All it takes is one glare from a stranger to make me feel like I don’t belong here. We call it “microaggressions” – as if it’s something small, but it adds up and ranges from monthly, weekly, and for more marginalized groups; it can be daily. I used to proudly call myself a Desi-Québecoise. Desi settler feels more honest and true since I was born on colonized stolen land. I’ll never be Québecois enough and I’ll never be South Asian enough. Most children of immigrants live between two worlds and I’ve had to accept that reality. My French is better than my Hindi and for a while, I stopped using my middle name, “Kaur” on resumes just to make it less brown. It’s like cheaply sacrificing my ancestry to land a gig. And really, all for nothing: despite being trilingual, a graduate of ITHQ, armed with experience and a fully French CV – I’m often ignored. Some people just want to see me as an outsider, so why do I even bother. Montréal is romanticized for its diversity but is there truly respect for BIPOC? Or is it just capitalizing on diversity? Many folks benefit from yoga and eat all kinds of Asian food but do they really see and humanize the people behind those things?
Collaboration:JE SUIS MTL x JÉ T'AIME
June 25, 2021