To Elphaba, The Green, Hermaphrodite Character I Relate To The Most, You Are My Hero
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Politics and Activism

To Elphaba, The Green, Hermaphrodite Character I Relate To The Most, You Are My Hero

My hero is the girl who existed before the Wicked Witch of the West did.

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To Elphaba, The Green, Hermaphrodite Character I Relate To The Most, You Are My Hero
Think Hotels

Before I begin, I suppose you'll need a bit of background information on exactly who I'm writing a letter to. Meet Elphaba, from "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." She's also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, the green hermaphrodite, or Glinda’s roommate. For the record, she was born green.


Dear Elphaba,

As strange as this sounds, I'd be very glad to have you know that you are my hero. Yes, you green hermaphrodite.

The reason is that your tale is one filled with stereotypes, misunderstanding and good intentions. And yet, by the time the majority of us meet you in the "Wizard of Oz," you become evil through and through.

Though you weren't born "wicked," you were born green, and it’s not easy being born green. All your life, people have judged you at a glance because of the color of your skin. When you were young and trying desperately hard to do good, you got strange looks. Worse, you got treated as a walking and talking circus animal, much like the ones you were trying to protect. Everyone thought that because you were green, asking taboo and overtly-personal questions about your family life, your method of birth or the color of your pubes was fine.

Honestly, I pity you so much. You are the human embodiment of the quote, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Maybe it's a bit wack that I would pity my heroine and not look up to her, but I wouldn't know. So maybe I should specify. My hero is you before you gave up and went to figurative (and later literal) Hell because quite frankly, as someone who doesn't fit in my own community, you're relatable.

I suppose here's a bit of background on me to compare. My mom and dad are both Asian, but they're both different kinds of Asian. They met at an university in the United States. They moved together. They had me.

I definitely don’t have green skin, thank goodness, but what I do have is a complete inability to fit into both my parents’ places of origin. As Asian societies are much, much more homogeneous than places like the U.S., they find it difficult to be accepting of someone who kind of looks like them but is not from the same biological background as them. In Asia, I'm a halfie who was raised in neither parents' place of origin, and that makes me hard to accept.

On top of that, I've had a slew of stereotypes placed over me here in America. Because I'm Asian, I'm supposed to be a God-awful driver, exceptionally good at math and science and fluent in an Asian language. Because I have a bit of Southeast Asian, and I'm female, I'm supposed to be a poor and sexy prostitute. Because my mother is from a country that speaks Mandarin Chinese, I'm automatically Chinese.

The problem is, I can't be all at once. I can be my own distinct blend of everything I was made of and everything I'm raised in, but that's often not enough. I'm not whole; I'm only a part. I'm not fully Asian enough to be accepted by either one of my parents' native societies. I'm American enough to possess an American citizenship, but I'm not American enough to escape all those stereotypes that seem to be omnipresent.

Just like you.

Except, admittedly, you do have it much worse. So, maybe you're not my hero exactly, but I'm glad you exist, even though you're nothing more than bits of film and ink on paper. Whenever I get too fussy and start feeling bad for myself, I remember you.

The thought of you always manages to cheer me up.

Sincerely,

Grace

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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