What does being a Latina mean to you?:
Being Latina means that I always have something to be proud of. It means being a strong woman. It means empowering others who have felt how I have felt, insecure and ashamed of being in their own skin and knowing the power of their story and heritage.
Share a struggle you have faced being a Latina.:
In middle and high school I used to always get made fun of because of my full name. My full name is VERY Mexican and everyone used to make fun of me and say my name wrong because I looked “so white”. People would constantly say “Why didn’t your family ever teach you Spanish?” Or “You’re the whitest Mexican I know” and that would hurt me so much. People would constantly tell me I couldn’t like this, or wear that, or listen to this music because I didn’t know enough or spoke enough or understood enough. I always felt like I needed to be checked off some list to qualify and validate my ethnicity so I could fit in and prove myself.
Share something you love about being a Latina?:
I have such pride in knowing that I’m a powerful Latina. To see the growth and impact Latinas have made today is so encouraging and motivating. I have a culture that is so RICH in love and connection with family. Being Latina makes me appreciate hard work and gives me more passion to go towards my dream knowing all the hardships my family has had to endure to get to America and follow their own pursuit of happiness.
What do you identify as?:
Where you born in the states? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc. (Share only what you are comfortable with):
Yes, I was born in the United States.
How have you been able to celebrate and honor your American nationality, while embracing your heritage and culture?:
Just constantly wanting to learn! Learning more Spanish, so I can teach it to my future children, learning more about my family’s history and the stories of their journey to America. The closer I get to having children, the closer I want to know more about myself and my heritage better. I want my future children to never feel ashamed of who they are or where they came from. Something I also have embraced is getting tattoos that represent my heritage. Dia de Los Muertos is something we don’t celebrate in America but having a piece of that on me is something to remind me of my culture. Along with a rosary tattoo to my Catholic background.
Do you speak spanish?:
Sort of...I understand more than speak.
Have you experienced colorism, or not being fully accepted by your community? Like you're too dark, or too white, etc. Please share anything you'd like to share!:
I have always been made fun of for being “too white” and the older I get the more I want to be in touch with my heritage but I’ve always been judged for my lack of accent, the way I look or carry myself. I’m so proud to be Latina but always feel like I’m holding back because people don’t take me serious or I’m not qualified enough! There’s no list that makes you more than or less than. You are enough. You are Latina. Be proud of your culture and never let anyone talk down on you for wanting to embrace your identity.