#PersonOfChange: An interview with Mark-Eugene Garcia

“I wasn’t Latino enough for my friends, but I was for the ignorant customer who had questioned my citizenship.”

As a young gay teen, who didn’t want to be gay, I never expected to find acceptance in any life that didn’t include lying or trying to be straight.

Growing up, I experienced some serious racism from close people I saw on a regular basis. I developed a deep shame in being Latino.

Then the 2016 election came along and everything changed. Shortly after, I was at my day job and was manager on duty and had an angry customer. As I tried to resolve the situation, his first response was “Are you even a citizen?”

I wasn’t Latino enough for my friends, but I was for the ignorant customer who had questioned my citizenship.

If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that we writers need to find what we’re afraid of and write about it. That’s where the best stories are. I’ve written so many safe stories, and they had nice, polite, safe audiences. When I saw the crowds at our last run, I saw passion in their eyes. I saw emotion on their faces. I sat there thinking- This is what I want. This. Never forget this. Why were you afraid of this?

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Genderqueer Dominican artist based in NY. Writer #PersonOfChange Series, showcasing BIPOC & LGBTQ+ warriors.

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Antonio Miniño

Genderqueer Dominican artist based in NY. Writer #PersonOfChange Series, showcasing BIPOC & LGBTQ+ warriors.