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Living Latina power: reflections on growing up half-Mexican

Nov. 13, 2017
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My mom is white and my dad is Mexican. And I am both. I speak English and some Spanish, I celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Día de la Independencia, and I celebrate Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. I have thick, dark, curly hair, and a light skin tone. I was born in America. My Grandma was not. I grew up on Mariachi bands and traditional Mexican foods. I also grew up on American food. I grew up with half of my family speaking only Spanish, while the other half speaks none. This is why I cannot fit into the box that people want to put me in, because I am not just white. And I am not just Mexican. 

When I embrace my culture and roots, people accuse me of trying to be something I am not. They tell me I am overstepping. 

When I do not constantly stay connected to my roots, my family asks me why I am ashamed of being Mexican. 

I am lighter than my dad is, and I am not any less Mexican for it.

I cannot speak fluent Spanish, and I am not any less Mexican for it. 

I have never been to Mexico. And I am not any less Mexican for it.

Being mixed in 2017 causes huge identity crises—we are constantly forced to wonder where we "truly" belong—yet there are more mixed people in America than ever. As Gina Rodriguez puts it, “When did we decide there are certain criteria that make you Latino enough?” 

Latino-Americans are the second largest ethnic group in America. This is what I propose:

Instead of deciding who gets to wear the label of "Latinx", we allow all Latinos to be treated equally within the community. If you are half Latinx, you are still Latinx. You still matter. Your story still matters. We stand together as a community and demand respect. Create more representation, confront the issues of stereotypes put on us. We work together to change and break the way we are treated in America. Stand with me.

Latina Power.