By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet
Being mixed race always has its challenges: isolation, language barriers, not fitting in, not being ‘enough’, and the many forms of racism that come with all that.
Every time I tell people that my mom is Peruvian and my dad is Lebanese I get:
- How did that happen?
- You look more…
One time a famous playwright of colour stroked my cheek and whispered “exotic” in my ear after I identified myself to him.
When I break it down even more (Mom: Indigenous/Spanish/Chinese + dad: Arab, moved to South America in his teens) I get the insult that people think is funny and acceptable: “you’re a mutt.” It gets worse when I say my dad isn’t in my life, but I really don’t want to go there right now.
Reading Fireweed #75: “The Mixed Race Issue” was not only fun it was refreshing. Its contributors wrote about a lot of what I have experienced over the years; and they wrote from the heart, holding nothing back, and well.