I never belonged to any group during my childhood. My mom is Puerto Rican. My father is a first generation Mexican-American. You would think that I would have a rich Latin heritage, but I don’t.
My mother decided not to teach me Spanish. I was brought up speaking only English. She didn’t want to live in a Latin neighborhood because of the gossip. She actually told me that. I cook awesome Puerto Rican and Mexican food. That was the only thing I was taught of my heritage, how to cook.
I never belonged to any racial group. I was always an outsider. In one way, it helped me because I have a curiosity of other cultures. My friends come from many different backgrounds. My best friend in elementary school was an African American girl named Deondre. My best friend in high school was a Caucasian girl named Tammy. I wasn’t obligated to only be with my own people.
I never had a true sense of belonging. You know, that’s okay with me. I’m free to explore different cultures, different foods and different celebrations of this beautiful world. Life can be rich, not belonging to any certain group.
~ Rita Romero