I ordered abayas from an online website, but I accidently gave the wrong address. I contacted the website, but they refused to help saying there wasn’t much they could do. My only option was to physically go to that address and ask them if they received my package. It didn’t seem so bad. But the second I got there; I was terrified. The neighborhood seemed strangely odd. There were too many ‘we support the blue signs’ (which isn’t a big deal, but as a person of color and a Muslim, it terrifies me. Automatically I am a suspect. Automatically I’m a terrorist). There were Trump signs as well. The place just seemed unwelcoming. But that wasn’t the issue.
I wore a Hijab, and I sat in my car debating whether I should keep it on or take it off. I chose the latter. I yanked off my identity and walked to the house, just to show them that I came in peace. That I meant no harm. I rang the bell and stood as far away as I could from the front door. No one opened and relieved I came back to my car. At least I tried to get my abayas (I still have no clue where they are).
But the fact that I compromised my existence just to make sure I wasn’t targeted was what disappointed me. It was so easy for me to deviate from my identification, just so I could survive. I’m struggling with my Hijab. It’s an on and off thing. But I hadn’t taken it off, even when that male security guard at the airport told me to do so in France while I was going through security, and here I compromised my identity because I was afraid of being mistaken as a threat.
I’ve lived in NY. I’ve been harassed, threatened, called a terrorist, but I’ve always been immune to those comments, but now I feel like I’ve lost my strength and my identity.