Ambiguously different from everyone else. Stereotypes.

Jessica Winfrey
Portland, OR

I am biracial and bicultural and was educated for the first 6 years in a very diverse school on an air force base in North Dakota. After my parents divorced, my mom and I moved into the neighboring town, which was predominately white. I recall being warned ahead of time that my race and culture would be questioned by my peers, but there was no way to prepare for all I had to go through. I was one of a handful of students who weren’t white, so this difference brought on a lot of unwanted attention. I was constantly asked by my peers and staff “what nationality are you?”, “what are you?”, and “is it true…?”, among many other things. Since I am mixed, their inability to determine just what exactly I was made me invisible and yet also made everyone hyper aware of me. I had unequal access to activities and classes as compared to my white peers, and stereotypes and disrespect was a constant.


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