*hides good snacks from family members*
“So, what are you?” An inevitable question I am presented with on almost a daily basis. I’ve always wondered what it is about me that gives my multiracial background away, what makes people ask that. My ideal answer would be “I’m a human, what are you?”
It’s as simple as saying that I’m mixed, but it’s also that complicated. People want a more in depth answer, one that I’m not always so eager to provide. I guess that answer people want is Latina (Puerto Rican on my mother’s side) and Black (African American on my biological father’s side). But there’s more than that, the man I consider my dad is White (I guess that proper term would be adoptive father, I have his last name). When I’m asked about my racial background, I always feel as if it will offend my dad if I don’t mention white, not be completely true because genetically I’m not, or even more so it confuses others when I introduce them to him. I digress. Most of the time I feel more Latina than anything else. People don’t tend to understand this because to them I just look black, therefore I am just black. But I grew up in my abuela’s (grandmother) house more than my own. As a child she watched me, picked me up from school, she taught me Spanish, made me eat Puerto Rican food, all that stuff. I was never really around African American people growing up other than at school. And as for my dad’s side of the family, I never really felt accepted. I mean, I don’t look like any of them at all…they’re white as fuck. So there’s all those environmental factors which makes determining my racial identity even more difficult.
Being biracial does have it’s perks and it’s pitfalls. I love being biracial because people always see me and expect me to act like or talk a certain way and they’re always surprised which I find hilarious. Then there’s getting to experience more than one culture and that’s the most beautiful thing about it, I think. I try to make myself think that the good things outweigh the bad, but it’s hard keep such a positive outlook on it. One of the worst things about it is that people try to use it against me, if I’m with my black friend’s they’ll try to offend my with things like “Donicia, you act so white!” or my white friend’s will throw the N-word around, and on so many occasions I’ve been called a wetback and a spic. Which if you think about it make no damn sense, considering those slurs are actually intended to be directed towards Mexicans. Being more than one race just means dealing with more bigotry. Also, there’s the issue of never fitting in. I can’t act black enough or Hispanic enough or white enough. I’ve never even understood what the fuck that meant, the concept of acting like race always just makes me mad.
The more and more I talk about race and try to determine my own, the more ridiculous the concept gets. Scientifically, race does not even exist. Race is a social construct. So, I guess I’m just whatever people see me as and what I feel like I am.