Soy Chicana Y No Estes Chingando
Well, I added to the title, but you get the point. Wow, I just read this great piece, "I am Chicana, Not Hispanic!" from injust-spring. Es temprano, and even with my lagañas and medio dormido, I started to think about my days of encountering my Chicanismo.
Growing up in the magic valle of South Texas I always knew I was a Mexican-American, Mexicano, lo que sea. Los primos from Mexico called me a pocho or gringo and the others just called me a payaso, but I digress. UT - Austin, was a great place to be, in 1995. I realized I was really a Mexican. I also say I never realized I was poor until I went to UT. Oh, and I also didn't know what tortilla soup or Chalupas (I called them tostadas) were, until I moved to Austin.
Anyway, long story short - I began reading, talking, listening, and I realized I was a Chicano. I graduated then moved to Laredo and started working as a reporter. I was still pretty hard core, but then realized most working class people there were more concerned with making a living than what I referred to myself - plus, they couldn't really relate to the word chicano. Then, of course, using the word Chicano to describe Raza on t.v. was a no-no, so I started using Hispanic every now and then (I usually tried to steer towards Mexican-American), If I knew for a fact they were.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I somewhat sold out on the term (and maybe even the political consciousness), which I was so proud of in college. I'm not sure why. Now, I don't call myself a Hispanic, but it doesn't really bother me much when someone calls me that. Maybe, I've just been too lazy to make it a point to tell them that I don't like that. I'm a Chicano and I used to be a Xicano. I'm a Mexican American, I'm an American, a pocho, to some a gringo, and definitely a Texican. Oh yea, and I got my dual citizenship, so I reckon tambien a Mexicano.
I love to hear people write and talk about Chicanismo, because it makes me want to get back to the reading and the learning, the parties and the rally's, the writing and the talking, that goes along with being a Chicano.