Paige Rene Rogers, 25 years young
WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
My father Chad, is African American and I have honestly never dug deep into my father's history. He never really talked about where his family originated from but my mother on the other hand was always told by my grandmother where she was from. My mother Shelly, is part Irish/English hence where the red hair comes from :)
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
I live just south of Denver which I would say it feels pretty diverse being a big city and a lot of people migrating here. Littleton on the other hand is not as diverse and has a lot of old money in the small area.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born in Lansing MI and went to school there through 5th grade. My elementary school was very diverse and most of the kids in my class were mixed. Then I moved to good ole Mason MI where I then noticed I was the only mixed person in my class. I was 1 of 5 mixed kids in the entire school.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
My mom and dad met at a stop light when my dad rode his motorcycle, my mom loves a guy on a motorcycle. They pulled over and traded numbers!
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
I would say yes, my mom's mother Yvonne was not a fan of my father because he was black. After my mom had my sister and I, my grandmother began to understand that we were her grandchildren no matter what color we are.
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL?
Absolutely! My aunts and uncles also grew up in a very diverse community so I think they were pretty used to seeing mixed children.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
Um, not really. Both sides celebrated the basic american holidays and events. Nothing too special on either side.
WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Nope, good ol’ English. My sister and I came up with our own language that we still use today but my mother likes to call it baby talk...
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
5 years ago I found the plant based diet and I have been vegan ever since. Before I told my family I no longer ate meat or dairy I loved my grandma Rogers cooking! It was very fatty and delicious but I knew it was not the best for my body as I got older and learned more about food.
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
I don’t think my parents ever thought about sitting me down and explaining to me why I am different than most of my friends in Mason. I am also okay with that because it forced me to see that there is nothing different about me and my friends besides my skin color and I never saw that as an issue. I was most interested in learning about my background to stop confusing myself LOL!
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
No, not at all.
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
I identify myself as black when people ask me and I honestly just think I say that because that is what I have been taught to say. I feel like if I were to say “white” people look at me like I am lying. It really is a challenging question because society tells you to say one thing but then you look at yourself in the mirror and you see something completely different.
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?
I am currently engaged to the love of my life who is white, Chase. When Chase and I lived in Florida it was like the 60’s all over again. Sometimes people would stare when we went to dinner or ask us weird questions like “What do you 2 even have in common?” It was something I had not seen before and it was pretty uncomfortable at times.
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
Bing mixed doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning to me because I see it as 2 people who fell in love created me. I am a human being with great skills and an open mind. I do not see color, I see people. Being mixed to me is show humanity that people of different races can come together and ignite love.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?
My in-laws are mixed and I learn from them all of the time. It’s fun to hear stories from their past and how similar they are to mine. I have learned that LOVE is LOVE from all of them, no matter what color, sexuality or gender you are, you’re allowed to love WHO YOU WANT and be WHO YOU WANT.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
It is definitely never said anymore but when I was in high school kids used to call me a zebra or an Oreo and now that I am older I understand how rude those comments actually were.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
My dream would be to forget about race over all but I know that’s a hopeful dream. But really, I want people to understand that it is okay to have a relationship with someone who is not the same race as you. It should not be this scary encounter or even uncomfortable. We are all HUMAN beings and that is the sad part. Sometimes we can’t even get along with our own species all because of the color of our skin….hmmmm
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?
I am a proud mixed woman, business owner, daughter, big sister, soon to be wife, personal trainer, yoga instructor and a leader. I am damn good at my job and building connections within our community for our business. I am a people person and color will never stop me from being ME.