A Critical Reader
Edited By Yolanda Medina and Ángeles Donoso Macaya
This book is an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any individual, group, or organization interested in issues that affect Latinas/os in the United States in current times.
Women’s Bodies, Lesbian Passions
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes
Like the majority of Puerto Rican gay and lesbian writers in the U.S.A., I left because of persecutions—even from the police—for my sexual preference.
—Luzma Umpierre, interview with Marie José Fortis
At times lesbian women have found Puerto Rico to be a place of intolerance or of limited opportunities and have migrated elsewhere as a form of liberation or escape. This is very much the case of Luz María Umpierre, a groundbreaking poet, scholar, and human rights activist, who left the island in 1974 and has lived in the United States ever since.1 The analysis of her life and work, especially of her production from the 1970s and 1980s, can offer us valuable insights as to what might be some of the particularities of queer Puerto Rican women’s migratory experiences, and how these experiences change according to historical moment and general social trends. Umpierre’s production is in many ways a reflection of the times she wrote in and of the dominant strands of feminist and nationalist Puerto Rican politics that were articulated in the 1970s and 1980s and that she helped to define but also challenged and rewrote. The author forms part of a strong and very vocal feminist movement, one that had very diverse ideas about the best solutions to women’s problems, including empowerment, recognition, validation, willful scandal, transgression, the violation of taboos, or even (for some women) lesbian separatism; this movement was also profoundly...
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