I’m coming to terms with a label that never felt comfortable

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Photo by Yaniv Knobel on Unsplash

It’s been very hard for me to accept the word “white” as part of my description. It’s not that I didn’t understand my ethnicity, but rather that there was baggage I associated with that word in my mind.

It turns out that I’ve lived with a blind spot for a long time. I’ve adapted to it so well that I have been completely unaware of it and the word “white” has been the main thing hindering me. Like a bottleneck.

It hasn’t been easy to find words to talk about all this.

I was born in Texas, lived my early years in Oklahoma, and I moved to Mexico City at the age of eleven. Barely five months after the move, my youngest brother died in an accidental drowning at the age of three. This tragedy divided my life. It was the end of my childhood and severed all my connections to the past at a formative time. After that, I was fully immersed in Mexican society, schools, university, work; my identity was shaped abroad. It wasn’t until I returned to the U.S. at the age of twenty that I discovered that while I hadn’t ever been Mexican — I didn’t fit in here as an average American either. …


Suzanne Hagelin

Writing about life, health, things I think about. Sci-fi author. Independent publisher.

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