Tattooing My Lost Identity

by Noel Anaya
Also Featured on KCBS
05.07.17

Photo by: eheçåtzin ::  ::. via Flickr

I have four tattoos on my body, and I’m saving up for more. Each new piece is a way for me to connect to an identity that was stripped from me.

Every time I get tatted, my tattoo artist says, “Cheers!” It’s a cause of celebration.

When I was one and a half, I was taken from my biological family and put into foster care. So I grew up not knowing my own family history, or even where I came from. Then, when I was 18, a cousin on my father’s side found me on Instagram. She told me our family is from a city in Mexico called Uruapan, in the state Michoacan.

After we spoke, I got a sunstone tatted on my right forearm. When I look at it, it makes me feel more connected to my indigenous Latin culture.

I’m using tattoos to inscribe my family’s story on my skin, because I went so long not knowing my history or my identity. Having it inked on my body will ensure I can never forget.

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