As a human being it is interesting that we are so alike but different at the same time. We join and create groups so that we feel apart of something. What if you don’t feel like you fit in, that your different? Reality is your not alone. For millennia women and men have fought, and still to this day fight for this instinctual solution for survival. Identity is complex, and the reality of it all is that people will try to prioritise one’s identity, group, and people over others. This leads to segregation, racism, groupism, and stereotypes. In the latinx community we struggle to find our identity in the diverseness of our people, and external societal factors. The Latinx community is so big including an array of different cultures from Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricanios, South or Central Americans, and other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
With this richness of different subcultures, and sub identities there’s bound to be exist problems. Leading to racism with on another, internalized racism, and general confusion in one’s personal identity.
I’m interested in the subject of identity because at one point in my life I struggled a lot with it. Being a second generation mexican I’ve felt, and have been treated like a fraud sometimes. The most frustrating thing is is being misidentified, my whole life I was told that I look indian, arabic, and being told I don’t look Mexican. Then when going to Mexico on vacation I’ve never felt included with my cousins, and they treated me like I wasn’t mexican enough. Like what does this even mean. Then here in the states I’d get clowned on for trying to keep my roots in mexico and continuing tradition. Continuing what makes me who I am as a person. I understand that I will never be who they want me to be, so I decided to be myself. And honestly sometimes that doesn’t work. I’d get told ‘‘why are you so special?’’, and “look at you being different?” as if that was a bad thing. Interestingly enough my identity has for the most part been shifting, so I couldn’t tell you who I am today, but who I was yesterday. These experiences that I’ve had in my life have only made me feel more lost when searching for my identity. The best way I can explain it is that I feel strings pulling at me from Mexico and America.
Culture has a huge impact as well. The traditions, arts, and achievements of a people, or other social group make your values and beliefs more concrete. Many people especially 2nd generations born in the U.S struggle with loss of culture, and tradition. Leading to feelings of different. This also raises the notion of being one foot in, one foot out of your culture. With that we begin to adopt other ideas outside of our own cultures. Although we learn and grow, we may begin to lose what was once apart of us. Many of us forget/ don’t learn spanish, and sometimes even the whitest of us all disregard that part of us entirely. Adopting a new identity as a “American”. All while leaving your heritage behind you, and the people that come with it.
As far as the LGBTQ+ in Latinx goes I could imagine the issues being even worse considering that they may be dealing with identity in all aspects. So I can empathise with them on the notion that it’s hard to find yourself within the everyday bullshit that society throws at you. As well as trying to be yourself when sometimes people may tell you otherwise. And considering the struggle that is to come out, with the convolutedness that is trying to find who you are as a person. With that in mind I truly see that identity is a very touchy subject that means something differently for a lot of people. If it means from where you’re from, who you are now, and who you know you are as a person. You should be entitled to decide and have no one decide for you. We are no one to judge others and to receive judgment on who we are as individuals.
While on the topic of Identity, Anzaldua’s borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza comes to mind. What really draws me to mentioning her work was her use of the word mestiza, and her concepts on an invisible border that exists that separates us. A connection that can be made is that society builds these invisible walls or shall I say borders that separate us all. And that many mixed individuals such as immigrants see through these so-called barriers, which in return as people we grow closer. Then from this grows new ideas and concepts, That furthers all of society in a Progressive manner. After reading the book I realized how she hit identity in all bases, whether that be culturally, and internally. She being lesbian, and mix gave me an interesting perspective that I’ve never really encountered in my day-to-day life. This perspective has honestly changed me for the better, as well as helped me sympathize for people I did not understand prior to reading her book.
One of the most prominent problems for the latinx community for a long time has been racism. Created with the sole purpose to put down a race. Racism has led to many stereotypes and falsities, that for anyone with a sane brain can understand that this is not the reality. The few that listen and are open to the misconstrued, they are truly uneducated. Many are scared privileged.(WASP) Believe not only Mexicans but all immigrants are here to steal jobs and sell drugs. When reality is that they’re just as or more hard-working than you are, and just want to live their lives.
The hysteria that they create only furthers the cycle for the highly stupid individuals that believe that one race is better than another. Similarly to traditional racism latinx members can also face internalized racism. Not only do I believe that this is worse than traditional racism, I believe that this is arguably the most destructive form of racism. Being someone that has dealt with this in my life as well, I understand that this occurs when people look at themselves worse than other races, and don’t accept themselves for who they are. An example for me personally that may resonate with others was that at a young age I believed that brown was bad, and I wanted to be white to fit in. Growing up I saw that white kids in TV shows/ movies where popular kids, and I took these viewpoints as the truth. Thus believing in the subtleties that life threw at me at the time.
As far as Identity goes, racism has always shaking up one’s identity whether that’s directly or indirectly through the repercussions of others. Although I don’t think racism will ever truly go away, I still have hope for improvements. A great solution that comes to mind was that if we implement some type of educational course for the youth, and we explain why racism has no merit to exist and that any idea that’s associated with it is truly false. Take communism for example in high school we teach that it will never work. if we teach all that we’ve done wrong in the past, the chances of learning from it is High. Therefore we stop altering one’s identity, and chip away at what propagates racist ideas. In return the Latinx Community improves inside and out.