This is an essay about growing up going back and forth between the U.S.-Mexico border, on the land where I am from — San Diego/Tijuana. It is posted at Highline, the HuffPost's long-form vertical, in conjunction with the release of a short film by Laura Gabbert on Friendship Park.
Crossing the border was made possible by my privilege. On my family’s returns into San Diego, all we had to do was smile and declare “U.S.!” when a border agent asked our citizenship. We were brown-skinned Americans, and no other proof was needed. This was the 1980s, and others crossed just as easily with the shopping and tourist visas that were readily handed to Mexicans born in the region. Back then, there was nothing to fear on the border if there was nothing to hide.
It was a great experience writing this, and great to get those juices flowing after being inactive for so long. Next phase of this crazy career is only barely starting to take shape ...
* Photo above, the southwestern edge of the border, 2011.