Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-08-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'Out at CHM' looks at queer Latinos
by Yasmin Nair
2010-03-10

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The Chicago History Museum's Out at CHM series hosted its first Latina/o event March 4. Titled "Queer Latinos: Art and Change," the program showcased the work of two researchers, Lourdes Torres and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes who presented on their Chicago-based work in the Latino/a community. They were introduced by Ramon Rivera-Servera, an assistant professor in the department of performance studies at Northwestern University.

Torres is a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies and the director of the Center for Latino Research at DePaul University, and a board member of Amigas Latinas, a local organization for Latina lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning women. Torres' presentation was on Amigas and on its predecessor group, LLENA. She said that the impetus behind her work was to "document the efforts of Latina lesbians to define their identity in public spaces" as they worked to "negotiate national and ethnic identities and the diverse political histories" of members.

LLENA began in 1988 and lasted till 1992. Chicago, in 1980, was not a friendly space for Latina lesbians, who saw a lack of public spaces. In November 1988, more than 30 such lesbians gathered for a meeting to discuss ways to remedy the situation, and this gave birth to Llena. The name was an acronym for "Latina lesbians en nuestro ambiente" or "Latina lesbians in our space." "Llena" in Spanish also means "full." According to one member, LLENA was to convey the sense that the women felt "perfect in our own space [ with ] a sense of completeness." The group met every other Friday at Horizons, now Howard Brown Health Center.

Llena consisted of a mixture of all social classes, including professors and undocumented women, and the ages ranged from their 20s to their 60s. The bilingual meetings were described as chaotic and intense, and lasted as long as four hours. According to members, they always felt unwelcome at Horizons, where the staff were mostly white gay men who made them feel out of place. They were not allowed in if they came early and had to stand waiting outside in the cold. Eventually, José Lopez, executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, offered them that space and Llena moved its meetings there.

The group began putting out a bilingual newsletter, Lesbiana, in 1990. Torres said that its politics fit with the general trend towards a Third World feminist movement. According to Torres, LLENA's politics were coalitional and intersectional; one of its main co-sponsored events was the immensely popular International Women's Day Dance. The group eventually disbanded in 1992, but by then it had made its mark in establishing the need and the hunger for a public space for Latina lesbians, paving the way for Amigas.

By the 1990s, Chicago was a more welcoming place for Latinas and there was a proliferation of organizations and events for women of color. These included Affinity ( for African-American lesbians ) and the WACT ( Women of All Colors Together ) potlucks. Evette Cardona was among the co-founders of the latter, and she would become one of the co-founders of Amigas Latinas in 1995.

Torres pointed out that Amigas, which continues to this day, is unique for being one of the few that has sustained itself for more than a decade where most do not survive beyond two years. The group is currently a non-profit with over 300 members. Among the reasons for its success is that Amigas has become a leading educator and advocate for Latina lesbian issues and is explicit about the fact that Latinas are not a monolithic group; it addresses the needs of youth, older women and families. In that it echoes the words of a LLENA newsletter: "We must work towards an inclusive community as well as a pluralistic feminism."

La Fountain-Stokes, an associate professor of Latina/o studies, American Culture and Spanish at the University of Michigan, spoke about five queer Latina/o artists and writers based in Chicago: writer Achy Obejas, poet Rane Arroyo, director Rose Troche, Teatro Luna co-founder Coya Paz and performance artist Faust Fernos' of Feast of Fun. La Fountain-Stokes presented biographical sketches all five, showing how each recorded and negotiated complex issues of self and cultural identification as Latina/o in a city that is multiethnic and often strewn with tensions around race and ethnicity. Troche is most famous for her 1994 breakout hit film Go Fish, about a multiethnic group of lesbians living in the then-not-yet-completely gentrified Wicker Park. According to La Fountain-Stokes, Troche made a film that cannot be easily read as Latina unless viewers notice subtle references to her Puerto Rican heritage. He pointed out that most biographies and media pieces on the filmmaker downplay her ethnic identity. Quoting the scholar Lisa Henderson, he said that the film instead portrays a "modest lesbian utopia."

The question-and-answer session evoked praise and additional bits of ongoing Chicago Latina/o history. Cardona added that ALMA ( the Association of Latino Men for Action ) had been instrumental in helping to form Amigas. She also pointed to the existence of contemporary Latina/o groups like Dulce Palabras, a queer spoken-word ensemble.

Baim named Out

inaugural fellow

The Chicago History Museum is proud to announce its inaugural Out Fellowship awarded to Tracy Baim, publisher and managing editor of Chicago's largest chain of gay and lesbian publications, Windy City Media Group. This fellowship is presented in partnership with the Museum's OUT at CHM program. Out at CHM is celebrating its seventh year of programs focusing on the history of the Chicago LGBT community.

The Out Fellowship will be offered to an academic or independent scholar whose Chicago focused research supports the goals of the Out at CHM initiative. The fellow's work will aid the Museum in identifying potential LGBT collections, artifacts, and archives for acquisition.

Along with her work with the Windy City Media Group, Baim is the founding co-chair of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, editor of the published book Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, recipient of the 2005 Studs Terkel Award, and is an inductee to Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

Russell Lewis, the museum's executive vice president and chief historian stated, "Tracy Baim has been recognized by community leaders and our staff here at the Museum as an ideal and representative inaugural Fellow. We look forward to working with her over the next year." Baim will present her findings on a quarterly basis and develop a final presentation at the conclusion of her fellowship term.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

THEATER Latinx theater artists, front and center, The ALTA Awards 2018-08-01
'Carnaval of New Latinx Work' July 19-21 2018-07-18
Latinx Play Readings at Theater School at DePaul July 19-21 2018-07-10
Ramirez-Rosa blasts Latino Caucus expulsion 2018-05-23
Town hall examines Latinx issues 2018-04-11
ALMA winter salsa has dancing, awards 2018-04-04
ALMA town-hall meeting March 28 2018-03-28
ALMA's 'Winter Salsa' March 23 2018-03-22
LGBTQ town-hall meeting March 28 2018-03-21
ALMA's 'Winter Salsa' March 23 2018-03-20
ELECTIONS 7th Dist. Cook County commissioner candidate Angeles Sandoval on Latinx issues 2018-02-21
ALMA's 'Winter Salsa' Feb. 9 2018-02-07
Center's Torres receives Allstate scholarship 2017-12-20
Trans Latina opens successful Humboldt Park restaurant 2017-12-20
GLAAD reports LGBTQ representation shockingly low in U.S. Spanish-language media 2017-12-15
Another trans student sues Palatine district 2017-12-04
Chicago Gang Database Targets Black and Latino Men, New Research Shows 2017-12-04
ALMA recognizes recent award winners 2017-11-14
Reyna Ortiz book release highlights Vives Q event 2017-11-10
Hall of Fame induction strikes joyous notes 2017-11-09
ALMA honorary event Nov. 9 2017-11-08
Lin-Manuel Miranda featured speaker at Puerto Rico relief event 2017-11-06
ALMA honorary event Nov. 9 2017-11-01
Trans leader Reyna Ortiz on new book, being prom queen 2017-11-01
Windy City Times Job Fair Sept. 29 at Center on Halsted 2017-07-26
Vidal receives Rosa Parks award 2017-07-19
PRIDE '17 ALMA, PRAA host Pride weekend gathering 2017-06-28
ALMA/PRAA Pride event June 23 2017-06-21
Marga Gomez in "Latin Standards" June 2-3 2017-05-26
Trans film makes splash at Chicago Latino Film Festival 2017-05-16
Puerto Rican Cultural Center leads LGBTQ Education Delegation to Cuba 2017-05-08
Vives Q! holds Latinx LGBTQ panel and discussion 2017-04-05
LGBTs post several wins in municipal elections, Palatine school board victory 2017-04-04
Victory Institute Convenes Hundreds of LGBTI Leaders from Latin America, Caribbean 2017-03-30
PRCC hosts panel discussion featuring queer Cuban leaders 2017-03-25
Anti-trans forces try to influence April 4 Palatine-area school board election 2017-03-25
SAVOR Latinicity/Pata Negra 2017-02-15
ALMA stands against Pres. Trump's immigration, refugee executive orders 2017-02-02
ALMA announces Creating Change scholarship winners 2017-01-04
Dining news: 'Survivor' party, Revolucion dinner, Latinicity class 2016-12-13
 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.