Humans of LQHS: Esteban Romero embraces his individuality

On a late morning in November 2020, Esteban Romero ‘21 is riding his skateboard to Kohl’s while he watches the trees sway and the clouds move across the sky. 

His positivity is radiating, as he meaningfully smiles and waves to strangers. With these acts of kindness, he hopes they also feel the upbeat rhythm of life.

Romero is a senior at La Quinta High School who strives to embrace and express himself, whether he is feeling silly or grave.

Putting too much focus on oneself does not interest Romero, as he would rather focus on building an entire community once everyone has accepted each other’s differences. For Romero, the most beautiful thing that can exist is the individuality of each person, and furthermore, the valuable ability of loving ourselves and each other.

“If we all just take this time to commemorate and be thankful for that,” said Romero, “we’re all here together.” 

Being such an open person has not always played in Romero’s favor during his years in middle school. A young mind entering sixth grade with entirely new surroundings and higher social expectations may sound like a familiar struggle. 

Esteban often worried about what kind of clothes were “in” and what hairstyle was considered neat. He had really negative judgments about himself—especially when he was most often described as “weird.” 

“I thought that I lived in an anime world where I could literally kick anyone’s butt with the power of friendship,” he said jokingly. 

“Weird” sometimes has a negative connotation, yet Romero has grown more comfortable with the term. He now sees it as an opportunity to make others comfortable be weird with him. 

“I want to show them that I know it’s dark and I will help you,” he said, “so then you could see what I see. And you could see hope for the future too.”

But it wasn’t always easy. Romero previously felt the opposite way until he met his girlfriend, who is also a senior at La Quinta, in the early months of 2020. She helped him grow familiar with loving himself through his clothes and expression in art.

The important thing for Romero is to disregard the idea of “normal.” Weird, by Romero’s definition, means letting yourself be open, vulnerable, and comfortable with others. This is an achievement he would like to see more in his community.

Humans of La Quinta High School is an ongoing series featuring Blackhawk students and staff.