Growing Up As A Multicultural Woman
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
They have us check one box for our ethnicity. They ask what I identify as, even after I have already explained what I am—Mexican and Black. From the start they ingrain the fact that we must fit into one box, but my momma always told me to check both. One of my biggest challenges as a young girl was identifying with one culture. It became confusing as child when people looked to me asking questions rather than just giving a look of acceptance. How do I know who I am, if even the adults around me are asking questions? Feeling like I had no identity turned into a lot of confusion, which was traumatic at time when I was just trying to find my place to fit in.
My mom tried her hardest to send me to the best schools but they weren't always the most diverse. The lack of diversity made me feel like I had to try harder to fit in and show I was one of them (whoever I was in front of at the moment). I would adapt to the people around me and not really pretend, but at least try to blend in as much as I could. There were times when I didn't know who to hang out with and who would accept me as one of them. Not to mention I jumped from school to school a lot, so I had many different experiences that left me feeling like I didn’t fit in. Luckily, coming across friends who accepted me made it easier for me to also accept my identity.
I’m realizing now that I didn't even know other multicultural children (other than white- black mix) until I was in high school, and we too had similar experiences growing up. A good amount of us have dealt with the bullying, the stares, the questions, and just not feeling like we identify with any one culture. I know many multicultural people that had traumatic childhoods just because of their ethnicity. Trying to find a place in this world was not easy for me but finding communities that accept me and are open to diversity have been the most healing. Bonding through sharing stories about what we’ve experienced is always a way to find comfort and community.
Growing up meant accepting and acknowledging that what these people feel doesn't define me. Deciding on my identity for myself instead of putting my identity in the hands of others was what resolved the confusion for me. Being biracial came with a lot of challenges but one thing I know for sure is I am proud to be my parent’s rebellious act of love. Being apart of multiple cultures is a beautiful experience in itself, I challenge you to really explore the cultures that make you, you.