I was just watching this video as the guy starts off with a translator, even though he can speak English, so that you do don’t make assumptions based on his accent. He questions imitating others and failing and learning who you are as a person.
Who Am I?
Right now I would say I am a Muslim American but, I don’t think I fit into one box.
When I was two weeks old I was adopted from Texas by a white American couple of mostly Canadian and European descent. My birth family according to the paper work was at least part Mexican. I’ve recently discovered from a DNA test my background closest is Mexican and Columbian, farther away is European, Asian, and North African.
As a child my parents were light skin and my mom had blond hair. During the summer months, I tanned very easily and had almost black hair. When I was out with my mom many would say you must look like your dad.
Once or twice on a trip to Canada my parents were questioned about my background being so much darker during summer months. Often as a child and through college people would come up to me and just start speaking Spanish.
When I was in eight grade a teacher took a census of our background. I don’t really wear a sign that says I was adopted and I am Mexican or even hispanic. So you can imagine the confusion when I raised my hand to say so, when they knew my parents, but didn’t know the rest of my background. The teacher ended up taking the poll twice.
As an adult who wears a hijab many have assumed I can speak Arabic, but unfortunately I only know few words. I even had someone who knew me before say I became Arab instead of becoming Muslim. Others assume I don’t speak English and are confused when they hear me speak.
Once after I started wearing my hijab, I was trying to enter my apartment at the time and someone stood and blocked the door. They asked where I was from, I normally don’t mind these questions, I said I was American, not satisfied asked no really where are you from, I said I was born in the United States. Still not satisfied asked where are your parents from, I simply just stated Mexican because I wanted to get in the door lol. He looked very confused and said “oh” and let me by. I shouldn’t answer people so quickly, but I’m not always sure what to say. I’m also not always ready to give a lengthy answer, I could answer any number of ways. I could say the state I was born in or the state I was raised in, maybe there is even a philosophical answer. If I went with my parents and most of my grandparents almost everyone was born in the United States. My birth parents whom I’ve never met gave me my genetic makeup. I could just always answer I’m American and say my husband is Moroccan, for a simple quit answer. Sometimes I just say I’m from here, and just stop, I am proud of who I am, even if I don’t always give myself a label. If you see me I never mind answering questions and no apologies for my confusing identity, as a famous cartoon use to say:
“I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”
― Popeye the sailorman