As a multiracial woman I tend to hear this question often, What are you? Sometimes it makes me feel as if I am something abnormal.
My answer can range from the truth to simply replying, “human” it depends on my mood. I used to say I am half of each race because that is the way I heard the question answered by others.
But upon further reflection, I came to realize that by answering I am half of a race, it implies that I am less than a whole.
It was helping feed into the mentality that I wasn’t enough of each race. I already was getting that sense from others around me growing up, making me feel like I wasn’t Black or Mexican enough.
I didn’t fit into their ideal of what was needed to fit into each ‘racial mold’. Being multiracial can make you feel like the odd man out at times.
Although it was stated jokingly by Key & Peele in the skit found here, sometimes you do tend to feel as if you must dial-up or turn down your racial expression based on the company around you.
Most times it happens subconsciously although at other times you may feel pressured to express as it is expected of you.
You have to grow into and learn what your medium is for expressing each race. What feels authentic to you.
Now I am at the point where my expression is what is unique to me. So when I am presented with this question, what are you? Rather than state, I am half Black and half Mexican as I have gotten so used to doing out of habit, I pause, take a second to break out of the habit and speak my truth.
I AM Black and I AM Mexican. I am fully composed of both races to make the unique and wonderful whole that is me.