…how it has been to grow up as an Irish-Hispanic… Has it been difficult or have you found acceptance?
It’s been a struggle at times, more emotional than anything else. To my family I am just me, but on the outside I was often questioned for speaking Spanish and having my maiden name Dougherty. I was judged for being too white to be Hispanic, I don’t have any of the typical Latin curves. And I’ve been judged for being too Hispanic to be Irish, that was more in college and when I would seek others of Irish descent. Working in retail I think was the most eye opening experience, I was a teen and I wanted to look more Irish (whatever the hell that means) and I dyed my hair red, wore green eye contacts, and avoided the sun to become even more fair skinned. At one job we wore our last names as a name badge and when we had major sales, the shoppers that came in looked at me, saw my name, and assumed I couldn’t speak Spanish. Well after they tried to twist my words, I went full Spanish to respond and sometimes they would walk out. I guess mad at me for not being more obvious or embarrassed that I had understood their entire conversation…anyway I digress. I have struggled with identity, but I have since embraced my uniqueness. I am me and I am loving it.
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C. Dougherty, Author