We know the violence of erasure quite intimately
September 14, 2018 9:54 AM   Subscribe

On the challenges of defining Latinidad and the intersections of identity in queer & trans Latinx communities. (cw: domestic violence, child abuse, lgbtq hate crimes)

"The more we try to unravel the incongruencies of Latinidad the more knotted we become.

Still, one writer in our Cover Story proposes that one answer (read: not THE answer) to the Gordian knot of the Latinx identity is to dive directly into the source of its traumatic foundations. Alan Pelaez, an Afro-Zapotec writer, offers that only by looking beyond ourselves and the margins we occupy, even as LGBT Latinxs, can we begin the harrowing process of healing from the collective and historical traumas that unite all Latinxs.

And, I use “unites” loosely. As there are things that will never fit neatly into an term that attempts to encompass countless peoples, histories, languages, cultures, and places.”

The X In Latinx Is A Wound, Not A Trend by Alan Pelaez Lopez: The “X” in Latinx is a wound as opposed to a trend that speaks to a collective history. The “X” is attempting to speak to the violences of colonization, slavery, against women and femmes, and the fact that many of us experience such an intense displacement and silence that we have no language in which to articulate who we are.

The Sin•Infested Mujerista: On Maintaining Self Within Divinity by Kayla Ángela Alamilla: I am a twenty-year old queer with a pocket knife and a rosary. I guard my sexuality from ridicule, misunderstandings, and violence. I refuse my sex to be dissected as blueprints of the great design by outsiders again. I fight to be free from fear without evildoers piercing my hands and feet onto a fence in Colorado.

My Faith in San Judas, San Sebastián, and the Queerness of the Church by César Miguel Rivera Vega Magallón: In being able to confront the hierarchy of Catholicism, I reclaimed what was important to me—community and ceremony. I sought out others who wore rosaries and devotional bracelets to gay bars and who saw, like I did, the queerness within the rituals and iconography of the Church or those who playfully invented it.

I Thrive in the Surplus and Sensory Excess of Suciedad by Victoria Alarcon: Smells of fried food and the sounds of el barrio attack the senses because they are overwhelming in their grimy latinidad. Sucias, thus, are Latinx women and femmes that are excessive in their speech, their smells, their look, their overall volume. This Latinx femininity is read as queer because sucias fail to conform to a particular cis, heterosexual, white femininity in their excess.

I Am Trans, a Woman, & a Mother, and I'm Finding Peace and Strength in This Puzzle Unknown by Gia Cordova: How do others encourage their children to eat their vegetables and make showers seem like fun; how to teach five-year-olds about consent and bodily autonomy; how to make a little brown child proud of their history and unashamed of their experiences. This past year has assured me of my power to guide my child to find themselves. I do not have all of the answers; but, here we are, existing together, like my mother and I did years ago.

Autistic, Trans, & Latinx: My Survival Is Our Community's Survival Against Gentrification by Rubí Herida-Eterna De Amor: I am my own personal strand of autistic Latinx Trans woman. I am faithful, non-violent, and like to live simply. I don't take up a lot of space and don't ask for much in return but a bit of respect. Yet, that little space I occupy has consistently been threatened or erased by a culture that does not understand me and has no desire to do so, as well as outside forces that want me gone.

In Escaping Venezuela, I Found My Queerness & Latinidad as an Expat in the Persian Gulf by Abigail Villarroel: I see a lot of my struggles reflected in the Queer Latinx community in the US. Living in a borderline and performing that balancing act between American and Latinx is something I could relate to being Venezuelan and a ‘citizen of the world’. From these communities I gradually learned that there was space for my identities to co-exist without contradicting each other.

Una De Las Mias: Coming-Out Gave Life to the Bonds Between My Cousin and I by Michelle Boo: I sat on my cousin’s bed that night when she told me we were going out for her best friend’s birthday. It took some serious prodding before she said we were going somewhere called “La Purga.” She explained that the club was for “raros” and that “gente extraña” go there. I asked if she was one of them?

Rising Through Trauma and Exploring the Depths of My Latinidad by Andrés León: I remember wanting so badly to hangout with the Latinxs, the ones my skin reflected; but, I felt I didn’t belong there because my racial identity was like a dirty, family secret. As a transracial adoptee, I felt cultureless, like I belonged everywhere and nowhere. The feelings of unbelonging were only magnified when I realized I was queer.
posted by poffin boffin (3 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
This is an amazing collection of links, thank you. I'm looking forward to digging into them.
posted by ITheCosmos at 10:04 AM on September 14, 2018

posted by GenjiandProust at 12:04 PM on September 14, 2018

This is going to take me a long time to completely digest, so I'm going to take the opportunity to thank you for this increadibly infomative post.
posted by happyroach at 9:23 PM on September 14, 2018

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