Interracial Voice

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 00:25 -- Kimmymn

My name is Kimberly, I'm seventeen and I'm mixed-

Mexican and Vietnamese

As a kid I don’t remember a time I questioned my ethnicity

I saw my mom and my dad and they looked different but why did that even matter

However this bliss ignorance changed as I grew...

“What are you?”

In which I would respond, “Mexican and Vietnamese”

“Wait you don’t even look Mexican”

“Choose one”

“You're lying”

“Well you don't act Mexican”

“Do you even speak spanish- like good?”

“You’re only half so it doesn't really count… just saying”

These are the things I heard growing up

Constant remarks about how I

Don’t belong or

Am not enough

Your bombard of questions and concerns for my dear ethnicities feel never ending

My ethnicities and your comments are like kids playing tag

Except your questions are it and my ethnicities are running and running and running

Your comments are like bricks.

A few are fine- not too heavy but as they build up it starts weighing and it becomes too much

Because you see I am not a performance or a showcase for everyone to see

I don't need your passive aggressive questions or concerns about how I don't act like it or don't look like it

Because every time you do feel the need to express your concern that I am not qualified enough to be something that I already am it feels like a part of my identity is being judged, underestimated and then stripped away over and over again

My confidence in my own ethnicity stretches itself, jumping trying to meet the bar you have set for me in order to prove myself but fails

But here since you feel so entitled to be owed an explanation of my ethnicity I'll give you an apology

I'm sorry that when you asked “what are you” you didn't get the answer you wanted

I'm sorry that I don't want you to test my language

I'm sorry that you’re so frustrated because I don't fall into your stereotypes

I'm sorry that a blend of cultures is outside your realm of understanding

But please try to wrap your understanding around this--

My cultural identity is not determined by any lack of awareness

Any ignorance of diversity

And any perpetual stereotype

I am Mexican and Vietnamese

A blend of vivid cultural colors

Beautiful in the eyes of the beholder which I call familia and gia đình

And for that I do not owe any apologies.

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