Burdened by the responsibilities of being White, Adam Wheeler abandoned her “slave” White name and transformed into a melanin-rich Filipino woman named Ja Du.
Ja Du is part of a growing community of self-proclaimed transracers — people born one race but they “transition” to another. Unlike Rachel Dolezal and Martina Big, Ja Du is the only transracer to transition from White to Asian.
As a Filipino-American man, I was flattered that a White person would risk their privilege to come down a notch and live life among us commoners, though I’ll admit, I was a bit confused.
For starters, Filipino isn’t a race, and I’ve never met a Filipino person with the name “Ja Du.” To my knowledge, “Ja” is a Korean surname and “Du” is Chinese. Then again, who really cares about the authenticity of Asian names? If Adam Wheeler can become Ja Du then one day, I shall claim my own White name and become the White man I always dreamed I’d become: McDouglas Formaggio.
In an interview with USA Today, Ja Du explained that her passion for Pinoy culture comes “whenever I’m around [Filipino] music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin.”
Me too, Ja Du! Whenever I eat lechon kawali, watch re-runs of Wowowee, and take extra napkins at Denny’s, I also feel in touch with my Filipino culture! I was immediately attracted to Ja Du’s story, so I contacted her through her public Facebook page “Trans Racialism Support Group.”
This bustling online community of 96+ users is full of heated debates, engaging social commentary, and witty banter from Ja Du herself. With so much free knowledge being dropped, who needs a degree in ethnic studies when you can get #WOKE with Ja Du?
I had so many questions I wanted to ask Ja Du, but the first question on my mind was, why Filipino? Why not Korean or Japanese? Was there something about Filipino culture that transformed White Adam into Filipino Ja Du?
“I think things that make no sense to most people make sense to us on an individual level in almost every person, like [that] swelling feeling you get when you listen to dramatic music,” Ja Du was speaking to my soul, and her insight on Filipino identity left a profound impact on my third eye.
“It’s all sound and vibration but something in it relates to your soul on such a subconscious level that you connect with it and that’s how I feel about the Filipino culture and my relationship with it, it just made sense to me.”
Like Dippin’ Dots and Taco Bell meat, some things in life cannot be explained, and Ja Du embraces her mysterious spiritual connection to Filipino culture. At first, I assumed Ja Du visited the Philippines recently and had a transformative experience over a plate of rice and lechon, but to my surprise, Ja Du never visited the Philippines. Not once. She can hardly name two Filipino food dishes, and she knows nothing about Filipino music. Instead, Ja Du gets her taste of Filipino culture from local events.
“I find looking for food festivals is a good place to start. You will sometimes find a stand or two specializing in Filipino cultured foods, but I think anime conventions are a very good place to experience Asian culture.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Anime isn’t Filipino, it’s a traditional form of Japanese animation! But in the mind of Ja Du, Oriental culture is just a mix of giant robots, anime school girls, rickshaws and wonton soup, so why limit ourselves to one type of Asian when we can be two at the same time?
Unfortunately, Ja Du and many other White people living the transracer lifestyle are at risk for super serious discrimination. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be born White yet feel Asian and be judged for your love of anime. We all have our burdens to carry and Ja Du is no exception.
“I actually believe a lot of people [at anime conventions] are really trans race but too scared to come out because of the scrutiny the anime crowd is under already — they get accused for denouncing their culture all the time.”
Like the great Terrence Howard once said, “It’s hard out here for [an Otaku.]”
At an early age, Ja Du was exposed to anti-White, White-on-White discrimination that forever changed her perception of race. These traumatic experiences shaped her understanding of White identity and made the idea of transrace all the more alluring.
“I always had a memory from when I was a child about my younger friends listening to a lot of hip-hop and rap music, and how when they would express themselves by wearing a lot of gaudy jewelry or ‘BLING’ and baggy cloths, their parents would yell at them to change who they were because they were, in their own words, ‘wiggers.'”
The more we conversed, the more Ja Du opened up. She taught me many things about life as a transracer and the struggle to be accepted by the LGBTQ community (who she criticizes for their lack of intersectionality towards transracers.) I am, however, still confused why she listens to Jordan Peterson, a Canadian professor who strongly opposes non-binary gender identities. Why would someone who is both transrace and transgender endorse an individual who doesn’t respect her identity?
But of all the topics we discussed, none of them sparked Ja Du’s interest more than the topic of free speech and political correctness.
Ja Du’s wit and political prowess allows her to see past the false rape accusations made by the Alt-Left, and focus on the true evil of America: Black Lives Matter. After a traumatizing 2016 election, Ja Du considers “Black Lives Matter to be a hate organization to be honest. All they do is destroy and riot. Election day in New Orleans was scary because there were hordes of BLM marching down the street setting off large fireworks and breaking windows. I even came home early from work in case of a break in.” Hordes of scary Black Lives Matter protesters setting off fireworks?! If those BLM protestors aren’t careful, somebody might get hurt!
My time with Ja Du was running out, and I learned so much about what it means to be Filipino, but I had to ask… when Ja Du looks in the mirror, walks around and talks to people in public, does she feel Filipino?
Adam Wheeler was born a White person, but through the Asiatic power of Anime conventions, the Filipino music station on Pandora, hours of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”, and a profound sympathy for the Wigger community, Adam Wheeler crossed over into Filipino-ness.
Even though Ja Du has zero Filipino (or Asian) heritage, hasn’t been to the motherland, doesn’t follow Filipino politics, doesn’t care about Filipino social issues, doesn’t speak up about discrimination against Filipinos, isn’t dating a Filipino person, drives a Tuk Tuk because she thinks it’s authentic to Filipino culture (spoiler alert, it’s not), and can’t name more than two Filipino dishes, Ja Du is still convinced that she’s a Filipino person.
And my name is McDouglas Formaggio.
Screen Shots via Youtube / USA Today