What ARE You?

I was born in 1968. I know, it’s almost impossible to believe! Kennedy was just killed, Dr. King was about to be assassinated and the world was not ready for inter-racial relationships, let alone marriage and babies. When I was growing up in Manhattan, I was one of three bi-racial kids on the block and at school. We were constantly asked if we were brothers and sisters, or called each others names. Never mind, it was only our skin tone we had in common. None of us looked alike. We embraced each other because there was a certain comfort in knowing you weren’t completely alone. One thing I was always shocked about was even in the middle on New York City, there were so few people I could identify with. I wasn’t Black, but I wasn’t White. People wanted me to choose but most didn’t really want me in the group. Of course I found my best friends (who are still best friends until this day), and they never referenced color, or made me choose.

When I went to college, I thought I was part of the “movement.” I mean Abbie Hoffman spoke at my liberal college. However, people never want you to forget you’re different. I suffered name calling at the age of 19. Really? We’re still doing this? Another caveat was I was raised, Jewish. People really want to put you into a box, and define you. I refuse. My children are all shades on the latte spectrum. I’m happy to say there seems to be much more acceptance and normalcy to being “mixed.” But…there’s a long way to go. People are still shocked when they see my son, Avi or my daughter, Cameron. They want answers! Perhaps one day I will just be able to be, Sydney. Now wouldn’t that be nice? Comment below if you have lived a similar life and what your experience has been.


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