Discrimination. I never realized just how intimately I would come to know this word and what it really means after marrying a Chinese man.
I’ve thought about this word often in the past few days because of something that happened. I can’t write about it in any meaningful way, though I desperately want to. Like so many things, I feel condemned to carry this pain around with me in silence. I guess that’s why I needed to write this entry — to at least come forward and acknowledge what has happened, if only in a general sense.
When I married my husband, I never really thought much about the prospect of discrimination that would come with our decision to return to the US. I guess I suspected some people wouldn’t agree with our relationship or would have difficulty accepting John. But I always assumed the discrimination would remain obvious, like the one time when a White supremacist group linked to this website during a forum discussion about a “Chinese takeover.”
Instead, discrimination in reality feels more like a well-crafted novel — subtle, indirect and open to many interpretations, depending on who reads it. And sometimes, you’re surprised by the author, never expecting that this person could ever create such a thing.
My marriage to John has forever changed how I see America, sometimes in the worst possible ways. It’s an education that nobody asks for, but one that, perhaps, more of us really need. Maybe then people would understand what my husband and I face here. Maybe then it would be easier for me to share what’s really going on. As it is, I’ve fallen into a deep funk, fighting off depression to continue moving forward in my writing and my own life.
But as I write this entry, I also understand I’m not really alone — because chances are, many of you out there have experienced discrimination personally or through your husband or wife.
So I ask you — if you’re married to a foreigner and living in your country, how has discrimination towards him/her changed the way you see your country? Or if you’re a foreigner living in the country of your spouse, how has discrimination changed your perspective on living/working/studying abroad?