Jump to content

If my great grandfather was Portugese, is it okay for me to identify as Latino?


Recommended Posts

"Latino" generally means a person from Latin American descent, which does not include Portugal. 

 

However, I usually see this question phrased as "Do you identify yourself as .... [check boxes]" or "Do you consider yourself ... [checkboxes]".

 

That is, I would say that you should answer this question based on how you self-identify, not on things like biology or genetics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't identify as Latino for the sake of diversity. If you personally identify as Latino, then by all means go for it. Don't do it based on your grandfather's Portuguese ancestry--most (nearly all, to be honest) Portuguese people do not identify as Hispanic or Latino. Do it based on how you contend with your heritage.

It's actually easier to make the argument that Portuguese people are Hispanic based on proximity and shared history way way back with Spain, but again I caution you not to base identifying as Hispanic or Latino on whether you can technically get away with doing so, but on if you actually identify that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mistake, I didn't even think about what your non-Portuguese side is! I find that Portuguese people tend to not identify as white per se. We tend to be adamantly Portuguese haha that's not on the census though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't identify as Latino for the sake of diversity. If you personally identify as Latino, then by all means go for it. Don't do it based on your grandfather's Portuguese ancestry--most (nearly all, to be honest) Portuguese people do not identify as Hispanic or Latino. Do it based on how you contend with your heritage.

It's actually easier to make the argument that Portuguese people are Hispanic based on proximity and shared history way way back with Spain, but again I caution you not to base identifying as Hispanic or Latino on whether you can technically get away with doing so, but on if you actually identify that way.

 

Agreed -- just to clarify, this was what I meant to say in my post above :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have to ask strangers on the Internet whether you qualify as Latino or not, the answer is probably not. If that were an identity you truly identified with, sincerely and independently of anything you think people will give you for it, then you would have already checked the Latino box on the form and moved on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have to ask strangers on the Internet whether you qualify as Latino or not, the answer is probably not. If that were an identity you truly identified with, sincerely and independently of anything you think people will give you for it, then you would have already checked the Latino box on the form and moved on.

 

I can't speak for everyone, but my personal experience is that it took me awhile to actually feel confident identifying a certain way instead of feeling concern the others will make me "prove" my claim. So, I think it's completely possible / valid for someone to feel they might self-identify as X but are not sure if the majority would "allow" them to do so. Hence, others above have tried to make it clear that it's all about how you feel, not what your genetics are or what other people would label you as.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with TakeruK on this completely. I still struggle when I look at these categorizations. As a Portuguese person, I don't identify as white. We identify more culturally than ethnically. So being grouped with other white/European groups doesn't jibe for us, at least in terms of how we primarily identify ourselves (there's a recognition that we share European ancestry, but culture trumps that connection).

 

Identity is quite complicated, as we all know. This also changes over time--as a child, my identity wasn't ambiguous. As I've learned more and more about my culture, I realize how grey it is. We need to allow that others have similar moments of uncertainty and exploration when it comes to their identity. I just don't want people to claim an identity just because they think diversity will make them more appealing to adcomms.

 

The OP should be aware that others WILL categorize Portuguese as white, though. But no one on here should think that census categories aren't without problems. Go with your gut, OP :)

Edited by ashiepoo72
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use