I would go visit my relatives in India. My cousins would tease me mercilessly and say that I sounded like John Wayne or something. I speak Tamil. That's my mother tongue. And my accent in Tamil was kind of terrible. And then I would come back to the US and I was jeered at for being different.
When you're very young I think you feel that very keenly. But as I grew older what I realized was, it helped me contruct my own identity and not feel like I had to partake in just one fixed identity. And I actually found that very liberating, both for my writing and also for the kind of life I was choosing to lead in the world.
from Belinda Subraman Presents: Ravi Shankar: Poet and Professor: http://belinda_subraman.podomatic.com/entry/eg/2008-09-23T16_19_14-07_00