Katie y Anya

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¿Cuáles son los aspectos que definen la identidad y experiencia queer en latinoamerica?

(What are the aspects that define the queer identity and experience in Latin America?)

he Downtown School – Seattle, WA, USA

In our Spanish 4/5 class we are analyzing queer films and literature from Latin America.

We’ve watched two films: Todo Sobre Mi Madre and XXY. Both films explore the nuances of the LGBTQ+ experience in South America, namely the implications of social stigma and impacts on family life.

We have also been reading Las Malas, a memoir by Camilla Sosa Villada detailing her upbringing and early adult life as a transgender sex worker. As we read this text, we’ve been paying close attention to the role of societal norms in embracing a queer, disabled, or otherwise atypical identity.

Individual Work

We have each written analytical essays about Todo Sobre Mi Madre and XXY.

Katie’s essay about TSMM discussed the impacts and effects of a queer identity on a typical nuclear family, and how the right to live as a genuine iteration of yourself interacts with heteronormativity and child-rearing.

Anya’s TSMM essay explored the uses of performance – theatrical, social, and sexual – for self expression and the construction of community. Through a discussion of the similarities between life as an actor and life in a gendered world, Anya considered the ways in which binaries restrict and oppress human potential and creativity.

Katie’s XXY essay wrestled with the catch-22 of gender confirmation as an adolescent. Often, children are not given the agency and ethos to make life-long decisions about their gender expression, and are instead forced to grow up within the confines of a strictly binary identity. Katie’s essay briefly discussed the idea of how society should relinquish the ideas of irresponsibility and irrationality associated with youth, and instead trust a person, no matter their age, to determine their own identity without compromise.

Group Work

For our final group work, we plan to create a presentation about a topic from Las Malas that as of now, we have not yet chosen. This page will be updated with the details of our final work when it is completed.


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