“Generic Brown” is my passport everywhere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGil L. Pettigrew, MS,
The Federated States of Micronesia.

I have a very strong, very proud cultural heritage; I’m a North American Mestizo, 50% Native American (Creek and Cherokee; my tribal enrollment/citizenship is with the Echota Band of the Eastern Cherokee Nation) & 50% a mashup of Scots-Latin-AfricanAmerican-Welsh-french.

I self ID as Native American, because I am, culturally, legal, socially, that’s the most marginalized part of my heritage…& at 2% of the America population we need the numbers &/or multiethnic-mixed race.

Appearance-wise, I’m taken for everything from Native Hawiian to Middle-Eastern, though usually I’m seen as puro Latino.
Rather than getting annoyed by that, as some multiethnics are, I embrace being, in Hollywood speak “generic brown”; it means I have a global-face, a phenotypic in with folks from lots of different backgrounds. Its been especially useful living in my diverse, polyglot home-city of Miami, FL, & traveling in Latin America, the Caribbean (I, for example don’t often pay “Gringo Prices”), & I’ve found it an advantage since taking a position as the natural science instructor at The College of Micronesia’s Kosrae Campus, on the island of Kosrae, in The Federated States of Micronesia…I find folks a bit more open, a bit more upfront with me than I’ve observed they are with many more obvious Westerners, since they frequently tell me they initially assumed I was from one of the neighboring islands.


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