!!! And my husband is so proud and supportive of my journey! And our little pups, too!!

To all the multiracial, mixed race kiddos out there: you are not half of two worlds, or a fraction, or an outsider. You are 100% of everything that makes up you. And I am so proud of you!!

Thanks to our photographer Kortni Maria for hiking up Whiteface Mountain with us to take these photos!! ❤️