Christina Marie Trochez, age 23
WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
My mother is French Canadian and my dad is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras!
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
Austin, Texas :)
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
Yes! I went to the University of Texas at Austin so that community in itself was very diverse as well as the surrounding community in Austin.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
This is always kind of a loaded question for me! I’ve moved around a lot and each place I lived I had very different experiences; This is probably why I have identity issues! I was born in Delaware and then 11 months later I moved to Gijon, Spain where I grew up for about 5 and a half years. Then I moved to Houston, Texas where I lived for 6 years (the longest time I have lived somewhere!). Houston is what I remember most in terms of the kids I grew up with because in Spain the kids I went to school with were mostly Spaniard. In elementary school in Houston I hung out with the minority kids. In my neighborhood I hung out with an African American girl and Asian American boy. Although my neighborhood and school were predominantly white, I felt as though I identified with the minority kids more. I was teased a lot in school for being “foreign” and chubby (mainly by white kids).
In middle school I moved to Waynesboro, Virginia. The kids were mostly white and I was friends with a majority of white kids because after all there wasn’t much diversity there but my best friend from my time there was half black and half white! (we’re still friends to this day :]). Then I moved to Victoria, Texas to a high school that was mostly made up of minority kids but to them I was just “that rich white girl”. They didn’t see me as anything else. I was constantly asked for money because they thought I was just white and because they could tell I came from a good family. This clearly confused me a lot because they didn’t accept me. They didn’t care to ask about where I was from or to see if I was biracial. I had only a handful of friends there and constantly struggled to defend who I was. Luckily I was only there for a year and half. I then went to boarding school in London for my Junior and Senior year. This was an international boarding school with a lot of diversity and I felt at home here.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
My parents met at their workplace. My mom was a secretary at Dupont and my dad had just started out at a chemical engineer at Dupont.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
At first my mom's family (who is white) were not as accepting as my mom hoped but it didn't take long for my dad to win them over :)
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING BIRACIAL?
Yes; I’ve never had an issues about that with them.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
Definitely! My home is a melting pot of different cultures, not just from my mom and dad’s cultures. We carry on a lot of traditions that we learned about in Spain and all the other places we have lived.
WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Yes, my dad’s first language is Spanish and my mom learned Spanish when we moved to Spain since she had 3 kids to take care of while my dad was at work. However, we really only speak English but have certain phrases or words we only say in Spanish.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
FOOD. That’s the best part :) But also the values and things you learn to be most important in life that are cultural. Like how the Spanish really emphasize eating a large meal with family and friends and how important those relationships are. My dad has taught me many lessons he learned growing up in his household in Honduras like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Always be considerate of others, don’t take advantage of people and most importantly always stay humble. I love everything he taught me. Both my parents also always told me to be grateful. Both of my parents came from low income families so that’s something they didn’t want me to forget.
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
They incorporated it into my everyday life to a point where it was so normal that when my friends would point certain things out to me that I ate or did or said I was confused because I thought it was normal. My parents would tell me stories about them growing up, they would both cook food for my sisters and I that was specific to meals they ate as children. They never let us forget where we came and taught us to be proud of our different cultures.
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
Not really. My whole family and I always had friends from all over the world of different races and backgrounds so it wasn’t something that had to be talked about. I never saw those people as any different from me.
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?
Honestly, yes. I prefer to date someone with the same cultural background as me or anyone of color really. I feel like I will always relate to those people more than I could with a white person. But Love isn’t something you can control so I try to be open minded!
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
Being mixed means constantly having to defend who you are to people that are not mixed but also being so lucky to have the opportunity to live with different cultures and embrace them to the fullest.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?
I have a handful of friends that are mixed. I have learned that we are all literally on the same struggle bus but that people who are mixed are more open minded to learning new cultures since they have been forced to do that all their lives.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
If only I could write a novel on this! Here’s a list of a few:
· When speaking on POC issues: “But you’re HALF white so your opinion doesn’t really count.”
· “I forget you’re half Hispanic because you’re basically white.”
· “Well you’re not really Hispanic because you don’t speak Spanish as fluently”
· “What are you?” I am a human being -.-
· “Which side do you identify more with?”
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
For people to stop looking at race as an “issue” and for it to become something that does not have to be talked about so negatively and so often. People are so beautiful no matter what their skin color and we need embrace and uplift these different cultures America has because after all, we are a melting pot of cultures.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?
I’m not white enough for white people, but I’m not Hispanic enough for Hispanic people. I hope people read this article and realize how much people that are mixed struggle to have one identity. I will more than likely have identity issues all of my life because of how people treat people like me. They don’t know what to do with us. We don’t fit in a cookie cutter shape category and that really bothers people for some reason.
Also I feel like my two social media usernames are super important in how I identify because I have always felt alienated from most people and always felt “not normal” as if I came from a different planet because of my identity issues from being biracial. Hence “Mars Girl.” Also I love Outkast and one if their lyrics in the song ‘Roses’ is:
“She needs a golden calculator to divide
The time it takes to look inside and realize that
Real guys go for real down to Mars girls, yeah!”