2022 Latina/x Feminisms Roundtable
Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University
Queer Latina/o/x Organizing
My research centers on documenting the history and politics of queer Latina/o/x organizing in Chicago and nationally. While often seen as a monolithic group, the Latinx community is diverse and encompasses multiple nationalities, generations, classes, and languages. At different historical moments and for a variety of reasons, members of this community have coalesced around LGBTQ issues. I discuss community building models and strategies utilized by Chicago based Latina lesbian organizations, LLENA (1988 to 1992) and Amigas Latinas (1995- 2015). They constructed a translengua that could bridge linguistic and other differences and used pláticas as a queer transformative praxis that provided women community, fellowship, intellectual growth, empowerment, and healing. Then I introduce a new project that seeks to document the history of LLEGÓ, (1984 to 2004), the first national organization advocating for Latinx lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. All of this work focuses on queer Latinxs as change agents and active subjects of a multiracial history of grassroots organizing that has yet to be written.
Lourdes Torres is Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University. She is the editor of the journal, Latino Studies and the co-series editor of the Global Latin/o American Series of the University of Ohio Press. Her research and teaching interests include sociolinguistics, Spanish in the U.S., and Queer Latinidades. She is the author of Puerto Rican Discourse: A Sociolinguistic Study of a New York Suburb and co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, and Tortilleras: Hispanic and the Latina Lesbian Expression. Recent articles are published in Meridians, Lesbian Studies Journal and KALFOU: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies. She has a forthcoming book on Spanish in Chicago and is currently working on a history of LLEGO, The National Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization (1987 to 2004).