Latino Voices’ contributors had a lot to say in 2015.
They wrote fervently and often, engaging our on- and offline communities in riveting discourse on everything from politics to gender to cultural identity and body image, and everything in between.
It is with these conversations in mind that we look forward to what our current and future contributors have in store for us in 2016. Until then, we’re looking back at some of the most striking statements from the most talked about blogs of 2015. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Thank you, Donald Trump!, by America Ferrera
“Thank you for reminding us that there remains an antiquated and endangered species of bigots in this country that we must continue to combat. Thank you for reminding us to not sit complacently at home on election day, but to run to the polls and proclaim that there is no place for your brand of racial politicking in our government. Thank you for sending out the rallying cry.”
“Valentina is 12 years old. She has the body of a 12 year-old girl. She is blond, caucasian and acts like a 12-year-old girl. Valentina was chosen to participate Brazil's version of the reality show "MasterChef Junior," along with several other children, both boys and girls. Valentina has been widely discussed, but not for her talent in the kitchen. Men started talking about how they could rape the young girl; an incident that makes it necessary to talk about rape culture.”
3. Growing Up As A Brown Girl: Aesthetics, by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez
“So yes, I have hairy knuckles. I have a wider-set nose. I have hairy toes. My elbows are a darker shade of brown, etc. All these things have been pointed out to me, throughout my life, to accent the fact that I was not pretty. Or more importantly to remind me that European features were the epitome of beauty, and I had none of the features nor the fragility of upper middle class performance. But all of those things make me beautiful, all of those things… My brownness is beautiful, and not like those Latina actresses I saw on TV who were pretty and brown. I am beautiful because I am brown.”
4. To The Latinos Who Can’t Speak Spanish, by John Paul Brammer
“The way I experience the world is what makes me Latino. My values -- an emphasis on family, a commitment to social justice for my community -- are what make me Latino... It is inherent in me. It is effortless. It is not earned or awarded, given or taken. It just is... So to the Latinos who don't speak Spanish, to the Latinos who can't roll their r's or have to smile and nod when their tía starts rattling off words they don't understand: Don't worry. You are Latino enough.”
5. As An Undocumented Immigrant, It’s Easier To Get My MD-PhD Than A U.S. Visa, by Cesar Montelongo
“The fundamental reason that I was accepted into an MD-PhD program is because I was given a chance. And yet at one point in my visa application process, the chance of obtaining legal residence became non-existent.”
6. An Apology To Undocumented Immigrants, by Johanna Sanchez Vadhar
“I'm sorry that we don't understand that you don't want to be here undocumented, but after years and thousands of dollars applying for a visa go by, you decided to risk your life and freedom by coming here undocumented in order to save your family.”
7. What Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair Cover Sparked For Me As Sister Of Trans Woman, by Selenis Leyva
"You see, I am not only a supporter of the LGBT community, I am a sister to a beautiful and kind young transgender woman. Suddenly, it became clear to me where my sadness was coming from. The reality is that most transgender people continue to struggle with acceptance. Most will not be celebrated and put on magazine covers. I am NOT by any means taking away from the importance and impact of what is happening in the transgender movement with the courageous stories being shared by Caitlyn and my smart, talented and yes, beautiful costar, Laverne Cox. I am simply sharing my story based on my life with a Latina transgender sister, my family and our continued struggles."
"There's a reason why racism and discrimination is called systemic. It means it happens everywhere with everything. So yes, I have an issue with injustice everywhere. Not just the injustice that I think affects me. Having the chip on the shoulder about it makes me the normal one here. Not the folks who are apathetic to most things or only care about things that are trending.”
9. Dear Mainstream Media: I Am Latina, And I’m Not Voting For Marco Rubio, by María Carla Sánchez
“Don't assume that Cubano issues are Boricua issues are Tejano issues are Chileño issues and that you needn't try to find me where I am. Woo me, pols: Tell me what you love and hold dear, not what or whom you hate.”
10. Too Latina To Be Black, Too Black To Be Latina, by Aleichia Williams
“I'm learning to embrace every aspect of my identity and not let small minds put me in a box that just doesn't fit. I'm Latina. I'm black. Also, I'm human. No one can take that from me.”
"Latinas are students, lawyers, cooks, janitors, teachers, Supreme Court Justices, and Members of Congress. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces, aunts and grandmothers. Latinas are primary breadwinners and caregivers, no matter whether they are single or married, young or old. It's the women who nurture and sustain our community. The future of our country depends not just on the success of the Latino community, but on the success of Latina women."
“I miss the sense of community of the old neighborhood. I miss the intrinsic Latino flavor that signaled that I was home as soon as I stepped off the L train on Myrtle Avenue. The piragüero on the corner who knew me by name and always asked for my mother. The borinqueña waving in the wind from every other window. The bodeguero Miguel who gave us credit when the food stamps ran out. And our Boricua neighbor from next door who gave us a tembleque during the holidays and mom gave her tamales.”
13. Dear Mr. Trump, My Father is One of the People Mexico 'Sent', by Laura Arroyo
“My mother often says that before you judge people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. Well, I'm amending that a little for you. Before you, Mr. Trump, judge people and make blanket statements about them, learn who and what you are talking about. It's actually not that hard. I invite you to talk to my family.”
14. This Is What A Latino Looks Like, Kelly Osbourne, by Olga Marina Segura
“And here's the thing: Latinos are so many things. We're cleaners, lawyers, doctors, truck drivers, mothers, fathers, athletes, daughters, sons, actors, pilots. I know this because I see this firsthand in my community; I see this firsthand with my parents; and I see this because I am a Latino writer, adding to the growing list of roles my fellow Latinos are more than capable of occupying.”
15. Dear Hillary, Let Me Introduce You To My Abuela, by Barbara Sostaita
“You cannot intersperse a few words in Spanish and a couple references to what your staff assumes to be a Latinx culture, and then call yourself our abuela. My abuela does not have your level of fame or your educational status; she does not possess your international influence or your impressive collection of pantsuits.”
Did we miss any of your personal favorites? Let us know in the comment section below.
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