Sex Salon: Queer/Latinx/Mexican


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies invites you to our monthly Sex Salon series. This month our featured panel is entitled “Queer/Latinx/Mexican”.

No RSVP necessary | Refreshments | Discussion to follow


Location: UC253

Our panelists, their presentation titles and abstracts can be found below:

REMY ATTIG (presenting remotely)
Literary Doulas: Queer Women and the Birth of Spanglish Literature

Spanglish, the hybrid English-Spanish language variety spoken by many US Latinx communities has been written for over 200 years, but literature in which Spanglish is the dominant linguistic variety has existed only for a few decades. An early text in which Spanglish begins to appear, though is not yet the dominant “language” of the text is Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza, (1987). Many cite Giannina Braschi’s Yo-Yo Boing! (1998) as Spanglish’s first novel; Susana Chávez-Silverman’s crónicas came later in 2004. These are not isolated cases; others have also published Spanglish literature during the period in question, but these three Queer women have been highly influential contributors to its emergence. Most notably these are the first authors to use Spanglish in prose rather than in poetry or theatre, an important distinction that I will explore in this paper. But the larger question I propose to raise is why Queer women seem to be so disproportionately at the vanguard of publishing in Spanglish. Some insights can be found through sociolinguistics, others may emerge from a consideration of Anzaldúa’s own understandings of the “borderlands” as the space that is not merely where two states meet, but where the atravesados—to use her term—live. Furthermore feminist and queer theories that question the traditional divisions of identity into neat categories that rarely represent reality may provide even more insight. The issue is intersectional, to be certain, and a paper such as this will likely raise more questions than it can possibly answer.

Magical Archives and Queer Nightlife

My doctoral research is based on the confluence of my personal experience as an organizer of queer women’s nightlife events in Mexico City in the mid 2000’s, and my academic formation in History, Geography and Information. For this Sex Salon talk, I am inspired by Dr. Kareem Khubchandani, a theatre scholar and drag performer known as LaWhore Vagistan, to address the relationship between imagined territories of magical creation such as Vagistan and Machistán, and the physical spaces of queer nightlife where drag shows and parties are actualized.I propose that said magical imagined territories constitute a queer archive, and sketch the relationship between it and actualized events in physical space as interdependent. That is, through my interpretation of what José Muñoz refers to as a queer utopian gesture, I will discuss how the bodies and affect that come together in space arise from a magical archive that envisions idealized territories.

Expelling Contagion: Sexual Diversity and Gender Dissidence in Mexico’s Revolutionary Left

This paper is derived from a dissertation on the history of sexual politics in the Mexican Left after 1968. Issues of sex and sexuality have been in an uneasy, if not antagonistic, relationship with the revolutionary politics of the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) and other left-wing organizations since their foundation. However, between 1980-1981, leftist parties such as the PCM enacted tolerance measures to reconcile the generational divide over the politicization of sexuality. Nevertheless, scandals and clashes over sexual rights continued well into the end of the twentieth century. In this paper, I compare two cases of expulsion from leftist parties and organizations: one from 1979 and another from 2001. Though, in the Mexican case, expulsions for sexual and gender dissidence were rare, both the gay militant Mario Rivas and the transgender activist Irina Layevska Echeverría Gaitán claim to have been kicked out of their respective organizations. Both cases, however, are difficult to verify due to a lack of formal documentation and the reliance on oral testimony. I compare both cases in order to highlight some of the epistemological tensions in oral history and the complex dynamics of sexual politics in Mexico’s leftist organizations.

The panel will be chaired by Juan Carlos Mezo González, PhD Candidate in History and Sexual Diversity Studies here at UofT

Location: University College, University of Toronto, Room 253

Due to the UC Revitalization Project Construction, there will be no wheelchair-accessible entrance to University College until further notice. Since the UC Quad is a high-traffic construction area during the project, the entry must be restricted as a safety precaution. We hope to have accessible entrance re-opened as soon as possible. If you plan to attend Sex Salon and need accessibility assistance, please notify the event organizers at to arrange an escort through the construction zone.

For information on all construction-related closures and a list of available entrances, please visit:

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