“You’re a photocopy of your mother”, my cousin once told me.

It’s something that I would hear a lot from relatives,
both maternal and paternal,
and it’s true.

I am undeniably hers,
and she is undeniably mine.

A list of things my mother gave me (in no particular order)*:

1) thick, black afro hair
afro (adj.), “afro hair is the naturally curly hair that is typical of many Black people.”
afro- (prefix), “of or connected with Africa.”

2) dark brown eyes
eye (n.), “one of the two organs in your face that are used for seeing.”

3) a wide nose
nose (n.), “the part of the face that sticks out above the mouth, through which you breathe and smell.”

4) strong lips (one brown, one pink)
lip (n.), “one of the two soft parts that form the upper and lower edges of the mouth.”

5) melanin-rich skin
skin (n.), “the natural outer layer that covers a person, animal, fruit, etc.”

6) gap-toothed, easy laughter
laugh (v.), “to smile while making sounds with your voice that show you think something is funny or you are happy.”

Growing up in a predominantly white Austrian society, meant that I was ‘Other’
First and foremost.
That my mother’s gifts were considered in relation to whiteness
First and foremost.
A perspective I adopted myself, and I am still working to unlearn.

This is where my Blackness and Queerness intersect.
In radical acts of defiance, reclaiming, self-acceptance, joy and love.
Of coming into my inheritance.

It’s a work in progress.