Incredible AZ Latinx Geeky Content Creators

Darth Mexican here, and at the time of writing this, it is Hispanic Heritage month! When I first started The Geek Lyfe, it was with the purpose of highlighting those wonderful human beings in our community who pour their all into their passions. While we are one community, we each have our own unique backgrounds that no doubt has an influence on the art that we create. One project that I have always wanted to do was taking time to talk to fellow Latinxs about themselves and their heritage.

As a minority, we can often find ourselves feeling under/misrepresented within our favorite fandoms. Just now are we starting to see more representation in movies, comics, video games, and more. Despite all of this, we content creators decided not to let this turn us away from being loud and proud about who and what we are. I am so proud at my fellow Hispanic artists for getting up every single day and deciding to give it their all!

It is my sincere hope that we can inspire, entertain, and educate young Latinxs so their journey to becoming a content creator will be that much smoother and more welcoming than those that came before them, or even us!

I wanted to share with you some Hispanic content creators from around the valley to showcase not only their craft, but also their heritage!

Photo credit: Schyler Anderson Photography

What is your brand name?

Autumn Dayss

What is your ethnicity?

Mexican.

What generation of American are you?

Second.

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?

The food, and when it’s Sunday dinner, everyone down to your third cousin comes over to eat.

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?

Sadly, no.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?

Cosplayer, lol.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?

Star Wars, anime, and Disney.

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?

I am half Mexican (father’s side) and half white (mother’s side). So growing up in an area where Hispanics were everywhere, in school I was treated differently because I was half/half. I was, as Harry potter series put it, mudblood.

What advice do you have for those young Latinxs looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?

You can learn a lot from your elders. I was taught to sew by my abuela, as well as to cook. Though blood isn’t always thicker than water, my abuela also taught me that your friends can be a better family to you than the one you were born into.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?

My abuela came here with her family during the second world war. Her father was one of the few underwater welders in the world at the time, but when the war ended, they were sent back to Mexico. My great abuelo loved this country and the opportunities it offered for his family so much that he snuck back over to America so that his family could have a bright future ahead of them.

What is your brand name?
Abnormal Hearts

What is your ethnicity?
Hispanic

What generation of American are you?
1st

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
My favorite aspect of my culture is the love!

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Yes, I was taught Spanish growing up, even though I haven’t done the best job teaching my kids.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
We are artists! We do what we do because we want to inspire others to see and be more than their circumstances, problems, or sickness. All that will never dictate what you can achieve in life.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
I love the Dragonball and My Hero Academia fandoms, and mostly every fandom that involves my childhood lol.

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
No, not really in regards to skin tone or heritage. We grew up in a very rural so not very many people, but we did get treated differently cause of our heart disease.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
That anything is possible if you just keep getting up and keep fighting, no matter what people tell you. Believe in your vision, and don’t take your eyes off it. Most never make it, those that do never stopped. Dare to be the anomalies.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My parents immigrated here by the last amnesty.

What is your brand name?

Barely Normal Fay

What is your ethnicity?

Mexican and Irish(?)

What generation of American are you?

3rd generation

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?

Aside from the food I’d have to say the family dynamic. My family is very close and involved with each other. We have regular get togethers and often check in on each other.

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?

My nana never taught my father or my tia so it wasn’t passed down to me either. I was raised to say certain things in Spanish, however.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?

Cosplayer- I love making a character come to life. I love being able to take a bundle of fabric and turn it (and myself) into whatever I so please.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?

DC comics, anime, and recently Kpop

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?

If you didn’t gather from the photo, I’m EXTREMELY pale so any level of discrimination I felt was because people said insensitive and racist things not realizing my own heritage. Interestingly enough I haven’t always felt accepted in the Mexican community either because of the paleness of my skin.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?

Being bi or multi- racial doesn’t mean you have to choose one side over the other. Embrace every side of yourself.. it’s something I still struggle with to this day.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?

My nanita’s parents originally came via boat from Spain, her husband (my great grandfather) passed away when I was very young but my nana says he came here from Mexico when he was only 9 years old.

What is your brand name?
J. Gonzo/La Mano del Destino

What is your ethnicity?
Chicano

What generation of American are you?
Third

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
The vibrant mix of Spanish and MesoAmerican art, religion, lifestyle and mythos. The European sensibilities translated and reappropriated by the Aztec and native peoples that then became assimilated by the US, to become uniquely Chicano.

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Sadly, no. Spanish speaking in the 70s was taboo.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
I am the writer and artist of a comicbook called “La Mano del Destino”

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
Comicbook fans are the best!

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
When people learn my last name, Gonzalez, they often make assumptions about me. By anglos I tend to get lumped into stereotypical categories that often don’t fit me. And by some other Latinos, I get branded a “Pocho” for being unable to speak fluent Spanish.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
Engage in projects that speak specifically to your personal values. An audience will sense the love in a project – don’t trend chase or set out to just make money.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My father’s family was in El Paso, on the north side of the river, when the border was drawn to include them as Americans. My mother’s mother was an anchor baby – her parents crossed the border to have her in America to ensure her citizenship.

What is your brand name?
Mucho Muncho

What is your ethnicity?
Venezuelan

What generation of American are you?
2nd generation

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
The food! Also the humor. We tend to be very sarcastic and tease each other a lot.

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Yes, but I grew up in an area where I wasn’t able to utilize it. So, I didn’t retain it into adulthood.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
Cosplayer and event organizer for costuming charity. I do it because it’s a creative outlet that also allows me to give back to the community, and connect with other individuals.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
Comics (especially X-Men), anime, and kpop although I don’t know if the last one is technically a geeky fandom. Oh well.

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
There was definitely a cultural difference. I was told by elementary school “friends” that the food, candy, artwork in my home was weird and different. I also heard through the grapevine at school that kids didn’t like it when my dad came on field trips as a chaperone, because he had a funny accent.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
Be sincere and genuine. Never try to conform to someone else’s standards of what you should be, or to make yourself smaller so you fit it. Be passionate, dedicated, and do what makes you happy. The right people will be attracted to that energy.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My dad got a scholarship to go to college in the states, which is where he met my mom.

What is your brand name?

I am one half of Bytes N’ Brews.

What is your ethnicity?

Half Mexican, half German

What generation of American are you?

I honestly have no idea. I only know my Mexican half back to my nana & tata, and they’re American. So, at least 3rd generation.

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?

THE FOOD! Oh sweet Jesus, the food. Thank you for giving me the knowledge of the edible plate, commonly referred to as a “tortilla”; the best food delivery system. Remember kids, “Anything can be a burrito. If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?

Only some paniced or insulting words & sentences that my nana would exclaim (often times in the kitchen).

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?

Content creator, variety streamer, and sometimes editor at The Geek Lyfe. I enjoy the community building and making people laugh.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?

This form has a character limit. So, I’m just going to say, “Yes.”

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?

Nope. No one ever knows that I’m half (or any part) Mexican because I don’t really look it at all.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?

If you think and act like you’re small time, that’s all you’ll ever be. If your dreams & goals don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?

Efficiently… I have no idea… I seem to have been a poor inclusion for this project.

Photo credit: Mort Productions

What is your brand name?
Cynorme

What is your ethnicity?
Hispanic (Nicaraguan) and white (Scottish)

What generation of American are you?
2nd? I think? Technically lol?

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
Every year, the AZ fam gets together for a HUGE nacatamales making party and it’s so fun. We make delicious food and eat other Nicaraguan things and have a great time and then we have a TON OF NACATAMALES AFTER YESSSSS

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
A little! My grandmother tried really hard to teach us Spanish, but my mother didn’t keep it up as much as she wanted to. We all regret not forcing ourselves to speak more Spanish and I want to take classes, mainly so I don’t fall behind when talking to family and for when I one day visit Central America!

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
I’m a cosplayer and Twitch streamer! I stuck with cosplay because I was always the fat, hairy, hispanic kid in middle school and ever since I “Glo’d Up” I’ve been able to be super confident and have made a lot of friends through the community of all sorts of cultures! I like streaming because it introduces me to another community of amazing people who accept you, no matter who you are.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
DEAD BY DAYLIGHT HEHEHE. I really like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and other anime and video games too!

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
Yes and no. I’m not as tan as my sisters so it’s not as obvious, but it was the facial/body hair that really got me. Also foods sometimes weirded out people? My fave food to eat is gallopinto (which is just beans and rice) because my grandma would always have a huge batch of it made at all times, but when I put other stuff on top, then people got weirded out about smells and stuff. Oh well.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
My dears, don’t let anything hold you back. If anyone tries to tell you that you can’t do anything because of who you are/where you came from, then be the bigger person and show them what you can do. If you put in the effort to have fun and keep yourself happy and find what you like to do, you’ll have a great and successful life.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My grandmother (on my mom’s side) and some of her siblings came to California… not sure why but she raised her family there. I’m not sure about my grandfather. My dad’s parents stayed in Scotland and he came over a bit ago to be a teacher and met my mom!

Photo Credit: Tony Julius

What is your brand name?
Darth Mexican

What is your ethnicity?
Mexican

What generation of American are you?
I am fourth generation!

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
The food, music, novelas, and so much more!

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Only a bit. And that bit is the words that are not socially acceptable. Ironically enough, they were taught to me by my grandmother!

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
I run one of the largest media outlets in Arizona called The Geek Lyfe!

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
Anime, comics, movies, novels, podcasts, D&D, etc.

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
My skin tone is a darker shade of brown than most Latinos and I did not know Spanish. Unfortunately, I have always had misconceptions about me by other people. Women have told me they don’t date brown people and men admit that they thought I was going to mug them! I favor thick rimmed glasses because it seems to lessen my appearance as a minority.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
When I was younger I so badly wanted to be light skinned, have blue eyes, and be named Xander. I always hated my skin color and thought my name as a curse since everyone had a tough time spelling it.

However, over time I grew to love myself. My name is DeAngelo and more than likely when that name is dropped, they are only talking about me. My skin tone stands out and is rarely mistaken for another. I am unique and beautiful.

So are you and the faster you understand that gospel truth and appreciate your culture, the better your life will be. Never ever be ashamed of who you are or where you came from. Embrace it, and run with it!

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My great grandfather came into the country when the process to come and go into the US was far more lax than before. He would come to visit friends and family casually. As processes changed and got more strict, he decided to stay. Especially when he met my great grandmother! They had a billion kids, those kids had a billion kids, and then one of them was my dad!

Photo Credit: Deegan Marie Photography

What is your brand name?
Sara Moni

What is your ethnicity?
Mexican, Norwegian, Black, Hopi, Indonesian

What generation of American are you?
Third

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
Art (if I have to pick one!) The vibrant colors and symbolism are so rich!

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Not enough to be fluent, unfortunately.

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
Cosplayer – I love the physical creation of art through sewing and crafting, all while sharing the creator’s writing and vision.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
Comics and sci fi

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
Being mixed race means being treated differently by whoever wants to see me as what. Thankfully, many people see me as a mixed race person, and embrace me as a whole. I am a person of colors, and I identify with everything in my background.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
The wonderful thing about Latin culture is that it contains a mix of other people as well. There are so many colors and nationalities in the Latino umbrella and my advice would be to celebrate them and not try to focus on what other people THINK a Latino should look like. Don’t think you’re “too ____” to cosplay, create.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
Some were already living here when the land was reclaimed/renamed. My grandmother came from Norway as a nurse in the WWII effort.

What is your brand name?

Shinee Eevee

What is your ethnicity?

Mexican

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?

The food lol

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?

Yes

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?

Cosplayer & artist. Because I’ve always had a love for it and brings me inner happiness.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?

Anime & video games

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?

Yes. Back in middle school I was once bullied for being Mexican.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?

Don’t let anyone stop you from being you. People are gonna judge you no matter what you do, so just do whatever makes you happy. 😀

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?

Crossing the boarder, through the desert.

What is your brand name?
dormilona_zzz

What is your ethnicity?
Mexican

What generation of American are you?
First

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
Family togetherness

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Yes, English is my second language

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer etc. Why do you do what you do?
Not so much anymore, but I used to be an avid cosplayer.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
Anything Masaaki Yuasa

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
Yes, because I never appeared to be “Mexican enough” to both the whites and Hispanics around me.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
Nothing will be perfect the first time, but with hard work and dedication, your style, work, and brand will develop

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
My mom and dad came to the states to find work in the 90s.

What is your brand name?
Peach Girl Photography

What is your ethnicity?
Hispanic/Caucasian/Native American

What generation of American are you?
Unknown

What is your favorite aspect of your culture?
The sense of connection, family, and welcoming hospitality – and vibrancy both physically and emotionally in the culture!

Were you taught Spanish in your upbringing?
Not formally. I certainly know how to yell at people in Spanish though because of my mom! Haha

What is your place in the geek AZ community? Ex: Photographer, cosplayer, writer, artist, event organizer, etc.? Why do you do what you do?
I am a photographer and a cosplayer who dabbles in free lance journalism throughout the art community in PHX. From a young age I have loved both photography and anime/geek culture. I was raised with two brothers from the 80’s that got me into video games, sci-fi movies, and showed me all my favorite childhood animes like Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, FMA, Big O, Inuyasha, (the list goes on). My father and brothers introduced me to so much of geek culture but my mother (our Hispanic roots of the family) was always the passionately creative one who helped me realize my potentials. She gave me my first disposable camera and has encouraged me – and quite forcefully made me tough through things when I wanted to give up – to be creative my whole life. She is one of my biggest supporters to this day with both my photography AND cosplay! So a lot of why I do what I do is because I’ve been chasing these passions my whole life and am determined to really go somewhere with it in the future.

What are your favorite geeky fandoms?
General: anime, JRPGs, sci-fi movies and film
Specific: Mahou Shoujo anime like Sailor Moon and Madoka, Sci-fi and Mech anime like Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Gurren Lagann, JPRGs like Fire Emblem, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Sci-fi such as Doctor Who & Star Trek

Were you treated differently growing up because of your skin tone or heritage? If so, how?
I was never treated differently as a Caucasian because I am light skinned and passing white, but my whole life I’ve frequently received snarky comments saying “you can’t be Hispanic, you’re so white”. Which I always swept off my shoulder and carried on with my life but it was always insulting for people to look at me and my mother next to each other and not associate her as being my mother because of the difference of our skin. However, from the Hispanic community and many of my friends and their family who grew up much more traditionally Hispanic, they have always welcoming of me and never questioned my heritage. Even though my father is white, we always lived much more true to our Hispanic heritage in our family and I have always felt more comfortable with the qualities and aspects of Hispanic culture.

What advice do you have for those young Latinos looking to become content creators like yourself that you wish someone told you?
Never give up! Stick with what you love, if you love it. Always ask questions and do what you can to learn, the only one that can ever stop you from learning and growing is yourself.

If you know, how did your forefathers/mothers immigrate to the country?
I do not, as my family is very mixed being Spaniard, Mexican, and Native American

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