I’m a Mexican/Irish girl. My dad is Mexican, and my mom is mixed. Her dad is from Ireland and her mom is from Mexico. I grew up on arepas, tacos, and enchiladas. I spoke both Spanish and Gaelic. When I was bad, the chancla came out. When I was sick, Vick’s and 7up were my doctor. Our comal never left the stove, and my candy was too spicy for my friends. Christmas starts in November with plenty or tamales and mole. Any friend who comes over leaves well fed, and Patron with grapefruit soda, chile, and chamoy is my favorite drink.
Despite growing up in a community of Latinx people, I’ve learned I need to prove myself. People ask invasive questions and invalidate me with remarks like, “You don’t act Mexican. You don’t even look it!” PSA: Our appearance doesn’t detract from our heritage. Telling me I don’t “act Mexican” isn’t a compliment. I am me, not the preconditioned beliefs you have about my community (of which I’m proud to be a member.) Being white has afforded me a lot of privileges, and instead of ignoring that or denying my ethnicity, I acknowledge my privilege and use it to elevate those without it. People like to say, “real mexicans like this/do this.” Just as you don’t need curves to be a “real woman” you don’t need to fit into a stereotype to be a real member of your own culture. You aren’t more or less included in your culture by how you speak or look. You don’t owe the world an explanation. And asking things like “but where are you really from?” is extremely isolating and alienating of where we are now. You don’t have to downplay someone else’s identity to feel more valid in yours.
There is a multitude of varied human experiences. No two people will have the exact same experience. We all live differently in our cultures, communities, and identities. These differences should be celebrated, never silenced. We are all masterpieces. There’s a rich history that runs through my veins, and I am proud of my roots.
I would love to hear your experiences, so please comment and share 💖
Leggings by @bigbottombehavior as always 😏