A young Florida white male has decided he is trans-racial, a la Rachel Dolezal, and thinks of himself as Filipino, claiming he hasn’t told his family yet because he fears they will laugh at the idea.
The young man’s given name is Adam, but he calls himself “Ja Du” after a co-worker of his mother’s who has the happy kind of personality he would like to emulate. He said:
My mom works with a lot of people who are migrating to the United States; you know, from all over the world. Like the staff is almost entirely made up of people who emigrate here. One of her best friends from work is named Ja Du, and she’s so nice; she’s cute; she’s really, really fun. It just had a ring to it. I love that name. That’s what I want to be; I want to be that happy person.
Ja Du says he is a transsexual and is considering changing his gender, an idea he has broached with his mother and family, though the idea of being transracial hasn’t been discussed.
Ja Du travels in a bright purple vehicle he refers to as a “Tuk Tuk,” a seeming rickshaw that he notes is used for public transit in the Philippines. He said he grew up partaking in Filipino culture, from sampling the food to participating in Filipino events. He stated, “Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin. … I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours, you know, whenever it came to that and you know nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture.”
Ja Du said he was aware that claiming he is Filipino would make him more likely to receive an ethnic scholarship, but insists that his embracing a Filipino identity has nothing to do with that. He told Garin Flowers of WTSP, “I believe people will [take advantage] just like other people have taken advantage of their identity to get their way, but the difference between me and them, Garin, is that I don’t want that. I think that we all have the freedoms to pursue happiness in our own ways.”