A Need for Culture Change: GLBT Latinas/os and Immigration
6 FIU L. Rev. 269 (2011)
23 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2011
In conversations about Latina/o immigration, such as the one that took place at LLEADS #2: The U.S. Immigration Crises: Enemies at Our Gates or Lady Liberty's Huddled Masses?, there is one issue that we tend not to address. There exists a Latina/o immigration cuento normativo (normative narrative) that obscures and denies an entire group of Latinas/os. This cuento normativo is not only insufficiently attentive to, but is downright erasing of GLBT Latinas/os. In this Article, I want to urge participation in a movement for cultural change within the various and varied comunidades Latinas (Latina/o communities) to embrace a new, inclusive cuento normativo about Latina/o immigration that eschews the erasures and exclusions effected by the existing cuento normativo.
The embrace of a new, inclusive narrative is not an easy task, particularly in light of the cultura Latina's (Latina/o culture's) rather negative views of, even derision towards, GLBT identities and people. In this work, I will reveal what I hope is compelling information that will take us in the direction of a new cuento normativo, and I will do this in three parts. First, I will provide a glance into the condition of life in law and society for GLBT persons around the world, with a special emphasis on the Latina/o experience, which I will contextualize in the culture. Next, I will present the two primary contexts in which the issue of immigration arises for GLBT Latinas/os: bi-national couples and persecutions in their home country. In this part, I will briefly consider the U.S. historical exclusion of GLBT persons in the immigration context and the possibilities presented by the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Finally, I will share some positive trends that are evident in the regional and international contexts that can provide the framework for the creation of our nuevo cuento normativo.
Keywords: GLBT, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Movement, Latino citizens, immigration, gay rights, gay marriage, Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), sexual orientation, gender identity
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