With a myriad of cultures and backgrounds that create the Latinx experience, it’s easy for non-Latinx people to lump all of us into one box. And with that box comes many, many labels that leave many of us confused and honestly, offended. After all, there are some things you never ask people (like if they’re pregnant or why they look the way they do). And although many of us are proud of our roots or identities, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are some things Latinx are just downright sick of hearing.
Although these questions and statements may not seem like much from the outside looking in, they are all forms of microagressions, an often indirect and subtle jab at someone who belongs to a marginalized group of people. These are often less obvious than outright “racist” remarks, but that doesn’t make them any better. It’s also important to remember that the experiences of people in the Latinx community is varied as well. Those with lighter skin tones are going to have a different, and many times easier, experience than those who have darker skin. The least we can do? Stand up for one another, no matter what.
So lo and behold, here are 11 things Latinx people are tired of hearing.
1. But you’re so light-skinned, you don’t look Latinx.
Not all Latinx’s have dark skin!! We all look different and that’s part of the beauty of our culture. Some of us have mixed heritages or have naturally light or pale skin. This is by far one the most popular (and ignorant) questions Latinx’s get and it really is as annoying as it seems.
2. So you’re Mexican right?
One thing that a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that there are more Latin countries than just Mexico! Just because someone “looks” Latinx doesn’t mean they’re Mexican, and yes, it is offensive when you ask this.
3. Are you legal?
Please, never EVER ask someone about their documentation status. Again, this is ignorant and offensive. And also none of your business!
4. Speak in Spanish!
Here are some fun facts: Not every Latinx looks Latin and not every Latinx speaks Spanish. So please, unless you want to know some words our mother wishes she never taught us, please don’t ask.
5. So you’re good at cooking and cleaning?
That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!!
6. Where did you learn English?
At a place called school.
7. What are you?
A badass, warrior god/dess from space, thanks for asking! But really unless you want a history lesson about colonialism then you should probably not ask this question.
8. Oh you’re Jewish, did your mom convert?
There are Jews all over the world and Latinx jews exist, yes, even in Mexico.
9. Do you speak Peruvian/ Venezuelan/ Costa Rican..etc?
You mean Spanish? Or Portuguese? There aren’t enough words to reply to this question honestly.
10. Do you have a huge family?
Um, what?! Not all Latinx people have big families.
11. You’re not actually Latina cause you’re only half.
And again, no. You can still be Latinx even if you’re mixed or half or whatever. This isn’t Harry Potter and we don’t abide by pure or half-bloods! So come on, everyone. Let’s educate ourselves, and stop asking these silly questions.