Being from a small town, I grew up always wanting to be accepted. There wasn’t a whole lot of diversity, so early on I felt shame being Mexican-American. I don’t believe it was solely my experience, rather, I believe this shame had been carried generationally. My parents worked really hard to provide the best life for our family. They didn’t really speak Spanish in the house (only to one another), and wanted us to excel in anything we were a part of (any parent, right?).
Growing up, verbal and non-verbal cues became more apparent and disheartening. At an early age, I experienced exclusion from many get-togethers among classmates, and was even forced by other parents to be dumped because I was Mexican. Thankfully as an adult, I now look back and can see the progression of change within my hometown and am thankful that their hearts have begun evolving.
Nowadays, I've never been prouder to be who I am. I think about the strong foundation my parents established for our family and it makes me smile. So while this little t-shirt is fun and playful, it means a little more to this little Mamacita from West Texas.