I Always Feel So Strange...

Hmm... How do I even start this?

I primarily identify as mixed race, though I guess for a lot of my life I just thought of myself as white. I mean, I grew up in an assimilated American family. In the Midwest. With Midwest values taught as normal. Then, of course, there were the visits to the reservation, and the relatives who lived and worked there. Still-- I always thought of them as Native and myself as white.

Here, I'll break it down for you: My mother's parents both immigrated from Greece. My dad's father is Blackfoot, and his mother is half-Cherokee, half-Greek. I don't even know what fraction or percentage that ends up with for me, so usually I just say that I'm half white and half Native American. But, I guess I'm not... Really...

And there's the whole appearance thing, too. My skin is pretty light; though you can definitely tell it's not translucent or anything, my partner has darker skin than me and he's Polish and German! I have mediumish brown hair and green/grey/blue eyes. I was one of 5 grandchildren on my father's side (out of over 20) who wasn't born with black hair. My hair is sort of wavy/curly like my mother and her family's, while my younger sisters and everyone on my dad's side has straight hair.

My dad's father left when he was 8, too, so I never knew him. He was adopted and grew up (and died, actually) thinking he was Italian. It wasn't until my grandmother found his adoption records that she realized he was adopted from a Blackfoot woman living just outside the reservation in Montana. His adoptive family lied to him and told him that he was adopted from an Italian family on the East Coast. So I grew up also thinking I was more Greek and Italian than anything else until my grandma made this discovery.

I kind of feel so detached from everything. Most people assume I'm white, and it hurts a lot when friends who find out say things like "Oh, I just thought you were some silly white girl."

tsiwonihi tsiwonihi
18-21, F
1 Response Feb 13, 2010