I have been a mixed-race person my whole life but I didn’t identify as a mixed-race until I was in college. Mixed-race seemed synonymous with being Dominican so it didn’t seem like I had to add it as an identifier. My siblings and my parents and I are all different skin colors. Some of us even look alike but more often than not, we don’t.
Because I’m so light-skinned and often mistaken for Persian in Los Angeles, the one thing people seem to glom onto is my tight curly hair. It’s the one thing they realize sets me apart from being fully white. I get compliments on my hair all the time quickly followed by: “Have you tried straightening it?” Does that sound like a compliment to you? “You have lovely hair. Have you tried straightening it?” No, not a compliment. For that matter, I haven’t straightened my hair since I was 16 at which point my grandmother, my mother, and my aunt held an intervention because they were so appalled I was leaving the house with my natural hair.
Check out this video on being a mixed-race girl: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09xz8wc