Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

SERIES, PART II OF III = Love & Ohana: The Story of an Unstoppable Cross-Cultured Family

(L to R) Pecoraro, Hodel and Gentile.

In the previous article, Rasha Pecoraro discussed what it is like being a white Hawaiian native, and how her mother, Fauna Hodel, taught her to spread love throughout her life.

Gentile at age 14, photographed by Paul Mitchell.

Now, we feature Pecoraro’s older sister, Yvette Gentile, an internationally successful model who has traveled around the U.S. since the age of seven bolstering her already illustrious career.

Paul Mitchel discovered Gentile at her sister’s school carnival. Her first test shots were taken when she was only 11 years old. Soon after, Italian Vogue printed them. From there her career skyrocketed, sending her and her family on a journey across the country.

“I was born in Reno Nevada and lived there ’til six, then moved to San Diego, La Jolla ’til nine, then to Honolulu,” she said. “The beauty in living so many different places is the experience you can take wherever you go. I am very grateful for this. I believe I can fit in anywhere.”

Now settled in San Francisco, Gentile continues to model and manage the high-end leather shop, West Coast Leather.

Pecoraro as an infant with Gentile in 1978.

Unlike her sister, Gentile is of mixed race.

“Black, white, British, Italian: it goes on and on,” she said.“I like to say I’m a melting pot of everything.”

Despite how different the women are in appearance, their racial diversity played no role in their upbringing together in Hawaii.

“Our mother taught us not to see color growing up,” Gentile said.“Obviously, she dealt with it as soon as she was brought into this world.”

We discuss Hodel’s experience in part 3; her exposure to an abnormal amount of prejudice and racism in her life led her to break the cycle of racial and cultural discrimination. Hodel desired to instill in her daughters a sense of compassion and love that would extend to people of all cultures and races.

(L to R) Hodel with Gentile.

By: Allie

Allie Ruckman is a writer, content-creator, artist, marketer and a creative in every sense of the word. She is from Boulder, Colorado, and draws inspiration for her work from the casual, outdoor environment that is unique to the western United States. She is passionate about liberal politics, environmental, social and racial justice, and loves to write in the pursuit of a better, more equal world. While she is less experienced in global travel or multiculturalism, Ruckman seeks to value, respect and represent all peoples, places and cultures.

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