Who am I?
Please let me start by saying I am so happy and excited to be a part of the CNY Latino team and to have the opportunity to share this column with you.
So who am I that I get this monthly opportunity?
First off, my name is Lauren Shiro. I am Puerto Rican; my father was born in Mayagüez. I was born and raised in a suburb just outside of Queens, NY.
I have lived in various cities across the country. In 2011, I met my wife and I moved to Rochester shortly after she proposed.
I absolutely love living here. It has been a wonderful place to plant roots and build our life together. Rochester has been very open to me both as a Latina and as a member of the LGBT community.
As a Hispanic, I have been surrounded by a very unique and diverse culture. I love Latin history and culture. Each country has its own beautiful contributions and when you look at the entire picture, it is a beautiful patchwork quilt with vibrant colors and a deep, rich history.
As a lesbian, I have a unique viewpoint on humanity and the current political climate.
As a woman who is both, I feel that I have a perspective that is beneficial to both cultures.
All of my writing work, both fiction and non-fiction, is done with a hope of breaking down barriers (social and racial), defying stereotypes and creating awareness and understanding between all people.
I have that same goal here for this column. My goal is to address topics that are important to us as a people. I want to discuss politics that will affect us, both positively and negatively. I want to have an open forum where we can share triumphs and support each other in setbacks.
In 2013, The Williams Institute of UCLA estimated that there were approximately 1.4 million LGBT Hispanics in America. We are here. We have lives. We have families. We have careers. We have the same hopes and dreams as our hetero and Caucasian counterparts. We also have the same fears and concerns. We are all human, regardless of color, gender, religion or orientation.
I hope that I can reach out to all of you. For us to share in all of our humanity; for us to learn and grow as a people. I want us all to live the kind of lives we all dream of. A life where the color of our skin, our native language and our orientation are only minute details of our identity. After all, we are all souls having a human experience.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am excited to see where this journey called life takes us all. Thank you again.
Live life in your own special way,