Humans of Qualtrics: Cathy
MosaiQ is sharing stories of its members throughout September and October for National Hispanic Heritage Month with the Humans of Qualtrics project. Today we'd like to introduce Cathy.
“What are you?” is the phrase I heard most when I moved to Seattle for college, second only to “where are your parents from?” I’ve spent my whole life trying to both explain and unpack my racial and cultural identity, especially since my physical appearance doesn’t easily place me. My family is Mexican, but we’ve been here for several generations so we’re also very American. While the rest of my family ranges from olive-skinned to brown, I am the lightest of the group with my fair skin and lighter hair.
Growing up I laughed off jokes about being adopted and tried not to be defensive when people showed surprise after meeting my darker siblings. People were confused because I didn’t fit the clear mold of what they thought a Latinx person should look or sound like. However, despite this discomfort, my lighter skin has also afforded me certain privileges. Unlike my younger sister who was recently questioned by a store employee about her ability to pay for an item, I rarely experience such microaggressions. I am aware of the inherent ways people are placed into categories and treated differently based on appearance since I’ve seen it within my own family. Because of this, my relationship with my Mexican identity is complex and often difficult to articulate. As an adult, it's been easier to lean into, and claim, my cultural identity since I’ve realized there is no one way to be Latinx or Hispanic.
Our community is rich and diverse, with a narrative wide enough to include even my own experiences. I will always fully affirm both identities even when neither feels like a perfect fit.
Join us on Fridays to discover more stories from the Humans of Qualtrics, and explore the whole series through the links below.
|Cathy is an alumnus of Seattle Pacific University and started her career at Everest College - Everett.|