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20 Latinos Who Have Spoken Out About Being ‘Latino Enough’

If you’re Latino-American, you’ve probably felt, or even been called out, for not being ‘Latino enough’ or even ‘American enough.’ Growing up Latino comes with its own set of insecurities because there is no question that we aren’t as connected with our roots as our parents, or theirs, or theirs. We get to take the best from the culture we live in and the culture we grew up in and create a new one.

Hear this and let it sink in: You will never be any less Latino no matter what language you speak, or what anyone tells you. If you don’t believe me, hear it from the greats.

1. Selena Quintanilla

@onlyselenaq / Instagram

The Selena was accused of not being Latino enough because she didn’t learn Spanish growing up, but remained proud and true to her Mexican roots: “Although my Spanish is a little weak I feel that I am Mexican.”

2. J.Lo

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Then, Jennifer Lopez got flack from the press to play Selena in the 1997 film. All because she “didn’t speak very good Spanish — which Selena [Quintanilla] didn’t either.”

3. Gina Rodriguez

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Jane the Virgin star told HuffPost Live, “You want to tell me I’m not Latino enough? I am as Latina as they come. And I am not defined by anybody’s definition of Latina.” Even better, she said, “I’m going to be reprimanded by a culture that I’m supposed to support and is supposed to support me because of the way I was raised? That is too limiting. That is unfair.”

4. Camila Mendes

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Riverdale star, Camila Mendes, told People Chica, “I often hear things like, ‘You don’t look Latina enough, ‘ and that mentality is so backwards. The fact is: I am Latina, so how are you going to tell me that I don’t look Latina?”

5. Cardi B.

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Cardi B. has been through it for being Afro-Latina. “Just like everybody else, we came over here the same fucking way. I hate when people try to take my roots from me,” she told CR Fashion Book.  “I really just want people to understand that the color that I have and features that I have are not from two white people fucking.”

6. Bella Thorne

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Back in 2015, mitad-Cubana, Disney star Bella Thorne told HuffPost Live, “You don’t have to be brunette to be Latin. It’s just a fact: I’m naturally blonde, and Cameron Diaz is Latin, she’s Cuban and she doesn’t look Latin. People ask me all the time: How did you have a quinceañera if you’re not Latin?”

7. Demi Lovato

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“I’m really proud of [my heritage], especially the way that the Latin community is kind of taking over and rising above politically,” she told HuffPost. “Even though I don’t speak fluent Spanish, I love singing in Spanish. I love being able to represent the curvy sassiness of a Latina woman. It’s just a part of who I am, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent that.”

8. Eva Longoria

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Eva Longoria is one of our favorite Latinas on screen. She told O, The Oprah Magazine, “I’m proud to have a Mexican heritage, and I’ve always deeply rooted my identity in it. Then, about ten years ago, I went to Mexico … when I got there, I was perceived as American because I didn’t speak Spanish and at the time knew very little about the history of Mexico. Yet in America, I was considered Mexican because of how I looked and my last name. It was confusing. I thought, ‘If I’m not Mexican, and I’m not American, who am I?’”

9. America Ferrera

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Apparently, that feeling is mutual America Ferrera told Contact Music, “There’s this tug-of-war between two cultures. Am I Latin? Am I American? What the hell am I? I love my culture and I’m very proud of my culture. I want to learn so much about where my family is from and my roots and to know Spanish. But when you’ve lived your entire life in American schools, you don’t get that.”

10. Rosario Dawson

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Dawson told Latina Magazine, “I think being Latina is about having pride in your heritage. Although I am not a fluent Spanish speaker and I can’t make every dish without a recipe, I am 100 percent Boricua and I am proud of that.”

11. Dascha Polanco

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Orange is The New Black queen told Vivala, “When you look at Latinas who are succeeding in Hollywood, they’re super thin and you really can’t tell if she’s Latina or not.” She told Vibe, “If I’m not American enough and I’m not Latina enough, then what am I? I’m just nothing.”

12. Christina Aguilera

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Christina Aguilera is half Irish and have Ecuadorean and proud of it, but has faced the “enough” cirticism countless times. She told Latina,  “I don’t speak the language fluently… I should not have to prove my ethnicity to anyone. I know who I am. All I know is no one can tell me I’m not a proud Latina woman… I dove headfirst into a Spanish-language album for that reason and I’m planning another one even though I don’t speak the language. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with some people.”

13. Kat Von D

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Beauty visionary Kat Von D told People en Español, “Throughout my entire life, people have assumed that I am only white and part of me gets frustrated because I would not be who I am if it were not because I grew up in this [Mexican] culture. I always say that I am Latina, but I have a stronger connection with Mexico, where I was born. There is a visual richness in that culture that inspires me a lot and can be seen in my work.”

READ:  20 Pictures From Kat Von D’s Wedding You Probably Didn’t See

14. Lauren Jauregui

@laurenjauregui / Instagram

Cuban-American Fifth Harmony star clapped back at a radio piece based out of Spain that questions the legitimacy of American celebrities’ latinidad.

She tweeted, “An article based off of opinion. I feel Latina because I was born in a Latin family. I speak the language, I cook the food. I have been part of the Latino community in Miami since I was born; I have always had them around me. Anyone could tell you that.”

15. Christina Milian

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Christina told Huffington Post, “As far as Afro-Cuban [goes], I’m finding more and more that there’s people opening their eyes to seeing that. Latinos come in all colors, all shades…. You should see my mom and her brothers and sisters. Same parents, but we just vary in color, shapes and sizes. But we’re still Latinos — that doesn’t change a damn thing. You can tell it’s in the core of our blood.”

16. La La Vasquez

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La La wrote an essay for Latina, “The character can be Puerto Rican and speak Spanish just like me. But Hollywood defines Latina as Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. As beautiful as they are, we’re not all one race in Latin America. But I don’t go to auditions so that I can give history lessons to film executives.”

17. Becky G.

@iambeckyg / Instagram

In an essay for PopSugar, Becky G. wrote one of the best essays of all time. Here’s the bombshell: “The truth is, the lack of language knowledge does not lessen the Latin blood running through our veins or the stories our last names carry.”

18. Gina Torres

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Actress Gina opened up in a Black and Latino video to tell the world that, “When I became an actress, I quickly realized that ‘the world’ liked their Latinas to look Italian. Not like me. So I wasn’t going up for Latina parts…Regardless of the fact that I spoke the language and understood the culture better, those weren’t the parts that I could take seriously. Suddenly I had to explain why I look the way I look.”

19. Jessica Alba

@jessicaalba / Instagram

As a third generation Mexican-American, Alba understands the complexities around living in two cultures. She told Glam Belleza Latina, “I’ve always felt closer to being a Latina than anything else, because I grew up with my dad’s family, who are Mexican American. I never really identified any other way.”

READ : 20 Facts About Jessica Alba That Might Surprise You

20. Laz Alonso

@lazofficial / Instagram

“You’re not one or the other,” Alonso told NBC Universo. “You’re both. And you should be proud of being both. And not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

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9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Culture

9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Women are a driving force for change. It has been proven time and time again in history. LGBTQ+ Latinas are part of this tradition whether it is in activism, media, or representation in comic books. Here are 9 LGBTQ+ Latinas who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

Stephanie Beatriz

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Stephanie Beatriz is known for her character Rosa on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The actress wanted to create a character that someone like her could relate to and she made it happen. Rosa came out in the show as a bisexual Latina and it gave Beatriz a chance to play a character that reflects her real identity. For the first time, bisexual Latinas have someone on television that speaks to a very real and important identity.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson publicly came out of the closet as bisexual in 2018. The actress revealed her relationship with musician Janelle Monáe and fans were there to support her. Thompson made a real splash in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when she portrayed Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” She will be slaying again as Valkrie in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is unapologetically trans and fighting for trans lives and rights. Salcedo founded the TransLatin@ Coalition to create a network for trans Latinas to connect and help each other thrive. Salcedo is often in protests for trans lives including against Pete Buttigieg during a CNN/HRC Town Hall.

Victoria Cruz

Victoria Cruz is a gatekeeper of LGBTQ+ history. The indigenous trans woman was there for the start of the Gay Liberation movement in 1969. Cruz has been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Cruz has continued to her fight for trans rights even in the face of transphobia in the LGBTQ+ community. As the LGBTQ+ community tends for forget its history, Cruz is here to remind them of how important the trans community is in gaing LGBTQ+ rights.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera first came into everyone’s home as a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This was before she started her transition. Since embarking on her transition journey, Carrera has had a very successful career as a supermodel, became a stepmother, and has been championing trans rights in the U.S. and Peru. The activist has spent years breaking down stereotypes about trans people wherever she goes.

Salice Rose

Salice Rose is a major name in social media. With more than 16 million followers on TikTok, Rose has created a place for people to feel safe and included. Using comedy and her spirituality, Rose has been able to tackle important issues, like coming out.

Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera was tapped to write for the America Chavez comic book in a move by Marvel that was widely celebrated. Rivera was able to give American Chavez, a queer Latin superhero, an authentic voice. Rivera is also the author of “Juliet Takes A Breaths.’ The young adult novel follows a Puerto Rican girl who comes out to her family right before going to an internship on the other side of the country.

Martine Gutierrez

Martine Gutierrez is a famed photographer and artist that has displayed work around the world. The art critic Barbara Calderon wrote about Gutierrez’s identity that has been an elusive yet broad identity. Calderon spoke of terms used to identify oneself yet none seemed to accurately describe who Gutierrez is.

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is an Afro-indigenous Colombian Canadian musician who is transforming Latin music, especially the scene with her sexuality. The queer musician is unapologetic about her identity for the sake of visibility. Pimienta feels a need to stay ver visible to change the long-running history of no queer visibility in media.

READ: Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

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Maluma And J Balvin React To The Loss Of Armando Manzanero, Who Lost His Battle Against COVID-19

Entertainment

Maluma And J Balvin React To The Loss Of Armando Manzanero, Who Lost His Battle Against COVID-19

As if 2020 and Coronavirus haven’t taken enough from us, just days before we usher in a new year, the world is forced to say goodbye to Armando Manzanero.

The famed Mexican-Mayan artist lost his battle against COVID-19 and as news of his death began to circulate, reactions from stars all around the world have started to pour in.

Manzanero died like so many in 2020 – fighting the dangerous Coronavirus.

One of Mexico’s most iconic and beloved artists has passed at the age of 85 from complications related to COVID-19. Armando Manzanero had tested positive for the virus on December 17 and put into critical care just a few days later.

The Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico (SACM), of which Manzanero was president, announced his death, saying: “The romantic soul of Mexico and the world is in mourning.”

His family told Mexican newspaper El Universal that he was set to be extubated in the coming days, after his lung health had improved, but he then died by cardiac arrest.

Maluma took to social media to share his sadness over the immense loss.

Losing a man who is considered a symbol of Latin American music has left many artists shocked and in mourning. Reactions and memories from around the world quickly poured in to remember the man who helped put his country and culture on the global map.

Maluma shared to Instagram an emotional post, where he expressed his sadness for the departure of maestro Manzanero, “💔😭 RIP MASTER,” the post reads.

In the description, Maluma said “one of my greatest inspirations” had died but that he’d forever treasure the memory of having met Manzanero. The video shows when Maluma, visibly moved, meets Armando Manzanero for the first time. “A pleasure to meet you,” says the reggaetonero; Immediately afterwards, the Mexican singer hugs him while patting him on the back.

J Balvin also shared his condolences while also condemning COVID-19.

Another of the many celebs who showed their sadness over the death of the star was J Balvin. In his Instagram stories, Balvin posted a photo of Manzanero and wrote “Rest in peace, Armando Manzanero.” In addition, he wrote what so many of us are feeling after such a devastating year: “FUCK COVID.”

And Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, addressed Manzanero’s death during a press conference, per CNN. “Armando Manzanero was a sensitive man, a man of the people. That’s why I lament his death,” he said. “He was also a great composer.”

Manzanero was a famed Mexican-Mayan artist who helped bring visibility to his culture and community.

Credit: Medios Y Media / Getty Images

Manzanero was a romantic crooner who was often covered by artists from around the world. In fact, many of his tracks were translated into English and performed byartists including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Perry Como, and he was awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2014.

He has since written more than 400 songs and released more than 30 albums, including nine since 2001, as Manzanero collaborated with a younger generation of Spanish-language romantic pop singers such as Alejandro Sanz, Luis Miguel and Lucero.

Manzanero’s impact on Latin music, especially romantic “bolero” songs, was widely recognized during his lifetime. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Latin Grammys in 2010 and the Grammys in 2014. Earlier this year, the Billboard Latin Music Awards recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, with musicians including Luis Fonsi and Pablo Alborán performing a medley of hits as Manzanero accompanied on piano.

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