A World Of Many Colors This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   A World of Many Colors

by Jennifer J., Rockland, MA Perhaps I am fairly alone in my beliefs, but I fail to see being multiracial as a stigma. Many people would disagree with this opinion, most being multiracial themselves. I am sure everyone has come across at least some of the myriad articles proclaiming the troubles with having more than one ethnic background. These articles assert the burdens that having numerous ethnic roots bring. They report the agony of frequent questions such as "What are you?" or "Are you [fill in any specific nationality]?" These "unfortunate people" claim they don't belong or fit in anywhere. In my opinion, sob stories professing the distress of growing up multiracial only evoke unwarranted sympathy from the readers. Some people are influenced by what is in print. I have heard a few of my own friends declare that they would never marry someone of a different race. When asked why they were against interracial marriage, the response often was, "I couldn't put my kids through that ... it would just be too hard on them ... I want my children to have a normal life." I am aware that, in the past, their fears would most likely have been legitimate, but I do not believe the same is true in today's society.

Today, multiracial children do not have a more difficult time growing up than any other child. I have lived this so-called "traumatic" experience. Like countless others, I cannot say that I am 100% anything. I am a multiracial child with French, German, Irish, Scottish, Malagasy and Native American heritage. Throughout my life, I have been asked many questions regarding my ethnic origins. I do not find this scars one for life. I don't view having ancestors from various countries as not belonging anywhere. My family has always taught me that being multicultural was an asset, a kind of gift. It allows you to be a part of many cultures instead of just one. How could that ever be considered burdensome? I have led a normal life and there is no reason other multiracial children cannot lead normal lives as well. I agree the constant questioning can become irritating, but still I do not think that people with my type of background should receive sympathy because of it. I hope those of you who disagree can be more open-minded and understand that being multiracial should not be considered an unfavorable life situation.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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