By Ernesto Saavedra
Growing up, my relationship with the 4th of July was, to put it lightly, complicated.
Even though school and media pumped me with reds, whites and blues, I was ambivalent toward the day. Despite what you may think, my ambivalence at the time wasn’t politically motivated, rather, something of circumstance. Living in a household where all you speak is Spanish, eat rice and beans, and reminisce about Mexico, it’s not something that comes up. However, even though this was the case, for my family, it was simply a day off and we barbecued like no one’s business!
Sometimes we went to Lost or Millerton Lake for the day. Other days, I would go to my friend’s house to check out the illegal fireworks he got from the stand at the corner. Beautiful moments. Beautiful experiences. It’s amazing how despite all that life throws at us we still find time to have fun, even if it’s during a day when only the independence of older, White, heterosexual and cisgendered men was declared.
Well, like the saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” or something like that.
Maya Angelou taught me that being different in skin tone and culture should not stop you from living the life you want to live. Zoraida Reyes, a recent fatal victim of transphobia resting in power, taught me the intersections of our many identities that make us unique, yet the same. I never met Maya and Zoraida physically, but I met them through books, through images, through those close to them. Of course, we cannot forget the countless victims of police brutality. Your strength gives me strength.
This July issue of the Community Alliance, like other issues, is an extension of that strength and love directly from those laying the groundwork to make it a little bit easier for generations to come. Inside are a lot of good pieces where “lemons get made into lemonade.”
Thank you for continuing to share your love and strength by reading the writing and viewing the pictures in this paper. If we didn’t have an audience that was supportive, we would cease to exist. Lastly, a shout-out to all the Community Alliance volunteers. Thank you.
Let’s get to work.