I’ve come to the realization that it’s impossible to experience either pride or shame over the accidents of my genetics. I cannot take credit for this. Zadie Smith taught me this.
If truth be told, from a young age, I’ve always been proud of being both. There was never an internal hierarchy between my blackness and my whiteness……. sadly our culture tells us differently.
Those who are white benefit from the systems of privilege. I’ve made it a goal of mine to use whatever privilege I possess to help combat the injustice of our society in the hopes that there will be change. Since I’m perceived as white by some folks, I’ve made it part of my mission to educate folks – Blackness comes in many shades.
My skin cannot speak for me: therefore, I must demand change in other ways.
Admittedly it has been difficult because some people choose to assimilate me as just “white.” They should not choose. That is entirely within my power. Choosing one side negates a person’s fullest existence. I’m a link—a bridge between two worlds. I live contiguously as both.
In 2020, I went down an incredibly exposing and vulnerable journey of dramatizing and collecting my thoughts about my mixed and queer experience—the struggles and the gifts—into a film entitled Mixed↑ (MixedUp). The film is available now and shares my story in depth. Many who have watched have cried. Many have become overwhelmed with joy. Many have contacted me to say how this has resonated with them. I hope it can do the same for many more on the journey to finding inner cohesion.
This film is my manifesto for those who live outside of the confines of binaries.
Check it out at mixedup.ca
Do you have a story of your mixed heritage to share? Let us know your story here