When was the last time someone asked you where you are from?
I can't even remember because it happens a lot. Majority of the time they ask without really thinking of the connotations behind it. It’s a harmless question in their eyes and I take it as such, but I have been asked if “I was an import – you know like an immigrant?”, I was really young and wasn't sure how to respond. I remember at that point I felt really othered. Like yes, I know I am an immigrant but I'd never been confronted with someone saying it in such a derogatory way.
How did it make you feel?
I never really know how to respond when I get asked. I still get really confused even though I've had to explain this time and time again. I'm like – Do they mean where I'm from in Sydney?; My nationality? I've answered it ‘wrong’ before and then the conversation becomes about me having to explain, then it just takes longer and I’m like sooo... it's a little draining when I think about it.
Usually it’s about my nationality because you know I don't look "Australian" and then we go into… “Well how long have you been here?”, because I was born in Peru and I came to Australia when I was 18 months old. My sisters were 9 and 2.5 and my parents were in their 30s. Once they hear that I've lived here for that long they 9 times out of 10 say "Ohhhh well you're practically Australian then", and that really annoys me tbh! Because why should I have to explain myself to you and how come I only qualify to being "Australian" once I've explained myself – It's weird.