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I’m a White-European Latino and That’s Okay

Americans always assume that because I am Latino I must love Selena, have a thick accent and love tacos. Well, sorry to break that narrow mindset but not all of us are like that. In fact, the Latinx community is one of the most diverse in the world.

Growing up in Venezuela kids used to make fun of me because of my European name and ginger hair. They called me gringo because I didn’t fit the Venezuelan stereotype. I was born into a European family but I grew up in Venezuela, and that is the culture I most identify with despite constantly being told I wasn’t Latino enough.

Then I moved to the US and, oh boy, did things change. Every time I introduced myself to someone it went something like this:

Them: Hey! Nice to meet you.

Me: Hi! Same here, I’m Hans.

Them: OMG! I hear an accent there, are you Dutch?

Me: No, I’m actually from Venezuela.

Them: Wait, but you’re white.

Major eye roll!

In that moment I didn’t want to have to fit into labels. I’m neither latino nor European. I simply existed. But situations like this made it hard for me to understand who I am and that my latin roots are also valid.

Yes, I’m a white passing and ginger. Yes, I am obsessed with American pop culture but I am also an incredible arepa chef who knows how to get down like no other when you play me some reggaeton. I know so much about Latin American coffee and believe me when I say that I can go all in if you play me some tambores.

There’s not one way to be a latino and that is the beauty of our culture. If it’s hard for you to understand that latinos are not a race, but a culture just slide through my DMs and let’s talk.

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