So, first of all, I made a page in my art journal:
- You’re latina and you can’t dance?
- You don’t look latina
- You like rock and roll? You mean you don’t like hip hop?
- Oh you write poetry? You mean spoken word?
To tell someone they do not “look latina” is both offensive and racist. Perhaps I simply do not look like what is your idea of a latina. Have you thought about that?
Personally, I love shattering ideas. I love shattering another person’s idea of what something should be, like motherhood and being latina.
I can have my nose pierced, pale white skin, arm tattooed, ripped up jeans, and still look latina. Why? What is it that makes us our race? Is it what we wear on our skin? What makes us “look latino”? Being latino is more than just dark skin and gold earrings. Looking latina has more to do with facial structure and bone structure of the body, than it does with the shade of my skin or choice of accessories.
Thirdly, I do not like hip hop. No. I mean, well maybe I like the old school stuff from the 80s. Back when hip hop wasn’t about bragging about how badass you are.
I love rock and roll. I love it. I love classic rock, I love classic jazz from the golden era, and I love classic country (think Hank Williams Sr).
My choice in music does not make me any less latina. My love of Pink Floyd, Rancid, The Grateful Dead, and Cab Calloway does not infringe on my race.
Fourthly, just because I happen to be latina, and I write poetry, does not mean that I write “spoken word”.
I don’t write that in that style. I write poetry; poetry as in Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, E.E. Cummings, and Anne Sexton. Poetry. That’s what I write.
It makes me absolutely livid that people assume that I write spoken word simply due to my race.
Look, the truth is, I am my own version of latina. I am my own person with my own ideas on life. And yes, I am proud of my race. I am proud of where my mother and father came from.
I speak spanish, love Hector Lavoe, classic cumbia, and I could eat rice and beans every day for the rest of my life and not be bored one bit. But I also was a vegetarian for 12 years, had a homebirth, and love classic punk and classic rock.
Don’t put me in a box. I don’t fit in them.
And the truth is, you wouldn’t like it if I put you in one, would you?
Diana Gonzalez is a self taught artist, writer and poet, formerly known as The Craftaholic. You can visit her etsy store here.