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QUEER RICAN A Case Study in Sexual Identity Formation.

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Presentation on theme: "QUEER RICAN A Case Study in Sexual Identity Formation."— Presentation transcript:

1 QUEER RICAN A Case Study in Sexual Identity Formation

2 PUERTO RICAN QUEER DIASPORA “Generalized intolerance of homosexuality and increased awareness and organization within the LGBT community in the U.S. have led, particularly since World War II, to massive geographic displacements, especially towards large urban enclaves on both coasts” (La Fountain-Stokes 280). “General social intolerance of homosexuality in Puerto Rico has had an impact on specific expectations of behavior, at least as far as middle and upper-class individuals are concerned. These patterns of behavior include secrecy or nondisclosure of personal matters in familial, professional, and social environments as well as, at the opposite end of the spectrum, voluntary, encouraged, or even forced migration” (La Fountain-Stokes 280).

3 SEXUAL MINORITIES IN 1970S PUERTO RICO “Seen through the lens of nationalist, lesbians represented a foreign influence and were a threat to the nation and to the movements that claimed to represent national aspirations. Moreover, their sexuality was represented as a result of bourgeois decadence and was associated with U.S. feminism (Crespo-Kebler 205). “Many feminists attempted to distance themselves from positions that could identify them as lesbians” (Crespo-Kebler 206) – Alianza de Mujeres de la Comunidad de Orgullo Gay “Para estimular a las mujeres gay a liberarse—como gays y como mujeres.”

4 LEGACY OF COLONIALISM ON IDEAS ABOUT FAMILY “Legal marriage may also have been one of the ways in which Puerto Ricans distanced themselves from the racial and cultural inferiority ascribed to them in the U.S. Marriage was seen as a symbol of respectability and ‘whiteness’ and was identified with modernization and progress, while consensual unions, female-headed households and extended families were seen as backwards and associated with poverty and blackness” (Safa 35).

5 JORGE STEVEN LÓPEZ MERCADO Last November, his body was found burnt and dismembered. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act

6 LEGITIMATE PERIPHERAL PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE High school: Girlfriend and her friends The L Word College: Neighbor – Introduction to the community Roommate – Questioning her sexuality Friends in Puerto Rico – Who is not part of the community of practice? First serious relationship with a woman Coming out to sister and parents

7 I REALLY THINK THAT WAS A BIG, BIG PART OF IT… Seeing it on TV and seeing it be okay, and seeing, you know, what do lesbians do? How do you meet other lesbians? I was like, oh my God, I need to move to California or something!

8 DIFFERENCES IN ARTICULATION OF IDENTITY Sister – “You’re not gay, you just like both sides.” “También me gustan las muchachas.” “Siento que en Puerto Rico, my identidad ya está formada. Es otra parte de quien yo soy.” Gay Bisexual “Of course I’m bisexual, but it’s not my all-inclusive identity.” Puerto RicoUnited States

9 I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE REALLY HARD FOR THEM… Porque es una familia católica, de como que Cidra, de campo. Describes the friend who was not okay with her sexuality in Spanish.

10 RACIAL V. SEXUAL MINORITY – CODE SWITCHING Play clip – 1:10:40 “Struggling with their identity” – refers mostly to sexual identity “Tener que bregar con being gay on top of that…como que minority on top of a minority. I think that’s mucho, mucho más difícil.”

11 SELF-REFLECTION “Nosotros no sabemos hablar esto en español y no hay background para hablar de esto…y mucho menos en Puerto Rico.” “Toda mi historia en college fue en inglés. Y a veces lo pienso en inglés y lo siento en inglés porque fue donde lo pude expresar.”


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