Depending on where you live, you may or may not have been faced with the question, "Am I Latina or Hispanic?"
It wasn't until I started college that I wondered this myself. Coming from a predominantly hispanic (or latino, whatever you prefer) neighborhood, I never really cared or thought about it. However, when I got to college, there were always discussions about what is more politically correct - hispanic or latino. The majority of the people I've encountered deem "hispanic" as offensive seeing as how it is a term coined by President Nixon's administration that referred to anyone who comes from a Spanish speaking culture. However, I on the other hand, reject the term "Latin@". To me a Latin@, is someone from Latin/South America and dances Salsa. I am neither. I am a first generation Mexican-American, Spanish is my first language, and if you know anything about Mexico it is that Salsa is not from there! So now I'm faced with the question, "Soy Mexicana? Soy Latina? o Soy Hispana?".
Well, under all legal papers, I'm hispanic. I dont' mind calling myself hispanic. I also don't mind calling myself Mexican or Mexican-American. However, there is something about the term Latin@ that does irk me. I think its possibly the fact that when you hear the word "Latin@", very stereotypical images come to mind. Sexy women, people who can dance, people who scream "Ay Mami!" in the street, and Rosie Perez (unrelated, but she was in a documentary named "Soy Boriqua Pa' Que Tu Lo Sepas!"). I kind of went into a tangent... but anyway, point being, I don't consider myself Latina.
Now, I'm not saying all this as a personal attack on anyone. I just want everyone to see that there is a difference between all of these terms and it is up to you to decide what you think/believe you are, not the media's and not the government's.
While pondering all of this, I did do some research and found this to be quite helpful: