This White Center teen's parents don't understand him. Literally. | KNKX

This White Center teen's parents don't understand him. Literally.

Oct 12, 2019

 


The film "Boyz n the Hood" inspired Tristan Agosa. 

 

It's a gritty, coming-of-age story set in the Los Angeles of the '80s and '90s, complete with gang violence, racism, and this one sliver of hope — the relationship between the main character, Tre, and his dad, Furious. That’s the part Agosa latched onto. 

 

“There’s a scene where Fury and his kid are fishing,” said Agosa, who grew up in White Center. “The way the kid looked at his dad with admiration and respect and love, and that’s something I really wanted. I was jealous sort of, so I sort of looked at Fury and I was like, I wish that was my dad.”

 

There’s this cliche parents-don’t-understand-me phase that a lot of us have probably been through. But when Tristan says it, he actually means it. 

 

Both Tristan's parents are from the Philippines. His mom doesn’t speak English — she speaks Tagalog, he does not. Tristan's dad does speak English, although that hasn’t exactly translated into a better relationship. They’re about as different as you can be: culturally, generationally and emotionally.

 

Like a lot of kids raised in immigrant households, Tristan plays the role of the translator. It’s not an easy job. The stress led to some serious mental health struggles, and it was only when Tristan was at his lowest that he figured out something that made it all seem more manageable.