• We See You Magazine

Foreign American

Updated: Feb 17

By: Anonymous We only have two seasons in the Philippines: wet and dry. I knew I was in a whole other world as soon as I saw and touched snow in America. It was January of 2004, and I went to see my parents for the first time in a year in New Jersey, where they had been working incredibly hard to be able to afford a new life for my siblings and I. Growing up, the first thing I would get asked after my name, was “what are you?” or “where are you from?”. I’ve always felt distant from people I would meet in public because it was as if I was an automatic outlier due to my ethnicity or color. I have a good life living in America, but it would definitely be a lie if I said I felt truly American. Growing up in America, I was fortunate enough to have the lovely friends I’m surrounded by now. But like anyone else, there have been some very strange and unfortunate interactions as well. For me personally, I notice them to mainly be of my race. Attending college was when I started realizing how bad stereotypes about “my people” were. There were countless times where a boy would only be interested in me because I was foreign/ambiguous looking. When I asked about what that meant, it seemed that the attraction was only due to the fact that I was neither white nor black. While that statement is offensive to just about everybody on this planet, I was more confused than enraged at the moment. Was this a compliment? Was this supposed to impress me? Even if he meant it, that was the most I’ve ever felt like an object. From that moment on, I’ve noticed many more ‘romantic’ interactions that would have to do with my race and assumptions about my race. Along with fetishizing the ‘foreign look’, I hear numerous comments of how we are submissive, we are obedient, and we would make good “compliant” partners. These comments were a double whammy, both sexist and racist. While White America thinks that they’re being flattering when having these mindsets, we need to make them realize that there is no difference in our mannerisms and behaviors due to our color nor race. While there are different cultures, religions, and lifestyles in the world, the judgement of character should only be from our individual actions and words, not solely from physicality or our motherland. We are beautiful, but we are not objects to be fetishized. To the foolish men that assume I’m to be ordered around due to my ethnicity, that I am submissive, reserved, and feeble: you are in for a very big and very angry surprise.