At this point my friends have gotten used to my annoying linguistic nitpicking, the subtle (and allegedly annoying) ways that I make clear my thoughts on certain words. When friends tell me someone is lame, I say, “What? They only have one leg?” Or when my students tell me their textbook is gay, I say, “Oh really? What’s its stance on same sex marriage?” Or when a dude tells me another dude is a pussy, I say, “But I thought you liked those?…”
Most of the time people easily grasp the point I’m trying to make and either stop using certain words around me, or defriend me on Facebook. But when I object to the description of mixed race folks as halves, quarters and eighths, people get too confused to be irritated.
Which makes sense to me. Because even though I’ve been mixed race for almost three decades, it only occurred to me recently that perhaps I don’t really like being called a half of anything.