For most of my life, I’ve lived in a black community—a small and close-knit neighborhood mostly filled with West Indian folk.
As a child, I wondered what it would be like to have white and Asian friends.
I would mention guys from Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC, my favorite bands at the time.
They would laugh at my weird tastes, but for a while they didn’t seem to have a real problem with my lack of black culture.
I don’t remember what happened exactly to change that, but it felt like all of a sudden fellow classmates were teasing me about my voice, which I guess was a little bit too squeaky.
They started pretending not to hear me when I knew that they did.
They said I “acted too white.” I thought this was the most ridiculous thing.
I wasn’t trying to be white; actually, I was being myself.
I felt that it was crazy to make fun of someone just because they don’t act like you, and especially to try to tie it to race.
Like my elementary school, my new school was almost entirely black.
But whereas I had fit in fine in elementary school, as the weeks went by, I noticed it wasn’t so easy fitting in with the different groups in junior high.
I would often talk about celebrity crushes with the kids I hung out with.
A few times they mentioned a rap or r&b artist that I had never heard about.