FGCU student channels pain through art
Peter Lange has never met his biological parents, but he channeled that pain into a passion of bringing the world together through art.
Although he is of Haitian descent, he was adopted by two white parents in Fort Lauderdale.
He describes his multi-racial household as a challenge for others around him to accept.
“The thing about being a black kid adopted by white parents is that people are going to look at you differently. People are going to say that you’re bought or that you’re a slave,” Lange said. “It started really quick. Diversity is something that I noticed. Especially with my family, we are the most accepting and diverse people you can meet. We knew why people didn’t accept us, so we had to accept others.”
While outsiders were struggling to accept Lange’s adoption into his new family, he struggled to cope with the idea that his biological parents did not want him.
“I was adopted when I was six months old. My family is all I know,” Lange said. “I dealt with not knowing my biological parents and not understanding why I was put up for adoption, going through that and establishing my own identity.”
Lange recalled being laughed at in middle school for being adopted by a white family.
“I could tell you who my biological parents are but that wouldn’t tell you anything about me. That’s not who I am, but the world will tell you differently.”
The loneliness that he endured during this time inspired Lange to want to bring people together, so that no one would feel the pain he felt.
Once he entered high school, he decided to use the arts to achieve his goal.
He began by playing the trumpet and drums early in high school. He later gained a reputation in his neighborhood for performing poetry and spoken word pieces.
It wasn’t until he was introduced to the Japanese art form, anime, that he realized that the arts could unite the masses.
“Anime can bring the world together. Look at the type of people that watch anime,” Lange said. “Every character believes in themselves. The whole theme of anime is that if you believe in yourself, you’ll go further. You don’t need talent. If you work on yourself, you can do anything. There is nothing but positivity leaking and exploding from anime. People call anime cartoons, but it’s a higher art form. When you meet another person that watches anime and you resonate with them.”
Lange is now a member of the FGCU Student Government as the coordinator of student relations.
He uses this position to put on events around the campus, with the hopes that people will slow down, enjoy art and enjoy each other’s company.