I was just a year old when I was adopted, I was born in India and grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. For the most part I had a normal childhood, especially growing up in an all white community. Went to school, made friends, played school sports. Though recently my mother noted to me that when I was in the third grade my teacher asked the class why we have Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and one of my classmates comment was: “Because of Kayla?”, but overall my childhood was great! It wasn’t until high school and college that I noticed comments, whether they were trying to be funny, sincere or just state the obvious. One of the first times it happened, I was 15, at my first job, I was bussing tables and a young white couple pulled me aside and started talking to me in this unusual, forgien language. I politely told them that I didn’t understand and they immediately replied by saying, “Oh we just thought you would know since you’re Indian, right?” Some commments such as: “Shouldn’t you be in an arranged marriage?”, that one was when I was 21 at the bar with my friends by a middle-aged, drunk man. “You speak really good english!”, “Namaste, that’s Indian right?” (in a women’s restroom).
However, they are still places in the United States today that are really haven’t changed or tried to with, especially interracially speaking. I did go down south on a road trip with my boyfriend, who is a blue-eyed white male, and some friends and you could tell they weren’t please seeing my boyfriend and I holding hands or rubbing each others backs. People ask me all the time if it bothers me, and yeah it gets old, but I don’t take any of it to heart. I just laugh it off and soemtimes that’s all you can do.