Women of Color and Queer Women

"A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared." -Anzaldua

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua was a queer, feminist, Latinx scholar in the late 20th century. Her greatest work was Borderlands/La Fronteras: The New Mestiza, which was about her life growing up on the Mexico-Texas border. Her work often concerned mixed identities; being mixed race and a mixed sexuality. 

Anzaldua was born in 1942 in the Rio Grande Valley. Despite being a low-income woman of color in the mid 20th century, she got a Bachelors in English, Art and Secondary Education from Pan American University (now UT Rio Grande) and an MA in English from UT Austin in 1968.

At the turn of the 20th century, feminism was working seriously to be more inclusive and consider the different experience of queer women and women of color and how previous feminist movements had overlooked these marginalized groups. Anzaldua's writings led the movement into the 21st century and she continued to read and write until her death, as is evidenced by these notes from assumedly the late 90s or early 2000s. 

These notes, written by Anzaldua, give us insight into her feminist thought and how she formulated her idealogies. The notes are on the chapter "Cultural and Historical Influences on Sexuality in Hispanic/Latin Women: Implications for Psychotherapy" from the book Latina Realities by Olivia Espín. These notes detail Latina spiritual stereotypes women face, specifically from the Catholic Church, therefore making women submissive and subservient to men. As a lesbian, Anzaldua obviously falls outside of these parameters and muses on how Latina women are forced to reckon with their sexuality. 

SOURE: Anzaldua, Gloria Evangelina. Handwritten notes on chapter "Cultural and Historical Influences on Sexuality in Hispanic/Latina Women" from book Latina Realities (1997). Box 164, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua Papers, 1942-2004, LLILAS Benson Latin American Collection.

21st Century: Gloria Evangeline Anzaldua