This parent is, overall, pretty nice to have around. They might be the only white parents you’ve met who love braised chicken feet or have actually done a pilgrimage through the temples in Japan.
But does that really mean they really understand your background?
If you want to know more, ignore the stereotypes altogether and get to know the single mom who lives next door or whose children attend the same school as your own kids.
First-hand experience is the best way to buck these widely held stereotypes and build a community of support in their place!
But if they think your being Asian has caused problems for the two of you (often the case for fresh-off-the-boat immigrants, who have a harder time finding work or just getting by because of language/cultural barriers), they might bring it up to their daughter like a kind of “we told you so.” In Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Bruce Lee tells Linda’s mother he’s an American. “You’re an American citizen, but you’re not really an American.” Yes, to some white parents, it’s not enough that you’re a card-carrying, born-and-raised-here American. (Never mind that white people were also foreigners before immigrating to America hundreds of years ago.) This is devastating, but with persistence, sometimes white parents can come around.
One friend told me her very Southern, very close-minded dad did a complete 180 with her Chinese husband — even eventually accepting the man as his own son.
John is smart and hard-working, but I sometimes I think — do they notice these things just because that’s the stereotype of the Asian boyfriend? You could be funnier than Dat Phan and as dapper as JT Tran, but they still superimpose positive stereotypes on you like a one-size-fits-all Beijing Opera mask.