Finding My Wings: Genesis Gomez

1 min read

This is the second story of a four-part series featuring first-generation daughters who navigate their own identities, experiences, and responsibilities growing up between two worlds. 

“I miss the smell of the air over in Mexico. It smells dirtier, but it feels cleaner. It feels more refreshing over there. And when my grandparents and people from Mexico visit the U.S., they come with this smell. That really makes me want to cry,” junior Genesis Gomez said. 

Gomez’s mother was born in Texas by accident. Gomez’s grandparents were originally part of a farm workers union in Texas. Going back and forth between Texas and Mexico, they would come to the United States for certain seasons to pick strawberries and other fruits and vegetables from farms. Gomez’s father was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and later immigrated to the US.

As the oldest child in the family, Gomez takes care of her brother, who is eleven years younger than her.

Aside from her family responsibilities, Gomez will also be the first in her family to attend college, and feels pressure to excel academically. “My parents tell me I can’t get a job because I need to be 100% focused on school,” Gomez said. 

Gomez sees a stark inequality between how she and her male relatives are treated in her family. “My cousin who’s three months younger has a girlfriend right now. I feel like there’s a rank and hierarchy,” Gomez said. 

“If I do the smallest thing, it creates this enormous idea of what people think I might be doing. When I have a candle on in my room, my parents are like, ‘Are you smoking right now?’” Gomez said.

After high school Gomez plans to pursue either psychiatry or accounting. “I really want to pursue a job so I can help provide for my family. I have the pressure of taking care of them and giving back for what they’ve done for me. I have guilt whenever they get me stuff,” Gomez said.

Eileen is a junior in her second year of journalism. She enjoys covering local businesses in the community and environmental issues. In her free time, she enjoys photography and painting.

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