Coming to Madrid I was scared and nervous because of how different the cultures are and it’s a whole different country from what I’m used to. I was scared because the color of my skin being Mexican in Europe had me thinking of many possibilities or scenarios. Being a non-binary gay individual had me questioning and wondering what clothes are appropriate and if I needed a new wardrobe because I wasn’t familiar with the fashion norms. Their fashion is very formal with blazers and trench coats. Everyone is dressed to impress. Then the younger generation is still very fashionable but its streetwear. Being on the heavier side it was hard finding clothes the same as being a size 11 shoe size. If I wanted to buy shoes they would have to order them. Until I found Primark a 4 story store filled with multiple sizes of clothes and at a reasonable price. I got shoes for 5 euros, a shirt for 11 euros, and 2 pants for 10 euros each.
In my first few days, maybe even the first two weeks, I wouldn’t go anywhere without someone whether it was a roommate or someone else from the program. Not from fear of people but from fear someone would approach me because of how I looked. I soon got over the fear because of how Madrid is so accepting! For the most part, people have been excited and pointed out my accent because they know it’s not Castellano. They are quick to ask me where I’m from. Many of them think I’m Peruvian. Then I use certain words and then they know I’m Mexican.
Then being part of the lgbt+ community I would question what to wear and when to wear it. Who I can be my true authentic self around. That opinion changed quickly! Everyone has been so welcoming and accepting.
Knowing Spanish helped a lot. I appreciate all the friends and strangers that showed kindness towards me. Madrid definitely won me over.