As I sat with my mother watching the inauguration of the new President of the United States, Joe Biden, and new Vice President, Kamala Harris, we cried together. Both of us women who have struggled to find our voice, fight for our freedom and reckon with our identities.
My mother and I knew, watching Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez that this day was also for us. For two women from Puerto Rico who didn’t quite make it in the first years of their lives, who maybe were arrogant and privileged at some point, but now, have very much so, come to Earth, and have embraced who we are.
We are women of color from Puerto Rico. We have both grappled with the notion of white and color, since we are both of white skin. And yet, we are in fact of color, of passion, of a race of humankind forged of a mixture of beauty and Grace not of this world. Watching Jennifer Lopez sing so beautifully made me see me in her.
I will never forget today, when for the first time, in my life, I actually, finally, understood how privileged indeed I am. A woman of color, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, who has traveled the world, and has only just begun her life, only just begun to give her voice to the world.
My mother, turning to me, stated “This is your time now, never be quiet again, and be your beautiful self. Speak up. Always.”
That’s what I hope I get to do.