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  • When my sister Natalie, was in kindergarten, her teacher asked all the kids in her class to take turns telling each other what they were. . .

    It was a simple enough question, but one that we never talked about at home, so for her, it was the first time she'd have to ask herself that. It's not like we didn't discuss our family's history, it's just that those conversations were stories, not defining qualities that were meant to shape us or define who we were or how we thought.

    It's interesting that as I grew older the one question that we were never taught to think about would be the same question I'd get asked by everyone I'd meet. . . what are you? I'm so used to the question now, although I never take offense to it; I know my look is unique and exotic, and people are generally trying to make sense of things and put people into boxes. I get that. . . I've just never been a fan of boxes.

    The question is such a bore to me now and every time I sense that someone is about to ask me that, I almost will them to ask me something else. . . like, who are you? Isn't the "Who" much more important than the "What"?

    Inevitably the question gets asked innocently enough, but when it does, I always have the urge to switch up my usual answer (I'm half mexican, half filipino with a bit of german) and respond the way my sister responded at 5:

    I am human.
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