Meet Carla, a proud Latina, world-traveler, and certified yoga instructor, who shares with us how she defines home. As someone who struggled to find supportive spaces in Boston, Carla was able to find comfort in the burlesque community, and through them, finding home in "the power of personal expression." While the concept of home is often complex and can be difficult to define, Carla continues to embrace new spaces with the goal of living somewhere different every 5 years.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Carla Corazon and my pronouns are she/her.
Home is a complicated word for me and I’m not sure I understand what it’s supposed to mean. I think it might mean a place you feel safe or a place you belong. I’ve haven’t really had that and I’m not 100% convinced anyone has. I was born in El Salvador. My parents, escaped a violent civil war and came to Canada. I grew up in Toronto. I somehow ended up in a francophone school, so It was French at school, Spanish at home and English at Daycare and everywhere else. Not sure which one I learned first. I remember playing translator for my parents as they slowly learned English and working briefly with a phonetics coach because I had the weirdest accent ever.
2. How has your identity and travels inform the way you define home?
The part of Canada I’m from is diverse. My high school crew were all fly ladies from El Salvador, Lebanon, Brazil and India. We taught each other all the dance moves. My Salvi friends were cool but they would make comments about me not being Latina enough. High school girls are petty like that. The narcissism of small differences.
After high school I fast tracked through college and at nineteen I entered the corporate world. I stayed for 10 years. Management in these spaces is much less diverse. Every boss I’ve ever had has been white. A couple were fantastic.The rest not so much. I had a boss that would love to talk to me in his Tony Montana accent. He was very proud of it. Coworkers would often pepper emails and greetings with Hola! and Gracias! I was VERY Latina in those spaces. People would congratulate me on how good my English was.
Ten years later I left the corporate world and moved into the health and wellness space. We moved to Boston and I studied Holistic Nutrition and became a certified Yoga Teacher. I tried really hard to fit into the Boston yoga scene but those spaces were very, um, specific with their clientele. I did manage to make a couple of cool friends. How has your identity and travels inform the way you define home? *Feel free to elaborate more from your response on IG.
3. Where or when do you feel most at home?
I found it hard to find supportive spaces in Boston because it seemed like I was never “Legit” enough. My identity always put into question. I bumped into many binaries here and felt the familiar feeling of not performing an identity to someone else's satisfaction. One community I felt welcomed in was the Burlesque community. I’m a singer and they welcomed me in their genderqueer, body positive, vibrant and theatrical spaces. Burlesque is a place for beautiful weirdos of all expressions. Each is spectacularly unique and I loved that. Just witnessing the power of their personal expression was church for me. You don’t have to be this or that to be magic. I am not a conventional person so to think I would find home in a conventional spaces, in retrospect, was silly.
After years of trying and failing to belong I’ve finally come to terms that I belong to me and no one else. I’ve been with my Husband for 17 years and I don’t even like the idea of making him home. It has to be me.
Our dream is to live somewhere different every five years. The world is so big. California is next on the list and I’m sure we will feel displaced and confused but we have each other and life has become more about managing transitions than finding “Home”.
I am a proud Latina and I have learned that in the U.S. I am ethnically ambiguous. Men ask me where I am from all the time. This question is so loaded and exhausting for me because I know that there is no quick answer and I hate that I have to answer for my appearance constantly. I hope the next Uber driver asks me what I’m watching on Netflix or just literally anything other than my marital and racial status.
Identity is super complicated. I feel most at home alone with my Dog who doesn’t give a shit about any of it to be honest.
4. What can we do to ensure we feel safe in our communities, identities, and cultures?
I think we can make our communities safer by resisting hate and by spending an equal amount of energy healing our traumas and pain. We need healers just as much as we need fiery activists. Burnout is real and I’m hoping my current studies in Yoga Therapy and Trauma sensitive yoga can add value to my communities. That’s the best that I can come up using the skills I that I have. For me, so far, home is where your soul is.