Posted by Roobs on June 15, 2010
This is the fifth and second-to-last post in my series. The last post focused on my time in college. This post transitions my views into the real world.
While still at Cal, I tried to spend my last years studying and preparing for my graduation but i still found myself involved in the struggle between my identity as a Latino but struggle to find a place where other Latinos would also accept me as part of their community. But I didn’t feel as alone as i once had.
After reading so far into this blog, you may feel as if i beleive their are only two faces of the Latino community. Those in my position and those not. However, this would ignore the many shades in between.
Both while at Cal and after graduating, i was working for a law firm in a nearby city. The supervisor there was a very attractive older Mexican woman who, like me, was third generation. However, unlike me (and for whatever reason) she had gone a route that i very well could have myself. Her attitude towards the Latino community was actually one of annoyance and disdain. She felt that with her education and skill-set that she had actually surpassed what being Mexican was all about.
It’s interesting to think about because in order for her to feel as she did, she accepted the basic premise of “being Mexican” that i heartedly deny. This is that there is a specific way to “be Mexican”: That Mexicans are low skill, low salary earning people with little hope of potential. Any advancement by a Mexican was not actually an improvement of he or she as a Mexican but, instead, a disregard of their Mexican self in place of a White-American self.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in LGBT, Politics, Race & Identity, Third Generation Series, Urban Planning | Tagged: Bay Area, Berkeley, Castro, Common Space, Latino, LGBT, Mexican, San Francisco, UC Berkeley | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Roobs on June 8, 2010
This is the 4th post in a series. For my previous post, click here. This post focuses on my time away from the Central Valley while i attended college and my evolving outlook towards my place in the Latino community.
Walking Through Ivory
Before i left for college, my father passed away. It was in the summer before the start of my senior year at Redwood High when he finally succumbed to liver cancer. My father left a large imprint on my life, especially on my views of who I am in relation to being Latino and I still wish today that he had lived long enough to hear me come out as a gay young man . My father grew up on a farm outside of Visalia and hated it. He left home to pursue a career that made him equally a target to the more fundamental characteristics of local Mexicans. But he beleived that he didn’t have to be anything for anyone except himself and his family. Perhaps it was something that he developed later on in life; further along than the stage of life i am in now. But perhaps it too began in college and at one of the same universities I would soon enter.
Redwood High, has about 2,000 students every year and more than half of that population is Latino. Unfortunately, district wide, Visalia has a 1/3 drop-out rate in grades 9-12. In my high school class a lot of those who made it to graduation did initially take off to college. A good number of them attend the local community college: College of the Sequoias. I haven’t found any data on this specifically but anecdotally, a good number of those students who leave for college usually return to Visalia before completing a 4-year degree. Many of those who do leave home attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO). The joke around most high school campuses in Visalia is that SLO is a lot like Visalia except near water. I did not attend SLO.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in LGBT, Race & Identity, Third Generation Series | Tagged: Bay Area, Berkeley, Gay, Lambda Theta Phi, Latino, LGBT, Redwood High School, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, UC Berkeley, Visalia | 2 Comments »