Dear Mililani Boys,
You lied to me.
You told me that I was ugly. Monstrous, the way I stood head and shoulders above the other girls, Japanese or Filipino girls, 5’2″ in their stacked slippers. My hips and breasts and thighs were deformities you mocked starting in elementary school. Branded with pale skin, you told me I could never be beautiful in a land where races have mingled for 200 years. Years of blowing out my birthday candles and wishing for cocoa skin and inky hair proved fruitless. My only hope of redemption would be to someday marry a dark skinned man and bear hapa children. I believed you.
You told me that I was a shameful, little secret. By day the butt of your jokes, by night I became your secret fantasy. You came rapping on my back door at twilight, begging for a glimpse or touch. You whispered fiction about having “done me”, with all your boys. The rumors floated back to me, still a virgin. You could not grace me with the title girlfriend, instead your friends snickered, “Aka’s bitch.” Your message was clear: no one will ever hold your hand in the light; you belong in the dark. I believed you.
You told me that I’d never be loved. I became the girl who never dreamed of marriage, never imagined I might have a happily-ever-after, never hoped for something more than furtive groping in a dimly lit room. The disgust spilling from your eyes and the scorn that dripped from your tongues proved that there was nothing about me worthy of love. I believed you.
This deception has held power over me. It has shaped my identity, my behavior, and my perceptions. Your lies became the prison confining me for too many years.
O, Mililani boys. You were wrong.
Here is the truth about me, here is reality: I am beautiful, I am worthy of the light, I am loved.
I am free.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32 (NIV)
Photo credit: flickr, kaleikaulana