I’m too light, yet too dark

Jessica Tolentino,
Winchester, VA

I chose those six words because I am considered too dark in America but too white in Mexico. In the United States, when white people see me, the first question they ask is, “Where are you from?” I respond, “I was born in Winchester, Virginia,” and the next thing that comes out of their mouths is “No, but where are you from?” to which I respond, “I am Mexican.” Despite being born in the United States and speaking English, I will always be considered a Mexican rather than a Mexican American. When I visited Mexico a few years ago, I felt at home and like an outcast. When I was walking through the streets of Mexico City, people would call out “guera,” which is a term for white people. I was labeled as white and an American and left wondering, “Who am I?” Am I Mexican or American? and why do I never seem to be able to be both?


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