Written by Jose Flores, PCMH 2021 Summer Youth Consultant
Growing up looks different for everyone. We all have different experiences that shape us into who we are. Although our experiences are unique, we are all still connected.
For me, growing up was an uphill battle. I was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado to an immigrant mother who was more youthful than I have ever been. When I was eight, my mother was deported and I spent the rest of my youth being raised by my brother.
This piece is about all of who I am, the good, the bad, and everything in between. It is about my culture, my heritage, my mother’s absence, my struggle with sexuality, and the little things that shaped me along the way. It’s about learning from our struggles and remembering to hold on to the good things in life.
Where I’m From
I am from Aurora, Colorado
I am from diversity and drug abuse
I am from Honduras from afar
My accent was never thick enough for my ancestors
But it wasn’t white enough for my neighbors
I am from the rivers of Tegucigalpa and corners of Colfax
I am from pupusas and manzanita sol
From playing outside and hiding my snacks
I am from “be a man” and “where’s your girlfriend”
Always hiding who I was and creating what some would call
A chosen family
I am from machismo and Sundays are for going to church
I am from working to help out and “I wonder when I’ll eat again”
I am from the good and the bad
I am from trees that were never too tall to climb and parks
That knew far too many secrets
I am from calling my mom on holidays
Planning trips that never happened
From Thanksgiving with strangers and Christmas with friends
From carne asadas and platanos fritos
From RuPaul’s Drag Race and soccer on Saturdays
I am both privileged and oppressed
I am not one singular thing
I am a mural of all the best parts of everyone I have loved
And all the mistakes that have turned into lessons
With every chapter comes new struggles
With new struggles comes new growth
It is through that growth I become who I want to be
And that person will create change.
This is beautiful and brought me to tears. Thank you, Jose, for sharing your story.