” Yes, I understand you’re Asian Australian, but where are you really from?”
People say terrible things all the time. So stupid!
Well, don’t leave us hanging. Where are you really from? I gotta know.
Dear Dylan Hoover:
I’m not sure where your confusion is coming from (or were you being sarcastic? I can’t tell) but I’ll bite anyway:
Given that the OP is annoyed enough by the question to post it to microaggressions, I’m going with the assumption that where s/he “really” is from is … Australia. And the OP simply happens to have Asian heritage. Having Asian heritage doesn’t make her stop being from Australia. If a white person were born in Australia, you wouldn’t say, “Oh, but he’s REALLY from the UK”–just because your ANCESTORS probably came from the UK doesn’t mean that YOU came from the UK. Exact same thing for a person of Asian heritage who happens to have been born in Australia.
I ask this same question all the time and people don’t get pissy about it. This isn’t micro-aggression, this is curiosity. I’m from Mississippi because that’s where I live now. I’m from Texas because that’s where I used to live. I’m from Arkansas because that’s where I was born. I’m from my mother and father, because that’s how I came into existence. I’m from Carbon, because it makes up most of my physical being and I’m from God the father because my religion tells me so. So where are YOU really from?
In this situation I’d just ask ‘What about your folks? Or grandparents?’
It’s a difficult question because I’m curious, but I’m trying to frame it as respectfully as I can.
Yes it is a micro-aggression to ask where someone is ‘really’ from. Asking about your ancestry is not, but people should make it clear that’s what they mean.
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