I have been seeing a lot of talk out on the web about raising biracial children, there are even a few great blogs devoted to the topic. This got me to wondering…should I post about growing up biracial?! I think so!
As I have mentioned in the past—my mother is Mexican American & my father is Caucasian. I was raised knowing that I am mixed—it was no big deal to me. I took after my mom in the looks department: dark hair, dark eyes. My sibling has blue eyes and more Caucasian features. When I was little, I used to tan very easily and always had a dark tan every summer.
My friends in school all knew I was mixed, because I made a point of telling them. I can remember being in middle school, (Art class) and my classmates were having a discussion about something, I don’t remember what…and one of my “white” friends turned to me and asked, “What do you Mexicans think about that?” I looked at her and said, “I’m not Mexican, I’m 1/2 Mexican & 1/2 White, my dad’s white, just like yours.” She quickly apologized and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot.”
Read Related: My Two Worlds: Growing Up A Biracial Latina
You see, all the White kids thought I was Mexican, because of my darker features. But all my Mexican friends thought I was White, because my features were not as dark as theirs!
Then there was the time one of my Mexican friends referred to me as “Honky” (It was the late 70′s, ok?). There were about three other girls around us, it was before school one morning. They all started to laugh. I reminded her that I was 1/2 White & 1/2 Mexican, saying “My mom’s Mexican, just like yours.” That shut her up real quick.
Looking back, I can see how her comment could have had the opposite effect on me. Had my mom not continually told me that I was 1/2 White & 1/2 Mexican, I might have been really upset by that girl’s comment. I do believe that would be considered bullying today. Her comment did not hurt me or upset me. I took it in stride. I knew what I was, who I was, and I was comfortable in my own skin. I am thankful that my mom had reinforced that in me. If she hadn’t, I might have run off the playground that morning in tears.
Read the full article on Mommy Powers.