I am who I am

I built the railway.
I opened a laundry and a restaurant.
I built a church and a school.
I raised a family.
I built Chinatown.

I paid the head tax.
I couldn’t vote.
I fought in the Second World War.
I struggled.
This is my home.

Am I no longer excluded?
I work hard and try to fit in.
A model minority?
I am an activist.
I am part of society.

I am from China.
I was born here.
I have mixed blood.
I am more than my face.
My hope is here.

I speak Chinese, French and English.
I am no longer silent.
I am Chinese-Quebecer-Canadian.
I am like anyone in this land.
I am who I am.

– Gu Xiong, 2001