A review for National Coming Out Day
For the October issue of The Texas Observer, I had the good fortune to review Queer Brown Voices, a collection of essays and oral histories about Latina/o LGBT activism. And–new heights of coolness–the editor chose my review as the cover story:
As the editors of Queer Brown Voices note, and as I explain in the review, the anthology was motivated in part by a desire to remedy accounts that have relegated queer brown efforts to the margins of LGBT history, despite the fact that a number of Latinas/os were fighting for LGBT causes well before more widely known white leaders, like Harvey Milk, became active.
Here’s a bit from my review:
Queer Brown Voices… renders visible the challenges faced by Latina/o queer communities in decades past as well as their robust efforts to pave the way for a more just future. For Latinas/os, coming out had a real cost, one often paid on the family front. For Jesús Chaírez, who hosted the influential Dallas LGBT Latina/o radio show Sin Fronteras for more than a decade, coming out meant being excluded from family events. Luz Guerra and Mona Noriega discuss the prejudice faced by Latina lesbian mothers, who not only contended with the widespread belief that lesbianism might harm their children but also often lost custody because of it. (Read the whole review here.)
Thanks to all those who shared their stories in Queer Brown Voices and to the editors who brought those voices to the world. I’ll be proud for my son to read it and begin learning about this particular chapter in Latina/o and LGBT history.
Happy Coming Out Day.