There is a myth about me I must dispel. An alter-ego I created in junior high that has been with me ever since, and it is time to come clean. Milk Bone is make-believe. I was never in a Mexican girl gang where I was called “Milk Bone.”
I am neither chola nor hard. I made it up to seem chola and hard to my newly acquired choir girl friends as a preteen. And it worked. They were amused and I seemed cool. I did have a few Mexican girlfriends before I discovered singing, but we were never so organized as to throw signs or have nicknames or do anything but play. Milk Bone was a nickname for the gringa of the group, me. And that part is true, I did feel white among them. Not only from my being Spanish, but also, more importantly, from not speaking the language.
I was a girl without a proud heritage, language or culture. Until I found music. Music is my heritage. It took me until I was 25, but I changed that. Now I can proudly say, I am part Spanish and I speak Spanish. A dream come true for me.
‘Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.’ Now I know, I do not need to seem hard and chola to be loved and accepted – or feared, but gentle, compassionate and merciful. ‘and a gentle tongue can break a bone.‘ Scary. Canarian Woman is a much more fitting alter-ego for endusing love and fear at the same time. And one based on truth, heaven help me.