I Am Scared

I have accepted that as an Afro-Latina who identifies as queer, asexual, and homoromantic/lesbian, I am a triple strike. Or quadruple or whatever the number may be. My name has always immediately identified me as other because Erisel Cruz is in no way a white name. But in reality, I am not scared for me.

I am scared for my brother who is Afro-Latino, and damn proud of his Blackness. I am scared because he used to be (probably still is but won’t tell me) stopped by the police for “looking Middle-Eastern”. I am scared because (God bless) he found his truth in Islam (and I could not be more proud, regardless of our “opposing faiths”). Because now he’s a “Middle-Eastern looking”, loud and proud Black man with a non-white name who worships the same God I worship but in a different tongue and style. And the only thing that might keep him safe is his uniform because to this country, at least he’s useful through his service but God forbid he tries to walk down the street in a hoodie instead of Army greens.

I’m scared for my nephew who is only two but has to contend with his non-white last name cursing him even while his given names were trying to save him. I’m scared because it doesn’t matter how cute his childish smirk is, the color of his skin will always mark him as a threat as he gets older.

I’m scared for my sister raising a handsome black teen already prepared to fight for the struggle and seeing the consequences of doing so.

I’m scared for my mother, an Afro-Latina whose accent will always mark her as immigrant even with her loyal dedication to a country who has never appreciated her.

I am scared for my best friend, for all my friends, who fall under the status of minority, of different, of other. We have already seen what this country is capable of and what it is willing to do to those who will not and do not conform to their status quo.

But no matter how scared I may be for the people I love, please believe I will use this fear as motivation to protect. I will fight and defend my family, and I will not allow the doom and gloom that precedes these next four years to hinder me in my dedication to them. So come at me, come at my family, come at my friends. I dare you. Because you will lose, and when you do I promise it will hurt.


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