Alexa Strickland

As an aspiring counselor, it is important to examine our experiences and backgrounds. The diversity in my family has an impact on how my family functions as a whole and had a significant impact on my upbringing, values, beliefs, and understanding of my racial identity. My mother’s side of the family is Caucasian, Italian, and Irish and my father’s side of the family is African American. Both sides of my family have different racial and ethnic backgrounds and have different experiences and upbringings which had an impact on my upbringing and understanding of my racial identity.

The Biracial Identity Model highlights the challenges I experienced being multiracial and describes issues related to racial identity in five different stages (Galasso, 2002). The personality identity stage states that children are not aware of racial/ethnic differences and they do not identify being as being a part of their racial/ethnic background (Galasso, 2002). The choice of group categorization stage suggests that people who are exposed to different ethnic backgrounds feel the need to identify themselves as being a part of one group (Galasso, 2002). The denial stage is when the individual does not understand their ethnic identity and feels ashamed, or like an outcast (Galasso, 2002). The appreciation stage is when the individual starts to recognize their racial/ethnic identity and becomes more involved in different cultures, values, and beliefs (Galasso, 2002). In the appreciation stage, the individual still has issues trying to figure out what group to identify with (Galasso, 2002).

Lastly, the integration stage is when the individual appreciates their racial/ethnic identity and recognizes who they are (Galasso, 2002). As a child, I did not identify myself as being a part of either groups because I did not see differences until I experienced others pointing them out through racist comments. When I became aware of the differences in my family, I felt the need to identify myself as being a part of one group. Experiencing racism, I felt ashamed of who I was and confused. Eventually as I got older and understood my racial identity, I started to appreciate who I was and proud to identify myself as multiracial.



Galasso, L.E. (2002). Biracial identity A study of the biracial experience with biracial college students. Theses Digitization Project. 1-87.…