i used to be a latina

November 10, 2010

i used to be a latina
then i became a lesbian.

it takes some time, you know?
to reconcile…and stay a while
with that thought:

i am a latina lesbian
i am a latina lesbian
i am a latina lesbian

i have to say it out loud every day because the two seem so antonymous to each other.
like they’re always fighting, always at odds… como aceite y vinagre, oiste’?

latina.

lesbian.

you hear it all the time.  “you are not living up to your latina expectations sen~orita.
you are a lesbiana.  you are the absolute fall of all that is latina.
you have roles to play.  you have expectations to meet.
you’ve broken the first of the latina commandments, “you shall never love your women, more than you love your men.”

sometimes it’s heavy.  like cuarenta libras de platanos.
an internal tug of war between thousand-year-old expectations and… me.

shame creeps up, as my self knows better than to believe in this mierda they keep feeding us… i walk around carrying my ancestor’s guilt tattooed to my skin with indelible ink that tries to poison my spirits.
my lesbian self tries to make nice with my latinidad.  she brings her an olive branch of love and acceptance.  but this latina is so resistant to accept what seems to come so naturally to her.  she tries to fight it.  pushing and pulling.  shoving and holding. son un~a y carne…they are intertwined, interconnected and interdependent.

and so i sit with it.  and get to know it.  and take it out for dinner.  and hold the door for it.  and walk with it… until i can enunciate it, “la-ti-na-les-bi-an.”  and then i let it go.

i let it go… to set me free.

and it is at that moment that i embrace my truth:

i am a latina lesbian.

one does not negate the other.  they do not subject each other to a less than place… no.  the two, bailan un son.  as they embrace each other and dance to the rhythm of truth.

and it is not that latina lesbian defines what i am, it is that it celebrates something greater than me. it celebrates the struggle of two historically oppressed communities, where silence, and anger and hurt took place but where love still prevails. it celebrates a beautiful herstory of too many lifetimes left untold,

yo soy el eco de mil batallas internas.
la nostalgia de mujeres que se amaron en silencio.
yo soy un intento a la libertad,
un grito a la autonomia.
que por ser lesbiana y ser Latina
yo soy el, “que diran?”
yo soy el sudor de tu frente en accion..
la que pelea batallas externas
reclama su libertad
y segura de si misma, celebra su verdad.

yes, i am a latina lesbian.

this is not a choice… it is my hearts beat.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2008 ©

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One Response to “i used to be a latina”

  1. Carol Says:

    Uno de mis favoritos.. thanks Sarahi…

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