.....because you don't look like or act like your people. Impossible! Because you are your people. You just tell them, they don't look. period.
A very dear friend of mine sent me this link in a gesture of solidarity. Whilst she IS Jewish and I am not, the message in Vanessa Hidary's poetry can be equally applied to Indigenous Australians and pretty much all minority groups.
The amount of times I have had people shocked when I disclose to them that I am indeed Indigenous is met with similar statements.
"But you don't look Aboriginal".
"But you don't act Aboriginal".
"But you're too pretty to be Aboriginal."
"But you're too smart to be Aboriginal."
"Oh it must be a long way back then. What percentage are you?"
"But I am darker than you!." (You'd be surprised by how many people over estimate the brownness of their tans, seriously.)
And yes, all of those statements are made in tones that imply it's complimentary to tell me I am not easily mistaken for Indigenous. Because to be obviously Indigenous is somehow a bad thing to be.
So to all my Indigenous family and friends, just remember, you are your people. Regardless of whatever stereotype it is you shatter in the eyes of the non-Indigenous, no one can ever take who you are away from you. EVER.