Tag Archives: Lisa Amin

Fireweed #75: The Mixed Race Issue [Culturelicious]

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:

  1. Exotic!
  2. Interesting.
  3. How did that happen?
  4. 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.

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