Carlos Andrés Gómez has light-skin and green eyes. And yes, he is Latino.
"After the show she asked me: 'Carlos Andrés Gómez is your stage name, right? I mean I’ve never met a Hispanic who looks like you, so, uh, what’s your real name?'”
The Colombian author and HBO Def Poet shared this anecdote in his poem "Juan Valdez," which has amassed more than 700,000 views since MiTu posted it on Facebook on May 13. Gómez told The Huffington Post the question regarding his name is "verbatim" what a woman asked him a few years ago after a performance in Indiana.
"I didn't have a clever or poignant response in the moment," he said. "I was honestly so shocked by how ignorant the questions were I was dumbstruck - this [poem] is what I wished I had said to her."
Actress Rosario Dawson and hundreds of others have shared the poem since it was posted. In it, Gómez asks "What exactly does a 'Hispanic' look like?" before going through a line-by-line breakdown of stereotypes about who Hispanics are, what their physical appearances should be like and what they do.
Gómez delivered his powerful poem at New York City's Nuyorican Poet Cafe on Dec. 11, 2015 to cheers and applause as he took a moment to define who he is.
"You want to know what I am? I am a Latino, living in the United States. My name is three words that can’t be abbreviated. Yea, I want you to remember all three. Yea, I want you to say them like me. And yea, remember both of those accent marks baby. My name is Carlos. Andrés. Gómez."
Watch the full poem above.
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