I just got home from a hockey game. My friend and I were almost definitely the only visible minorities there.
From the moment we walk in, I am uncomfortable: there are security checks.
Calm down. I’m not hiding anything underneath my Hijab. Voldemort is not at the back of my head so stop asking. It just means I need to put on my I-Promise-I’m-Not-A-Threat-To-National-Security-Smile.
Then comes anthem time. I feel like I need to sing ‘O Canada’ extra patriotically to prove I know all the words.
Don’t get me started on the American anthem.
If I sing it, I hate everything Canada stands for (polar bears, Celine Dion, and universal health care).
If I don’t, I want death to America.
I almost feel the only way to be accepted is if I’m double fisting Double Doubles while shovelling snow with one foot and skating on the other. While also, somehow, tapping trees for maple syrup.
If you think Canadians apologize too much, try a second-generation immigrant Canadian. Apologizing is my baseline.
Being young, a woman, a Muslim, and someone who wears Hijab means that I fill a lot of quotas.
It also means I have this weird feeling that I always need to prove myself just to be accepted as a decent human being.
So I overcompensate. I’ve held doors for people that were unreasonably far behind me so they don't think my faith teaches closing doors in peoples’ faces.
(I play the situation out in my mind, ‘Ohmygod that Mozlim didn’t hold the door open for me. Terrorist.’)
I’m not saying that I wish that I had the right to be a not so courteous person. I’m just saying that I feel that the benefit of the doubt allotted to visible minorities is Marginally to significantly less.
Essentially, it is the fear that any of my shortcomings will be attributed to either the fact that I am a woman or Muslim instead of to the fact that I am a flawed human being independent of which boxes I tick off on a government form.