It’s very common for those of us who aren’t White to get the question on Grindr, Manhunt or any of the other hook up slut sites, what natio are you?
If you have detected a hint of grump in that opening sentence then you would be correct ( I happen to be a hook up slut site user LOL). Some of you might think whats the harm, we all know what they mean. They want to know if you are Asian, Black, Hispanic or whatever. But it’s about more than just grammar.
The reason it grinds my gears is because it’s indicative of a wider ignorance. Asking what natio I am isn’t just bad grammar, it’s a thinly disguised check of my heritage that smacks of “no Asians”. Maybe I’m a little bit more sensitive to it because of my own experiences in the Gay community but I’m not here to debate sexual racism.
The number of times I have answered, AUSSIE and gotten the reply, “no you’re not, you look Asian” as though their indignation was somehow justified, from somebody who is clearly of mixed heritage themselves is laughable. As if looking asian makes me unworthy of the exclusive club of drunken bogans that generally ask the question.
The point that I want to make is that I am Australian, I was born here. I am an Aussie boy who just happens to have a Malaysian father and an Aussie mother. The fact that I don’t look white doesn’t have anything to do with my “natio” and everything to do with my heritage.
I have always been a little bit jealous of my American friends who get to identify as African American, Irish American and Japanese American because being an American is seen to be about values not heritage. Certainly it’s the romantic view but I think my point is clear. If my Dad were to describe himself as a Malaysian Australian people would look at him sideways and say, well which are you?
So asking me in my home country the question, what natio are you? is a passive aggressive way of saying, you don’t look Australian which angers me because to be Australian is to be from somewhere else. We all came from somewhere else, unless you’re an Indigenous Australian, the only true custodians of this land.
So stop asking me what nationality I am, I’m Australian and more than that I’m a citizen of planet Earth. Say what you really mean, what background, ethnicity or heritage are you?