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A clarification from your “racially ambiguous” scribe

Eleanor Beaton

Today someone said to me: “I didn’t know you were Meghan Markle!”

I said: “What do you mean?”

She said: “Take a guess.”

I said, “Because I am bi-racial.”

She said: “YES! I didn’t know that about you. You never talk about it.”

(Before you get in a huff about the nature of conversation, or are trying to figure out which one of us should get cancelled first, know that this was a black woman who was commenting on the fact that she and I had more in common than she originally thought.)

Anyway. Her surprise at my ethnicity struck me as funny because I feel like I talk about myself and my experiences ALL THE TIME, and it surprises me when people don’t realize I’m bi-racial. 

Because being bi-racial, being a woman of colour, is a huge part of who I am, was a major shaper of my experience growing up, and is therefore a big part of my worldview today. 

AND…for those of us who ARE bi-racial, there can sometimes be a distinct feeling of not belonging anywhere. Combine that with being an immigrant (which I also am), and you get potentially a lot of ethnic ambiguity….And for me personally, a deep feeling of not feeling “entitled” to an ethnicity.

I have never thought of myself as a white woman. I am the daughter of a white man. When I was a kid, I always considered myself to be a brown kid, and the daughter of a black woman.

I know what I’m not…but I guess I don’t really know — from an ethnicity perspective — what I AM, ethnically speaking.

And perhaps this sense of ambiguity — combined with my lewks which have been mistaken for Ethiopian, Brazilian, Somali, in various taxis and airports around the world — is why I have not been as clear as I could be that…



The entire purpose of this email was to clarify this fact. 

That is all, adieu.


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