Who Am I?

Alex Sorto or Alex El Titerito

Photo by Yonglin Chen

I stay positive by focusing on my goals to succeed. I also started attending an afterschool program called, “Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts & Technology” (BAYCAT), where I was able to learn to use music and digital media software, like ProTools and the Adobe Suite. I was happy attending there because I was getting myself in a different environment and growing as a person at BAYCAT. I produced a song and video called, “Huskies (SFIHS Anthem)” for my school as my appreciation. It was an amazing experience that made me want to give back to my community in San Francisco. My goal is to be the CEO and Founder of a non-profit where I’ll be able to teach people from low-income families to make money using technology. For me to have those goals and achievement, I had to go through a lot of things that have made what and who I am today. Now, having a different understanding of life I know that the worst thing that any human being can do is feel pity for other people.

For past years, not for almost my whole life, I have been through this problem. Even though, somehow I have managed myself to deal with it. When I was 16 years old, I took a personality named El Titerito. In countries like Puerto Rico and Republica Dominicana means gangster, someone that kills for pleasure. I decided to modify it, now El Titerito means the person where I put my anger, anxiety, insecurity, arrogance. El Titerito is the person that motivates me when things get rough. Alex is weak, he tries to fit in, but he can’t. He makes me mad because he tries to be cool and he is not. He doesn’t like to say that all the songs that he has written are about himself, he creates characters to cover his feelings. That’s why he created me. I’m like the friend, brother, father that he doesn’t have and never will. Thanks to me he has achieved many things. I’m like the negative and the positive side of him. Why do you think he is here telling you his story? I told him; “Alex stop been a little kid, we been through a lot of nasty things. I know that you don’t want to be in the same situation that you went thru when you was 9 or do you?”

Back in my country, I had problems with gangs during my first year in middle school, but my life at home was really good. My family and my great-grandmother were so supportive with me every way. They knew that I was studying to be a computer teacher, they were so proud of me. At first, my goal wasn’t to become a teacher. I just wanted to learn how to use a computer, even if I didn’t have one at home. Learning how to use all of Microsoft Office programs and to work with the hardware took me three years. There I was a day like any other day. I was in front of the street of the college where I was studying to become a computer teacher. I was holding a paper of my final grade. I was the only student that got 93% that said, “Congratulations You Are Now a Computer Instructor.” My mom had to pay for me to keep studying. She was here in the United States, working two jobs to send me money for food, clothes, and everything else too.

What do I know about depression? Back when I was nine, one of my uncle’s tried to abuse me, one cousin forced me to have intercourse him. On top of this, I grew up without my father. My dad used to live 2 blocks from my house, and yes he didn’t even care about me, or any of my birthday’s, my graduation from kindergarten, when gangs tried to kill me, or even when I got in trouble with El Cartel De Los Z. Believing that every human being goes through any kind of depression but no only abuse. Been put down for others just of how you look, how you talk and even how you walk. I try to kill myself a couple times, but I couldn’t do it. I knew I have to make a change in my life, I knew I couldn’t be stuck in the same position. Whether it will take me years to do it. I decided to merge my two personalities and confront the things that weren’t in my power to change.

I reunited with my mother. We were so happy to be together. I started going to San Francisco International High School (SFIHS). When I first started to go to school, I didn’t speak any English. After one week some others Latinos starting to bully me without reason. They started to say that I was “gay” just because I used to wear skinny pants. Gang members of the Norteños and Sureños threatened me saying that they will beat me up after school. I had to deal with all that plus I had to learn to speak English fast because some Latinos made fun of me because I didn’t know how to speak well. Everything that I run away was coming back, but I was ready to overcome everything. I knew that what happened to me, it wasn’t in my power to change that.

After almost 4 years, that I decided to start a new life with different goals and ideas. I pushed myself to learn new things. I pushed myself to become someone to be proud of. As Dr. Eric Thomas a motivational speaker’s said: “I didn’t have my dad in my life, I had to be my own role model” in one of his motivational videos. Now, I understand that is not how people feels about me what it matters. What it does matter is how I feel about myself. I know, I’m not gay or anything that people have said about me.

HERE IS A VIDEO TO KNOW ME MORE (I’m not sorry if you don’t understand it, I did it when my English wasn’t good).