“At Least You Were Chosen”

Behind Pete Rogers’s BBC Sesh Video

Julia K. Porter August 17, 2018
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Pete Rogers, a 26-year-old comedian, spoken word poet, radio host, and film producer, discusses talking with others about adoption through this video shared on BBC Sesh. In the video, Rogers states that “conversations about being adopted are the worst” and explains that he despises most when people say “at least someone chose you.” Because to him, the reality is that he was initially not chosen.

Conversations about adoption are tricky. Though not an adoptee myself, I’ve struggled when people make ignorant statements or pry into my daughter’s life. This video was eye-opening to me because I would say that Rogers was chosen in that his birth parents made a choice to place him with a family. However, an adoptee’s perspective is critical and allows people like me to see things from their lens.

After performing a larger comedy set, Rogers was introduced to the team form BBC Sesh who thought it was important to share the adoption aspect of his set because others could relate to it.

“I hadn’t really thought about it being something other people would necessarily relate too as I just write for me, about me,” says Rogers. “When we were filming it, I wasn’t actually sure if it would work as it seemed far too specific a story for anyone else to read as a version of their own.”

Through this, Rogers realized that other people might not have the means to voice their feelings on this subject. “That I was vocalizing and representing a larger group became a real motivator for me to actually work with the BBC crew and get the content as perfect as we could so that others could proudly share and show people as though it was their own work.”

Rogers’ voice has allowed other people—myself included—to share the frustration that adoptees can sometimes feel. Rogers explains that it’s difficult when someone is “telling you something about your own experience when they have no way of knowing because it isn’t them in that position.” Rogers notes that there is also a degree of patronization when people say ‘at least someone chose you’ because it “erases any other feelings around the situation whether they be good or bad.”

This video has not only been shared at length, but Rogers has also received countless messages and comments. “All of the feedback has been positive from people who have experience with the subject, so I’m glad it’s helped in its own small way.”

Personally, I’m grateful for Rogers and others like him who fearlessly share their own stories to help me understand this perspective.

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Julia K. Porter

Julia K. Porter is an educator, writer, and cultural competency consultant. She began her career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, NY, and has taught college courses since 2008 and has done nonprofit work. Currently, she is the project manager for Celebrating Cultural uniqueness at Tiffin University. Julia has a passion for diversity and in educating about the nuances of adoption as that is how she chose to grow her family. Julia holds a Ph.D. in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English Education from Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Her personal interests include reading, writing, traveling and experiencing new cultures, and knitting. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Kyle, daughter, Brooklyn, and Australian Shepherd, Hunter. For more information, visit www.juliakayporter.com.


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