Before entering 4th grade, my family moved to the very white town of Forest Lake, MN from the very diverse city of Saint Paul, MN.
I was never fully aware that I was “different” in Saint Paul but I learned how I definitely was in Forest Lake.
I was sad to be leaving my friends but super excited because our new house was beautiful. I got along with everyone at my new school and I made friends rather quickly. I was always a little boy-crazy as a child. I always passed around my new and updated “hot list” to my girlfriends, obviously hoping they’d show my list to my top boys.
There was this boy, we’ll call him D, who joined our class in the middle of the year but some of the boys had known him already since they were tykes in hockey together. I thought he was so cute and he instantly was at the top of my list. I soon found out he had put me at the top of his, too!
He asked me to be his “girlfriend,” which really meant nothing besides sitting next to each other when ever possible but never actually speaking in real life, only on the phone at night. So, we were an “item” for maybe three days, on the third day, rumors were going around that he didn’t want me to be his “girlfriend” anymore. I wasn’t that surprised because “relationships” didn’t last much longer at that age but I still wanted to know why.
D’s best friend, we’ll call him S (aka The Bully), one of the boys he had known from hockey came up to me and said “I told him you were Hmong– that’s why you got dumped, ha ha!”
(By the way, I’m not even Hmong– I’m Cambodian. That’s not the point though.)
I never had S on my “hot list” because, to me, he just wasn’t. And he never had me on his. I never really cared about it until he made this comment to me… I realized he was a racist!
He always made fun of other boys for having me on their “hot list” before D came and I always just assumed he thought I was ugly or fat. I was never mean to him but he was never nice to me.
No one has ever been so blatantly racist towards me. I will never forget that mother fucker.
P.S. I ended up telling D that S had my ethnic background mistaken, D regretted his decision on ending our “relationship” but I definitely didn’t “take him back.” Fuck both those guys.
(Challenge #2 / Day #9)