Do people ever ask what you are? My biracial children and I get that question fairly often and we are tired.
People have always questioned what I am. Maybe because I look more like my Dad, including the light eyes, having lighter skin, and when I was younger I had curly hair.
Want to know what my answer has always been when people ask what I am? A person.
I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I am biracial. My Mom is black and my Dad is white, he’s pretty much 100% Irish to be exact.
To give you a little back story, my parents started dating when they were teens growing up in Philly. This was back when black and white people couldn’t go to the same schools or live in the same neighborhoods. I was born when they were still in high school, less than a month after they got married. By the time they were 20 they had two kids and were married for three years. My Dad’s family basically disowned him, while my Mom’s family embraced us.
Growing up our family experienced being forced out of neighborhoods, called a variety of nasty names, stared at, mistreated and more.
My Dad and I were turned away at the DMV when I tried to take the drivers test, because the women behind the counter wanted more proof I was his daughter (true story). This was all due to my parents interracial marriage and my sister and I being biracial.
My parents have been through a LOT, and have their own stories I hope they’ll tell someday about being an interracial couple and their experience raising biracial children. Thankfully despite all of those things, they stuck together and have been married for almost 39 years.
Now I am raising two biracial children (read about our weird family here) and something recently happened with my daughter that reminded me some days nothing has changed…
As a biracial woman who has dealt with being questioned my whole life, I am tired.
Even though my kids are only 14 and 8 they are already tired.
9 Things My Biracial Children Are Tired Of (and maybe other kids too):
- When people ask what they are. (They are people)
- People telling them they can’t possibly be siblings or even related (I gave birth to them both)
- When were they adopted? (Please don’t assume things)
- Being stared at or whispered about when we are all out together (If you have a question about my family ask)
- Questioning whether or not I am really their mom. (Yes I am and you can borrow them anytime you want)
- People touching my daughter’s curly hair. One of her most favorite books is Don’t Touch My Hair! (Good luck to the person who tries this without asking…)
- My teenage son really loves when people ask why he is darker than his sister (His father is Jamaican, hers isn’t and it’s really no ones business)
- Being told they need to pick one race or the other.
- Being told they aren’t enough of one race so they don’t fit in.
I understand people are curious, but there are tactful ways to learn more, which don’t involve questioning my children, making our family feel uncomfortable, or like we don’t belong together because of our mixed races.
When you see biracial children, blended families and more, try to worry about WHO the kids are and the incredible people they are growing into versus WHAT they are.