I'm half Indian, half Irish, and I live in Wyoming, one of the country's least diverse states, where BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management, not Black Lives Matter. Many of my interactions start with a misunderstanding: people asking what tribe I am. "Oh, I'm dot-not-feather Indian," I say. Racism here isn't overt—when I wear a sari or a salwar kameez, some people just speak slowly and loudly. They've never seen my kind of Indian before.

Here's the thing: I've always wanted to be a mother. I'm in a relationship now, and we're trying; for years, though, I was single, and it seemed donor sperm would be my best option. The problem was figuring out what donor to choose. If I picked a white man, my child would likely look white, if a bit tan. If I picked an Indian, I would have a mostly Indian child. Would that be fair, given that she'd be the only girl of her kind around? I can go days without seeing someone who looks like me. Sometimes I actually drive to the nearby reservation just to catch a glimpse of other brown people at the gas station. Yet I would never leave. This is where I'm from. I'm more comfortable in a cowboy bar in Medicine Bow than I would be anywhere else.

If I conceive with the man I love, my baby's life will be easier because she will be whiter. That's an ugly thought. But I see how nervous people get when I tie a scarf around my head to keep warm. If I can protect my child from that, I want to. I would be glad for her never to know what it's like to have darker skin than most everyone she meets. How I envy people who have children without needing to debate which part of themselves to betray.


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