“Swarthy” in Via v. 31/32

This essay, about the colorism faced by my Sicilian grandfather in our Italian-American family and beyond, begins with a personal experience of othering and works back through buried family lore. It appears in the current of Via: Voices in Italian Americana from Bordighera Press.

It’s been a journey for this deeply personal essay. In 2017, it was accepted for publication by a fledgling queer literary magazine. After a routine editing process, two more editors were brought on at the last minute and demanded major changes to the scope. I wound up pulling it from the publication, so it’s very good to see it in print in its current form. 

Thanks to Editorial Coordinator Nicholas Grosso at Bordighera, and to all the prior editors for their suggestions and challenges.