Immigrant Reflections

by Dylan Shimmon(He/Him/His)




I am an African. I am an immigrant. I am gay. I have an accent. But…


I am also white. I am also a man. I am also educated. My mother-tongue is English. And my name is Dylan.


I am both visible and invisible, existing within the societal constructs, hierarchies and mores which are grafted onto my skin at birth.


My existence is deeply coded. My skin signifies the standard; is the standard. I am moral. I am light. I am knowledgeable. I am respected. I am seen. I am heard. I am valued.


I have a career. I have a home. I have an opinion. I have aspirations. I can say no. I have choice. I have safety.


While others do not.


Like me, they too are African. They too are immigrants. They too are LGBQTIA. They too have accents. They too are educated. But…


They are also people of colour. They are also women. Their mother-tongue is endangered. And their name, is not Dylan.


They are invisible. Their skin colour dictates it to be so.


Their existence is less than. They are other. Their skin encodes non-standard, unworthy of.


They are feared.


They are the heart of darkness.


Silenced.


And yet…


They have dreams. They have hope. They have voices. And they are.

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