Forspoken & Multiracial Media

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
16 min readSep 1, 2023

Blasian Judge Tanya Chutkan, my lab’s research from the 2023 APA Conference, & I hope they make a Forspoken 2 🎮

A church in which no ethnoracial group makes up 50% or more of the congregation is NOT multiracial — it is an ethnoracially diverse church or a racially diverse church. Using the term multiracial to describe a setting with an ethnically or racially diverse population pollutes the algorithmic search lexicon available to those engaging in Multiracial scholarship. For instance, a Google Scholar search for “Multiracial Church” will provide results focused on racially diverse churches… but nothing really relevant to Multiracials.
Thus, if you see the terminology being utilized in this manner, please kindly point out why changing the terminology may be beneficial for an already underserved & underresearched population.

Table of Contents

Note: There are some spoilers about the videogame Forspoken 🎮 at the start, so if you’re planning on playing that game one day I’d recommend skipping to the part on Judge Tanya Chutkan 💁🏻‍♀️

🎮 · Forspoken’s Multiracial (half Black — half White) Hero
⚖️ · Blasian Judge Tanya Sue Chutkan
· 🧬 President Obama’s Wasian & Black Sisters

· Multiracial Oath of Social Responsibility
· Passing vs. Presenting (Atkin et al., 2022)
White Passing vs. ∘ White presenting/ White assumed/ Read as White

· Multiracial Socialization — APA 2023 Poster
What Matters More: Socialization or Socially Perceived Identity?
“What Are You?”
Proportions and Misidentification.

· Sidenotes
· 🗽 Country of Immigrants

· Acting (Black) vs. Looking (Asian)
Social Utilitarianism
· Multiracial Asians
Multiracial Athletes
· Multiracials at Minority Serving Institutions — Olivo & Cepeda, 2021

· Wasian Kids During COVID19 — Kura, 2023
Minimization of experiences
· Wasian Identity After COVID19 — Strmic-Pawl et al., 2022
Horizontal Allyship
Monoracial Asian Marriages
Wasian Marriages

· Ethnicity & Ancestral Knowledge — Song & Liebler, 2022
· Chong & Song, 2022
· Hoskins, 2007
Josh (Wasian Male 18 [4]) -
· Blasian Literature — Nina Moskowitz, 2022
Solana (Blasian student with a Filipina mom)
· Wasian Youth — Haemin & Vittrup, 2022

· MENA Multiracials
· Half Middle Eastern/North African — Half White = Kim Kardashian (half Armenian — half White)
· Racial-Religious Decoupling — Saugher Nojan, 2023

· Ashly Burch (the GOAT of videogame Voice Acting)

Forspoken’s Multiracial (half Black — half White) Hero

Forspoken is my first time playing as a Multiracial character (Frey) modeled on the actual voice actress, Ella Balinska (Black mom — White dad).

Questing with mom in In Tanta We Trust was one of the most beautiful, moving DLC’s I’ve ever experienced. I truly hope they make a Forspoken 2

Ella’s biological mom is Black — Frey’s mom is White (pictured above)

Blasian Judge Tanya Sue Chutkan

“For a lot of people, I seem to check a lot of boxes: immigrant, woman, Black, Asian. Your qualifications are always going to be subject to criticism and you have to develop a thick skin.”

- U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Sue Chutkan (District of Columbia)

🧬 President Obama’s Wasian & Black Sisters

1️⃣ Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng (Wasian) & President Obama share the same mom

2️⃣ Dr. Auma Obama (Black monoracial) & President Obama share the same dad

🟰 President Obama is genetically related to both of his sisters but his sisters aren’t genetically related to each other

Passing vs. Presenting (Atkin et al., 2022)

White Passing

— Intentional act of choosing to pretend to be monoracial White.

White presenting/ White assumed/ Read as White

— Multiracial individuals who are mistakenly perceived as White due to their phenotype.

Multiracial Socialization — APA 2023 Poster

Here is our presentation on #Multiracial Socialization from the 2023 American Psychological Association Conference

What Matters More: Socialization, Phenotype, or Socially Perceived Identity?

— We considered whether socialization, phenotype, or ascriptive identity had more influence on friendship patterns. We found that ethnoracial socialization is most important for Wasians’ (half White — half East Asian) proportion of East Asian friends, F(4, 31) = 2.79, p = .043.

Wasians who were socialized in their East Asian heritage and assumed to be East Asian by others reported having a higher proportion of East Asian friends (M = 46.92%) than those assumed to be Hispanic by others (M = 31.53%), and Wasians who were socialized into their White heritage and assumed to be White by others reported having a higher proportion of East Asian friends (M = 28.26%) than those assumed to be Hispanic by others (M = 11.11%).

Wasians who were socialized in their East Asian heritage reported having the most East Asian friends, fewest White friends, and fewest Hispanic friends, whereas Wasians who are socialized to be White have the most White friends and fewest East Asian friends.

Interestingly, Wasians who reported being misidentified as Hispanic by others reported having the most Hispanic friends, which suggests that assumed/ascriptive identity has some degree of influence on the formation of Wasians’ friendships.

Overall, Wasians’ friendships were associated with ethnoracial socialization to a greater degree than the ascriptive identity associated with their phenotype.

“What Are You?”

— Multiracials were more likely than monoracials to report experiences of misidentification and non-identification (people failing to acknowledge a component of their ethnoracial background).

Proportions and Misidentification.

— Among Multiracials who reported being misidentified (whether they were misperceived or had an identity overlooked) when people guessed their ethnoracial background, majority-White Multiracials indicated that they were misidentified as only being White (83.3%) whereas Majority-Minority Multiracials reported being misidentified as an ethnoracial group of lower status or only being their minority background (75%), χ2(3, N = 139) = 8.59, p = .035.

Willis, J., Lin, Y., Sheng, Z., Gao, X., Guo, B., & Satchwell, M. (2023). Multiracial Socialization: The Interpersonal Experiences of Half-White & Interminority Multiracials. Virtual Research Poster presented at the 2023 #APA Conference.



🗽 Country of Immigrants

“The United States is home to the highest number of immigrants of any country in the world, with just under 14% of the population (45M people) being foreign-born” (Ward, 2023).

👰🏻 “The War Bride Laws legitimized the notion that spouses should be together regardless of racial difference years before the Supreme Court decided in 1967 that anti-interracial marriage laws were unconstitutional” (Arissa Oh, 2019).

A large portion of the US #Multiracial population in the 20th century were transnationally adopted kids from:

v1. The Philippines following the Spanish-American War (McKee, 2022),

v2. “Between the end of World War Two and the 1980s, around 1500 Japanese Multiracial [Wasian & Blasian] kids were adopted by Americans” (Chung, 2021; see also Boswell, 2023; McKee, 2022).

v3. Operation Babylift:

“Between 1953 & 2018, ~170,000 Korean children were adopted in 29 countries, [with] Americans adopting [about 67%] of these children (114,117)” (Chung, 2021).

Acting (Black) vs. Looking (Asian)

— East Asian Multiracials must look Asian to gain acceptance (King, 2001). The social perception of Wasians is influenced by eye shape, skin tone, hair (Song & Liebler, 2022), heritage language (Chong, 2021; Xiao & Wong, 2014), clothing (Parker et al., 2015), music preferences (Castillo et al., 2020), & sports (Hoskins, 2007). Wasians who are fluent in an Asian-based language are more likely to see themselves as Asian or Multiracial (Saenz et al., 1995).

— Black culture requires both phenotypic & cultural attributes; thus, Blasians & other Multiracials who look but don’t act Black are less likely to be accepted (Hall & Turner, 2001). Blasian women are less likely to be accepted as Black by monoracial Black women (Hoskins, 2007), whereas sports participation helps Blasian [Wasian] men in having their Black [Asian] identities accepted (Hoskins, 2007; Messner, 1992).

Social Utilitarianism

— “Some mixed people adjust their appearance to bring their ascriptive identity in line with their own asserted identity” (Poudel, 2023).

Multiracial Asians

#Wasians are more likely to experience microaggressions from both sides of their family than Blasians & other Asian-⁠Multiracial groups (Nadal et al., 2013; Tashiro, 2016), especially the White side of their family (Poudel, 2023).

— In contrast, Blasians’ skin tone constrains their ability to be perceived as anything besides Black (Khanna, 2010), though Castillo et al. (2020) found that their appearance adjustments “still helped [them] feel able to claim their preferred identity” (Poudel, 2023).

“The rule of hypodescent is applied more strongly to Black–White than to Asian–White targets” (Ho & Kteily, 2022).

Multiracial Athletes

— Wasians who are good at basketball may be perceived as not making racial sense & thus motivating monoracial perceivers to attach their success to their Asian identity (Hoskins, 2007).

This is due to stereotypic perceptions of their White identity to be less athletic.

Multiracials at Minority Serving Institutions — Olivo & Cepeda, 2021

Multiracial students often feel they are not fully embraced by any racial identity they belong to (Harris, 2017; Kellogg & Liddell, 2012; Museus et al., 2016).

Wasian Kids During COVID19 — Kura, 2023

— Some of the participants’ biracial children experienced overt expressions of anti-Asian hate, and Asian mothers discussed such incidents with her children.

— Their White husbands demonstrated a state of denial or engaged in minimization of their Asian spouse’s racial experience, though some understood the experiences of microaggression.

Minimization of experiences

— All Asian moms suggested that their White husbands engaged in denial or minimization of their experiences of racism & questioned their ways of being when experiencing racism.

All Asian women had experiences of discrimination with their White husband’s families.

For example, one woman’s in laws buys used garbage as a toy for her half-White half-Asian child while the same parent buys expensive brand new toys for their monoracial White grandchildren.

Wasian Identity After COVID19 — Strmic-Pawl et al., 2022

— What we saw over the course of the pandemic was how Asianness was “highlighted at will” by Whites and how Asian Americans were re-racialized as deviant. In this vein, we see anti-Asian hate spurred by the pandemic as a racist racial project (Omi and Winant 2014).

Horizontal Allyship

— The activism of the Asian American community is not limited to in-group action; in recent times, the rise of Asian discrimination in the face of COVID-19 has influenced a larger racial awareness and an alignment of values with the BLM movement (Litam and Chan 2021; Merseth 2018).

About 22% attended an event on Asian discrimination and 36.5% attended a BLM march/rally since 2020. While we cannot know for sure, there seems to be a correlation between the rise in anti-Asian hate and these Asian-White multiracials’ active support for BLM.

Monoracial Asian Marriages

— Overall, about 3 in 10 newlywed Asians have a spouse of a different race, and among U.S.-born Asians, that percentage rises to 46% (Livingston and Brown, 2017).

Asian and White intermarriage is particularly common, with 21% of AAPI men with a White spouse and 32% of AAPI women with a White spouse (Cohn et al., 2021).

Wasian Marriages

— The intermarriage trend with Whites is even more apparent among Wasians as over 70% of Asian-White women marry a White man, and 64% of Wasian men marry a White woman (Alba, 2020).


— The factors that have been shown to shape Asian-White identity are similar to those documented for other mixed communities:

family socialization, cultural celebrations, and phenotype (Chang, 2016; Khanna, 2004).

[Wasians] often retain ties to their specific ethnicity, such as Japanese, Chinese, or Filipino.

Ethnicity & Ancestral Knowledge — Song & Liebler, 2022

— European ancestries tended to be treated as not only more distant but as less ‘relevant’ or devoid of distinctive cultural content.

Most of our participants reported a wish to forge meaningful ties with their non-European ancestries, while they tended to see their European ancestries as effectively residual or somehow incorporated into their status as Americans.

[This reflects] the way Mary Waters (1990) described the views of many White Americans about their generationally distant European ancestries.

Chong & Song, 2022

— Regardless of how a person looks or how others see her/him, a person is more likely to identify as Asian, or White, if they have substantial connection to that heritage: “Cultural conditioning can be at odds with ascribed racial identity. Seemingly contradictory identifications can coexist (Tashiro, 2011, p. 12).”

Multiracials can contest and defy racial boundaries, and even the meaning of race, by defining their own identities, including as Multiracials — even if those asserted identities are not always validated by others (King and DaCosta 1996; King-O’Riain, 2004).

Hoskins, 2007

— After eyes, skin color, straight black hair and being petite some interesting ethnic variations manifest themselves. Essentialist notions of Asian people as petite become crystal clear if a person of multiracial heritage is not “petite.”

Although I did not interview people who where of Pacific Islander heritage, Josh found that people most often guessed that he was of this particular heritage because of his large size:

Josh (Wasian Male 18 [4]) -

“People mostly categorized as Pacific Islanders because I am large, when you are large people naturally say he is Pacific Islander like Samoan or anything like that because they have the same color skin and they are just bigger.”

Multiracials in Media

Blasian Literature — Nina Moskowitz, 2022

— “Black GIs frequented camptowns during the Korean War, where they would have affairs with Korean prostitute women and subsequently conceive Blasian children who, more often than not, grew up in dire poverty. These children were rarely adopted to American families, and only in recent years have people been speaking out about their experiences as Blasians in Korean society (Adaora Ede, 2019).

— Myra Washington takes a scholarly approach to the recent increase in Blasian celebrities, focusing on how the role of the visibility of these individuals works to “deconstruct normative instantiations of identity” (Washington, 2017). Her book allows for a critical analysis of the societal effects of putting nonwhite multiracial individuals in the limelight in such a way that their existence in the public eye does more than just plainly “represent” people, but actively disrupts notions of racialized identity. Washington’s text is also a good example of how increasing awareness of Blasian existence through celebrities has allowed non-celebrity Blasians to uplift their voices.”



In a 2018 piece for Wear Your Voice, Latonya Pennington talks about navigating an African American and Vietnamese American identity. After charting her experiences in Asian and Black communities (both positively and negatively), she closes her piece:

“All too often, it feels like Blasian people are either overlooked, objects of fetish, or expected to end racism with our existence. My ethnicity is not a trend or a weapon, but a part of what makes me who I am as a whole” (Pennington, 2018).

Similarly, the organization #Blasian Narratives, works to “[take] an intimate look into the lives of Black and Asian individuals to explore the constructs of racial and cultural identities, and to explore difference and marginalization in the United States and beyond” (Chun, 2018).

— [Most Multiracial studies remain] “Eurocentric and focus on mixed individuals with white heritage[, though] a recent surge in both op-ed blogs and organizations like Blasian Narratives have also been actively working to bring “average” Blasian narratives to the fore.”

— The task of giving a spotlight to a largely underserved community exists almost entirely outside of the institution of academia. Yet these non-scholarly sources of Blasian experience provide a crucial preliminary step to initiating dialogue around what it means to be mixed-race, to be a dualminority individual, and to be both Black and Asian.



Solana (Blasian student with a Filipina mom)

— “I work in the Black resource center on campus and there’s this rhetoric in the space where [I just wonder] is my mom even allowed to come visit me at work, hypothetically, if she were here? It’s very much, “This is a Black space,” and yes, this is good, but then also questioning, “Okay, then do I even belong in here if I’m not fully 100% Black?” (Solana)

— Having a Filipina mother set Solana apart from the other people who entered the Black resource center. Not only did she wonder if her mother would be welcome, but she was led to wonder whether or not she had a right to exist in that space herself, even if she is Black. In this way, the idea of not being “fully” one racial group has frequently created barriers to mixed-race individuals feeling welcomed in a racialized space.

Wasian Youth — Haemin & Vittrup, 2022

— According to Passel, Wang, & Taylor (2010), over 70% of Asians who are interracially married chose a White partner. Thus, a significant portion of this rapidly increasing number of interracial marriages represents marriages between Asians and Whites specifically.

As a result, the number of Asian-White biracial children is also projected to rise in the future.

In fact, the Asian-White biracial population had already increased by almost 80% from 2000 to 2010, marking a new record of 1.6 million in the nation (Chong & Kuo, 2015).

Ashly Burch (the GOAT of videogame Voice Acting)

Interview with TheGamer about Disney’s The Ghost And Molly McGeeJade King, 2021 (9.27)

“I’m really excited because I’ve never played a character that reflects my heritage before,” Burch says.

“What’s been really rewarding about that is how it isn’t just surface level inclusion — the show isn’t going, ‘Yeah, she’s half-Thai, let’s move on.’ “They’ve done a beautiful job of showcasing different aspects of Thai culture.

There’s even an episode later on in the show where Molly struggles with what it means to be biracial and not feeling Thai enough, which is something I really, really relate to. I feel a lot of biracial folks feel like they’re in the middle of two cultures, not knowing how to integrate into them both fully or not feeling enough like one or the other.

It’s really meaningful and really special to see my culture showcased in a Disney show like this.”


Ginny & Georgia

All 3 of them share a White ethnoracial background, though Ginny is also Black & Norah is also Filipino. Determine who has a more diverse interpersonal network in #Multiracial-monoracial friend groups can get interesting.


Charmed: Bi-Magical Bi-Racial

Macy Vaughn is @cw_charmed Bi-Magical (half-witch, half-demon) & she is played by Multiracial (Black-White) actress Madeleine Mantock


Ariana Grande: Italian, Greek, North African

Dallas Cowboys’ Multiracial Quarterback

Dak Prescott (2017): “Being mixed allows me to connect with everyone.” (Interview with Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today)

🏈 Dak Prescott Says Being Multiracial Helped Him Connect with Teammates — Alex Nathan, 2017 (1.10 — Bleacher Report)

Prescott explained he believes his ability to relate to so many different players on the roster has helped” (Alex Nathan, 2017).

Dak Prescott: “Being bi-racial and being from the country, I can talk to guys like Travis Frederick from Wisconsin and Doug Free from Wisconsin.

And then I can go over and talk to Dez Bryant. I mean, think about the two different standpoints you need to have a real conversation with both, to really understand what they’ve been through. I don’t think many can do it. For me, it’s not hard. I’m blessed because it’s natural.”

Race & Assisted Reproductive Technology

In the L Word, Bette (a Multiracial Black-White woman) & her soulmate Tina (a White woman) decided to use a Black sperm donor since Tina was going to be the gestational mother.
By doing so their child (Angelica) would reflect them as a couple.

One can support Bette & Tina’s (and real-life same-sex) family planning on the one hand while still deconstructing essentialist discourses of the social construct of race on the other.

Racial Classification in Assisted Reproduction — Dov Fox, 2009

Race & Reproductive Technologies — Russell, 2015

Tam, 2021

Ehlers, 2021



LatinIndian — Karen Leonard, 2014

Karthiyaini Devarajoo, based in Malaysia, mentions a Chinlndian community, a whole group of mixed Chinese and Indian parentage, and she says (2009: 139}:

‘Hybridity is the catalytic element that supports the transformation of an individual or community from being a diaspora to being the citizen of the host country and to finally being a world citizen.’

LatinIndian ✝️ Multiracial Socialization

Mexican-Punjabi Marriages (Leonard, 1989)

— In California from 1913–1949, 97.62% of South Asian Indian men were in interracial marriages, with about 80.42% of them married to Hispanic women (Leonard, 1989).

— Most Hispanic moms raised their Latinindian Multiracial children to be Catholic ✝️, and their South Asian Indian dads encouraged it. The fathers had neither the time nor the training to teach their children about Sikhism, Islam, or Hinduism.

Karen Leonard, 1989

Whose Heritage Language?

Hispanic Mom & Punjabi Dad (Latinindian)

— Most of their Latinindian children were bilingual knowing English & Spanish (not Punjabi or Hindi) (Leonard, 1989).

Hispanic Mom & Japanese Dad (Latinasian)

— Their Latinasian children spoke Spanish (not Japanese) (Posadas, 1989).

Chinese-Mexican Marriages in AZ, CA, & Mexico (Fong, 1980; Hu-DeHart, 1980)

— Their Latinasian kids were culturally close to their mothers (Hu-DeHart, 1982).

Mexican (mom) — Japanese (dad) Marriages in CA & Mexico (early 1900s)

— About 2 of every 3 kids born to Japanese immigrants in Mexico were Multiracial as most Japanese men had a Hispanic wife (Watanabe, 1983).

Filipino Men & Eastern/Southern-European Women in IL (Posadas, 1981) (Wasian)

— Wasians’ food in the home reflected their interracial family: “Rice & potatoes competed at daily dinners” (Posadas, 1981).

— Discrimination against these couples often strengthened their marital bonds.

Interracial Chinese male-Black female marriages in Mississippi (Loewen, 1971) (Blasian)



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.