Articles of Faith: Overcoming Self-Hatred

by Katherine Fry

“Katherine, there doesn’t seem to be many things you hate,” said my history teacher last March.

Not much that I hate? I wondered about this. Sure there are things that I hate. For one, I hate raw tomatoes. I just can’t stand those squishy sour things. I hate the SAT, the worst five hours of my life.   What no one really knows is that up until high school I hated myself.

In my family there is no set religion.

That said, when I was in elementary school I asked this God that I had heard of a favor.

That favor was “Dear God, please turn my face into that of a Japanese person’s”

In my elementary school there were only two other mixed raced kids. Parents and classmates who discovered that my mother was Japanese, decided to call me things such as half-breed, mutt, and God’s mistake.

I wondered about this, was I wrong in some way? Was I not supposed to be born biracial?

I developed a feeling of self-hatred and denial as I began at the moment asking this God, this person I was accused of being a mistake of, change me. Change me into something that the world will love and accept. Through my eyes then, I truly was not something others could seem to love. I was neither white nor Japanese. I was as I have been called before, the in-between child.

These thoughts stayed with me from such a young age I don’t remember when I truly loved myself back then.  I felt alone in my identity. Overly sensitive when it came to the topic of race. One second I wanted the entire world to know that I was mixed. The next moment I wanted to scream and not be mixed at all.

These feelings raged on until I entered high school.

Up until then I had been in environments where I was potentially the only multi- racial individual present and was discriminated against due to that fact. But then suddenly I had entered high school. I felt like I was in Aladdin singing a Whole New World.  Teachers supported my identity and my journey of finding myself. The youth group at my church at Westside Unitarian let me express myself freely as an individual. I had friends who shared the same experiences as me.

This is a change that I experienced and am still experiencing. I am learning everyday that I am no longer just a mistake of God or ‘other’ on a census. I am learning from Japan choosing a multi-racial representative in the Miss Universe contest that someone like me could be beautiful.

Look around you, look at the world; we are all unique in our own way.   I simply hope that someday in this world that being unique or different from someone will not be the determining factor of our lives. I hope that we will all see that we are all beautiful.

This is how I have handled change. I have remembered hate and anger, but I have also held onto hope and happiness.  And now I am able to say with courage that I love myself and what I was born as, no matter what others may say.

Articles of Faith is a regular column featuring the opinions and views of local clergy and congregants belonging to a variety of faiths.