Me siento : transgender Latinx lives and belonging in the 21st century

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Padró, Jowell

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The body facilitates a sense of (not) belonging for transgender Latinx subjects. Looking at contemporary cultural productions of transgender Latinx identity, I unpack the ways in which transgender Latinxs engage with their bodies to “belong” in the everyday. Seeking to contribute to contemporary dialogue surrounding transgender bodies within conceptualizations of latinidad, Chapter 1 critiques representations of transgender Latinxs in contemporary media, such as Mala Mala, Strut, Sirena Selena, and the Salt Mines. I focus specifically on the ways in which the body is engaged with and spoken about by each character, highlighting the tensions and complexities of feeling, belonging to, and embodying both Latinidad and transgenderness. In Chapter 2, I create an exemplary short story titled “Barrio Queer” to illustrate the racialized and cis/gendered dimensions of conceptions of (trans) gender embodiment and Puerto Rican identity, the connection to the divine, national belonging amongst diasporic subjects, and feminist introspection of masculinity. Finally, I conclude that the everyday bodily negotiations, tensions, and practices transgender Latinx subjects experience to foster a sense of (not) belonging to both gender and latinidad are crucial inclusions to narratives and representations of gender embodiment.


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