I am an Asian American woman. I don’t know that I would have found this out on my own if it had not been for the joys of my preadolescent playground years…. Of course, I should have known my differentness when looking in the mirror and using those innate compare contrast skills, given to us only by the grace of God. However, it took a symphony of jests, jabs, and chubby little white kids with Kool-Aid mustaches stretching their goddamn perfect round eyes at me to figure out that yes, I am indeed not like the rest of you tall, beautiful, God blessed Anglo-Saxons.
Any preexisting confusion I had in the interest of race was quickly resolved by my Midwestern American schooling. To say there is little diversity in suburban schools is an understatement (at least in the early ‘90s).
Elementary is always a funny place anyways. You tie your shoes; you learn the alphabet; you make papier-mâché volcanoes; and if you were like me, you would pray to God that no one would notice you were not white. And God doesn’t answer prayers (or those kinds at least) and people did notice I wasn’t white; they noticed all of the time.