Growing up, I was definitely NOT empowered. I was shy and retiring (don’t laugh, it’s true!). I was afraid to meet people or talk, so much so that my kindergarten teacher in the early ’60s told my mother she thought I was “retarded.” I overheard and was mortified and began talking in class so no one would think that again. I remain garrulous to this day. STOP laughing.
I am half Mexican-American and half Gringa (Anglo-Saxon descent with some Irish thrown in as well as Scandinavian, according to my family tree and DNA). My Mexican grandparents instilled a great pride in me for all things Latino while my very WASPy grandparents on my father’s side did their best to wash that out, by citing genealogy, references to relations in England and American Revolutionary patriots as well as Civil War captains (for the Union) and looking down on my Mexican/Catholic heritage and my mother. They came from a time and place where this was ok, where Latinos and/or Mexicans were seen as lesser beings. I always knew it wasn’t ok, but I loved and admired them too, so it was confusing; contributing much to my shyness and low self-worth.Read More»