Mistaken Identity

I am Chinese-Canadian and have spent approximately 96% of my life  in Southern Ontario. Growing up, there weren’t many Asians out there in popular culture (and there still aren’t). When pressed to name a famous Asian, most people come up with one of the following: Bruce Lee, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan and that guy who plays Harold from Harold and Kumar fame (his name’s Jon Cho btw).

So, don’t be too surprised when I (and likely most Asians), find a person of Asian descent making it big in North American- we take note. It must come from my mother. She gets overtly excited about this stuff.

Conversation, circa 1991:

Mom: Did you know that the chair of the Toronto’s Police Services board is a woman?

Me: I didn’t know that Ma.

Mom: And she’s CHINESE. Waaaaaah! (beams with pride)

Now, since I have had a son, and he is half Chinese, half Scottish/English, I am on the look out for people in the media that he can identify with. Those who may be part Asian.

So, getting back to the title of this post. Here are some people that have been mistaken as half Asian:

Patrick Chan

Patrick Chan

Totally thought he was half Asian. He looks it doesn’t he? I was stunned when were watching the Sochi Olympics this past February and found out his parents were both Chinese! Not that this is a bad thing but we were calling our son Paddy Chan because we thought the Olympian was half Asian, half white.

Gordon Joseph Levitt


This one goes out to my girlfriend Jess. I was telling her about my Patrick Chan revelation and she told me that she though GJL was half Asian. I get it. Levitt could easily pass as a cousin to Keanu Reeves.

Renee Zellweger


This needs no explanation.



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