UC Santa Barbara
Latinx Temporalities: The Queer Time of Spanglish, family, and Latinx futurity in Santa Ana, California, 2014-2017
- Author(s): Ferrada, Juan Sebastian
- Advisor(s): Casillas, Dolores I
- et al.
This dissertation analyzes queer and trans Latinx language practices in a community-based organization in Orange County (OC), California. Through these innovative language practices, Latinxs in the OC craft their own ways of articulating queerness, bridging chosen families and families of origin, and mobilizing the local community. This dissertation encompasses the areas of queer of color critique, queer theory, raciolinguistics, and the developing field of Jotería Studies, which merges women of color feminist and Queer Chicanx and Latinx Studies. Additionally, in examining queer language practices among Latinx communities, I consider how such practices open up new ways of thinking about family acceptance, sexuality, and Latinx time. I conducted a linguistic ethnography over the course of two years with this organization and conducted 20 in-depth interviews with members and their mothers. Based on my findings, I situate Spanglish as a Latinx practice that acts as a method to articulate racialized sexualities within Chicanx/Latinx family, visual, and community-organizing spaces.
The first chapter sets the theoretical framework for the dissertation by tracing the evolution and advent of the “x” in Latinx. I discuss how this re-orientating is an example of a larger queering of time that begins to open up possibilities for Latinx community building, empowerment, and crafting of a future (Muñoz 2009). Specifically, I explore how the politics of naming, the move to the “x”, Spanglish as a queer practice, and the re-claiming of historically derogatory terms offer us avenues to think more queerly about language in Latinx communities. Chapter Two explores more pointedly the queer politics of Spanglish as a queer language practice used to articulate affirming and empowering notions of queerness and othered genders and sexualities. I conduct a linguistic and visual analysis of the organization’s flyers and posters to demonstrate queer world-making through language. Chapter Three discusses queer and trans Latinxs childhood memories of queerness. This chapter explores how memory, embodiment, and affect impact the navigation of family structures in regard to non-normative gender identities and sexualities. The project concludes with Chapter Four, shifting the lens from queer Chicanx participants to their parents who are members of the support group, La Familia. Through in-depth interviews with these Latina mothers, I explore how these parents navigate their own coming out process as parents of LGBTQ folks, as well as how they become politicized through the space in the advocacy work they do in the local Orange County community. This interdisciplinary project uses a feminist and queer of color approach to the analysis of Latina/o/x linguistic and cultural practices in the context of queer time.