in the hour that i was out of my apartment i got honked at, winked at twice, leered at from a guy in the seat behind me on public transit, and some asshole tried to take a picture of my ass
all of this happened within an hour.
now think about what happens during an entire day
trying not to have a panic attackk right now anyone waana talk please or play some shitty quesitn game
so earlier today I watched this video and it brought up a memory from about 4-5 years ago.
Sorry if this is a bit messy, I just really wanted to write it up.
***just some background info: my dad is Irish and Austrian-Jewish and my mom is from Trinidad and Tobago, but she also has Spanish, Indian, Scottish, and native Afro-Carib, roots***
(my face, if you’re curious as to how that combination turned out)
It was before I knew that self-identification was a thing, but I managed to work out the concept fairly well on my own. In my stupidity I decided to bring it up to my mom (who I don’t usually get along with) and ask her about it. I told her that I don’t really identify as black because, well, I’m not. Her immediate response was, and I quote, “No, you’re black.”
For years, and still even now, my mom refers to us as “us mixed girls” (I won’t get into the many mistakes in that statement - i.e. my gender, her race, etc.). She refers to us as if we come from entirely the same heritage. I’ve also gathered that she identifies as black, having referred to herself as such many times. However, she also sees herself as mixed - which she is, she just didn’t have to grow up that way (with two different race parents). She never had to deal with having various different cultures being a part of her and feeling the need to choose. She might have a diverse ancestry, but I don’t think she actually knows what it’s like to be raised that way. I inherited her ancestry, but I also have other roots that she doesn’t. I think that because she sees herself as black, she sees me that way as well, thus the statement “No, you’re black.”
That sentence confused me and was stuck in my head for years. I’ve never seen my self as black, but having my mom tell be that I am kind of messed me up for a bit. I’ve felt that because of the “one drop rule” I am seen as black and I should identify as such. Until watching this video I never felt that it was okay to identify with my father’s line of heritage. I’ve always felt more connected to his side, but my mom is so intent on being in touch with her heritage that it feels like me wanting to know more about his side is wrong.
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that if someone is mixed, and one of their ethnicities race that isn’t clearly “visible” (in terms of skin tone, eye colour/shape, etc.) it is usually discredited.
But I’ve thought about it and I’ve realized that being mixed race is a lot like being queer (seeing as I’m both it’s easier to compare the two with an inside perspective): you’re born that way, but it’s up to you to choose how you want to identify/label yourself. If you are half black and you choose to identify as black, that’s fine; if you want to identify as mixed, that’s alright too, etc. I don’t think my mom will ever understand what it’s like to be from a mixed race family, and that just because she is black doesn’t mean I am.
I’m not really sure what the point of this was, but I felt the need to say something about it.
Thoughts? Any mixed/biracial people from different ethnicities have any comments?