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Being a White Passing Latina

So, today at work we got an e-mail from an anonymous e-mail account saying that TPCT didn’t show enough diversity on the home page slideshow. First of all, the people who are in the slide show are there because they are in the videos which were created for the site. Second of all, that person is making an assumption that I am white. I am not white, and I do not identify as white. By saying that I am white, you’re saying that because my skin is not dark enough, I do not fit into your stereotyped description of what a Latina looks like. You are essentially saying that I am not Latina ENOUGH for you. You are erasing my identity.

As a white passing Latina, I am constantly up against generalizations like these. Not only are there Latinas with red hair, fair skin, and freckles – such as my cousin Ellie – there are also Afro-Latinas. I am always walking that line between being too white or too Latina in any community I am in, and it can be very frustrating for me. In Latino communities, I am too white because I don’t speak Spanish and have pretty fair skin. But in white communities, I am too Latina because I am also dark & short & curvy.

Has anyone else dealt with stuff like this?

3 Replies to “Being a White Passing Latina”

  1. RaiC says:

    yeah, that was a shocker.

    I hope that the email was sent in good faith and that we are thinking about it from one perspective. Perhaps they meant diversity in another way– perhaps they didn’t think the site is diverse in age or gender? Lol.. But you’re absolutely right, those assumptions were a bit off in the sense of diverse ethnicities if that’s what they meant. Whoever sent it, thanks for the feedback though, it is always welcome and appreciated.

    The website is inclusive and extremely diverse. The young adults on the slider just happen to be the young adults who participated in the start of this project and were brave enough to show their face and share their stories with millions of people. The slider isn’t a one all representation of the people the website is for or helps, but it is a reminder of the “realness” of the website. Regardless of race or ethnicity, they are all people. All people who helped create and build this amazing resource for all of us.

    I completely feel you though Isabel b/c for someone to take away your ethnicity or to judge is not fair at all and I’m sending a huge shoutout your way for voicing your opinion and sharing your feelings.
    I’m so sick of people thinking that they have the right to judge someone based on their appearance. It’s already hard enough for everyone to be happy and be who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin, so why should we all have to worry about how the next person views us? ..

    I’m also mixed and I get a lot of the same things. I’ve always had fairer skin and grew up thinking for a long time, that I wasn’t African American. Because of the texture of my hair and the way in which I carry myself, a lot of people are quick to make assumptions. I don’t trip about it as much as I use to because people are visual, inquisitive creatures lol. They can’t help but look and wonder why we look the way that we do. Everything has to make sense and there has to be an explanation for it, so usually they find a way to come up with that explanation, even if that means making one of their own.
    People need to understand that all races and ethnicities vary.. We come in all different sizes, colors and shapes. By now you would think people understood that concept but clearly, there’s still way too many who don’t.

    You’re a beautiful Latina, don’t sweat it. You know who you are and where you’re going. Representar para las Latinas :*

  2. Sara says:

    There are so many stereotypes across the board of they way something or someone should look or act or be. The thing that people forget is that not one person fits inside of that small box that is said to define us. People shouldn’t have to feel like they have to prove anything!! You are who you are and hopefully people will catch on to the fact that the picture they have in their head of “what is” is not real.

  3. RaiC says:

    I agree Sara!.. the feeling of having to prove something is so heavy and annoying, and as much as I try to shake it… it always come back.

    People shouldn’t have to feel like they have to show you who they are nor should they feel like they have some explaining to do just because they look different.
    But sometimes I think that I like for things to make sense and for people to understand things that they otherwise wouldn’t or couldn’t so in a sense, I like to make a point… I like to “prove” that everything isn’t always what it seems.

    I hate labels and definitions..

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