Thursday, February 23, 2012

Immigrating LGBTQ Space
Juan Lomeli

The intersectionality of oppression is coherent. Because of this many people seek out freedom and liberation from such oppression. To many, the achievement of this liberation is seen as a journey whether physical, spiritual, or psychological. The point of any journey is to travel from one area to a certain destination creating the idea of regions, zones, and, more importantly, space.  However, just like any journey, not all destinations and spaces are physical and as such are susceptible to creative molding of people while still having the supportive characteristics of a physical space. Because of this people are able to create space though websites and video blogs, such as LatinoScholarAMO, to advocate the liberation of the immigrant, the LGBTQ, and all other intersecting oppressed Latino communities.
The tale of Mexican immigration and its liberation movements is one filled with journeys. Countless stories can be told of one’s hardships in the immigration process and people gather in larger numbers in many different places to find support through such hardships. This support can be found in physical terms, such as public and private spaces, but it can also be found in boundary publics like the LatinoScholarAMO YouTube channel. In short, boundary publics are (Gray, 2007) not “… tangible buildings or specific streets…” but rather (Gray,)’… strategies for space-making and constitutive processes for the queering of identify”. The LatinoScholarAMO channel constructswith boundary publics as it creates a metaphysical space somewhere in the Internet to promote the human rights of immigrants. It also allows those on the channel to confidently present their sexual and gender orientation to bring to light the intersectionality of the Latino community and every characteristic of oppression that the community undergoes.
But why do so many in the Mexican community, of whichever sexual orientation, decide to immigrate to the United States in the first place? The answer to that question has a lot to do with the idea of difference in space. As stated by Moraga “A new generation of future Chicanos arrives everyday with every Mexican immigrant. Some may find their American Dream…”(1993). This dream is created with the promise of modernity and tolerance through the importance that “…imagery of immigration and social mobility is to the greater symbolization of citizenship in the United States…’ (Gray, 2007). This social mobility is what those immigrating yearn for as they leave their old country and  ‘rural’ spaces. Mexico is seen as the rural space as many of its “cultural integrity”(Moraga, 1993) and traditions are found in “oppressive male-conceived idealizations” (Moraga, 1993). As rural is seen as ‘quiet (and isolated) premodern (traditional) moments frozen in time by local defiance of change” (Gray, 2007) it is no wonder why so many are so desperate to leave ‘rural’ Mexico for a ‘modern’ and ‘urban’ United States.
The idea of space is used as a vehicle by the immigration movement to express their thoughts and ideals in a safe and confident manner. LatinoScholarAMO is able to use the boundary place it created to advocate the human rights of those immigrating and all of the intersections within the Latino community. No matter what reasons one chooses to emigrate from their country they must not forget the importance of understanding why we choose to immigrate and what it is that is influencing that decision.

Mary L.Gray. 11/2/2012. From Wesbites to Wal-mart: youth, Identity Work, and the Queering of Boundary Publics in Small town, USA. Retrieved form:

Cherrie Moraga. “queer Aztlan: reformation of Chicano Tribe” from The Last Generation South End Press, 1993.
LatinoScholarAMO’s Channel[Alex Aldana]

1 comment:

  1. Life is dynamic in that it is constantly changing and allowing for many doors to open. Immigration and moving to a new area can be risky but can also bring better results. The fact that there is endless “space” in which starting a new life is possible leads to many LGBTQ people taking up that opportunity, especially ethnic groups. Many people immigrate to the U.S. in order to achieve the American Dream and live better lives; the U.S. is known for the opportunity to succeed and have comfortable lives more so than in any other country. This is most likely what attracts LGBTQ individuals in terms of “space.” There is a larger LGBTQ community in the urban rather than in the rural. In Almaguer’s article, he explains that “homosexuality is construed very differently in the US and in Mexico.” In the U.S., one who commits homosexual acts will automatically lead others to question his or her sexual identity. In Mexico, homosexuality is basically prohibited because everyone is expected to carry out his or her gender roles. As with any immigration process, occupying a new space in order to feel safer is an arduous but can be a rewarding experience.
    The idea of a virtual space is important as well. YouTube channels that are created by and target the LGBTQ audience provide a safer area and a “space” to conjugate with one another. Virtual spaces such as videos and blogs bring attention to issues that the public does not know about. For example, in the hate crime incident in downtown Santa Barbara, only a few people actually witnessed the incident. However, due to videos and evidence posted on the Internet, many more people knew about it. LGBTQ people, in particular, after seeing the video are more cautious of their surroundings when going out at night. Virtual spaces allow us to gain knowledge of the world around us and can provide an inclusive environment.

    Works Cited:

    Almaguer, Tomas. “Chicano Men: A Cartography of Homosexual; Identity and Behavior.” In Social Perspectives in Gay and Lesbian Studies. Ed. Peter M. Nardi and Beth Schneider, 1998.