I recently watched an episode of In the Life on PBS called “Orgullo Latino” (which you can read about here).
While I am not Latino (my family heritage is almost entirely German), the Latino culture plays a huge influential role in my life. My tastes in food, music, and art, among other things, often have as many or more roots in Latino culture than my Southern US upbringing. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good gravy biscuit as much as the next North Carolinian, but pastelón? Mofongo? No contest.
I digress (record scratch).
The episode mentioned the recent Time cover story “Yo Decido.” Seeing it presented by this episode about the unique struggles of the LGBT Latino community spoke to me in a way it hadn’t before when I first saw the article. Before, it had been about the power of the Latino vote in the upcoming presidential election. This context, however, reminded me how important it is that people in Minnesota know what they are voting for with the marriage amendment on the ballot.
Of course I will make my voice known by voting, but that’s only the price of admission. What’s most important is making sure people know who I am, and who my family is. When people don’t have context to know what effect this will have on real people they know, it’s unlikely they’ll find the motivation to vote, or to make the right choice when they do. So I believe my real power is in telling my story. By doing so, I will influence others, and then, truly, Yo Decido.