Being in the streets from 1:00PM till 7:00PM was normal to me. Coming from a poor neighborhood in the Dominican Republic where there is not much to do at home, we used to entertain ourselves differently. As a child, playing outside with friends, going to the esquina and watch other people play, or just going to a neighbor’s house and talk about whatever topic came to mind made me happy. I never lived with my father because he moved to the U.S when I was two years old, but he would go to the D.R. every end of the year for a month just to spend time with us. Everything was perfect when he traveled. But coming to the U.S I had many encounters with him about “Tu eres la hembra de la casa, you should be home.” Meanwhile, being younger than me, my brother was always encouraged to go out, explore, never help me with the chores at home (because it is a womxn’s task) and be a “Man.” We have to move out of this neighborhood (176 Street in the Bronx) because I do not want my daughter near these Blacks. He would repeat that to my mother everyday after work. At the moment I did not understand what he meant by it. But as I grew up he kept saying “Novio negro no, tienes que mejorar la familia.”
Pero nunca me deje influenciar. I never let his beliefs influence me on my role as a womxn. Nonetheless, who I should mix myself with. Now, he is happy I didn’t.