Confession: For most of my life, the only thing I wanted was to be normal and treated like everybody else, not laughed at and picked on because I liked things that other people didn’t—or worse, looked down upon because of my name and my heritage.
I tried very hard to be quiet. I tried very hard to hide myself. I tried very hard to not bother people and be ‘normal.’ But the sad truth is that even when I tried dressing up and hiding all my ‘weirdness,’ my name and my heritage were always my biggest ‘flaws’ in too many people’s eyes. (And yes, I can TOTALLY tell when that factors into people’s brains—I see it very clearly because I was raised in a multicultural environment, so it’s a look I didn’t really see until I moved out of Los Angeles.)
Nothing hurt more after I left my diverse California bubble than people asking me my name and me seeing that fleeting look of disgust or contempt when I said it was ‘Carlos.’
Basically, no matter what I did I was still treated like an ‘other’—so I just stopped giving a shit and embraced everything about myself that this world tried to get me to hate. This is why I am proud of being an internet kid. This is why I am proud of being a crazy cat person. This is why I am proud of being a punk and a raver. This is why I am proud of being a minority, and why I am proud of being named Carlos and of being Mexican-American.