The struggles of being biracial

Adrianna Adame, Managing Editor

-Column-

While being biracial means that you get to be a part of two different cultures, it can come with identity issues.

At times, it almost feels like you’re a part of two different worlds. Sometimes it feels like you don’t belong.

I am part Mexican and part Chippewa Cree (American Indian). I myself didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with the Chippewa Cree side of my family or learn about the culture. 

Part of the reason I didn’t get to know the American Indian side of the family was because of the distance; the Rocky Boy Reservation where that side of my family resides is in Montana, and I lived in Southern California. I only grew up with the Mexican side of my family, whom I love, but I felt like I was missing a piece of me.

For years, I tried to fill in that hole of not really knowing that other side of me. I took an Indian Policy history course, at one point joined the American Indian Student Alliance (AISA), read books and watched documentaries in order to feel a bit closer to my American Indian roots. But it didn’t work. I still felt unsatisfied and incomplete.

I still felt like an imposter to myself. Sometimes, I felt ashamed of myself for being so disconnected to my culture to the point of feeling like a tourist. I realized at some point that I needed to accept that for now, I wasn’t going to be able to complete the chapter of finding that missing part of me. Although, I’m hopeful that in the future I can reopen that chapter and find the answers I’m looking for.

Another reason that some biracial people may struggle with identity issues is because sometimes other people of the same race may not see you as “enough.” For example, people might not think you’re “Mexican enough,” as in my case, for not knowing Spanish.

If you don’t know the language or about the culture and traditions of your culture, sometimes people look down on you. It’s unfortunate that people feel the need to judge based on how much you know about one or both sides, but it happens a lot to biracial people.

Sometimes biracial people feel pressured to pick a side to more so identify with. It’s like a complicated game of tug-of-war in the mind.

Instead, biracial people shouldn’t try to separate one part of themselves from the other, but should embrace their multiple identities. Celebrating who you are as a mixed person with a differing perspective is the best way to combat the feeling of being out of place.

Being biracial has its own struggles, but in the end, all that matters is that you accept yourself for who you are.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos