A few notes on genetics and heritability
When I was a kid, whenever my mom took me anywhere, some lady would ask her if she dyed my hair. Often, not even if but where she had my hair done. (That’s LA for you; people getting their damn 7 year old kid’s hair dyed to match their car or some shit.)
I was born with a Blue Spot, which is something that freaks people the fuck out when they’re not really expecting it because they think it’s a bruise. I still have it, although it’s quite small and was partially removed by a white dermatologist who refused to believe it wasn’t somehow cancerous. Later, my mom told me that my dad knew I had to be his baby because of the spot, which makes sense since although some Roma are also born with the spot, it’s less common.
Although in my adulthood, I pass for white depending on where I am, who I’m with, and who’s looking at me, I did not pass for white as a child. The sense of mistrust in the world, the hurt, and the confusion created by assholes is a foundational part of who I am today.
It still irks me when people see pictures of me as a kid and ask me STILL if my hair was dyed that color. Although my mom never seemed particularly offended by this, I always was…but then again I took everything deadly serious when I was a kid.
People make so many damn assumptions about heritability, especially characteristics that are racialized. Even (especially) scientists, who were bowled over by the fact that the blond gene in Solomon Islanders was not due to “interbreeding” with Europeans as they had assumed, but was actually traceable to a single gene that had evolved entirely separately.
NOT ALL BLONDNESS COMES FROM WHITENESS.
Or a bottle.
Which is really all I wanted to say, I guess.