Prof. Juana María Rodríguez (Gender & Women’s Studies) wrote a powerful NBC News op/ed entitled, “LGBT Clubs Let Us Embrace Queer Latinidad, Let’s Affirm This.” An excerpt:
While gay bars have never really been places of safety, they have been spaces of bravery, activism, and resilience. Let’s remember that Latin night exists because many gay clubs have a history of racial profiling, excluding not just Latin rhythms and beats, but the black and brown bodies that carry them.
Everyday undocumented queer Latinxs live in fear that any Latinx gathering, queer or otherwise, becomes another opportunity for an ICE raid. When a drag performer sings Celia Cruz’s indomitable cover of “Yo Viviré,” “I Will Survive,” she is also calling forth the memory of the many transgender women of color who have been murdered by hatred and injustice.
The devastating tragedy in Orlando is not the only attack that the queer Latinx community has endured. When we party in the club, when we refuse to let hate for the many dimensions of our identities determine our right to pleasure, or to each other, we affirm that we are a community dedicated to living.
Read the whole piece here.
(Photo above: Several hundred supporters show their support for the Orlando shooting victims during a march to Sasscer Park Sunday night in Santa Ana. Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register — 6/12/16)