Ja Du, an American from Tampa, Florida, is born white. He was formerly named Adam Wheeler before changing his name to Ja Du and now identifies himself as Filipino.
In an interview with WTSP, Ja Du said he was drawn to the Filipino tradition, culture and food after learning about them for years. It was then that he realized he was transracial — a term for those who were born of one race but identifies as another — and a Filipino.
“I’d watch the History Channel, sometimes for hours, you know, whenever it came to that, and you know, nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture,” he said.
Ja Du even drives around Tampa in his purple ‘Tuk Tuk’, a popular form of transportation in Asia including the Philippines.
The man said he has embraced most aspects of his adopted culture and plans to adopt them as his own.
“Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,” he said.
Ja Du, who is also a transsexual, however, admitted he hasn’t told his family regarding his plan for fear of being laugh at over the idea of changing his ethnicity; although he has already confessed to his mom about his sexuality and changing his gender.
For Dr. Stacey Scheckner, the licensed psychologist said she sees no problem with Ja Du’s being ‘transracial’ for as long as he does not hurt himself or anyone else.
“If someone feels that they feel at home with a certain religion, a certain race, a certain culture, I think that if that’s who they really feel inside life is about finding out who you are. The more knowledge you have of yourself, the happier you can be,” Dr. Scheckner said.
Video from USA Today via You Tube: