The Battle of Being Biracial

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Courtesy of Mya Edwards

Senior Mya Edwards learned at an early age that being biracial would mean struggling to fit in.

Mya Edwards, Staff Writer

Growing up of mixed race in an overwhelmingly Anglo area has meant always struggling to fit in. It’s meant dealing with intense feelings of insecurity both at school and at home. 

From an early age, I would constantly ask myself if there was something wrong with me. Why did I get treated differently? I felt like a white tiger in a jungle that didn’t know where I belonged.

When I was younger, I was often asked which of my parents was black and which was white. I remember thinking, “Why does that matter?” 

Of course, it does matter to some people, including one close relative,  who is white and never accepted that my mother had biracial children. He would include my white cousins in holiday celebrations but never us. My brother and I never understood what was wrong with us. All we knew is the mix of colors of our skin resulted in family members treating us differently. 

On my mom’s side, I was the outsider; an outcast. On my dad’s side, I was the preppy girl from the North Shore who talked and dressed differently. I didn’t feel like I belong in either space.

It’s crazy that being of a different race can make or break friendships and relationships. But it did. So there were ways I would try to change myself to fit in.

On my mom’s side, I was the outsider; an outcast. On my dad’s side, I was the preppy girl from the North Shore who talked and dressed differently. I didn’t feel like I belong in either space.”

I tried to mask my identity by dressing and acting like everyone else in hopes that it took away the attention from the fact that I had a different skin color than them. I noticed that everyone had straight hair. So I used to straighten my hair everyday and never let anyone see my curly hair. Even walking the halls I felt out of place in school. It felt like having a million eyes on me, and that made me feel super uncomfortable.

 I always thought the reason I didn’t have enough friends or boys liking me was because I was African-American. Because of that, my depression got bad and I had a very low self-esteem. 

Luckily, this feeling has decreased as I have grown older and more confident in myself. I’m learning that it’s ok to be different and that I don’t need to be exactly like everyone. It’s ok to stand out in a crowd.

I’m learning that being different is awesome.  I don’t have to adapt to the social norms. I don’t need to rely on others’ opinions because in a few years those opinions won’t matter. 

The only thing that matters is if I’m happy with myself and able to love myself for who I am. I can recognize a true friend when I know that they will accept me for who I am.