Being Latina

 

     Being Latina means that some of my ancestors are victims and children of rape. Being Latina means that some of my ancestors wore ermine capes in the hot Gibraltar sun.

     Being Latina is a reminder of a lost Empire, lost by rulers who could not rule as stoically as the British. Instead they were consumed by their passions, their greed, their romance; the jungle and its dark inhabitants, unknowingly creating a new and fierce race born humming with African beats and walking to the slow strums of flamenco guitar...
      Being Latina means being pale as snow or black as night. It means that you get dolled up to go to the market. Being Latina means taking pride in your shape, not starving it away.
     Being Latina means dancing all night with men who all put on the same mask of courtesy to hide the jungle tenacity. Being Latina means seeing through this mask and scoffing them away. 
     Being Latina means you cry when you laugh, as you scream with ecstasy with your girls. It means crying about things that most people don't cry about, because there is simply so much emotion living inside of you.
     Being Latina means being proud of your patria yet unified to others through the acknowledgement of a shared past. It means that you are responsible for the care of your culture. View the art. Listen to the music. Marvel in the achievements of your people.
      Being Latina means that you are descended of warriors. You are a hunter, quick as the wind, you are the Earth mother, coddling the mestizo boy who will rule one day. You are the woman with her head held high taking the street hostage with the click of your heels. You are the woman who eats her fill and dances it away, who enjoys life when it is good but allows the pain to seep into her bones and fill her with utter indifference at the world.
     Being Latina means bearing the weight of knowing that we are all here by chance, we are blended together into a drink so strong even the Americans want us out of their country. 
     Being Latina means speaking your mind, it means at times being passionately aggressive, letting your voice, your pain, your sorrow be heard. It is assuming authority over your children and yet loving them silently, afraid to smother them in your own love.
     Being Latina means being asked if you're Persian - Italian - Turkish, something exotic that a man can brag about to his friends. Being Latina means knowing that you cannot get angry at the ignorance since yours is a race of all colors. People simply do not understand, do not take the time to learn. Men wish to conquer only.
     Being Latina, to me, means being a seeker of truth, a proud woman, a confident woman. 
 

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