FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET XAVIA OMEGA

Xavia Omega, age 34

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?

African American / Native American / Irish / German

 

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

Rochester, NY

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

Yes, I picked this suburb in particular because as a community they strive to support diversity.

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I was born in Denver, but mostly grew up in Rochester. The only mixed kids I was around were my siblings and there were a brother and sister that rode my bus.

 

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

My dad owned a martial arts studio and my mom was a student.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

I don’t know much from my father’s side, but my mother’s side did not approve. They have always been loving of her children though.

 

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL?

As supportive as they can. Unless you are proactively educating and exposing yourself, I think it’s difficult to gauge what’s supportive for someone, if their background is so different from yours.

 

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

Unfortunately, I was never exposed to traditions that related directly to the cultures I come from. It was something that made my identity struggle a little more intense.

 

WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

No. If someone is speaking Spanish I know enough words to get a general sense of what they’re talking about but I am not fluent.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

I enjoy the urban culture of my African American side. I love the music and clothing styles.

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

There weren’t many discussions and I feel that’s a reflection of the generation. We never talked much about anything.

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

This has been a thorn for me for many years. When I was younger I never felt white enough to fit in there but I never felt black enough either. As I grew up, though, I began to identify as black; because I have never experience the privilege of a white girl but I have experienced much of the prejudices that come along with being a person of color.

 

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?

I’ve always been attracted to black men but race isn’t something I consciously consider. My current partner is black.

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

Being mixed means that I get to enjoy being from more than one place. Even though I don’t know much about some of the cultures just the fact that I can not only explore them, but that they are a part of who I am as well, is exciting.

 

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

Not a lot. I don’t think it’s as unusual as it was growing up so it’s not really something we talk about. I wouldn’t say I’ve learned anything related to being mixed, other than the fact that there are a lot more people who are mixed than I thought when I was little.

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

“What are you?” Drives me nuts, because it sounds as if something other than human is an option.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

I don’t want it to stop being a part of the discussion because I feel like there is so much beauty in each culture to be shared. But, I do dream that one day it won’t hold any more weight beyond that.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?

Growing up, being mixed was something I got teased about quite a bit. It wasn’t familiar for a lot of people. I think it’s such a beautiful thing to see our diversity celebrated on so many platforms now, including Swirl Nation.

 

You can follow Xavia on social media her blog / FB / IG / TW

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Published on: December 30, 2016

Filed Under: Swirl Nation Multiracial Interview Series

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