Growing up in a multi-racial home, my parents taught me to cherish the richness of my Barbadian/Trinidadian and German/Polish heritages.

However, outside my home, the pressures of fitting in with the stereotypes of both ethnicities, and failing to do so, while simultaneously feeling rejected by both sides drove me to retreat within myself. I did not belong to any ethnicity. I didn’t fit in. I was an outsider.

As I grew older I learned to thrive in the space between, to define my own identity and relish the opportunity to occupy the position of both insider and outsider rather than insider or outsider.

These are the masks I wear to protect myself from regressing to insider or outsider rather than insider and outsider.