Last week I was sent this great article by Stephanie Georgopulos about coming out as biracial and the conflict that arises when she was in the company of people who don’t see her “blackness”. A link to her article is here.
One of the amazing parts of the bi-racial experience is the unique number of ways we can identify with other cultural identities. For a long time I found it difficult to accurately complete the end of the following sentence, “I am _______.”
“White” and “black” were both inaccurate and “bi-racial” often felt culturally loaded as well as lacking. While on a film set a new crew member asked me what I was a good friend said. “He’s sorta-rican.” I am not of hispanic descent at all. But today, that is how I inevitably answer the, “What are you?” question. Mainly because it captures the quintessential sense of all or nothing or perhaps something of whatever cultural association you tend to associate with my phenotype.
One final thought; although today I embrace the word “sort-rican” to most closely define my experience as a bi-racial man, I reserve the right to allow my definition of self to evolve and change over time. Tomorrow, I may see myself as something more (or less) accurate and so my revise my definition of self.