Matt JP J,
My grandmother’s father was from Puerto Rico and she never knew him very well. She grew up as Irish with her Irish half siblings. My grandmother likes to view herself as Italian and Irish, rather than sharing her Hispanic heritage with her children. This is due to feelings of abandonment. My father, her son, grew up around Puerto Rican culture despite his mother’s disassociation from that part of herself. I too grew up around Puerto Rican culture in the same city as my half French Canadian-half Puerto Rican American father and American born Nova Scotian mother. Both actually grew up in almost the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and learned Spanish growing up. Despite a very tan grandmother (and an even darker Pardos great grandfather from Mayaguez) my family is white. Other than my father saying once in a while that I’m a little Latino/Hispanic, I would have never thought about it. My father looks white and he also looks Mestizo. According to him, when he was growing up, the white kids would tease him for looking Mexican and the Hispanic kids in the neighborhood would tease home for looking Spanish or Irish, it depended on the story. Both sides of my family married heavily into different Hispanic families from all over and I looked very non-Mediterranean European. It wasn’t until college that I started to do my dna test and a family tree (I even did a paternity test because I was so confused why I looked so white and I just wanted to make sure, you know.) The results reassured me what I was told growing up was true. My father is my father, and AncestryDNA results linked up to another family with a common ancestry, reassuring me that my great grandfather was in fact my great grandfather. Since, I’ve considered being a little more open about that part of me, I find that people who didn’t know me are skeptic about whether or not I am Hispanic but way more open to the idea than some people who already know me who think I am confused or that I’m pranking them. I have an incredibly large family and I don’t feel comfortable being open to anyone on my mom’s side who might not know this fact in case it will create awkward confrontations in the future. I feel like my Hispanic identity might have to stay at home because of what people see, and that sucks because that’s a decent chunk of who I am, just not necessarily what others see. What’s more is that I have a fiancé who is Italian and everyone confuses her for being Hispanic. She swears up and down that she has no Hispanic nor Portuguese ancestry whatsoever. We have been talking about having children lately and it’s been making me wonder about what our child would look like. And the reality is that my child will probably have more credibility as being Hispanic than I ever will. At least he/she actually will have Hispanic ancestry because of me. I can’t say being white Hispanic sucks though. I would never give up my dad’s cooking.