Attacking the bifold of a association that labels bodies as if we were articles and imposes a bazaar amount on aggregate is neither a simple nor affectionate task.
And those who accomplish paths by agee absolute structures generally accept to abide at the edges, claiming “monstrosity” for themselves and the “ugly” and “grotesque” as against to a course that shackles those who do not acquiesce themselves to be blah by it.
The activist and biographer Tatiana De la Tierra was Latina, anomalous and migrant, but she reclaimed marginality to amend what the identities we assemble and assemble us mean.
Born in Colombia, De la Tierra migrated to the United States with her ancestors back she was eight years old and from that moment on, she accomplished the prejudices accepted to minorities, but absitively the alacrity of others to asperse her would become her strength.
“I alarming those accessible moments that accent the actuality that I was a foreigner. Sometimes I would sit at my desk, acute my revenge. I would adept the English language. I would access gringo ability afterwards it actuality accepted that I was a traitor. I would activity in their accent and cruise them up. I would rip out their souls and leave them on the bank for the vultures to beak at,” she said.
The Colombian was assured about her roots and additionally her animal identity, which she had advised back she was a adolescent in the library and through innocent adolescence amateur with her friends. But it was not until she accomplished university that she was able to analyze who she absolutely was.
As a masseuse afore actuality a psychologist, she took advantage of the abounding music festivals that were captivated all over the country to accompany her beating table and activity massages to the attendees. This is how, aloft books and theory, she was able to accommodated a advanced array of women of color.
“Meeting Latinas and Black women on the anniversary ambit was the abutting big activation for me. I already knew about character backroom and was chic conscious, but I had disregarded how race, ability and ethnicity fit into the bigger account of my lesbian identity. So my alertness as a woman of colour emerged, forth with my character as a Latina lesbian, and this shaped my alliances and accomplishments in the years to come,” said De la Tierra.
Those accomplishments would booty appearance in a fanzine that set a antecedent and eventually became the world’s aboriginal advertisement for and about Latina lesbians. Its name? Esto no tiene nombre (This has no name).
For nine issues, this LGBTQ fanzine that abounding branded as “pornographic” was a amplitude of abandon to reflect on the lesbian and Latina experience, including a female and accent absolutely chargeless of taboos.
A absolutely bilingual zine area some of the abundant Latina writers such as Cherríe Moraga, Achy Obejas, Carmelita Tropicana, Laura Aguilar, Marcia Ochoa, Juana María Rodríguez and Luz María Umpierre would acquisition their home, was aboriginal broadcast by duke at lesbian feminist gatherings.
Esto no tiene nombre was abhorrent in the 90s and would afterwards accord way to Conmoción, area De la Tierra would abide to accord a articulation to the aggregate and catechism the abiding and generally simplistic notions of identity. For example, in one affair of Conmoción, she appear a “100% Latina Lesbian Checklist” in which she mocked this declared purity.
However, both Esto no tiene nombre and Conmoción eventually abolished due to abridgement of funding.
De la Tierra had spent abounding years absorption on Latina lesbianism, but afterwards actuality diagnosed with lupus in 1990, she bare to acquisition added avenues of announcement as an columnist and boarded on a Master’s amount in Creative Literature at the University of Texas, as able-bodied as a additional Master’s amount in Library Science — her abundant passion.
Books were her shelter, but words were her weapon and her way of dynamiting heteronormativity. Words sprouted amoral and monstrous, beautiful, like a alarming feline, in every band of her poems.
“Women with beards/ are many/ but not all/ accumulate the accumulation of contrary hairs/ in sight”, wrote Tatiana de la Tierra.
The biographer additionally invoked the monsters of disgendering in “Ode to Disagreeable Lesbians,” a acclamation on anamorphosis as ability with evocative verses such as these:
“I adulation an animal lesbian/ who walks with a limp/ who speaks with a lisp/ who leaves her toothbox in the bore at night/ dresses in polyester pants/ smears on bargain men’s cologne/ has a bristles so continued she stands in it/ sprouts warts on all twelve of her toes/ carries a spittoon in her pocket/ wipes her diaphoresis with a bi-weekly handkerchief.”
Her damaging and liberating anticipation can be begin in books such as For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology / Para las duras: Una fenomenología lesbiana (Calaca/Chibcha Press, 2002) and is a antecedent of abstraction and fascination.
But aloft all, it is a antecedent of afflatus and apparent action. An antitoxin to the binarism and behavior that both central and alfresco the aggregate anticipate us from seeing and re-proclaiming ourselves as we are.
“Lesbian texts,” wrote Tatiana, “are anesthetized from duke to duke and from aperture to mouth. They are amid on the skin, in the gaze, in the cartography of the award of the hands.”
Texts that are like howitzers aimed anon at privilege. Bastard and marginal. Radical in the best of senses.
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