Every time I liked a boy, I knew what to do. And my worst fear was that maybe I would say, “I like you,” and he would say, “Oh, I don’t like you like that.” Embarrassing, but not the end of the world. But when I liked a girl, I didn’t know what to do. … Continue reading All the Way Out
I want to be honest. I haven’t been okay. And I have been avoiding the process of working toward okay. In the never-ending quest for perfection and with an unhealthy fear of failure in my head, I have spent the last several months pretending my problems don't exist. Pretending reunion hasn’t been one of the … Continue reading I stopped working toward okay.
It’s the English proverb we’ve all heard: Blood is thicker than water. . Our society takes this as a given, for the most part. Family ties are stronger than any bonds we can form with anyone else. We are beholden to those people whose blood runs in our veins, more so than we are to even … Continue reading Blood or Water
The wedding is approaching. It carries a suitcase bursting at the seams. I have no choice but to unpack all the family, heritage, history and expectations that come spilling forth. Everyone swears it will be okay, that all those pressures will fade away when I look at Noor. I can’t tell you how much I … Continue reading Something Blue
I have taken issue with my body for as long as I can remember. I’ve been thin, I’ve been chubby, I’ve been fat. But I’ve rarely ever felt good enough. Growing up in Southern California beach towns, I have always been aware of the cultural obsession with thinness and “fitness.” Growing up in a family … Continue reading Society Is Struggling with My Weight
My deen, my religion - Islam. I list it along with other identities when trying to encapsulate who I am - “brown Latina Muslim woman” - but that might be a mistake. My faith is not the same as my ethnicity or gender. Sure, these overlapping lenses color all of my experiences and perspectives, but … Continue reading Muslims, Allies, and Tolerance at Arm’s Length
I am a plant growing in the ground, rising up alongside all the others, perpetually shaped by the sun and the storm. But if you look closely at the spot where my stem sinks into the dirt, you will see it is twisted and warped. As I passed from my birth mother’s arms into the … Continue reading Uprooted
One year ago, I walked away. As I pushed the front doors open, the mounted silver letters spelling “University of Southern California Law School” loomed overhead, heavy with history and expectations. As I descended the stairs and made the journey across campus for the last time, a rush of adrenaline propelled me forward. I had … Continue reading Why I’m Glad I Dropped Out of Law School
I Google her name, just to see what will come up. I know the search results by memory; I've seen them too many times to count. But I type her name in anyway, figuring there might be something new. . I am right, unfortunately. . My dad calls the county the next day, gets the … Continue reading I Found My Birth Mother 11 Days Too Late
Corporations often seem to care about marginalized communities, but only if it is beneficial for them. When Coca-Cola airs a commercial about cultural diversity in America, or Nike decides to design a performance hijab, it’s difficult for left-leaning news publications and Facebook friends not to get excited. Consumers write and disseminate articles about these sorts … Continue reading A Consumer Revolution?
Who is considered a "suitable parent" in American society? Whenever I examine this question, I find myself bouncing between stereotypes and reality. We know there is a correlation between parents’ socioeconomic status and their children’s educational outcomes. We know, too, that parents with a higher socioeconomic status can pass that on to the next generation, … Continue reading The Danger of the “Suitable” Parent Narrative
“But she’s not THAT kind of Mexican!” exclaimed my mother's acquaintance, backpedaling in the conversation after stating there were "too many Mexicans" at our local middle school. I, my mother’s adopted brown daughter, heard about this conversation later. My 12-year-old brain struggled to understand what kind of Mexican was so bad, what kind of Mexican … Continue reading You’re Not Like the Other Ones: How Selective Colorblindness Harms Adoptees of Color