August 18, 2019

Where are you from (Like really from)?

Andres Ordorica

Poetry32 teeth, 2019

Border agents don’t just work at airports or land borders. There are people up and down the country playing the role of gatekeeper. But where exists the definition of what someone should look like if they say Scotland is their country? Who has the right to say what someone from ‘here’ really looks like? This has nothing to do with passports, accents, status or religion. This has to do with how non-white bodies are seen by the white majority. This is about how brown and black people have to always deal with the stares, microaggressions, the ‘inquisitive’ nature of everyone else which is never polite. But always political.

This is about understanding why I am always asked, “But where are you really from? Like, really from?”

This is about needing to categorise brown and black bodies in a way that makes sense for those who think to be Scottish means to have Celtic blood pumping through an ivory body. This is about knowing I will spend the rest of my life in Scotland having to smile ‘an insincere smile’ while other people police my body. All the while, trying to place my strange tinge, my strange name, my elusive identity.