Like many ethnic activist movements the Mexican liberation movement began sometime around the 1960’s. The LGBTQ resistance finds many of its roots in these ethnic liberation campaigns. Through their social rejection as a minority the Mexican community has had many ordeals in dealing with liberation and equality movements. However, because of their social stigmatization, the Mexican community is able to create a sense of solidarity that empowers them in their activism towards LGBTQ liberation and equalization.
The Long-Chavez article describes the oppression that the Mexican community has to bear. The multiple suicide attempts of 22 year old Yanelli Hernandez are used to quickly brings to light the suffering created by the immigration enforcement situation. However, the article also begins to define the many other oppressive problems faced by this community. Through Alex Aldana the author is able to reveal the identity crisis that a lot of youth have to perceiver on top of the documentation predicament. This credits Smith’s idea of how all oppressions are interlocked. Alex’s ‘double closet’ exposes the link between homophobic-created depression and that of being undocumented. This homophobia is simply another outlet that allows the further stigmatization of the Mexican community.
The intertwining of these depressions brings forth much resentment from Alex’s family as it does with other families in the LGBTQ community. But where does this resentment come from? It derives from the “…allegiance to patriarchal gender relations and to a system of sexual meanings that directly militate against the emergence of this alternative basis of self- identity”(Almaguer, 1991, p.545) that Chicano families require. A possible reason for this requirements existence is that the existence of one’s homosexuality bringing the sexuality of others into question (Smith, 1993). A common way to prove ones heterosexuality is to “…put down lesbians and gay men at every turn” (Smith, 1993, p.1130). This can be seen in the Mexican community through the creation of negative terms such as “maricón” and “puto” that tether gay men to the effeminate and negatively passive identity that resides in the Mexican community (Almaguer, 1991). The creation of distain towards the Mexican community through the opposition of immigration movement can led to further internal degradation of the Mexican people themselves.
However, though there is much resentment in attitudes towards the Mexican immigration and LGBTQ oppression, the article presents a possibility for hope. “Fortunately, there is an increasing body of work available…that provides an integrated approach to the intersection of a multiplicity of identities and issues” states Smith (1993). This work is represented in the support of those like Yanelli and Alex through supportive posters, sit-ins, and acknowledgments towards activist organizations like the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition. The article does brutally describe the effects of all forms of oppression associated with the Mexican community but it also describes the admirable productivity created in the support that they have for each other.
Because of the activism of this undocumented youth the correlation between immigration injustice and the injustice of LGBTQ community is undeniable. As the Mexican community steps away from the masculine/passive roles in homosexuality and the greater LGBTQ community they will be able to break through the depressive wall created by those roles and continue that positive virtue towards the concern of immigration.
Tomas, Alamaguer "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
Barbara SMith "Homophobia: Why Bring it Up?' from The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. ed Henry Ablelove et al New York& London: Routledge, 1993.Andrea Long-Chavez (2012, February 3) Undocumented Young Activists Talk About Depression And Suicide. Huffington Post.