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Queer Ricans_x000B_

Queer Ricans_x000B_: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora

Volume: 23
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Queer Ricans_x000B_
    Book Description:

    Exploring cultural expressions of Puerto Rican queer migration from the Caribbean to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, Lawrence La Fountain–Stokes analyzes how artists have portrayed their lives and the discrimination they have faced. Proposing a radical new conceptualization of Puerto Rican migration, he reveals how sexuality has shaped and defined the Puerto Rican experience in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6777-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction: On Queer Diasporas and Puerto Rican Migration Histories
    (pp. ix-xxviii)

    Sexuality is a key factor shaping and defining Puerto Rican migration to the United States.¹ It is as relevant as economic, political, and social factors. Its impact on immigrant experience is as significant as race, sex, gender, class, physical and mental health, education, religion, and ability or disability. The longstanding, historical refusal to acknowledge the centrality of sexuality to migration is rooted in prejudice and ignorance, as well as in conservative, reactionary, sexist, misogynist, and homophobic politics. The purpose ofQueer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diasporais to challenge this and transform Puerto Rican migration studies paradigms by...

  4. Chapter 1 The Persecution of Difference
    (pp. 1-18)

    In order to fully understand queer migration, it is useful to acknowledge the profound violence and intolerance that marks some (but not all) people’s lives, most notably those of individuals whose divergent sexual practices or gender identities provoke widespread criticism and censure.¹ That this is the case should come as no surprise, as daily ritualized performances of gender and sexuality are one of the most common spaces for the negotiation and establishment of social and cultural norms, of what is perceived or understood to be adequate, acceptable, or desired.² These performances generally entail the enactment of heterosexual virile manhood and...

  5. Chapter 2 Autobiographical Writing and Shifting Migrant Experience
    (pp. 19-63)

    For some gay men, Puerto Rico is (or has been, at specific historical moments) a space of impossibility, frustration, and fear, a situation that has led to migration, especially to New York. Such is the case of Manuel Ramos Otero, widely heralded as the most important openly gay Puerto Rican writer of the twentieth century, who left Puerto Rico in 1968 explicitly because of his sexuality and the discrimination he experienced.¹ Unlike more recognized and celebrated closeted writers such as René Marqués and Luis Rafael Sánchez, Ramos Otero always thematized his experiences and publicly acknowledged his homosexuality, a posture that...

  6. Chapter 3 Women’s Bodies, Lesbian Passions
    (pp. 64-92)

    At times lesbian women have found Puerto Rico to be a place of intolerance or of limited opportunities and have migrated elsewhere as a form of liberation or escape. This is very much the case of Luz María Umpierre, a groundbreaking poet, scholar, and human rights activist, who left the island in 1974 and has lived in the United States ever since.¹ The analysis of her life and work, especially of her production from the 1970s and 1980s, can offer us valuable insights as to what might be some of the particularities of queer Puerto Rican women’s migratory experience, and...

  7. Chapter 4 Visual Happenings, Queer Imaginings
    (pp. 93-130)

    Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Rose Troche, and Erika López are three diasporic Puerto Rican queer women artists who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s. They work in visual mediums that are strongly associated with popular and mass culture, but that also have important experimental, vanguard traditions: film, video, and television, in the case of Negrón-Muntaner and Troche, and cartoons, illustrated novels, and performance in the case of López. Located at different moments in places as diverse as New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the three have garnered much attention and have had significant critical reception. While...

  8. Chapter 5 Nuyorico and the Utopias of the Everyday
    (pp. 131-168)

    The lives of racialized, frequently poor or working-class Puerto Rican migrants in the United States, especially those who are queer, are often marked by social exclusion, discrimination, and stigma. Grassroots queer Puerto Rican cultural workers such as the dancer and choreographer Arthur Avilés and his first cousin, the performer and stand-up comedian Elizabeth Marrero have systematically attempted to transform and change this situation and empower people in their communities.¹ New York born and Bronx-based, Avilés and Marrero offer potent counterarguments to the recent uninspired disenchantment expressed by Frances Negrón-Muntaner in her bookBoricua Pop(2004) and to other negative assessments,...

  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 169-172)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 173-192)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 193-224)
  12. Publication History
    (pp. 225-226)
  13. Index
    (pp. 227-242)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 243-244)