On Being Mezcla (Yo soy suficiente)

 
screen-shot-2016-01-21-at-1-52-24-pm.png

Yo soy suficiente. I am Latina, puertorriqueña específicamente.

My mom is white and my dad Puerto Rican.

I am half. ½. 50 percent. Una mezcla.

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish.

Not in the household, not in my neighborhood, not at my school.

And what little Spanish I know certainly isn’t perfect.

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

“You don’t look Latina,” they tell me.

I don’t have dark skin, I’m taller than average.

I look more like my mom, less like my dad.

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

My first name is a contrast to my last name

Meghan, con un “hache,” Fernandez.

An Irish first name paired with a Spanish last name.

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

White people tell me I don’t look Latina,

Latinos tell me I don’t look Latina

And I used to tell myself that.

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

I don’t meet their “criteria” — a stereotype

“You’re too white to be Latina, you’re too tall,

you don’t speak Spanish, you’re not Latina enough”

Pero, yo soy suficiente.

I know my culture, I know my heritage

I know who I am, I know my identity.

I am Latina y yo soy suficiente.


Meghan Fernandez is a pug enthusiast interested in social justice, environmental issues, Latin America and women’s rights (both here in the U.S. and around the world). When she’s not worrying about postgraduate plans, Meghan binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane the Virgin. She’s still uncertain about the career path she will pursue after graduating, but would like to work in international development and public policy one day. Until then, she’ll keep watching videos of Doug the Pug while sipping whatever bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is on sale.