There is a certain feeling of isolation that stems from not being able to claim anything. When you are everything and nothing. I was in the market for a new therapist and got to the demographics portion of the form. The question was simple, “Are you a POC?” I stared at it, I clicked “yes” and then “no.” I fought with myself. My mother is definitely a POC, no questions there and my Dad is definitely white. Sometimes people look at me and see a POC and sometimes people see a white person and the struggle comes from not knowing what people will see. If I click “yes” and they see a white person they can accuse me of trying to take advantage of the system in a mountrous way. If I click “white” and they see a POC they might snort a “yeah, right.” But if the purpose of answering this question is to see if there is financial aid available for me, then how do I answer? On my Mom’s side we have genocide, slavery, poverty, no college degrees. My dad’s side is also impoverished, but at least he didn’t suffer social inequities because of his skin color, but he did what many young men with no money and no support do, he joined the military.
So do I click “yes” or “no”? I wish they had just asked my race and given me the option to check multiple boxes and then they could still judge me but at least I could answer fully and honestly.
I closed the tab without answering.
Race: Lumbee and white
Gender: non binary and I am often called sir and mam when I go out and children ask if I’m a boy or a girl.
What box are you suppose to choose when you live in a binary society?