Hello hello dear friends!
So this past week I had the humble privilege to interview my first participant who is also one of my dearest friends. Below is a very short incerpt of this recording. It is a rather lengthy interview and unfortunately I will have to hold on to it until I can figure out how to post it online, my dear amig@s I’m technologically challenged. So take some time now and read about the experiences and the life of this amazing mujer. Also, I cut the transcription at a finishing sentence so if you want to know what follows you’re going to have to stay tuned and listen to the recording once I have it up 😉
Dora la Exploradora: As a woman with multiple minority identities, how has being queer and Latina affected the way you view the world and your experiences?
Participant: I was just thinking about this the other day…I was telling someone that I feel like I don’t have a culture or specific group I could associate with because even in the Latino community there isn’t a queer culture. I remember when I was in Mexico, I was 16 or 17, there is an area where my family is from where a lot of gay men hang out. They are very effeminate, I could tell they were gay and this was before I was out, obviously, and I could totally relate to them even though I didn’t know them or know where those feelings were coming from. I felt bad for them because I could hear even my own family, my cousin, particularly my boy cousin, just saying mean things about them calling them jotos which is a derogatory term in Spanish. I remember explicitly telling him “ Don’t say that, that’s mean” even though I wasn’t out or know what my sexuality was -I knew that was wrong, like why are you saying that. So I feel like I have no community, no culture to associate with especially because I have kind of jumped in between both cultures. I go to Mexico and I don’t feel like I’m a Mexican per se because I’m so white-washed. I could speak Spanish fluently but sometimes I stutter over words or sometimes I can’t express myself fully like I do in English. The same goes for English, in American culture I’m obviously seen as an outsider and because I have gone back and forth I feel like I have lost or missed out on some crucial learning tools that I needed. So I’m kind of..it’s hard, I kind of learn as I go along and sometimes I do something that’s wrong and I don’t know that, so it’s just…hard.
Dora la Exploradora: So how do you feel like your experience is different from other queer women? So you kind of talked about being in these different cultures, can you clarify that a little bit for me? What do you mean these different cultures?
Participant: Well like I was saying, when I went to Mexico- the way I perceive Mexican culture as a female you are supposed to be feminine, and I’m not. I’m more masculine slash ambiguous I don’t know. Then you are supposed to be subdued to male authority so like my cousins, female cousins, they have their fathers and you do not ever go against whatever he says. Then if they have a boyfriend they can’t even go in their car because it is assumed that they are going to have sex in their car. And then they have to sit in front of the house to talk to their boyfriend, they can’t go far and then if they do they have to have a chaperone. So my other cousin has to go to prevent any premarital sex, they are very religious and they would always go to church. When I went over there I hated, hated being there because they would talk about god and their church was right around the corner. So I was there for about a month, so I had to go every Sunday. It would be preposterous for me to say “I don’t want to go to church” so I had to oblige and follow all of those expectations for my gender…
This was posted with the permission of the participant. She is aware that this interview is available to the public.
If you have any suggestion, questions, concerns, or constructive critiques about this interview let me know!
Dora la Exploradora