I've been the weird one for all sorts of reasons, but mostly that's cosmetic over me personally identifying as Korean and not American. The issue with my extended adoptive family are the same issues I have with my adoptive parents, or any white person. **I only remember anything they've said/done that's racist.
Whether they've meant to or not doesn't matter. Regardless if they view it as racist or not, is not their call. Brown people decide what's racist and offensive. White people do not do not have a say how brown people should feel about race and culture.
Basically, there's all sorts of little comments, actions, and on going "jokes" that paint my family portrait. It's how I remember every single one of them. It's engrained in my memory. I don't appreciate who they are as people with their drugs, drinking, and the poor social structure of how they run their families. But you're supposed to love family despite who they are, right? It's a basic social rule. Sorry, but I'm adopted. There's no blood and I didn't consent to a familial contract. Further more some social rules are stupid.
On top of who they are as people, all the subtle racism makes every inch of me hurt and angry. As a 24 year old I realize that "the mature thing to do" isn't acting civil with people who are psychologically damaging to you. I had to when I was a child, but now the adult decision is to not associate with people who trigger negative racial feelings. Why should I force myself to be around people who only trigger my trichamania and suicidal thoughts?
The reason I'm bringing up my entire adoptive family is there's an impromptu dinner tomorrow. I'm actually reshooting the nude shoot from last year on how adoptees feel in their skin. In the essay that fallows my nude portrait I talk about all the sexual abuse I grew up with. The reshoot is also tomorrow, I could change the time to also make the family dinner.. The problem is my adoptive mom informed me that I cannot speak on the photo shoot or any adoptee released events/writing/speaking.
If I have to hear about all the horrible things they do AND their "subtle" racism.. Then they get to hear all about adoptee culture and my nude photo shoot. If my adoptive mom wants us all to have dinner and be family, Fine. But if it's under the condition I have to act white again and be their racial punching bag, No thanks.
I'm in a really healthy place where every single person in my life is chosen. All my friends and our relationships have been carefully cultivated with those who accept and respect my racial and cultural identity. Why on earth would I risk such a wonderful lifestyle by having dinner with those who have zero respect me as a Korean woman?
So I'm still the yellow sheep of my unconsentual by paper family. I'm ok with that. It makes the holidays extra hard because they're the only family I know, but I don't long to be close to such destructive people. I'd much rather spend my life with beautiful friends and sweet dreams of my birthmother.
I'm feeling pretty happy about not going to dinner ^_^