my duty to myself is to amuse myself terrifically
Let’s talk about what’s going on in this picture…
I’ve lived a few different places in these United States by now, and have found myself explaining why I look like this (brown, small, almond-eyed, wide-nosed) to a lot of people. Because I speak unaccented, standard English (um…mostly), these people are often confused to the point of incredulity when I tell them that indeed, I am not “half black, half white” but rather, an “American of Mexican ancestry.” Yes. I have actually used this hellish phrase.
I have used it because there are issues with all the other words. Chicana, Latina, Hispanic, Mexican-American—I’ve tried them all out and none of them feel right. None of them can stand alone and do the work I need it to.
The first thing I probably should address here is that I grew up calling myself “Mexican” and generally thinking of myself as “Mexican.” Nevertheless, I am not “Mexican” in the sense of actually being from Mexico.
I come from a long, proud line of people who aren’t really Mexican.