“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Recent travel to Mexico, my home country, after 19 years was strange. I felt at home, yes, but I took the courage that Jesus commanded to stand up for others commonly stigmatized and discriminated against in the small town I was born in.
From women and LGBTQ folks using public transportation, to the way women are expected to serve men– I did not remain silent and I was sure to call out the callous behavior used against them.
I made sure to cherish and defend my queer family members who had been shunned and in many ways exiled from my hometown.
I supported my family’s efforts to help feed the stray dogs roaming the streets and showed care towards the environment: acts not too common where I’m from.
I don’t speak of my behavior as some great accomplishment or something that needs praise, but as a small act that could help change the family interactions and traditions that have bloomed from harmful Mexican machismo.
Have faith and know that this willingness to reject fear of different ideas and behaviors will come with the progress we hope to achieve.
These small, tender actions should not be seen as acts of self-sacrifice, but rather conduct that mirrors the character the person carries. It is not about tokenizing the marginalized for your self-interest, but about the fearless care for others driven by courage, faith, and trust.
Carlos Rodriguez is a graduate of Seattle University where he earned a B.A. in Public Affairs. As the former Student Body President, he has used his position to talk about issues related to immigration, affordable housing, and homelessness. He has been vocal about his status as an Undocumented immigrant in hopes of bringing awareness to the complexity of immigration in the United States. Carlos is known for wearing a scarlet “U” signifying how an Undocumented status, which has been largely stigmatized in the U.S., is branded onto the lives of many Undocumented immigrants. Currently, he is a Jesuit Volunteer serving as an Anti-Trafficking and Immigration Specialist.