My name is Emily. I'm 19-years-old and I have high functioning autism (Asperger's). Nice to meet you! I just wanted to share to you some of my genealogical discoveries and ask for some advice. My mother is Native American because my grandfather is Native American, as well with European roots. I always knew this. My mother's skin tone is this brownish color mixed with this whitish color. I don't have that. My skin tone is pale but sometimes this reddish color, it's strange. One thing is for sure, I need to go out in the sun some more ha. My father is from Eastern European roots. My grandmother is from Portuguese and Cuban roots. I recently found out something that shocked me (I don't know why I'm surprised at this point): I was on Ancestry searching my father's genealogy and found out through public records that Eva Beatrice Dykes is my 1st cousin 5x removed. She was the first black woman in the United States to complete the required coursework for a PhD. That's not the surprising part. I got a notification from Ancestry's 'We're Related' app, and that notification said: "We think Michael Jackson is your 8th cousin 1x removed. Your attention is required: Review." And surely enough, after reviewing it over and over again, it turns out to be accurate. I thought to myself, "Okay. That's cool! But if I tell anyone about this, or even exclaim to be African American, I will be shot (laughs)." Somewhere I had great-grandparents who were African American, but to find any pictures in these times seem to be nearly impossible. People have always asked me what I am. I say Cherokee and they laugh. I laugh too. I tell them, "Yes. It is ridiculous for how many white people claim Cherokee but can never prove it. In all seriousness, my 3rd great-grandmother's father survived the Trail of Tears and was an elected Senator of the Executive Council of the Cherokee Nation in 1877." The laughs stop, every time. I'm comfortable in my Native American and African American heritage, but I'm so conscious when it comes to people judging me. I mean either way, people are going to laugh at me. "You? Native American?" and "You? African American?" I always fight against injustice and I always stand up for myself when I have to. Mixed-race people are heavily discriminated against. It's sad. I'm not comfortable outside of acceptance. What I mean is that accepting where I came from is not much of an issue, but to actually celebrate it there's difficulty. How exactly do I embrace my heritage without feeling the need to hide? I wake up and do the things I have to do, and then go to sleep. That's everyday. In retrospect, it's depressing.