Performing Queer Latinidad highlights the critical role that performance played in the development of Latina/o queer public culture in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s, a period when the size and influence of the Latina/o population was increasing alongside a growing scrutiny of the public spaces where latinidad could circulate. Performances—from concert dance and street protest to the choreographic strategies deployed by dancers at nightclubs—served as critical meeting points and practices through which LGBT and other nonnormative sex practitioners of Latin American descent (individuals with greatly differing cultures, histories of migration or annexation to the United States, and contemporary living conditions) encountered each other and forged social, cultural, and political bonds. At a time when latinidad ascended to the national public sphere in mainstream commercial and political venues and Latina/o public space was increasingly threatened by the redevelopment of urban centers and a revived anti-immigrant campaign, queer Latinas/os in places such as the Bronx, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, and Rochester, NY, returned to performance to claim spaces and ways of being that allowed their queerness and latinidad to coexist. These social events of performance and their attendant aesthetic communication strategies served as critical sites and tactics for creating and sustaining queer latinidad.
"Creatively and rigorously investigates the copresence of queerness, class, gender, ethnicity, country of origin, and history in bracing, highly nuanced examinations of the micropractices of queer Latina/-o performance. The analyses powerfully and compellingly demonstrate the essential roles performance plays in the construction and potency of a diverse, generative public sphere: as a way to forge solidarities, explore liberatory possibilities, and choreograph resistance . . . a significant contribution to dance, performance, and theatre studies, to critical ethnography, and to transnational American and queer studies."
—Judith Hamera, Texas A&M University
"Centerstaging an intersectionality not explored until now, Performing Queer Latinidad inaugurates a paradigm shift in Latina/o, Queer, and Dance Studies . . . In capturing historically situated bodies that fleetingly occupy the dance floor in pleasure, take over the streets in protest, and perform identity in their fierce queer cultural acts of survival and celebration, the author allows us to reconsider how to critically map everyday material practices, lived embodied experience, and affective expressions of convivencia diaria. It is a magisterial piece of work. Ahora Sí Bailamos!"
—Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez, Mount Holyoke College
Cover: Angel Rodriguez-Diaz, Antifanz: Forget the Alamo . . . Yellow Rose, July, 2004. Courtesy of the artist.