My ethnic history is a complicated subject.
Whenever people ask me what my background is—a common occurrence in a place as multicultural as Toronto, where I lived most of my life—I can never just give a simple answer.
Some people can. For some people, their family have lived in Canada for generations. Others are recent immigrants, who were born outside the country. Still others are second-generation immigrants whose parents were both born in a country outside Canada.
With me, things aren’t as simple, because my heritage comes from two different continents. My father was born and spent much of his childhood in Europe, in Portugal. My mother is from South America, and lived in Brazil from her childhood through to her twenties. But I was born and raised in Canada, where the two of them settled down.
What this meant was that when I was growing up in Toronto, I was raised between a few very distinct and different cultures. And this diversity of experience has in many ways shaped who I am today.