Kim Nelson: On Being An “Other”

I just loved this story by Kim Nelson, so I’m reblogging for your enjoyment. Please send comments to the original blog.

Drinkers with Writing Problems

census-race-qMy mom was born and raised in the Philippines, and my dad is white (of Irish and Swedish heritage). When I fill out a form and come to the race question, I usually check “Other.” My siblings and I run the gamut of varying shades on the ethnic-looking scale from “white-ish” to “definitely mixed something-or-other, but can’t tell what exactly.” In person, I’ve been mistaken for: Latina, Hawaiian, Native American, Italian, and Inuit. A friend of mine once told me that I should be a model for stock photos on bank brochures–stick me in a wheelchair, and the art director can easily check off 5 different boxes of required representative diversity. 

In other words, I’ve always been an “Other.” I’m not saying that I’ve ever been oppressed because of how I look; I recognize the privilege I still have as someone who only looks vaguely something-or-other. I’ve never been…

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