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Queer Migrations: LGBTQ Migrant Latinx Women Re-Creating Home(s)

  • Author(s): Borges, Sandibel
  • Advisor(s): Chang, Grace
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines the experiences of migration, displacement, and homebuilding among LGBTQ Latinx migrant women in Los Angeles, California and Mexico City, Mexico, including migrants who returned to Mexico by choice or deportation. I conducted oral histories in both cities, while also doing participant observation at various events, gatherings, and conferences.

Both, Los Angeles and Mexico City are significant for this research. On the one hand, Los Angeles has some of the highest numbers of Latino immigrants in the United States, where neoliberal policies have increased the exploitation of immigrant labor. On the other, Mexico is one of the countries of origin of many Latinx migrants in the United States that has been directly impacted by transnational neoliberal policies, resulting in more internal and transnational migration. Historically, migrants from rural areas relocated to Mexico City, which currently is the destination of many U.S. deportees.

In this dissertation, I demonstrate that LGBTQ imaginings of community are essential in creating survival strategies from displacement. Such imaginings may mean finding home with family but also with other transnational migrants and/or LGBTQ individuals. Queer migrant Latinx women do not only create spaces of belonging in familial terms, but they engage in making new affective spaces based on collective experiences of surviving systemic violence, including racism, exploitation, xenophobia, anti-LGBTQ sentiments and policies, sexism, and classism.

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