Hypocritical Pride in Being "Mistaken" for Black

Last weekend, at my college reunion, someone who has known me for a long time was shocked to learn that I'm mixed. He thought I was Black, like him and almost everyone else in our homecoming crew. In return, I was shocked to realize that I was...flattered? Proud? Something about his error made me happy. For someone who says being mixed is no big deal, this is embarrassing.

I'd like to say it was the context. I had asked the group if my alma mater's quarterback is Black. A former player said yes and then the caveat was put on it. "Well, Biracial."

Because I've known this person for a while and understand where he comes from, I was able to genuinely laugh and respond, "We count, too!" Shock and confusion ensued. And I was happy. I now knew that, if someone had asked him, before this exchange, if I was Black he wouldn't have equivocated. His answer would have been the same as mine. An absolute yes. And I was sad to know that I had lost that "in-the-club," without-qualification acceptance.

People who know me and my lifestyle even better than this guy put the same equivocation on being mixed. I get sad when I experience it and that's what makes me a hypocrite. I say that being bi- or multiracial is no big deal but the truth is, I experience most of the distresses of any person of color who is sensitive to race and a bit extra I still don't deserve the key to a city or special paperwork, but maybe it's time to accept that there's no shame in being sensitive to other people's deep or shallow biases.

p.s. Yes, I'm still proud of my heritage.