Culture

In My Own, I’ve Learned That Interracial Relationships Won’t Work If You Run From The Hard Stuff

In a sea of olive skin and dark eyes, there’s a tuft of blonde hair with baby blues. That guy with blue eyes is my person. At every christening, wedding, or birthday party, where there’s me, there’s my boyfriend. We go together without thinking, and I feel fortunate that I’m at a point in my life where bringing my boyfriend to family events is a given.

Throughout my dating life I’ve been asked “What you don’t like Latinos?” and “Will you ever date someone who isn’t white?” by friends and family alike.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

For those asking: I do, and I have, but not with the frequency that the people asking those questions would like.

My grandparents came to the mainland in the 1950s and my great-grandfather, though born in Puerto Rico, was still considered a citizen of Spain. In comparison, his family lineage in the U.S. goes so far back that you can trace it to the Mayflower.

Often, I get called an “Oreo,” too white-minded to be Latina, and too dark-skinned to be white. I’m conscious of our differences, but I don’t date my boyfriend to be a living educational exhibit. I refuse to be fetishized or exoticized. I am who I am.

Even so, I have a lot to learn in terms of how I project some old cultural customs, be they sexist or racist, onto people I love.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

My boyfriend and I aren’t afraid to talk about it as a couple or as friends.

The upbringing I have had, as traditional as it is, has led me to be judgmental, private, and less open. Meanwhile, he is open to my family and my culture. Where he jumps head-first, I’m hesitant to do the same because I’m afraid to lose sight of who I am.

Comments on my being one half of an interracial couple have always made me feel like my romantic relationships aren’t my own, and that to be in one, it had to please the people around me.

Yes, I do believe that your friends and family ultimately want the best for you. And yes, Latino families are sometimes so on our cases we don’t know where we end and they begin. It’s the positive danger of coming from a culture that’s close-knit, regardless of whether or not you want it to be. But, you learn to work with and around it.

I’m sure that when my loved ones ask me these questions, they do so less out of malice, and more of concern. Maybe to them, by being with someone who doesn’t share my cultural upbringing, I’m missing out on the best parts of my heritage.

In this relationship, I do see color.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

We are two completely different people. Racially, and in turn socioeconomically. These two things play a key role in our relationship. Our interactions consist in “we don’t do that” or “you can’t say that,” and “when you say that, you sound like,” fill in the blank.

I call him out when he says something culturally insensitive or racially charged. I tell him when his privilege is showing. He lets me know when my upbringing doesn’t allow me to express thoughts and ideas I have due to fear or being shut out by others in my Latino community.

My boyfriend was never a dance partner at a quinceanera, he has never seen a quenepa up-close, and bendiciones to the elders was a foreign concept that he’s continually being introduced to. But although he’s new to all of those things, he embraces them.

When I say that, I don’t mean that he works to be or act Latino.

I do mean that he works to see the value in these things that are foreign to him, but non-negotiable as part of my life, and in turn, our partnership.

He seeks out this understanding. He asks questions about what he can’t relate to through personal experience and admits that there’s more to the Latino community than he realizes.

Together, we are on a journey to unlearn the bad and embrace the good in both of us. It’s hard, it’s messy, and there are fights. But this is the future, one of color-conscious love that, as a result, allows the best of us to shine through.

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This Hilarious Viral Video is Being Called the Latino Version of ‘Get Out’

comedy

This Hilarious Viral Video is Being Called the Latino Version of ‘Get Out’

Screenshot via xgabsterz/Twitter

We’ve all experienced it before–the nervousness of meeting your partner’s parents. And if you’re in an interracial relationship, that nervousness grows exponentially.

That’s why this video of a young Latino man who is hesitant about entering his white girlfriend’s Trump-supporting family’s house has gone viral.

It’s #relatable.

The video starts off with the unnamed boyfriend narrating what’s happening to him as his girlfriend practically drags him into her parent’s home.

In Spanish, he says “I’m going to visit my girlfriend’s parent’s house. The house is very beautiful and she wants me to go inside. But I’m not going to do that because there’s a problem.”

At this point, he pans up to focus on a “Trump” sign prominently displayed on the front lawn.

He turns the camera around to show his own very worried face. The young man’s girlfriend tries to assure him that everything is okay, promising him that her parents are “going to like you”.

The young man tells her to go on without him because he “doesn’t want to die” today. “Maybe tomorrow, yes. But today–no,” he says.

His girlfriend keeps insisting he follow her in until he finally says: “They don’t like me!” before zooming in on the “Trump/Pence” sign one final time. The comedic timing is *chef’s kiss* impeccable.

The video is captioned “This Spanish remake of ‘Get Out’–a witty nod to the 2017 horror film.

As a refresher, “Get Out” centers on a young Black man in an interracial relationship who visits his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend. Soon, he realizes the family is not quite as idyllic as they’re pretending to be. Before long, he realizes his life is in danger.

The movie accurately depicted the real-life horror of racism and white supremacy through a cinematic lens. Phrases like “the sunken place” (the place the main character went when he’s paralyzed by his girlfriend’s mother) became cultural shorthand for: the “place an oppressed person goes when they have become silent or compliant to their own oppression” (thanks Urban Dictionary).

Internet commentators chimed in with their own thoughts and opinions about the super relatable video.

One Reddit user knew exactly how the young man felt. “As a biracial person who dated a girl from a very conservative Republican family, they never let me forget that I was biracial,” he said. “They brought it up almost every day.”

Another knew the struggles of having family members with different views from their own: “I have friends and family members that have been radicalized.. it’s very difficult to have a conversation about anything anymore that doesn’t end with vitriol.”

Another Reddit user had more sympathy for the man’s girlfriend. “I feel bad for the girl honestly,” they said. “We may be able to choose who we befriend, but we can never choose our parents.”

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Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

Entertainment

Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

TARA ZIEMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Recently, it was announced that this year’s Grammy Awards were postponed until March thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. The news disappointed many Selena fans who were excited to see her posthumously awarded a lifetime achievement award.

However, her family has reiterated their intent to collect the award on Selena’s behalf, with her brother telling TMZ that they plan to make a family affair out of it.

Selena’s brother A.B. says the family is ready to accept her posthumous Grammy.

Selena’s older broth, A.B. Quintanilla recently spoke to TMZ about the family accepting Selena’s latest Grammy on her behalf. He said with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Selena’s parents will most likely stay home and that he and his sister Suzette Quintanilla will be in attendance if there’s an in-person ceremony.

“Coming on the end of [the pandemic], I would say that it’s not safe for my mother and father,” A.B. said. “They probably would be staying in.”

The Academy recently announced that the award show would be a smaller, virtual event taking place in March. But that’s no issue according to A.B. He said that he’s got grand plans to turn his sister’s award into a family affair and that they’ve got their popcorn ready.

He also says it feels like Selena’s still here whenever she wins an award or sets new records, even though it’s been a quarter-century since she was murdered.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because she’s breaking these records and she’s doing wonderful things but unfortunately she’s not here,” he admits. “It’s strange how people in their mindset, and even with me sometimes, it feels like she is here…I’m just happy to have been a part of it and that people are still enjoying the beautiful art that made because those pieces that Selena made, in the music world, those are van Gogh’s.”

A.B. also spoke about Netflix’s Selena: The Series, which debuted last month.

He said the series sheds more light on how their family played a part in Selena’s success. A.B. was Selena’s primary producer and songwriter and Suzette was the drummer in her band.

It would be great to see the whole family [accept Selena’s award],” A.B. said. “As people are seeing in the series, this was a family effort. A lot of people are in shock going, ‘Whoa A.B.! We didn’t know you were the guy that wrote the hits and you wrote the music and you had so much pressure on you.’ I’m very grateful for the series and for people learning from the series.”

The Grammy will not be Selena’s first.

In 1994, she became the first female Tejano singer to win in the Best Mexican-American Album category. During her award acceptance speech, Selena thanked her family. Her brother and sister helped to write, produce, and also played instruments on the album. Selena’s father Abraham worked as her manager.

Selena was nominated after her first Grammy win in 1995 for her fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido. Though she did not win the award, was thankful to be thought of in such high regard. She told a reporter at the time, “Just to be around these artists who are considered to be heavyweights is an honor.”

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