If you follow me on Instagram, I started this conversation on how I used to hide my Latindad.

This is what I said:

I refused to wear hoop earrings since the age of twelve. Why? Because I felt like it expressed my latinidad too much. 

I was afraid of being seen as a “chonga” or too Hispanic or too anything. 

I hid my Latindad because I was desperate to fit in and assimilate. Even if that meant shedding my identities. 

Almost 14 years later and I couldn’t be more proud to be Cuban-American. Because of my beautiful culture: I speak two languages, I understand resiliency better than most, I value family, and all the values associated with being Cuban.

I love myself and my latindad. I love my culture. My people. My food (oh my god, the food)

Why? Because individuals like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Sonia Sotomayor have shown me that being a Latina is something to be proud of. And damn it, I am proud. 

Because representation matters. Because supporting one another matters. 

Being a Rodriguez is interesting sometimes. Like when you wonder if you’re going to be discriminated against because of your last name or if you’re not going to be selected for a job opportunity because of it. 

But it also means that I’m part of a massive  community & for that? I wouldn’t trade the world.

I honestly didn’t really understand what it was like to be a Rodriguez until I left the bubble that is Miami. That is when I really started to appreciate my culture and my roots, mainly because I was surrounded by people who did not look or talk like me. For once in my life, I was a minority and let me tell you, it blew my mind.

I instantly tried to connect and form relationships with others who identified as Latinx. We would gush over our commonalities and have instant connections. It was almost as if we were both holding on to each other as a life raft in an ocean of people who did not understand where we came from and who we were.

I started to take pride in my culture and my last name and got as involved as I could supporting others who were still growing into themselves and their identities.

While I am proud of my identities, the world doesn’t always appreciate them. Often times I have questioned if I didn’t get an opportunity or I got selected for a “random” search because of it. A last name like Rodriguez is not one you can hide from. It’s loud and proudly declares “HERE I AM. I AM HISPANIC” to anyone who asks for my full name. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where something like a name, can set you up for failure or an endless amount of microaggressions.

I am so proud to be a Cubana and be able to make an impact on the lives of other Latinx individuals. I will use my voice and empower them to live their very best lives, because they deserve it.

{This is a topic that I will continue to talk about time and time again! So stay tuned}

xoxo, Jane