It is no easy thing to grow up “mixed”. Often you are asked to pick a side or are forced to because your features favor one group over another. I have had the luxury (and misfortune) of being a chameleon. My hair texture and color can alter the ethnicity people identify. I can look mixed Black, Latin and Black, Latin and something else, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, perhaps Indigenous and utterly confusing. Much of this is due to the fact that my DNA contains all of these groups.
But it’s not sexy. I never thought I’d still be answering the question “what are you/where are you from”. Telling people I’m originally from California doesn’t suffice. Still, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the wonder of the human experience.
I always knew I was the colonized and the colonizer. I am the result of love and violence and travel and change. I have been the Black friend who lacks melanin. I have been the white girl who speaks properly (or used to). Are you Puerto Rican miss? I know you at least have to be…
I am the product of a nearly illegal union. A wedding family chose not to attend because… Racism and Ignorance. A marriage family envies because… Love and Resistance. Two children who look related but took various features from the plethora of genetic choices. Sometimes I look like my Dad, sometimes I look like my Mom… the truth is we are a perfect blend of both. I am my mother washed over by my father.
I choose to celebrate and embrace these things that have caused so much frustration and alienation over the years. I am invisible and yet can still suck the air out of a room. I am a Red Herring disguised as a mystery. Doesn’t matter what I am. It only matters what I do.