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10 Common Occurences When Your Are Racially Ambiguous

Whenever someone asks where I am from, I always say Kelowna. Although I grew up in Ontario, Kelowna feels more like my home now.They usually follow up with “But where were you born?”. Which I usually reply Canada. Then with a little more frustration, they ask “Well where is your family from?”. This happens to me at least one a day.  Although it is nice that people are interested in my cultural background it can get very tedious.

  1. People either ask me to tell them how to say something in a language I don’t speak or speak to me in a language that I don’t understand. They then ask me what my first language is…English, its English.
  2. People tell me I have a nice tan all year round, which evidently is my skin colour
  3. People say offensive racial slurs without realizing my background, not that it would be okay either way. Once they find out, they follow it with a “no offence” comment. 
  4. People try to set you up with their one coloured friend, because you are their new coloured friend and it just makes sense the two of you should meet.
  5. My sister and I are mistaken for twins, my brother and I mistaken for a couple and none of us bare any resemblance to my father.

  6. Other cultural groups identify me as their own, and try to take me under their wing.
  7. People tell me I am not _______ enough  for whichever ethnicity they think I am.
  8. I get asked if my hair is real and it is considered to be a completely acceptable question. 
  9. People tell me I look like someone they know, or famous celebrities that I don’t even vaguely resemble me. Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Leah Remini, Raven Symone, the list goes on. 
  10. Customs tries to force me to go into the locals lines when I arrive at a tropical destination. In Mexico, I looked Mexican, in New Zealand I looked Maori, in Italy, I look Italian, I think you get the point. 

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