Where are you from?

Ah… The ubiquitous question.  You don’t look like me.  You don’t sound like me.  You can’t possibly be from here.  Where are you from?

Many, many people from minority groups struggle with this question (and many other people struggle with the answer).  The question “where are you from?” can carry much more weight than those four little words should.

It’s one thing to be asked that question when you are away from home, and quite another when you are walking around the city you grew up in.

Being a black Canadian, I have answered everything from “my mother’s womb” to “third rock (from the sun)” and everything in between.  I was born in London, Ontario, but grew up at McGill.  I am the first in my family to be born in Canada, and while I am proud of my family’s island heritage, I am very proud to be a Montrealer. I am not from anywhere else.

So, I ask you: where are you from? Have you been asked the question?  Have you asked the question?  Where were you (at home or abroad)?  What happened when you answered?  What happened when you didn’t get the answer you were expecting?

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