Many people like to lump Latinx and Hispanic communities into one. But, like a rainbow, we come from many different backgrounds and countries. Two people from the same country will not always have the same upbringing; two people who are Latinx/Hispanic by blood will not be the same. Let's try to stop acting like we are all one perfect cookie cutter mold.
I knew at the age of 2 that I wanted to study paleontology - I never wavered, despite both of my parents discouraging me along the way. I'm currently an Undergraduate in Geology at the University of Florida - I've been involved with our museum since I was 14, however, and every second I've spent working with paleontology has just convinced me further that I've found my purpose. Along the way, I realized that I had to act as masculine as possible; even wearing my hair down would cause museum guests to doubt what I was telling them. God forbid I reveal that I am half Nicaraguan and a member of the first generation in my family born in America. I survived a five year long abusive relationship that stretched from eighth grade to college, where my signifcant other and his family would call me "a fence jumper" and gift me maracas and sombreros for my birthday. Recently, some members of my department can't tell the difference between me and other latina students and often call us by each other's names.
I used to hate being Mexican. My brown skin was an easy target for the bullies at an all-white school. I've heard it all from "spic" to "wetback" and have even had barbed wired wrapped around my desk and told to jump it before the teacher came in. She only scolded the students.... I still had to unwrap the barbed wire with my bare hands.
My parents and their flamboyant colors, loud music, and smelly food embarrassed me. I would beg my parents to drop me off a block from school so I could walk undetected into the prison. During "bring a plate of food from home" day I brought in tamales and horchata and everyone laughed. Someone sprinkled staples in my tamales. I was crushed.
I still fight with my Mexican roots. I hate being Mexican a little less, but it has brought me nothing but hardships.
Mi historia is a collection of stories from the Latinx community about their life. Their struggles, their triumph. Their history - our history - highlighted during a month where we celebrate our roots. These are their stories. These are our stories.
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Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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