You know when you fill out a form and there’s a box to check for your race? Usually most people know which box to check. What if you found out the box you had been confidently checking your entire life was actually wrong? That’s what happened to Lisa Swyer.
Lisa was raised by two white parents, and she believed that both of them were her biological parents. She also had a sister and a brother. Everyone in her family had pale white skin, but Lisa had an olive skin tone. She never questioned the fact that she looked a little bit different than the rest of her family.
The man who raised her and who she believed to be her biological father always told his family that they were originally from Ireland. She knew her father was always curious about his family history, so she decided that she wanted to find out more about her family tree so that she could “present it to him for a holiday gift.”
In order to find out more about their family tree, she ordered an at-home DNA test. Her mother didn’t seem to want her to take the test, but she did it anyway. She was excited to get the results and find out more about her family’s Irish roots. What she ended up finding out was a secret her mother had been hiding from the entire family.
Her whole life, her friends had asked her, “What are you?” What they were really asking was what race she was. Was she hispanic? Was she Black? Was she Hawaiian? They didn’t think she looked Caucasian.
When Lisa got the DNA test back, she discovered that she was mixed-race. The man she thought was her father was not actually her biological father. Lisa describes this realization as “traumatic” and “devastating.”
Lisa revealed the results of her DNA test to her mother who was reluctant to give her any information about her biological father, yet Lisa ended up finding him anyway. Lisa revealed her DNA results on the “Tamron Hall Show” and explained why this experience was so “traumatic” for her. Watch the video below to find out the race of Lisa’s father and to find out what happened when she finally reached out to him.