'Transracial' white Florida man says he identifies as Filipino

Ja Du, who drives a Filipino Tuk Tuk for everyday use, told WTSP that he grew up feeling like he had a special connection to Filipino culture, but at the time of the interview the Florida man had not told yet his family about his identity, because he anxious they would not understand, especially after Dolezal faced ridicule.

Is Ja Du doing this for personal gain? "I'd watch the History Channel, sometimes for hours... nothing else intrigued me more, but things about Filipino culture".

Ja Du isn't the first to come out publicly as transracial.

"Whenever I'm around the music, around the food, I feel like I'm in my own skin", the Tampa man told WTSP.

Some wonder if he's identifying as Filipino to get things he wouldn't as a white person, the station said - but Ja Du said that's not the case.

Perhaps the most notable transracial figure is Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP, who was revealed to be a white woman presenting as black.

Although Ja Du can't change the way he presents outwardly, he's embraced all aspects of his identity as it relates to the way he lives his life. Now, we are finding out this community of people who identify as another race is growing.

'If I would have had time to really, you know, discuss my identity, ' Dolezal told the BBC at the time.

"I wanted to make sure it wasn't just me because if it was just me then there must be something wrong", he said.

Riding in a flamboyant purple vehicle, Ja Du shows up to a coffee shop to open up about his new identity. He now identifies as transracial. Trans activists and allies alike have since stormed Twitter, explaining the difference. It refers to someone born one race, but identifies with another. Or any race other than the one your were born into? But Dolezal and her defenders say that racial identity is a social construct not based on biology or ancestry.

In other words, race is literally skin-deep, and society's treatment toward people of color through both racism and colorism results in oppression (and impacts people of color's cultures as a result).

An American man has been living his life as a Filipino, despite having been born white. They can believe themselves to be unicorns and it's not my business. But when it comes to his race, there's not much Ja Du can change in the end.

Vanessa Coleman

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