Today I had a conversation with a friend from the Valley. She told me a story and asked if I understood what she meant. I answered, “of course I do.” She responded, ” it’s just that you’re a San Antonio Mexican so I wasn’t sure you would get it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I hope you’re not offended.” I laughed. I’ve been called worse, it takes more than that to offend me, and the truth is, it is not the first time I have heard it. Have you ever noticed the difference between Latinos in San Antonio vs other places? Have you ever been told you are a different kind of “Mexican/Latino?” Let’s talk about it…

Reggie Brown: “I am not Hispanic but I can say I’ve been around the country and actually work with the majority of Hispanics now. Most are from the Eagle Pass area and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Hispanics here in San Antonio are exposed to a more diverse demographic than Hispanics from other places.”

Geronimo Franco: “No offense Gina..”

Alicia Reyes-Barriéntez: “I do think that the experiences of those of us who grew up with immigrant parents are very different from those who grew up with parents born and raised here.”

Emmitt Jimenez: “Yup.”

Delicia Herrera: “Each region has different cultures. Mexican Americans are different from Texas. Differences in New Mexico, California and other areas make our culture unique and beautiful.”

Geronimo Franco: “Latinos in L.A. think they are all movie stars.”

Anthony De Anda: “I’m originally from the Los Angeles area. Moved here 17 years ago. Yes, San Antonio Mexicans are a little different in my opinion. But it’s not a bad thing”

Charles Mario Henry: “Lol. Absolutely San Antonio Hispanics aren’t the same as others and the same in other cities. Latinos are versatile.”

Frances Potter: “Ignorance is bliss, they just do not get it!”

Chris R. Pelayo: “I only hear the term “Latino” used in politics and TV. All my life here in SA it’s been “Mexican” so when I hear someone in real life say “Latino” it sounds odd, especially in the casual company of other brown folk (my term for us hispanics). lol”

Blue Rose Alvarez: “ Even more odd is “LatinX”. Estos millennials with their emphasis on gender neutral terms. Hijole!”

Melody Mike: “And… as a compliment, San Antonio is different from any other city in Texas. We have, rightfully, our own cuisine that’s recognized, Tex-Mex. Tejano music originated from San Antonio, to such a force that the Grammys had to make a category for it. So maybe to the outside looking in, we are different. What I’ve found is that there is a healthy dose of, well, I wouldn’t call it racism but animosity ( maybe that’s too strong a word) amongst the Hispanic community towards their own due to location and culture. Mexico Mexicans ( not all) look unfavorably towards southern and Central Americans and so forth.Also I had family living in Dallas and when I was a kid they referred to San Antonio as “Little Mexico “. I just found these things odd.”

Blue Rose Alvarez: “IMHO… anyone who uses the phrase, “No offense”, usually follows with something offensive. I’ve never heard the term “San Antonio Mexican” but I have had trouble communicating with Spanish-speaking Mexicans. My Spanish was learned in my neighborhood (many like to say, the barrio) and basically it consisted of English words made to sound Spanish. I remember being embarrassed when a Spanish speaking person told me to ask them the question, in English. Also, our Tex-Mex southern style of cooking is very often marginalized and referred to as “not real Mexican food.” Sometimes I can’t help being offended by these comments but I’ve never been ashamed of where I was raised. I’ve taken every opportunity to expand my Spanish language skills (not fluently but fairly improved) and it may not be what folks eat in Mexico but my Tex-Mex cooking is the bomb!”

Vanessa McBryde: “Yes, I’ve experienced this. An ex co-worker from the valley assumed that because I have a “white” last name and Anglo features that I’m 100% white! I once walked into work with lunch from Chipotle and she said, “What is with YOU white people and Chipotle? It’s not real Mexican food! I pointed out that food from the Valley is still technically Tex-Mex and not authentic. I also pointed out that technically her race is White & Ethnicity is Mexican. I explained that I’m 2nd generation Mexican & that I’m half Spanish & Mexican & grew up in Laredo but that didn’t matter, I wasn’t Mexican enough.”

Jennifer Perez: “In general I’m what you call “ white wash” due to not speaking Spanish. I’ve heard there is a difference. Between the Valley and San Antonio. We are considered TexMex. But in reality we all are just indigenous.”

Roger Reyna: “ I was born in raised on the westside of town along with 6 siblings, although not really exposed to the culture but growing up constantly moving to different parts of San Antonio and exposed to the Art culture at a young age, but with a mixture of Latinos, white, and other ethnic groups as an adult I’ve been told I act white or preppy back in high school. So this also happens here with our own communities. It’s a pretty interesting subject. Although I’ve never been called not Hispanic enough, there is such a stereotype.”