This is food.
Someone asked me today why this mass shooting is a QTPOC issue and not just an issue for “all of us.” Thank you Juana María Rodriguez for putting some of the reasons why queerness and Latinidad (Afrx and otherwise) matter in this moment, why they are conjoined, why none of that means this isn’t still an issue for ALL of us (as opposed to either we grieve or you grieve and really, y’all, how ridiculous and heartless a scenario), and why this is about a mass shooting but also la cultura and our socialization in it, kinship, empire, borders, and much more:
“Dancing is often the first way we learn how to conform to the culturally defined rules around heterosexuality, to move our bodies in appropriately gendered ways. So there is a special significance to being able to dance Latin music in a queer nightclub, pecho a pecho (chest to chest), corazón a corazón (heart to heart), with whomever you want.For queer Latinos, and those still struggling to find which letter of the LGBTQ alphabet best fits them, Latin night at Pulse meant a whole lot more than just a place to dance and hang out with friends, it was a space of queer Latinx affirmation and possibilities….
“While gay bars have never really been places of safety, they have been spaces of bravery, activism, and resilience. Let’s remember that Latin night exists because many gay clubs have a history of racial profiling, excluding not just Latin rhythms and beats, but the black and brown bodies that carry them…
“In this moment of grief, let us remember the dead, but let us love and honor them for who they were. The vast majority were queer, a community that has a long history of being attacked, ridiculed, and targeted in this country; over half the victims were Puerto Ricans, economic refugees of the debt crisis perpetuated by vulture hedge funds, and their political allies in Congress; some were undocumented; many continue to live with the tragic afterlife of the AIDS pandemic, hoping that their health care would keep them well another day, and many were gender-variant and trans, folks denied the basic dignity of urinating in peace in public facilities….”