You had me at “What are you?”
I was a brown (olive) child growing up during the first wave of busing and desegregation. When I was sent to what had been a predominantly white school, the question “What are you” was never-ending.
My features confused people. Full, thick lips. Not really pink. Not really brown. Almond shaped eyes so dark you can’t tell where the pupil ends and the iris starts. Straight brown hair.
“What are you?” I was asked for the first time when I was five or six years old. I giggled innocently and said “A girl.”
According to the 23andme DNA reveal, I am 76.2% European, 21% Native American and East Asian, 1.1% Sub-Saharan African, .2% Middle Eastern/ North African, and 1.5% unassigned.
I’m proud of my paternal grandmother’s Indigenous Mexican heritage, my grandfather’s Spanish lineage, and my mother’s Dutch-Irish roots along with every other spec of DNA. If you ask me what I am today, I’ll tell you that I’m a woman of the world.