Where #ImFrom: Table of Contents

Photo: Getty Images

We asked our audience how they’ve responded to the question, “Where are you from?”

People sent us their answers via social media, and some responses came in the form of personal essays that explore misunderstanding, fear and anxiety, but also empathy and the connections that tie us together.


  1. A LITTLE DARKER: An Iranian American writes about being brown in a white-as-snow Indiana town.
  2. FEAR AND FORGIVENESS: A young man grapples with his abusive father and the gang-ridden neighborhoods of L.A.
  3. NOT AN EXOTIC OBJECT: A Chinese-American woman recounts the moment a cashier refused to take her driver’s license at face value.
  4. SWINGING IDENTITIES: A young biracial man reveals the contrasting personas he takes on in his college-educated social group versus his hometown crew.
  5. STRUGGLE FOR SATISFACTION: A Filipino American observes what it means to be of Asian descent while living in homogenous Japan.
  6. REAL-LIFE ALIENS: A young black man explains how he feels when the question “Where are you from?” turns into “What are you?”
  7. A DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION: A doctor dissects the question he gets even more than “Is it serious?” and “How long do I have to live?”
  8. A GENETIC ROLL OF THE DICE: A woman of mixed background reflects on why it’s impossible — and irrelevant — to know where she’s from.
  9. THIS LAND RIGHT HERE: A Navajo woman discusses the importance of remembering America’s forgotten history.
  10. NOT LIKE JACKIE CHAN: A young woman unravels the racism she’s faced when people won’t accept where she’s from.
  11. BOTH SIDES OF THE HYPHEN: A Nigerian American evaluates the difficulties of finding peace between two vastly different cultures.
  12. A SECRET WAR: A woman of Southeast Asian descent juxtaposes the location of dreamy vacations against her family’s war-torn history.