Dictionary

20 Nov

Today I looked up “race” and “ethnicity” and “ethnic group”.  I’m a little confused as to what I should think of myself.  If you couldn’t tell from the name of this blog, I do believe that my bio dad is of a Hispanic/Latino persuasion.  And I’ve grown up firmly believing that the correct boxes for me to apply pen to were the “Caucasian, not Hispanic” or “White” one.

Last year, though, when filling out the census form for our family, I felt so upset, so confused (really?  The Census gave me existential/identity angst?  YUP.).  I suddenly wasn’t sure which box was really me.  I shared this with my husband, Joe, and he didn’t really get it; then I shared it with his family and was laughed at– I am obviously white, right?  And culturally I am.  I have no idea about Latino culture outside of Cinqo de Mayo and Day of the Dead.  (And, in fact, don’t know if I should be using Latin American/Latino/Hispanic/Mexican as the adjective here. Although, that is probably a separate issue of ignorance…)  But I also feel this strong desire to know what is in me.  Like maybe even at this age I should try to learn something about this culture; maybe I should claim it as a part of me.

In my heart, I know that ultimately, my identity can be found in Christ:  that he died for me, that he loves me, that God made me and calls me his.

But, here in this world, it is painful to not know what to check on a form.  And, really, this question gets asked… so much.  And it’s such an easy question, isn’t it?  Everyone else can answer it with at least some sort of ease.  Maybe not; maybe it’s hard for more people than I realize.

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