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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Homosexual Latinos Creating Spaces of Social Belonging


This essay explores the author’s notion of “participatory narrative” as it examines efforts to create a space of social belonging where diverse voices, particularly (homo)sexual Latino men’s voices, become audible and navigable to witness. In this vein, the author examines the development of digital interactive venues as one key method in providing access to histories that largely go unnoticed: histories that remain invisible to most audiences. Such venues allow Latino men to discuss their histories individually. At the same time, all participants bear witness to each other’s testimonies. The venue thus becomes a transformative site of healing and growth. The dialogue process becomes a form of participatory witnessing that enables one to come face to face with the ethnographic histories of (homo)sexual Latino men. The author argues that the notion of participatory narrative creates a space of social belonging where dialogue can transmit the potential of a social landscape where racial and sexual freedom resides.

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