My mom knew her father wouldn't approve either way. She knew if she wanted to be with my dad, she'd have to runaway with him. Despite not knowing she was pregnant with my older brother at the time, she hid in a bunk in the back of my father's van and they crossed the border together.
Thirteen years of dating boys outside my race and it took sitting down to write this essay to have the first, real conversation with my parents about interracial dating.
I used to say I didn't have a type, but if we go off consistency, I do.
Once, in 2011, my then-boyfriend and I left a photo of us, taken at an event, at a bodega by accident.
When we came back to retrieve it, the guys behind the counter, which looked to be Latino, handed it to us ripped in half.
As far as dating, I've encountered men who've thought of me as the Mexican woman that is there only to serve, speaks Spanish in bed, or has a connect to an inner drug cartel member.
And those misconceptions were directed at me from men of all shades.
In Georgia—where the Hispanic population has increased 130 percent from 1980 to 1995, and became the third largest state with migrating Hispanics and Latinos—there's been numerous hate crimes between Hispanics and blacks.
In the fall of 2005, six Mexican immigrants were murdered when a group of black guys attempted to rob trailer parks known to house immigrant workers.
And, really, it roots deeper than my parents, my grandparents, and their parents before them.
Racial tension between Mexicans and blacks, especially on the west coast and in some parts of the south, is tied to an ugly history.
Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white.