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He also studied classic ballet, as well as modern ballet. He was one of the most prolific dancers in Puerto Rico. Walter Mercado happened to be at the station and Ortiz asked Mercado to use the minute allotment scheduled for the other guest, to make astrological predictions wearing colorful and extravagant robes. After that, Mercado was made a regular in the show making astrological predictions. In , Mercado started his regular astrology segment in El Show de las He enhanced his studies with formal study into astrology , tarot , and other occult sciences.

In addition to the TV programs, Mercado also wrote his predictions for newspapers, magazines, and web pages. He was a syndicated writer in the Miami Herald. In , Mercado was awarded the title Mr. From the mid s until , Mercado's show aired in the Univision network throughout the Americas , but on 8 January , after a fifteen-year relationship, he announced that he and Univision have parted ways. In he introduced his dating site ww. The site was developed to allow Mercado's millions of fans an opportunity to hear their daily horoscopes, get tarot readings, zodiac compatibility, predictions and ask Walter Mercado questions.

In less than two months the applications were ranked 2 in Mexico for entertainment applications and th in the United States. Mercado continues to do public appearances [14] while his www. In October , Mercado changed his name to "Shanti Ananda", a translation in Sanskrit of "peace happiness. In January , Mercado lost a lawsuit against Bart Enterprises International, for which he was trying to prevent from using his name and likeness in future commercial ventures.

Mercado, who signed a contract with the company in severed with the company in , which resulted in litigation being filed by both parties against each other. In he announced that he maintained a "spiritual relationship" with the Brazilian actress and dancer Mariette Detotto, with whom he shared a TV program. He always maintained his residence in Puerto Rico. Since the experience he said he has changed. He said he wants to work with Puerto Rican youth, plans to establish the Shanti Ananda foundation, create a mystic center, and donated three of his lavish capes to a museum. Most of his sumptuous capes had already been sold at auctions.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Puerto Rican astrologer and television personality. Puerto Rico portal Biography portal. Court House News Service. Retrieved 11 January Archived from the original on 22 September So latinidad is about the dimensions or the directions in motion of history and culture and geography and language and selfnamed identities. Even if individual narratives used to chart these discourses contradict or exclude one another, the site of rupture will itself serve as a new site of knowledge production.

Of these seeming contradictions, Foucault writes, they are not two contradictory propositions about the same object, they are not two incompatible uses of the same concept, but two ways of forming statements, both characterized by certain objects, certain positions of subjectivity, certain concepts, and certain strategic choices Archeology The contradictions revealed in the various constructions of latinidad in fact provide the site of intervention where the ways of forming statements, the positions of subjectivity, certain concepts, and certain strategic choices can begin to be a source of new meanings.

Yet an understanding of the complexities embedded within latinidad also makes certain strenuous demands on readers. It calls on what VV Clark has She denes diaspora literacy as a skill for both narrator and reader which demands a knowledge of historical, social, cultural, and political development generated by lived and textual experience.

Throughout the twentieth century, diaspora literacy has implied an ease and intimacy with more than one language, with interdisciplinary relations among history, ethnology, and the folklore of regional expression.

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Like Clarks marasa consciousness, which invites us to imagine beyond the binary 43 , Anzaldas mestiza consciousness breaks down the ctions of duality. Anzalda does not impose a unity of interpretation, although she suggests a cosmic unity that joins all things, just as Clarks marasa consciousness depends largely on our capacities to read the sign as a cyclical, spiral relationship Both authors attempt to transcend duality by not only embracing contradiction and ambivalence, but also using them to challenge and transform systems of categorization.

Anzalda describes the mestiza consciousness as a creature of darkness and a creature of light, but also a creature that questions the denitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings 81 ; a constant process of translation and transformation, a movement through and against sites of knowledge. The mestiza consciousness she describes is born of hybridity and cross-pollination. She writes, [t]he work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject-object duality that keeps her a prisoner and to show in the esh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended Anzalda invites us to not only sustain contradictions, but to turn ambivalence into something else Queer Namings This is not the beginning.

I began this chapter with the words divas, atrevidas, y entendidas. These are the words, full of cario, that I use for the queer Atrevidas dare to fulll desire, challenge assumptions the world has given us. Entendidas share a knowledge, understand the signicance and nuances of queer subaltern spaces. These identities are rich and real for me. They resonate with an attitude that steps beyond sexual practice or sexual identity into the realm of a politicized passion for liberation and empowerment.


These terms also mark a language that is foreign to dominant linguistic norms. They are culturally specic in ways that are not about a discourse of nation or blood but about the language of barrios and bars. Divas, atrevidas, y entendidas are all gendered in the feminine, yet they are available to whoever dares to occupy them. In Spanish, there is no direct translation for queer. These words speak to something that is both the same as and different from queer: attitude, deance, knowledge, the excesses of categories. This breaking down of categories, questioning denitions and giving them new meaning, moving through spaces of understanding and dissension, working through the critical practice of refusing explication is precisely what queerness entails.

Queer is not simply an umbrella term that encompasses lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, two-spirited people, and transsexuals; it is a challenge to constructions of heteronormativity. It need not subsume the particularities of these other denitions of identity; instead it creates an opportunity to call into question the systems of categorization that have served to dene sexuality.

There is already something queer about categories such as lesbian or gay, inclusive disjunctures that simultaneously employ speech and silences on sexual practice, desire, identication, anatomy, gender, community, and dare I say love. In Bodies That Matter, Judith Butler analyzes the critical uses of queer and the implications raised by its deployment. She argues that while it is necessary to assert political demands through recourse to identity categories, and to lay claim to the power to name oneself and determine the conditions under which that name is used, it is also impossible to sustain that kind of We may deploy language and categories but we can never fully possess them.

If the term queer is to be a site of collective contestation, the point of departure for a set of historical reections and futural imaginings, it will have to remain that which is, in the present, never fully owned, but always and only redeployed, twisted, queered from a prior usage and in the direction of urgent and expanding political purposes. Bodies The deployment of language as an identity practice only becomes accentuated when it steps across linguistic and cultural boundaries.

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Butler questions how queer playsor fails to playwithin non-white communities Bodies Like queer, the words Chicano, Pocho, and Nuyorican entered the vernacular with decidedly negative connotations, which were then appropriated and transformed within these communities. Queer becomes but one more in a series of terms we can employ to dene ourselves. There are others, each ripe with possibilities.

Entender, literally to understand, has long served as a code word to dene those who are in the know. In their introduction to Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Texts, Bergmann and Smith write of the term, Understanding is clearly a cultural, not a natural category: it cannot take place outside of dened social structures. It is also a matter of knowing, rather than being: a woman or a man can be married and straight identied, but still be wise to same-sex culture.

Finally, it is not an identity but an activity, requiring at least two partners in order to take place. Hence, both in the written texts of queer activism and in the oral tradition of lesbian and gay slang, Spanish speakers may have anticipated the critique of identity and community implicit in much recent AngloAmerican queer theory. The idea that understanding requires at least two suggests the relationality and relativity of sexually nuanced cultural knowledge as a practice that informs the interactions between the self and the other.

Entender is a queer social practice of translating and interpreting sexual codes. Literally of an ambiance or environment, it is a term that speaks to a larger sense of community and belonging, not of a specic sexual practice or identication. Comparable to the popular African American term in the life, it suggests participation in a subaltern space that is coded by cultural knowledge, and sexual and social practice within specic communities.

In certain circles, however, the term de ambiente has taken on a certain bourgeois connotation, a social identity associated more with the milieu of discotheques and discrete private gatherings than with a politicized and visible street presence. This instability in meaning represents another instance of the ambiguous nuances of naming as a marker of political and individual identity. Nevertheless, naming as an identity practice has a broad range of expression in Spanish; the many words we call ourselves reect an acquired ease with the manipulation and transformation of language.

The highly gendered nature of Spanish also creates the possibility of code switching between masculine and feminine forms of address as a spontaneous critical and imaginative practice of queering language. Some particularly lyrical examples include tortillera, from the image of making tortillas where a ipping is involved, as a metaphor for lesbian sixty-nine; buchota, a Spanglish version of butch; marimacha, from Mara and a feminization of macho, used for butch women or sometimes dykes in general; mariquita, ladybug, but also a diminutive form of maricn, faggot; reina, queen, but not necessarily a drag queen, as it is also used as a term of endearment within and outside queer contexts; bollera, from bollo, which means a bread roll in most of Latin America but in Cuba it also means vagina; the sufx era as in tortillera implies an agent and is used for practitioners of female-to-female sex, possibly also suggesting a meatless sandwich; maricona, dyke or faggot, a feminization of maricn, fag Political and social group names, past and present, also incorporate the playful and imaginative qualities of language.

For example, the Miami-based magazine Perra! PERRA es. Puede ser perra alguien, una voz, un vestido, un peinado, una cancin, un show, un logro o una expresin. Perra can be a person, a voice, a dress, a hairdo, a song, a show, an act, or an expression. To read us, you must be Perra! The oral quality of the word itself also benets from the Cuban propensity for accentuating rolling rs. Many of the groups also add a form of translation or subtitle to their names. For example, the magazine Perra! Yet most group names employ imaginative linguistic play, creative gender twistings, and the subversive appropriations of previously negatively intoned words.

They also demonstrate the narrative elements of naming and vividly illustrate naming as an identity practice. There are no easy equivalents, direct translations, or clear denitions for any of these terms, and in fact they reveal very little about the complexities of sexual desires and practices or the political postures of the groups they name. These words can only be read and understood in relation to the context in which they are articulated, and even then only partially.

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Samuel Delany writes, Gay Identity. That identity is of the context [and] not of the self highlights the interrelationality between sub Within this conceptualization of language, identity becomes an act of storytelling constructed through memory, naming, and shifting language practices. Lisa Kahaleole Chang Hall suggests, Gay men and lesbians are the people of drama. I have a theory that gay identity is really founded on storytelling and gossip, not sex, that in fact people often have sex so that they can talk about it. From the moment of that rst entry into the community or the life, were embedded in a legendary network of gossip, tale-telling, and multiple interpretations of the same events.

Identity becomes an art form at times, a pastiche of meanings, afliations, and self-parody that can be baroque. And identity as an art form always remains open to reinscription and reinterpretation. Within the emerging eld of queer Latino studies, critics of various disciplinary persuasions have been dutifully engaged in our own sets of identity practices through our acts of interpretation, inscription, and naming.

Institutional spaces, such as universities and publishing houses, are also discursive spaces where articulations of academic identity are framed within parameters that simultaneously demand both innovation and adherence to established norms. As academics, working within the liberal or limiting connes of our specic departmental and disciplinary mandates, often we have had to have our critical projects positioned within recognizable and tenurable taxonomies of scholarship. Generally these investigations have been received as discipline-specic: literature Foster, Yarbro-Bejarano, theater Muoz, Romn , history Chvez-Leyva, D.

In Jos Esteban Muozs Disidentications, performance is read through the texts of popular culture, photography, and politics rather than solely through the scripts of the theatrical stage. Jos Quiroga begins his text Tropics of Desire with Latin American literature and deftly dances through readings of La Lupe and Ricky Martin to end on a discussion of local queer U.

Latino politics. Whether in single-author texts or edited volumes on queer Latino sexuality and identity, traditional disciplinary boundaries become inadequate containers for subjects whose lives and utterances traverse the categories meant to contain them. In years past, texts such as Moraga and Anzaldas This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color or Ramoss Compaeras: Latina Lesbians An Anthology were already rejecting established academic and literary precepts by combining personal essays, poetry, multilingual writing, history, and artwork that theorized the texts of lived experience.

And much of the queer Latina scholarship that has responded to these creative intellectual movements has likewise been invested in the disruption of borders of genre, language, disciplinarity, and geography. Consider the article by Lourdes Arguelles and B. Ruby Rich, which critiqued the white gay medias accounts of the Mariel boatlift by analyzing migr enclaves in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mxico, and Spain, combining personal observation with Cuban cultural history and political and social analysis. Or more recently, Yarbro-Bejaranos essay Crossing the Border with Chabela Vargas, which traverses geographies of Costa Rica, Mxico, Spain, and the United States, combining close readings of visual images, lyrics, and musical history, to discuss the production and consumption of culturally gendered representations of the erotic.

As an object of study, queer latinidad demands a practice that moves across geographic, linguistic, and imaginary borders, not simply because it is more provocative to do so, but because the very disciplines that divide Latin American from North American, music from literature, politics from performance, or queer studies from Latino studies have been based on paradigms constituted through our marginalization. My own text attempts to examine what happens when discourses of identity I consider disciplinary instability not as an inevitable consequence of queer Latina subjectivity, but as the underlying premise through which the complexities of identity can begin to be understood.

Bodies and Landscapes The subjects presented in this text are all subjects-in-process, yet my understanding and analysis can only be read as an attempt to assign meaning to subjectivity in practice, a moment that is frozen in a text and reemerges as a uid substance through reading and interpretation. Like a series of photographs in a gallery, the chapters in this text bring bodies and landscapes together to explore how they work in unison to create the discursive effect of gures and shadows, stasis and movement, strategy and risk.

Yet I also want to leave a space available for the insertion of that something else that eludes language, the spark-spirit-chi-soul that gives cadence to that which constitutes the excesses of subjectivity, the mojo that avors rhizomatic intentions. The congurations are intentional and self-serving; other combinations are present even through their omission.

Each subsequent chapter approaches the task of naming spaces and practices differently. Each discursive space I depict carries with it a different opportunity to construct latinidad and queerness, to employ difference and contradiction as tactical interventions in the other mobility that is power Sandoval n. Like Quiroga, I nd that My interest is less in theorizing on the present state of gay studies than in moving about, creating a book that is a sort of traveling and movable object, one that shows and tells at the same time. I think this is the queer praxis that should animate gay and lesbian studiesthe space where theory and practice meet in order to open new possibilities 8.

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Yet this praxis also conditions a methodology that is grounded in an analysis of the demands each of these spaces places on the subject. Understanding how identity practices operate within these different sites requires a theory and practice that are both situated in a specic localized time-space framework and cognizant of the fact that each new combination of circumstances and readings will yield different interpretations.

Each chapter functions as a case study of localized sites and practicesspecic subjects engaged in negotiating a particular discursive space under a unique set of circumstances. The shift from one theoretical or disciplinary space to another is not seamless; indeed, the interstice, the discontinuity, the gap is precisely a site of textual production: the historical and ideological moment in which the subject inscribes herself Alarcn, Anzaldas In law, for example, subjects must conform to established rules that construct identity within a single-axis analysis that erases the intersectionality of mutually constructed discourses Crenshaw In the spastic spaces of the virtual world, imagination and language become the tools through which subjectivities are articulated.

In the Internet chatrooms of cyberspace, if you can write it, you can be it, changing your ethnicity, gender, age, measurements, even species with a keystroke. Within much postcolonial and poststructuralist criticism, space has replaced time as the most important ordering concept of reality Ashcroft et al.

Questions of space and place are accentuated in the analysis of performance and agency. It is the time-space matrix that is most useful to an analysis of site-specic practices. Such an understanding requires an analysis of the relationships within and between different localized discursive sites, different disciplines, different sites of knowledge production. Thus capital, heteronormativity, post neo colonialism, the AIDS pandemic, patriarchy, and the postnuclear age must serve as the contingent currents of ideology or the ubiquitous frame that informs any localized practice.

In Mapping the Subject, Pile and Thrift chart the contemporary theoretical uses and denitions of space, location, the subject, and metaphors of movement and travel through the texts of British cultural studies. They also re They argue that subjects are not preexisting but are derived in practice, a practice based on the specicities of place.

Particular contexts are crucial elements of the practical sense because dispositions have to be constantly tuned to the indeterminacy of each context, often in creative ways, so the rule never stays quite the same. In other words place is constitutive of the subjects understanding of the world. Their theorization of subjects derived in practice has resonance with Alarcns subject-in-process. They state that a subjects understanding comes from the continuous ow of conduct through time and space constantly interpellating social structure 3.

Alarcns analysis goes further, however, to claim that these interpellated social structures remain operative even if they fail to fully determine the boundaries of subjectivity or agency. She writes, the very contingent currents through which the geopolitical subject-inprocess is dislocated and forced into im migration will retain an irreducible difference that refuses to correspond neatly to the subjects account of herself and the theory we produce to account for her appearance Conjugating By focusing my study on discursive spaces activism, law, and cyberspace , I complicate facile constructions of location, community, and positionality.

These spaces have already been disciplined by the discourses that constitute them, and which create and cut off possibilities of identity practices. Each requires a different methodological practice for understanding the relationship between bodies and sites. Each chapter functions as a case study of a particular localized instance of subjects engagement with a particular set of discursive and ideological pre conditions.

The texts and sites I have selected are not meant to be either representative or exemplary. Instead, I have I begin with activism because most of the critical work on identity has focused on its political and strategic uses in the struggle to bring about social change.

Identity politics, for example, constitutes a body of knowledge with specic historical investments for marginalized groups in this country. Through an examination of its programming and cultural production, I reveal its seeming investment in both a deconstruction and a rearticulation of identity politics. I suggest that the agency is remapping identity as something that is in-process rather than knowable or denable through static categories.

The chapter on law forecloses the possibilities of playful crossings. Law is already set up as a rigid discursive site wherein performance and language practices are structured to create conclusions about identity. Here, the subject is continually being constrained by the mandates of legal discourses. The subject is obligated to perform, and performance exacts a price; the risk is carnal. The case under consideration involves a gay Brazilian living in San Francisco who seeks political asylum in the United States based on sexual persecution in his native country.

The real-life signicance of borders and nations is acted out in a courtroom drama while the narratives invoked resonate with other discourses of persecution and freedom, identity and practice, savagery and civilization. The chapter on cyberspace explores the possibilities and implications offered by self-constructed online identities. Cyberspace is assumed to be a place where identity is always under erasure; at the same time, it is a space that facilitates other formations and representations of identity.

The space of place is itself a precarious ideological construction. Attempts to situate each of these chapters within specic localized sites require vastly different congurations of spatiality. It also suggests how the spaces of community and neighborhood function as sites of ideological contestation.

For the chapter on law, place is reduced to the space of a courtroom, the exact site where the text of the narrative, the court transcript, is produced. Yet what Tenrios narrative chronicles is precisely the interstitial space of the refugee, a place that is neither here nor there but is nevertheless mired in narratives of north and south, the United States and Brazil, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro. The virtual space of the Internet is seemingly nowhere and everywhere simultaneously, yet it is accessed through the personal space of my home computer.

Each of these spaces creates and forecloses distinct identity and narrative practices. Discursive spaces are not autonomous; they are permeable and heteroglossic. They seep into one another, contaminating and enriching ideas and disciplines. There is a continual movement as individuals, texts, and ideas migrate across spaces, informing and transforming knowledge production. Although each of the spaces I present provides a unique set of conditions for the performance of identity practices, there is also an overarching relationship between these domains of knowledge.

Repressive laws work to create the political conditions for grassroots activism; activists utilize the tools of literature, theory, and art to counteract dominant representations;. The languages of activism, law, academia, and technology are never fully contained; instead they tunnel into one another, remapping the disciplinary terrains they encounter.

There is an extensive intertextuality between and among these spaces and their inhabitants, community activists who are also undocumented residents, lmmakers who are also students, administrators who are also DJs, academics who are also sexualized virtual beings and embodied social dreamers. My thesis contends that language practices exist in relation to the discursive spaces in which they occur. Therefore, my own narrative practice attempts to enact these shifts as it moves through the chapters from one discursive and disciplinary eld to another. Each discursive site under consideration, and each corresponding chapter, performs its own denition of queer latinidad.

As I document and enact the limits and possibilities each of these three spaces provides for the articulation of subjectivity, there is also a fourth discursive dimension at play: the language of academia itself. While at times I may appear to be pushing at its seams, this text remains immured by its trappings, bound to a set of investments that can never fully escape the hold of the institutions that authorize me as an academic subject. Rather than the facile disavowal or deprecation of the academic project, I want to suggest that it too can exist as a site of co-optation, collusion, resistance, and transformation.

While throughout these pages I may seem to be documenting how others maneuver the discursive spaces of activism, law, and cyberspace, this text is also the product of my own negotiation of the contours of academic discourse, my own modest attempt to reenvision the prickly practice of scholarly inquiry. Our scholarship on AIDS must be located at the crossroads of art and politics, life and art, and life and death. Activism is an engagement with the hauntings of history, a dialogue between the memories of the past and the imaginings of the future manifested through the acts of our own present yearnings.

It is an encounter with the ghosts that reside within and inhabit the symbolic and geographic spaces that shape our worlds. There are the great-great-grandmother ghosts, the crazed slave spirit that Patricia Williams nds embodied through the contracts of law; the ghosts of Grandmas Story that Trinh T. Minh-ha uses to redene the power of narrative and storytelling, the abuelitas of memoria that link back to bohos and revolucin.

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In the tracks on the native woman, we carry her bundles in language: the myths and metaphors that circulate in our breath. We live with the shadow of a man. As we wait for passage to the other side, we plan our revenge and chart strategies of resistance to head off the silence. I do the math and conclude that there are at least 16, ghosts in San Francisco that inspire the current manifestations of AIDS-related activism, a convention of spirits that inhabit the spaces of resistance and survival.

And the numbers continue to climb. These are not the only ghosts that haunt us. We have been summoned to the halls of death and charged with the ominous mission of bearing witness. The late Melvin Dixon, echoing the sentiments of others who came before and will leave after him, has entrusted us with the responsibility of memory and vision: You, then, are charged by the possibility of your good health, by the broadness of your vision, to remember us Activism implies coraje y corazn, a willingness to listen to the voices and interpret their traces within new worlds of meaning.

Yet ghosts are unruly subjects, unreliable informants. We cannot act or speak in their name because their intentions are a dimension away from our own; the words they whisper are colored with our own yearnings and knowing. This chapter is not about death and dying, it is about vision and remembrance, about being alive and kicking, vivito y coleando. Mortality simply serves to remind us of the work we must do.

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A new Christian millennium is here and as we turn the pages of someone elses calendar of history and watch with wonder as our own corporeal vessels transport us through the pages of another Cartographies of Queer Latinidad Getting to the work of changing the world is not without its own hauntings.

The paths of insurrection are well-trodden ground; the dusty layers of still visible tracks push through the surface of our political imaginations. Leaders, living and dead, have left us cartographies of insurgency. The comfort of a map is its tangibility, its promise of reaching the end of the journey. Maps are useful guides, but they are site-specic ideological constructions and are quickly dated by the earthquakes of history.

The postmodern turn has called into question the objective clarity with which maps are drawn, courses charted, ora and fauna categorized. The excesses of structuralism have shaken the grounds of base and superstructure, static hierarchies of power, and absolute truths. In its wake is a wild sea of possibilities and interpretations, the murky waters of ambiguity and uncertainty, the shifting tectonics of a spastic world.

Identity politics, as an organizing tool and political ideology, has historically had specic investments for marginalized groups in this country. Identity politics has contributed to the transformation of legal statutes and the establishment of a multicultural agenda, and has brought questions of visibility and representation to the fore. Oppositional strategies have driven us to seek out others whose struggles and experiences mirror our own political concerns and have galvanized the resolve to work collectively to bring about social transformation.

She argues that as marginalized others, essentializing ourselves within countersites thwarts cultural and political suicide. We must separate into decolonized third world spaces of our own making But are such spaces ever possible? Will we be able to recognize these decolonized spaces once we arrive? Or perhaps, more importantly, will we be able to recognize our newly conceived decolonized selves? She states that the discussions could not have been as open, as free, or as nurturing if outsiders, e. My own experience in groups labeled Latina lesbian collectives suggests that these slips resonate with differences.

Prez seems to acknowledge these differences, yet argues, [t]he process is not permanent or xed but instead somewhat dialectical, acknowledging irreducible differences within separate sitios y lenguas where the resolution of differences is neither desirable nor necessary Prezs project is concerned with a specically Chicana lesbian identity and imaginary, my own treatise is further complicated by the larger cat-.

Ironically, the question of who qualies as an insider emerges precisely in those sites posited by Prez where cultural afnity, free from outsiders, is demanded. Political groupings based on these categories have in fact become highly contested sites, splintering ever further into more specialized and discrete social and political units, based on more precise, yet still problematic, categories of identication and concomitant modes of denition.

Identity politics seeming desire to cling to explicative postures, unied subjecthood, or facile social identications has often resulted in repression, self-censorship, and exclusionary practices that continue to trouble organizing efforts and work against the interests of full human rights, creative individual expression, and meaningful social transformation. The incidents I record below illustrate the process of negotiation and rupture involved in the inner workings of groups based on sexual and cultural identication.

The group SalsaSoul Sisters, founded in in New York City, composed of Latina and African American lesbians, splits into two separate groups, one for Latinas, Las Buenas Amigas Good Friends , and another for African-diaspora lesbians, African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, as a result of debates around the presence of white Latinas, issues of language, and diverging political agendas. October Many Chicanas are present and ask that the name be changed to include Aztln.

This proposal is rejected, and the subsequent debate remains absent from published proceedings. After discussions that highlight the cultural afnities also shared between Latinas and others of African and Asian diasporas, the group decides that they can participate only if their identication includes the category Latina. March As in previous Encuentros, all the promotional and reference materials are published only in Spanish.

Although there is a large contingent from the Dominican Republic, Haitians and other Caribbean women from Francophone and Anglophone islands were never formally contacted. In the closing ceremonies, organizers list all the countries represented. Latinas living in the United States and Europe are counted as representing these countries rather than their countries of origin, ancestry, or afliation. Spring The Latina lesbian magazine Esto No Tiene Nombre, which originally began as the newsletter of the Miami-based group Salamandras de Ambiente, separates from the group over issues of sexual language and imagery, specically tatiana de la tierras lm review of lesbian sex videos.

One Salamandra, Mari Castellanos, who is also a Christian minister, wrote a letter to Estos editors, stating in part: Lo que me confunde de la revista es que a veces no s si estoy leyendo off our backs revista feminista nacional u On Our Backs revista lesbiana pornogrca nacional. No creo que sea representativo de los valores del grupo en general. Para impactar a la sociedad hacen falta ideas tajantes y posiciones valientes, no groseras. Castellanos 4 What confuses me is that at times Im not sure if Im reading off our backs [national feminist magazine] or On Our Backs [national lesbian pornography magazine].

I dont think it is representative of the values of the group in general. To impact society what are needed are specic ideas and valiant positions, not vulgarities. June After heated debate, much vocalized resentment over the presence and participation of a Spaniard in a Latino space, and gossip about the last time she had actually slept with a woman, she participates as both a member of the organizing collective and an exhibiting artist in subsequent exhibits in and A piece submitted for the erotica issue of conmocin, an international Latina lesbian magazine, is rejected due to the presence of a dick in the story.

The coeditors print both the authors response to her rejection and their reply, which states, [S]ome of the writings weve chosen have dicks, but the dicks in question are lesbian ones. May The altar and the cross remain in place during the length of the conference. An FTM member of the womens soccer team Las Diablitas is asked to leave after members of the team and the league complained that his newly emerging, hormone-enhanced, transmale body disqualied him from playing in a womens league. I recount these stories because they explicate the routine negotiations and implications involved in the formation of identity-based cultural spaces and suggest a means of gaining insight from within the site of contradiction.

As a lived practice, the strategic essentialism posited by Prez and others can become a messy and contentious organizing strategy that ultimately reveals the limits and problematic assumptions of identity politics. Furthermore, on a political level, recounting individual narratives within the private connes of identity-based groups is simply no longer sufcient as a means of effectively transforming the social conditions of our lives if we do not also reclaim a vocal public presence.

Judith Butler suggests that what is required is a double movement: the insistence on identity and the subjection of identity-terms to a contestation in which the exclusionary procedures by which those identity-terms are produced are called into question Discussion Furthermore, when we look beyond the matrix of race, gender, class, and sexuality in order to understand how identity is de Postmodernism, with its deconstruction of denitive social categories of identity, has often been attacked as a means of dismantling political projects of community visibility, collective action, and organized resistance.

It is feared that the postmodern turn will result in a nihilistic attitude of surrender to existing power relations, devoid of vision and political commitment. For many, it becomes impossible to conceive of political organizing without explicative narratives or denitive social positions.

In her oft-cited essay Foucault on Power, Nancy Hartsock writes, Why is it that just at the moment when so many of us who have been silenced begin to demand the right to name ourselves, to act as subjects rather than objects of history, that just then the concept of subjecthood becomes problematic? In fact, this right to name ourselves, however partial and circumvented, can take place only outside the tyranny of binary categories. More to the point, however, is Alarcns claim that To be oppressed means to be disenabled not only from grasping an identity, but also from reclaiming it.

In this culture, to grasp or reclaim an identity means always already to have become a subject of consciousness. The theory of the subject of consciousness as a unitary and synthesizing agent of knowledge is always already a posture of domination. Theoretical Subject Rather than a nostalgic yearning for a unied and transparent historical subject evidenced in Hartsocks posture, or the search for a position of innocence in relation to domination, I am interested in a different set of questions in How can we deploy power creatively and consciously in the service of radical justice?

And how effective are these strategies for bringing about individual and social change? The current AIDS crisis has produced a mountain of investigative research, behavioral studies, and statistical data organized variously around issues of identity and practices. Statistical information on incarceration rates, high school dropout rates, poverty, per capita income, and AIDS infection rates assures us that the socially constructed categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality continue to have material relevance; what it fails to account for are the social dimensions of gender and ethnicity Krieger and Fee Most of the epidemiological accounts are silent about the blight of inner cities, the decay of urban infrastructure under the Reagan-Bush administrations, unemployment, the drug trade, prostitution, and the harsh realities of everyday racism.

We cannot gain an adequate understanding of risk absent a real understanding of peoples lives. Understanding the relationship between social context and social agents, socially constructed categories and lived realities, is crucial if we want to impact society and its non citizens. Overarching categories such as gender tell Yet these statistics may be misleading. The relatively high rates of infection among Puerto Ricans seem directly related to the relatively high rates of infection among Puerto Rican women, and the seemingly lower overall infection rates of Mexicans living in the United States may in fact be related to the relatively low infection rates among Mexican-born women.

How do national identity, city politics, migration patterns, and local drug culture impact risk factors and prevention strategies? How do these variables inform and transform our understanding of social categories of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality? How does AIDS itself redene our understanding of the categories of race, gender, and sexuality?


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Alberto Sandoval-Snchez writes, If AIDS identity is understood as an ongoing process of identication and subjectivities-in-process, there will be a chance for transformation, social and political change. Ultimately, AIDS will be a fundamental component in the development of a new politics of difference, a new politics of afnity, and a better understanding of democracy and the possibility of transforming power relations. Through an examination of the agencys programming and cultural production, I document how it employs various creative strategies of organizing and intervention to enrich the cultural and political climate in the service of radical social change.

Rather than relying on personal interviews of clients, volunteers, or staff to document the work being conducted at the agency, I have chosen to examine the existing representations of Proyecto that have already made their way into the public sphere through yers, brochures, promotional materials, public speaking engagements, and published accounts. This methodological decision stems from my interest in bringing into focus the ways these subjects are continually involved in speaking back to contest and reimagine subjectivity through individual and collective self-representation.

Furthermore, by using archival materials generated by the individuals and groups I seek to present, I demonstrate in practice a methodological shift that foregrounds previously marginalized cultural production. I argue that Proyecto is involved in forging a new type of identity project based on ideas, afliation, and alignment rather than on static categories of race, gender, culture, or sexuality.

Its organizing and outreach strategies speak to the creative, transformative powers of reading and writing language and images as symbolic codes. Its texts engage the possibilities of refusing explication, without abandoning the political signicance of inscribing subjectivity. In the process, it is challenging cultural, social, and state apparatus conceptualizations of sexuality and culture. The dynamism of its organizing practices continually seeks to respond to the state of emergency that constitutes survival and resistance in the postmodern wreckage of a metropolis crumbling under the weight of capitalist gentrication, racialized dis-ease, and social inequity.

This street corner and its vectors have a Proyectos ofces are street-level; there are couches and magazines; music plays in the background. Its walls are papered with yers and art produced by students, volunteers, and supporters; a basket of condoms sits at the reception desk, generally staffed by one of Proyectos many volunteers.

Sex workers come in to pick up free condoms before running off to work, newly arrived immigrants come to nd out about the intricacies of creating green cards and social security numbers, multihued transgenders and intravenous drug users stop by for information on needle exchanges for drugs and hormones, the queer neighborhood homeboys and girls come by to irt or hang out with familiar faces. Sandra Ruiz, Proyectos youth health educator, comments, All kinds of people stop and look in our windows, including grandmothers, cops and kids. They ask, What is this place? Well, this is a place where I can be everything I am Ferriss A Proyecto ContraSIDA Por Vida is coming to youyou joto, you macha, you vestida, you queer, you femme, you girls and boys and boygirls and girlboys de ambiente, con la f and fearlessness that we can combat AIDS, determine our own destinos and love ourselves and each other con dignidad, humor y lujuria.

Nos llamamos a multigender, sex-positive, Multigender because we believe as the gay poet Carl Morse states,. I want at least different words to describe gender. Because there are at least that many ways of having, practicing, or experiencing gender. Different nombres, different cuerpos, different deseos, different culturas coming together to form a community dedicated to living, to ghting the spread of HIV disease and the other unnatural disasters of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and poverty.

In the tradition of lesbian and gay liberation creemos en our gentes right to desire as we please, to buscar placer when, how and with whom we choose. We believe that deseo transformar el mundo. We also understand that in order to examine our sexualities we must rst participate in groundbreaking discussions of diverse sexual practices: butch y femme, leather, bisexuality, etc. Neighborhood-based means we work within the barrio most identied with Latina lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y vestidasthe Mission as it is bordered by the Castro.

Our current location at 18th and Dolores and street-front ofces allow for easy access, for off-the-streetclientele and keeps our programming en el pulso of our target population. Our denitions are not rigid but rasquachi, our position playful, our efforts at empowering done with grace in the face of so much dolor.

Karl Lagerfeld Astrology Photoshoot, Harpers Bazaar – Star Sign Style

They resist my intentions. We only find true love once in our life. Our system detects whether DST was applied using the Olson timezone database. Dates are November, March

PCPV, calendar This mission statement, which is also referred to by its title Asi somos This is how we are , begins with the deconstruction of binary sexual and gender terms, a direct address to a multiply constituted constituency. It articulates these multiple enactments of identities through naming: you joto, you macha, you vestida, you queer, you femme, you girls and boys and boygirls and girlboys de ambiente.

The piece is published without indicating an He writes, the althusserian model of interpellation posits the hegemonic hailing of the subjectthe cop who screams hey you thus giving the you a you to bea state-derived identity, the subject for the dominant other in hegelian terms. I wanted to hail without such dominance. Asking the reader to read both the author and the authority of hailing calls into focus the constitutive context in which discursive resignication operates.

Through the process of interpellation, the text validates the existence of a subject that had previously been constituted through degradation. Brachos statements echo Butlers reworking of Althusser to suggest the way interpellation presents the paradox of offering both a promise of an already constituted identity submission to the law and language and mastery through resignication or the claim to misrecognition. Submission and mastery take place simultaneously, and this paradoxical simultaneity constitutes the ambivalence of subjection Butler, Psychic Butler writes, Called by an injurious name, I come into social being, and because I have a certain inevitable attachment to my existence, because a certain narcissism takes hold of any term that confers existence, I am led to embrace the terms that injure me because they constitute me socially.

The self-colonizing trajectory of certain forms of identity politics are symptomatic of this paradoxical embrace of the injurious term. As a further paradox, then, only by occupyingbeing occupied bythat injurious term can I Psychic In the context of a promotional text for a social service agency, this hailing offers jotos and machas not only a linguistic space to occupy, but a physical site as well: the space of Proyecto. Yet these words bring with them the haunted histories of these names and the memories of their previous enunciation. The narrative shadows of joto, macha, and queer carry with them traces of violence, familiar rejection, and cultural alienation even as they confer social existence and oppositional validation.

As troubling as this discursive resignication is to some, for others it becomes a rallying point for a discursive autonomy, which while ctive, becomes a tool through which narratives of shame, violence, and alienation are verbalized and countered. Shifting the pronoun from the you in you joto, you macha to the we in We believe recontextualizes these linguistic memories by situating them in a framework of a shared philosophy of sexual liberation: deseo transformar el mundo desire will transform the world.

Yet it also maps the contested grounds of community: Different nombres, different cuerpos, different deseos, different culturas coming together to form a community dedicated to living Different names, different bodies, different desires, different cultures. Cindy Patton suggests that [t]he term community has political valency in the United States, but fails as an analytic concept; for it cannot illuminate the shifting personal or network allegiances lived by individuals in face-to-face relations 7.

Brachos text reaches for the political valency of the term without imposing an adherence to preexisting identity categories; instead identity and community are constituted through political commitment and action. It asserts desire and the expression of desire as a basic human right and advocates dialogue on sexual practices as a necessary strategy in order to counter silence and repression.

The focus is on sexual liberation, rather than gaining equal rights under the existing regimes of state power. Furthermore, the text and the mission of Proyecto remain open, playful, continually in-process. Neither the Spanish nor the English is italicized or visually marked as different in the text, creating a visual seamlessness as it moves from one language to another. The insistence on code switching from English to Spanish, as well as from street vernacular to political theory, blurs the boundaries of these discourses.

Words such as xenophobia or rasquachi may not be equally accessible to all readers, yet the aim is not to create a text based on the lowest common denominator of language, but rather one that provides a diversely literate audience a point of entry into the text. Proyectos Spanglish poemmanifestomission statement reects a disinvestment in static concepts of language, culture, and gender and mirrors the agencys irreverent style of community organizing and education. Rather than focusing on AIDS as a discrete disease or as a single and primary health priority, Proyecto focuses on understanding and addressing the multiple social, economic, cultural, and spiritual dimensions that contribute to individual and collective health and well-being.

Proyectos approach to HIV prevention and service afrms its belief that as we near the fourth decade of the AIDS pandemic, handing out condoms and brochures is simply not enough. Instead, its work addresses the underlying issues of sexual and cultural shame and alienation, gendered and racialized social and sexual repression, and the historical consequences of colonialism and political disenfranchisement. Underlying Proyectos prevention agenda is the belief that giving people a reason to want to live, survive, and resist erasure is imperative if we are to combat the spread of HIV and promote health in our diverse communities.

Its work challenges basic assumptions that have guided much of mainstream AIDS prevention, namely, that all people want to live, that all of us are equally capable of negotiating sexual contracts, and that all of us benet equally from health maintenance. Gladys Jimnez-Muoz points directly to the ways these assumptions have ignored the social, cultural and sexual realities of Puerto Rican women. In her essay Arrancame la Vida! In contrast, Proyectos prevention programming directly tackles the ways health, disease, social and sexual power relations, and individual agency are socially and culturally constructed and the contradictions between sexual identity and sexual practices.

In addition to more traditional prevention and support services, such as street-level outreach, treatment and prevention counseling, and in-service training to schools and other social service agencies, Proyecto has also incorporated several innovative features into its prevention programming. These include a community forum series entitled Escndalo Scandal , a multicultural transgender support group, diverse multilingual rap groups, organized retreats, career guidance workshops, a soccer team for young women called Las Diablitas The Little Devils , and an ever changing offering of creative educational courses organized as part of Colegio ContraSIDA.

These activities directly target the conditions necessary for social health and well-being: self-esteem, meaningful social bonds, individual and collective consciousness through dialogue and education, personal and political empowerment skills, and the tools of critical inquiry.

Las Diablitas, for example, began as a Colegio class and later became established independently under the economic sponsorship of the bar Colors, although it still relied on Proyecto for resources, a meeting space, and a source of enthusiastic communitybased support. The vast majority of its members had never played soccer before joining and it is the only team in the league made up exclusively of women of color.

The emphasis of the team is on promoting young womens physical and mental health. One team member, Lisa Arellanes, writes, I think the most unique thing about us is that, unlike most womens sports teams who are for instance a bunch of soccer players who happen to be dykes, were a bunch of queer women of color who happen to now all be soccer players. We sort of use the sport to promote our identity and pride in ourselves. Its also been a great way to reach out to younger questioning women, since theres no stress around talking about identity and sexuality. Rather than sitting in a support group, having to check in, introduce yourself, or worry about being put on the spot, all we do is play soccer, hang out, and build familia.

If they need support later, they have seventeen fellow soccer players to turn to. Some of these events are congured around gender, age, language, HIV status, or culturally specic audiences; others are not. Some are organized exclusively by Proyecto; others are presented in collaboration with other community organizations.

The diversity of the food itself is also worth mentioning. The many dishes I have savored at Proyecto have included lechn asado, arroz con gandules, yuca con mojo, Mexican, Salvadorian, and Nicaraguan tamales, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, jerk chicken, lumpias, sushi, chow fun, and bagels. At these events, not only are participants and guests invited to eat, anyone who walks in the door is invited to grab a plate and help themselves, including those individuals who call that particular piece of sidewalk home. Proyecto has not abandoned the idea of creating identity-specic spaces as a means to interrogate the complexities of subjectivity; most of its programming is still designed by and for various congurations of queer Latinos.