Are You Less of a Latina If You Don’t Speak Spanish?

Eva Longoria recently opened up to Fox News Latino about the difficulties of not being able to speak Spanish perfectly. “It’s very difficult to live in our community if you don’t speak Spanish — everyone will judge you,” she said. “A lot of Latinos don’t speak Spanish perfectly and feel rejected in our community.”  She’s not alone because this is more common than we think.

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If you’re a Latina but you don’t speak Spanish, does that make you any less Latina? Is your skin any less brown? Are your experiences any less validated? 66% of Latinos in this country are born in the U.S. and many don’t speak Spanish. Like many other U.S. children, they grow up speaking English but were molded by their Latino culture. Most can understand what their abuelas and abuelos say to them, but have difficulty responding in Spanish.