There seems to be some confusion as to my actual ethnic identity, to the point where it’s caused a lot of snarky comments and discussion over it. I can’t fathom why this is so important, but I understand that people in Second Life have lied about themselves before.
But if you knew me, you’d know that’s not something I ever need to do.
So, let’s clear this up so I never, ever have to explain this crap again:
I am creole. Creoles are a mixture of three main cultures: French, black, and Native American. More specifically, my family originates from Opelousas, Louisiana.
Creoles look like everything under the sun. I attend a university that’s pretty diverse, and due to my racially ambiguous appearance, I’ve been mistaken for everything from hispanic to Egyptian (supposedly if I cut my hair short, some Arabic guys will ask if I’m from Egypt, and tell me the girls from there look just like me). My cousins have tan skin and curly dark hair, my aunts have blonde hair and hazel eyes. My father also has these same features.
No one I know practices voodoo but I get that joke a lot. Creoles are stereotyped to be this mysterious, witchcraft-loving people who’ll bed anyone and etc etc. We’re also supposedly the people who walk around with a turban on our heads and warn people in horror movies if some bad juju is coming their way. I also get the stupid cross gesture sometimes, as if I’m a vampire. Gee. I didn’t know I was one. Thanks.
Probably the least stereotypical movie I know is Eve’s Bayou. It was still kind of a stupid film, but it offers great insight into how creoles are different, yet we are still both a subculture of French and black peoples. (Edit: I forgot there’s also Treme.)
Creoles have their own language. Well–we say we do, but it’s really a mix of pidgin and bastardized French. Most people don’t know creoles by their ethnicity, but by the food. Gumbo, boudin, and etoufee are just some of the awesome culinary dishes that are a result of our culture.
There’s also a unique type of music we have called zydeco. You can listen to it here.
When I was a child, I learned the art of making large masks every Mardi Gras. My parents taught me how to do this: you construct your model from cardboard, and then apply many layers of paper mache to slowly form the mask to what it should look like. Nowadays, as you can see in the picture, I implement more than that–plaster wrap, which is a stronger bond, clay modeling wire, and very, very strong tape. The masks I construct can last up to three months with hard partying, then they start to crumble. So far I’m getting ready to construct a third mask. When I get ten altogether, I’ll hold an exhibit.
The above picture is the mask I currently wear for performance art.
It takes a long time to explain to anyone what exactly my culture is, if they’ve never heard of it before. To simplify this, I often just say I’m black, because way too many Americans just don’t get it and like simple labels. I also run into a lot of resentment from other black people if I go into too much detail, because they think I’m trying to separate myself from them (“Oh, you think you’re better?”) It’s ignorant, and sad, and often I don’t have the time to clarify, so fuck it. I’m black. Now shut up.
I never have to do this with French people though, because as soon as I say where I’m from, they get it. Then we start talking about food and cool stuff to see in Louisiana, and jazz. I appreciate this a lot more because they aren’t coming from a judgmental angle.
“Well I still don’t see any proof?”
Fuck you. You’re probably one of those people who doesn’t get out much, and wants to stalk someone to the point of prying into their private lives, just to satisfy your curiosity. You need to take a step back from the computer and chill out. This explanation is just to make people understand what I reference and why, not to clear a background check.
“What about the Native American bit?”
My cousins belong to a tribe in Avoyelles, but I didn’t register because it was too much of an argument over money–and I don’t respect that shit at all. There is, however, more than one tribe and expression of this aspect of our people. Here’s another one. Just like the French, Native Americans get this. They don’t judge, they get it. I appreciate that a lot.
I hope this clears some confusion for people, to the point where they don’t make slurs about my ethnicity ever again. Seriously, you look like a pig when you do that. Don’t be that person.