||[Feb. 3rd, 2014|04:15 pm]
This weekend I was invited to give a talk about my zines at SMFA in Boston. So I dressed up like myself in 2003 and read from my mallgoth zine. Then we opened up the floor to questions.
Someone asked me about being a second generation Latina and retaining cultural authenticity. I realized that in my life, the arbiters of cultural authenticity (either in punk or with regards to race/ethnicity) have been white people; and they usually only question my authenticity or that of others when their authority is being challenged. Just the amount of arrogance it takes to assume any authority like that, especially when it comes to a culture that's not your own, is astounding.
I may not be the biggest punk or the best at speaking Spanish, but those factors don't deter me from participating in those communities and making some kind of impact. After the serious discussion, we simmered down and talked about embarrassing middle school stories. I wish I could do these talks a lot more often.
Later on I went to party with my hosts, Ximena and Julia. I stammered a bit while ordering ropa vieja y tostones at the Cuban restaurant, but my new friends didn't judge me. In fact they made me feel so, so welcome by showing me around Jamaica Plain and introducing me to other Latinos. We went to a house party where I pretty much hung out in the kitchen with craft beer and talked up a storm with whoever walked in. It was great. I haven't had that much fun in a while.