This isn’t the first time my realness has been questioned.
Since childhood I have been asked if my racial mix is real, or responded to as if it is something astonishing. As a convert to Islam, you should see peoples’ heads explode when I add that one in too, or the way people try to ‘figure me out’ in social settings, before they know my racialised identity.
Recently, I encountered the harsher end of this disbelief in the troll-friendly Twitterverse from @SopranoPictures and @nowismytime1:
Responding to my comments about Rebel Wilson being representative of the typical White Australia that I have grown up in (in regard to her parody about police brutality against Black Americans), I’m not surprised that these trolls felt the need to respond by trying to discredit me based on race and religion. Young white men like this are threatened by people from minority groups who exert their own independent power (as we saw recently with the booing of Adam Goodes and the continued harrassment of feminists online). The combination of Woman, Chinese, Aboriginal and Muslim is scary to them as though all the things they fear are now amplified to the power of four and this was shown in a follow up comment from @nowismytime1:
@nowismytime1 clearly must have felt that it was okay to be Aboriginal, Asian and Lesbian, but not all at once and only when homophobia was brought in to the trolling (and clearly still doesn’t like Muslims). It seems he must think that racism is okay but homophobia is not.
My parents did a really good job of teaching me and my sisters how to stand up for ourselves, how to assert our cultural identity with graceful power in such a racialised world and in such a racist country. Nonetheless, it has always been tough not to feel like you stick out like a sore thumb, hard not to wish that you could just shrink in to the masses and be inconspicuous. But this incident, this trolling, has really brought home to me that I am proud to be all the things I am. I would hate to be one of those people that says “race doesn’t matter”, because it does, and in this hostile racial environment I am going to continue to push my racial pride in everyone’s faces.
@nowismytime1 and @SopranoPictures: I am proud to be your worst nightmare.