My name is not Maria, “Oye, Mira,” Mamacita, or Bonita Applebum.
I am not your Malinche.
I will not do the Macarena for you.
Nor do I know how to make Pasteles from scratch.
When you meet me please refrain from telling me about your love for tacos.
I cannot be your Vida Guerra, Jennifer Lopez or Watermelon woman (Google it).
Nor will I press your shirts, wash your dishes or take your kids to the park.
I am not your Magdalena, Madonna, martyr.
I can’t be bothered to teach you Spanish.
Don’t assume I have a tattoo somewhere or a knife or some mace.
Resist the temptation to heap on the cultural clichés: caliente, spicy, hot Latin mama/lover, hot-blooded, chili pepper hot, spitfire…
No, I’m not from the projects.
I don't practice brujeria nor do I know how to cast spells.
Don't think if you play some reggaeton in your ad, it will make me want your product.
I’m not from the Block or on the 6 Train.
Don't assume I have 8 kids (and, no, not having any doesn't make me gay).
I don't appreciate the bastardized language used to implicate any association with being Hispanic: "She spics well for a Latina." "Ay, What a mes."
My culture is not something I am looking to lose.
I am not your Hottentot Venus.
You cannot send me back to my country.
I am simultaneously and collectively black, white, and Taino.
I am all three and I am neither.
I am American.
I am Latina.