Struggling With My Identity As A White Passing Latina

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As a white-passing Latina, it is difficult negotiating identity when myself and others are pushed away from the culture we identify with. With the belief Latinos all have darker skin, it is difficult to imagine a person with pale skin or lighter hair to identify as Latino. Being passing means passing as a white person, usually without others noticing your ethnic background. As a youth, this hurt me because it became harder to separate who I really was and who society told me I was. I had trouble fitting in at school among other Latinos because they would try to prove I am white as if I do not know my own family history. Or I would be told that I do not look Mexican so, therefore, I am not. To the Latino students, I was just another white girl in class and the only place I felt real acceptance among other Latinos was my family. In high school, I remember a specific time someone asked if I was Mexican.

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We invited journalists, scholars and civic leaders to share their views on Latino identity. Join the conversation on our Facebook page. Respondents do, however, articulate a strong, shared connection to the Spanish language. Hispanics are also alienate over how much of a coarse identity they share with other Americans.