It's one thing to be a cholo, but quite another to be a Cholo–someone whose surname is the word denoted to mean a gang member in Southern California, and a mixed-race mongrel virtually everywhere else in Latin America. And that's the apellido that Orange County resident Ana Beatriz Cholo grew up with during the 1980s, to much grief–and one she must deal with today.
“Even in Disneyland's Critter Country, I can't escape from my name,” Cholo wrote in her intro for a Huffington Post essay. “The lady at the Hungry Bear restaurant was holding my credit card in her hand and looking at me quizzically. She admitted she had never come across a real Cholo in all her years living in the United States.”
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The Seal Beach resident (who's of Colombian and Portuguese heritage) describes her life as a Cholo, doing the customary Stanton ding (“a working-class town in Orange County filled with tacky strip malls and cheap motels favored by the local prostitutes”) and a life that took her from the Navy to the South to a reporting job to her present day as a blogger–with a big ol' “CHOLO” tattooed in Olde English on the back of her neck. Why?
“Why not?” Cholo concludes. “This is what happens when you get old. You no longer give a crap about what others think.”