A Glimpse of My Life: Multicultural Studies

December 26, 2017 General Studies

The first four chapters that we have studied have opened my eyes in several different ways. Not only have I realized things about myself as a person, but about others as well. There are so many diverse cultures, ethnicities, races, and lifestyles around the world. I have been a victim of prejudice and although I do not like to admit it, I have also been prejudice against others. Some people may not realize that they have taken part in such a horrible thing. I realize now that there are several reasons why people re prejudice, racist, or bias against others.

They were either raised in a certain fashion or they simply formed their own opinions. Some are peer pressured into thinking that they should be prejudice, racist, or bias towards others because it is the cool thing to do. I come from a very diverse family. I am Irish, Scottish, and Hispanic. My mother is Irish and Scottish. My father is Hispanic. My mother was born in Germany because my grandfather was in the Royal Air Force. My grandfather, grandmother, two aunts, and my mother moved from Germany to Singapore and they lived there until my mother was about five years old.

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They moved again, to England, and would stay there until my mother turned thirteen years old. Although we had family in surrounding areas, my grandmother also had family in the states so they decided to move to America. I always thought this to be an interesting background for my mom and at one point I envied her. What an experience this must have been. My mother finished high school in the states. She attended a local community college but didn’t stay very long. Shortly after she met my father, they dated and eventually married. I was born shortly after they married and about a year later my brother was Ron.

My mother and father were not together for very long. The last time I saw him was when I was five years old. I do not remember much about him and in turn I didn’t learn much about my Hispanic heritage. My mother struggled as a single mother of two. She met my step-father when I was still very young, I am not sure of the exact age. My step-father is African American. Today they have been together for over twenty years but it was not an easy road for them. Because my step-father is African American, they received a lot of grief as an interracial couple. My grandmother did not agree with my mother dating n African American man.

My grandmother gave my grandfather an ultimatum, he was either to cut ties with my mother, or lose her if he didn’t. In the end he chose to cut ties with my mother. My mother was hurt by this not only because she wouldn’t have contact with my grandfather but because she knew he was not prejudiced. Eventually they got back in contact but it had to be a secret. My grandmother was not the only person who disapproved of their relationship. Strangers would stare at my mother and step-father when they were out in public and rude remarks would be add behind their backs. Together my mother and step-father produced four children.

I now have one brother who is Irish, Scottish, and Hispanic and four brothers and one sister who are Irish, Scottish, and African American. I am the oldest of all six children. Growing up, I was always worried that my friends or their families would look down on our family because of how different we were and still are. I would avoid the subject of race or ethnicity. Most of my friends had parents who were of the same race or ethnicity and also had parents who were still married. One thing that I had in common with my friends and their families is that many of us did not come from a religious background.

I did not have communions to attend and my friends did not have church on Sundays. My mother grew up in a catholic household and my grandfather was a deacon. I think that my mother would have liked for us to attend church but because she was busy with work. My mother and step-father worked opposite shifts and tried to spend as much family time together as possible. Traditions that we enjoy as a family would be taking vacations to spend quality time together. Every summer my niece comes to visit from Florida and that is something that my family really looks forward to.

Another tradition that we have is cooking meals together during the holidays. My grandfather was a chef and he taught my mother most of the things that she knows when it comes to being in the kitchen. She has passed that on to me and it will continue for generations to come. We watch fireworks on the 4th of July annually. On Halloween we go to pumpkin patches and afterwards we carve pumpkins to place on the porch steps. During Christmas we put up our tree and decorate it with all of the ornaments we have elected over the years.

One of the newest traditions that my mother and I have started is attending the annual Gay Pride Parade in Chicago every summer. The final thing that I would like to mention is that I am a lesbian. My family has always been supportive of my lifestyle. They embrace me for who I am, as well as my significant other. I have been discriminated against for the lifestyle that I live. It is mostly by strangers on the street if they see that I am being affectionate towards my partner. It reminds me of the stories that my mother would tell me about her and my step- ether.

Twenty years ago, their relationship was not accepted. I can only hope that it does not take twenty years for homosexuality to be accepted. There have been hate crimes against fellow gay people. There is a battle for equality that is being fought for every day. Marriage equality has been won over in several states and I hope that Indiana and Illinois will also make the decision to allow equal rights. I know what it is like to be discriminated against and it is not pleasant. I feel that I am one of the lucky ones as I have a great support system from my friends and family.


I'm Amanda

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