A young Hispanic boy is dressed in baseball gear, holding a soda can, circa 1980.

When I was 8 or so years old, a fellow student at school started calling me “Slow Poke Rodriguez.” It made no sense as I was neither slow, nor named Rodriguez. Presumably, it was because I was shorter, a little more solid, and brown-skinned. There really weren’t any other comparisons. Thankfully, it didn’t stick.

At 14, the upperclassmen on my high school soccer team nicknamed me, “Beaner.” I laughed along with them, as they…