Many, many (many) years ago I came up with the word “LatinAmeriGringo”. I thought it best described me, and many others like me, maybe even you. Back then, before the internet, there was nothing I could really do with that wonderful word. Then the other day I was looking at my blog, and it hit me – duh! It’s the perfect name! So, here you are, same place, same stuff, new fabulous name – wait, should I charge more?!? 😉
But really, what is a Latinamerigringa?
Is it like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for latinos? As you may know, I was born in the US – no, anchor here huney, my parents were already citizens – and was raised in what I know as a very traditional Latino family. I was taught that blood trumps paper (in other words I will be Latina no matter what my passport says). My native tongue is Spanish – although you may not know that now since I am fluent in Spanglish. Te puedo hacer un pernil delicioso, but at the same time, I was isolated from other latino’s growing up.
I grew up in a very Anglo neighborhood and didn’t have another latino friend until I was a teen. I don’t dance Salsa (my poor husband), I have no perceptible accent in either Spanish or English, and I have referred to as “la blanquita” (the white girl) by other latin@s – a phenomenon that only happens in the US. Some people refer to this as cultural schizophrenia. A phrase I was never comfortable with, but to the outsider looking in, for those moments where you need one word for a quick description latinoamerigringa is it!
Think about it, I’m too “exotic” to be Caucasian (if I had a penny for every time I was called exotic, translation, “other”), I’m not latina enough to be latina, I chose a Mustang over a Quiceñera after all and I wanted to grow up to rule the world. A husband and baby were not in my plans. A Bentley and a couple of homes were more my speed.
So when I hear the question that follows me throughout my life, “what are you?” I don’t have to think, not vegetable, not mineral, I can just say Latinoamerigringa!