Alex & Stephanie Lawrence
The way our parents met is actually really cute— our dad grew up in New York and is a part of a long line of Americans, but our mom immigrated from Mexico. Their paths were never meant to cross, but they did: they met by chance at a Valentine’s dance in North Hollywood. He had just broken up with a long-time girlfriend, she got stood up on a date, and out of all the girls he could have asked, our dad asked our mom to dance. It was love at first sight, nevermind completely culturally-different worlds.
Alexandra Lawrence: I used to tell people I was Mexican— I was proud to be different. But as I grew up I realized that I didn’t have some things in common with people who were fully Mexican, and then I wasn’t so sure what my identity was anymore.
Stephanie Lawrence: I told people that I was just white, ‘American’, because I didn’t like being different from others. It was easier to tell people that than to try to explain my skin color and my eyes. But then, I always felt like I wasn’t ‘American’ enough.
The Mexican culture is so vibrant, the food—oh, the food!— is incredible (posole, tacos, mmm). Family is everything. There are no retirement homes in Mexico where you send your parents off to when they’re old, because they stay with you as part of your family until they’re gone. Between our dad’s side of the family and our mom’s side of the family, the most interesting thing is seeing how people express their love differently. The love is always there, but it’s shown a different way.
SL: For example, in Mexican culture you show your love through food. I cook for my friends to show them that I love them, but since they’re not used to that part of culture, they think I’m being too nice and tell me I don’t have to do it
AL: I know, and when they deny it I feel at a loss because that is how I want to show my love for them!
We want to tell our story of coming from different cultures, of being biracial, because we know it’s a unique perspective that is difficult to understand.
SL: I never felt ‘American’ enough until I came to UT Austin, where I’ve been able to meet other biracial people and have the opportunity to share in that experience with others.
AL: We grew up in the melting pot of cultures that is America: in a way I feel like an embodiment of that, a melting pot of cultures.