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Growing up Mixed by Shumon

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Growing up having a Black Mother, and a White Father is an experience I wouldn’t change for the world! I’ve learned so much from both of them, and in many different ways. My name is Shumon Wood, I'm 32 years old from Bothell, WA. My parents were pastors of a church, and that upbringing built into me a lot of morals and expectations that were both inspiring and scary! Watching my parents navigate life as a BiRacial couple in the 90’s was crazy, I remember being out with my Mom many times as she dealt with discrimination of the 90’s, and her resilience was always something I admired. I came out at 24 years old to my parents and were met with love and acceptance from both of them, however my mom seemed a little apprehensive. Being a black woman, she was aware of the stigma that came with being Black but also aware of the stigma that came with being Black and Gay and I think her apprehension was because of that. However, both of my parents passed away before I turned 30, and their existence made me into the person I am today. Often times, I’m mistaken as Latinx, and not as many people realize my actual ethnicity. Because of that, I’ve felt the common feelings of not being black enough for the black groups, and not white enough for the white groups. Its a strange cross road to find yourself at, and mixed/Biracial people can easily feel this way. Just because I’m half white doesn’t mean I’m any less black than the next black person. I've even been judged harshly because I don’t ‘present Black’ by other black queer people! It’s WILD to me, but it reminds me that even through moments like that I must do exactly what my parents did through their trials, I need to stay resilient because things will change if we don’t give up. We must remember not to judge others, and give grace to those who DO mess up. And GROW, we truly are all in this together, everyone's journey is just as special as the next persons. And if Covid has taught us anything, it’s to pay attention to our mental health. So make sure you’re taking the time to unpack your mind and talk through your feelings. Especially us Black people, we need to stand together across the board and lead the pack into the next phase of life. It’s definitely time and its absolutely coming up on the horizon, do you feel it?

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