Viviana: I want my Queer and Undocumented to be friends

Today after 10 years i finally remembered the first time i was attracted to a girl.

She was a boyish Russian gymnast compeating in the 2000 sydney Olympics. I would stay up to 2 am to watch her do her twirls. I remember feeling so confused about her, and I suppressed that feeling for 10 years of my life.

However when I was in high school most of my friends were gay. And my mom would often ask me ‘Are you gay?’ I would be like ‘no mami, just my friends are gay.’

I had heard people call my friends ‘maricones’ and ‘marimachas’ way too many times. That’s fags and dykes. And i was already considered for being undocumented. I didn’t want to be a pobrecita for being undocumented and marimacha.

My queer and undocumented identities are intertwined and in consistently in conflict with each other. In my experience Queer has fun. Queer has the privilege of being loved. It’s sexy, it’s exotic, it’s trendy. And it has plenty of resources.

Undocumented is considered a leech of the government. Undocumented can barely find a job. Undocumented can barely keep being in school. Undocumented is scared of cops. And Undocumented is very jealous of Queer.

I often have to leave one of the two at home. And I want my Queer and Undocumented to be friends. Events like this are very important because I get to bring my identities together, and be whole again.

‘No papers’ ‘Shache so gay.’ (points at buttons).

My name is Viviana, I’m undocumented, I’m queer, and I’m out.

This is the third in a series of posts about coming out as queer and undocumented. Viviana’s speech was recorded on June 07th, 2011 as part of United Latino PrideWeek, in an event co-organized by IYJL, and the Association of Latino Men for Action. Check out the previous post: “I’m Queer, I’m undocumented, and I’m out”, Today Means Complete Liberation”

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Madeira_Island says:

Sometimes it can be difficult to be gay. It is often frightening to think how other people view you. This post has given me courage to face life as it is.

BTW, excellent idea to include the audio, it portrays a pride that is hard to convey in the written word alone.