As an adoptee from Vietnam, Lana Condor constantly has to defend her race. She’s both Asian and American. But unfortunately, not everyone sees her that way.
In an interview with Who What Wear, the 21-year-old spoke about how she’s often not seen as “Asian enough” because of her background and how she was raised with white parents. The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before star explained that just because her Asian-American experience differs from others doesn’t make her any less Asian.
“I’m 100 percent Asian, and I’m also 100 percent American,” she said. “That’s something that I’m really trying to let people understand. My Asian American experience is different from someone else’s Asian American experience, and that’s OK. There are moments when I feel that people don’t think that I’m Asian enough because I was adopted by an American family. To me, that’s so silly!”
The Netflix star also talked about one of the first times she was discriminated against. It happened when she and her brother, who was also adopted from Vietnam, were called a derogatory name by a stranger. “I remember coming home one day from school and being like, ‘Mom, what does this mean?’” she tells me. “She was so upset and frustrated. That was the first time I was fully aware that my brother and I didn’t look like my parents.”
Condor also recalled other moments growing up when strangers, such as hostesses at restaurants, would assume that she and her brother weren’t related to their parents. In the end, though, Condor wouldn’t trade her childhood for anything. She calls it “growing pains” that shaped her into who she is. “It’s all part of growing pains,” she said. “Everyone, no matter their race, goes through some sort of feeling of being ostracized, I sup.”