dictionary definitions

La·tin·x
noun      ləˈtiːnɛks
A person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina)

a way to include the people my parents said didn’t exist, couldn’t exist, whose existence was against their values, their culture, my culture

Wo·man of Col·or
noun     wʊmən əv kələr
A female person of color

‘of color’ feels stolen sometimes as if the message is not meant for me, but I’m told that I’m included so I sit and listen to my sisters tell their stories, years of assimilation and denying my brownness sloughing off my mind

Chi·ca·na 
noun     CHiˈkänä
(in North America) a woman or girl of Mexican origin or descent

wasn’t told of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement until I reached college, you should have seen my surprise when I realized my people had fought and taken pride in themselves

La·ti·na
noun      ləˈtēnə
(in North America) a woman or girl of Latin American origin or descent

it felt clean rolling off my tongue, the perfect encapsulation of who I was, or so I thought – despite the need to know myself the word trapped me in a cage

Te·ja·na
noun      təˈhänə
a female resident of the state of Texas who is culturally descended from the original Spanish-speaking settlers of Texas and northern Mexico

“go back to Mexico” he told me as I walked to work, I didn’t have it in me to tell him that we’ve always been here, long before the Texas Revolution, my Spanish conqueror and Indigenous blood boiled at his words

His·pan·ic
hɪˈspæn ɪk     noun
a Spanish-speaking person living in the US, especially one of Latin American descent

the government forms asked my mamá to check the box so she did, then they told her Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish weren’t races and since I could not find myself on a piece of paper I was considered “some other race”

Mex·i·can-A·mer·i·can
ˈmɛk sɪ kən əˈmɛr ɪ kən     noun
a citizen or resident of the U.S. of Mexican birth or descent; Chicano

to love your country and your people at the same time despite being told not to by both

Photo: Magic Tattoo chicanos by Popek & Tank klanpain [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

Published by Christy Leos

Hi! I’m Christy Leos – Writer, Editor, and Author with a background in English Literature, social media, digital content creation, and access to justice work for marginalized communities. 📌When I write, I am the best version of myself; I am a storyteller.📌 📣 Work featured on News Break, LatinaMedia.Co, ABC13, Southern Laced, and InspirationalBlogs.com.

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