Yenny Quispe

Black Panther is Undocumented

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Yenny Quispe

Jackson Heights, NY

A couple of days ago I asked my brother; “How do you define American” and he replied: “Being a human being.” I laughed because in a way it was funny, but then in a way he was right. Being an American for me is not just loving being here or feeling to be part of America, but being considered as a human being.

What I mean is to be considered and be recognized for who I am, not just for who they want to see in me. To be honest, since I came to this country, I have not been well-treated as I expected, and sadly because of my status. However, I don’t get the point of people judging me if I’m not committing any crime but just trying to succeed in this country as any other human being. I have been living in this country for almost 10 years and I’ve seen how my community hides from the police, or from people who are against us.

As time went by I got tired of hiding, of living in the shadows, of not being able to see more than just a light, of not being able to speak out. I just got tired and I knew I had to do something about it. I remember exactly the day when I decided to face reality not just to my community but to my family as well. It was in High School when I told my mother that I was bisexual and during those days I lost friends and not only because of me being queer but because of being “illegal”. Those were unforgettable moments because even though those were the saddest moments in my whole life, but it helped me get stronger. I don’t judge or hate them, I really don’t. I have learned that in life you don’t have real friends or so call girlfriends/boyfriends for the rest of your life; they are just temporary. The person that will stick with you throughout your life is basically the person that you stare in the mirror; which is yourself. I wished people knew people’s stories before judging them. Sincerely we all have reasons to be in this country and not in ours or why we haven’t gone back to our native countries. As for myself I left my country because of my father, and for a better future.

When I was a kid my father used to beat me up just because he felt like doing it, and also he tried to convince myself on being a girl not a tomboy. I never understood him, and I guess I never will. I don’t have any communication with him and nor do I want, because what I belief is that, a father is the one who teaches, help a son/daughter how to grow, not beat him/her up till he/she bleeds. So after my mom knew about this situation she came back for us, she was in the United States working as for my father was taking care of us. Then she decided to take us on August 7, 2002 with her to the U.S.A, not only because being far away from him will be safe, but U.S.A was mine and my brother’s future. It’s been almost 10 years living in this country, trying to succeed, trying to ignore people’s comment about us being “illegal” because we are not. I do not call myself “illegal”, I have a name and is Yenny Yanaylle not “illegal” or an “alien”. I’m also trying to finish my Bachelors in Psychology and show my grandmother that I never gave up, that this is for her and for all my Dreamers out there. I want my Dreamers that are still hiding in the shadows to come out, because we need your voices, we need all of our voices so Obama could see that we want to be the future of the U.S.A. We don’t want to go back to our native country, because all of our lives we grew here, not in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, etc. We are Americans and we deserve a chance to prove that we just want to succeed and help our community. ~Undocumented and Unafraid.. Queer Queer and Unashamed~

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