Mexicana: Named after my grandmother because we shared the same birthday, I was surprised when my 1st grade teacher screwed up her face and spit my name out like a curse on the first day of school. No one I knew had trouble saying my name, so I felt sorry for her.
Mexican American: I went home and asked my parents to make it easier for her, and they went with me the next day to okay a name change - Rachel, a good solid Biblical name. I thought nothing about it back then.
Over the years, I gave away my identity in little tiny bits and pieces.
Raquel Martína Martínez shortened into Rachel Martínez, then when I married I became Rachel M. Hulsey and it too soon shortened to Rachel Hulsey. Others could say my name easily, without making a face or choking on the “rrrr’s,” and it was handier to file and alphabetize, but easy and handy aren’t always right.
The name lasted longer than the marriage. Once again I kept it for convenience and out of consideration for others.
Latina: I found my way back slowly. I reclaimed Rachel Martínez Hulsey first, then decided my birth name - Raquel Martína Martínez – is beautiful and distinctive and melodious.
And so here I am once again.
Hispana: Of Mexican and Spanish descent, I am more Hispana than Latina, so basta, this is for me. This is who I am.