I am biracial.
You probably didn't realize,
and I probably didn't correct your assumption.
I have existed most of my life in camouflage.
I have tried my best to adapt, to fly under the radar, to avoid the complicated truths.
But oversimplifying or partitioning myself in order to accommodate other people's needs is a form of erasure.
My dad is black*, and my mom is white.
My mom is white, and my dad is black.
He didn't know anything about his biological parents, except that his mother was white and his father was black.
My dad's adopted parents, my grandparents, are African American.
They were raised in Texas and raised my dad and his two
adopted sisters in Ventura, California.
My dad's last name is Bradley**, and my mom's last name is Skill.
Hence, Olivia Bradley-Skill.
My mom gave me a hyphenated last name because my parents were not married when I was born,
in fact they weren't even together anymore***.
I am my mom's only child, but I grew up with three***** siblings******.
*My dad is mixed as well - he was born in the UK but was adopted when he was five.
**Well, actually, I think he goes by Nix-Bradley now, maybe even just Nix. Bradley is his last name by birth, Nix is his last name by adoption.
***My parents tried to make it work again a couple years later, but that was brief.
For most of my life, my parents lived about thirty minutes apart****, and I spent time at both households.
****this distance occasionally fluctuated as my parents moved up and down the 101 freeway
*****This number occasionally fluctuated due to marriage and divorce, but the core crew was three.
******My parents refused to use the term half-siblings. This was important.