It was diffrnt 4 me

The strange thing was that, inside, I always felt I was the same as everyone around me. I am just like you, I thought when kids squinted at me in mockery of my own eyes; why can’t you see that? When I was young I certainly felt more like a white girl than an Asian one, and sometimes it was shocking to catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror and be forced to catalog the hated differences.

Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know.

Nicole was adopted and I’m reading her memoir. This is so wild to me.

I never felt like wanting to be white like everyone around me. Never. My first hero or at least the first that I remember was Space Sheriff Gavan, an Asian hero in an Asian world.

So there I was, a black kid in a white village, adulating an Asian fictional character. I guess the idea of conformation, to be like everyone around simply didn’t exist in my mind: there are human beings. We have different shapes. The end. It seemed like the purest truth.

This idea fit me, singled out as I was. It was reasonable, stuck in reality and allowed myself to exist without thinking that something was wrong with me. I’ll take that.

What hurts reading that part is that Nicole was so not used to diversity that she couldn’t do anything but envy her white friends. There was immediately a hierarchy to her. It seems so toxic. It scares me to read the rest and her interactions with black folks, if that happens at some point.

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