I like wearing black and white. The contrast suits me, notso much that I look handsome or beautiful in such simply uncolored garb, but because it is me. The spawn of lower middle/poor class African American teenage mother and a financially similar Spaniard Caucasian father. I am the clearly grey colored female of my species. A species that, for me, is always a constant and perpetual reminder of my ‘middle-dom’. In life I have spent most of my life as my own contradiction and as my own shade. On one hand I clearly see a need for hair grease or conditioner and an appreciation of the wonderful nature and ever turning tide of Ebonics. The other hand sees a more musical need of hair metal and a decent green bean casserole on thanksgiving. An overlapping of clearly divided stereotypes left me headbanging to metallica after my mother bathed me as a child along with many days spent sitting on a porch watching my father spit watermelon seeds. Many times I did not fit in. The English language astounds me as is and I do not enjoy eating watermelon. In this world everyone seems to have a category. A place on the census taken once or twice a year by phone, email, or a piece of paper in a mailbox. I, however, do not have a place for my check mark.
I am easily offended by the phrase “please choose only one…” There isn’t only one for me. There is all and yet none. Panamanian grandmother coupled with a military straight laced African American from the east coast grandfather who just so happened to be stationed in Panama. My mother was born in Louisiana and raised me with what she knew best and with the best intentions. My deet was a southern belle who fell in love with a Spaniard native american bad boy. My father has always had his band and his woman for as long as i have known him.
I am not defined by nor setting out to live up to either. I do not see my gray in most TV. I hardly ever see my gray in movies nor in the history books and texts that I sit in my room and flip through to answer question number seventeen. In fact, the only mention that I can recall in history of my gray is light enough to work in the house, but too dark to be at the table. Somewhere in the middle of history, in between okay to look at but still not good enough.
Many laws and societal norms have kept me in the midway. Laws such as ‘the one-sixteenth rule” and societal norms such as “please choose only one.” Societal norms that state I must memorize text written by no one who resembles the gray me.
I am now the gray that defines it’s own path. I am living up to who I can become. I am my own definition. A living breathing beautiful contradiction, whom now, after being somewhere in the middle, see a similar reflection of me at the most powerful seat in the house. MY HOUSE. Somewhere in my gray, I sit on top of a free world paved before me. Using my own example, I intend to breach the middle and move beyond it.
No more is there a “please choose only one…”
If there is no singular encompassing definition for my gray, I will make one.