Phrases like “you’re not Latino” and “you look so white” have plagued my form of self, stemming back to my youth. I never truly understood the gravity of these misconceptions, so I tended to shrug them off without much thought. As the years went on, it became increasingly transparent that my white-passing token wasn’t as effective as it was made out to be.
It is really easy to make assumptions about people at first glance. We’ve been strongly socialized to make quick judgements about people we may know nothing about. It takes a large amount of effort to actively try to work against all the assumptions you’ve been trained to make. In a way, it is like unlearning what you have been taught, which is something that requires constant active engagement. This is a particularly interesting issue in regards to people who are white passing.