Me, My DNA and I

I realise that I haven’t blogged in a while, and it’s not for lack of things happening, more that too much has/is happening.

I recently had my DNA tested. I was one of a dozen or so “foundlings” that were brought together for the TV program Long Lost Family special :Born Without A Trace

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My case wasn’t chosen by the TV program. But what I did get was my DNA results and it’s fascinating.

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I’m 97% Chinese and 3% Dai (Tai) I also have some small genetic connections to Trinidad Polynesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos.

I’ve gone from being a complete non -entity to actually knowing where I am physically from. Knowing that I am related to at least twelve other people spread across the globe. I’m no longer alone. I will of course always be a foundling, an orphan and a recovering transracial adoptee. But one that has distant relatives. In time who knows I might even be able to trace my mother and father.

For those of you who know the day, time and place that you born into. Who can visit the graves of your departed loved ones, who can look at a photograph of your Mother or can point on a map and say that’s where grandad was born, that’s where aunty x came from in 1922. You have no idea what it is like to be a person with literally nothing under your feet .Nothing behind your back supporting you, giving you a reference point for who you are. As a foundling you look into a mirror that reflects nothing back to you it just an empty black hole. Foundlings are like aliens from outer space we have nothing other than the skin that we stand up in.

Plus side is, the next time some smart Alec tries to bring me down by stating I’m “not really Chinese,” I can correct them because I know that DNA wise 97% of it is Chinese and 3% is Dai (Tai)!

 

Bechdel Theatre

A piece of embedded criticism.

Just before I sit to write this I see that at 8:04am this morning I received an email from My Heritage DNA – Congratulations Pippa your DNA results are now ready. I pause. Fuck. Instead of opening the email, I open this word document.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this role of embedded critic means and how I feel incredibly biased because I’ve been excited about i will still be whole (when you rip me in half) since I saw it was announced on twitter. And I know why I felt so invested so early on: Representation.

It’s a word that I find myself repeating so much (at Bechdel Theatre it’s one of the words we use to describe the aims of our podcast, we chat about gender and representation). However, it’s a word that has become so ingrained in my vernacular, repeated…

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