May. 30th, 2012

msagara: (Default)
I've been writing posts that are, roughly, about family - or rather, about mine. Today, I am writing about me. And about my interactions with race.

I am: a cis-gendered woman (for those who don't know what this means yet, it means someone who is comfortable being the gender to which they were born), straight, PoC (person of color).

Have any of the boxes in which I have just put myself caused me difficulties in my life? Yes. In various ways, some personal, some public, yes. But you know - it's the hand I was dealt. I can't change the hand I was dealt - my job, if job is the right word, is to play that hand for all it's worth. Or more. Some people will see little - or no - value in the hand I was dealt. Sometimes they will try to make that my problem. Sometimes it's tricky, and sometimes it's annoying. When I say annoying, I mean enraging, but: I've met a lot of people in my life, and the operative word in that phrase is: sometimes.

I am married. I have a house. I have two children. In most aspects, I struggle to maintain the middle-class existence I've chosen. It is a pretty mainstream existence, although my guess is the neighbors hate the weekly jungle that is our lawn.

I have a much easier life than my parents did. My parents, being Japanese Canadian, lost their homes (and in my father's case, his family, because both parents died, and there was no left who wanted four Japanese kids who could afford to take them) to the internment camps of the second world war. Their life was very, very hard. Most of my aunts and uncles did not finish school because they couldn't afford to: they needed to go out and work at whatever jobs they could find to feed their family. There were nine children.

I look at their lives, and I know my life has been so much better, in part because of the work they did, in part because of the changes in the society around them.

I am not telling you any of this because I want your sympathy. Sympathy is good - but I don't really feel that I need it. I don't generally ask people not to comment, because I like comments, but if I can ask one thing from commenters on this post, it's that: Please don't offer me sympathy for being who I am. Don't offer me sympathy because my parents were who they were.

On being a visible minority and individuality )

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Michelle Sagara

April 2015

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