ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Left Bank Books presents queer Latinx activist Letitia Gomez, one of the editors of and contributors to Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o Activism (University of Texas Press, September 2015), who will sign and discuss the book on Thursday, July 11, 7pm at Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid Ave.). This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Queer Brown Voices from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

 

LetitiaGomezWindowIn the last three decades of the twentieth century, LGBT Latinas/os faced several forms of discrimination. The greater Latino community did not always accept sexual minorities, and the mainstream LGBT movement expected everyone, regardless of their ethnic and racial background, to adhere to a specific set of priorities so as to accommodate a "unified" agenda. To disrupt the cycle of sexism, racism, and homophobia that they experienced, LGBT Latinas/os organized themselves on local, state, and national levels, forming communities in which they could fight for equal rights while simultaneously staying true to both their ethnic and sexual identities. Yet histories of LGBT activism in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s often reduce the role that Latinas/os played, resulting in misinformation, or ignore their work entirely, erasing them from history. Queer Brown Voices is the first book published to counter this trend, documenting the efforts of some of these Latina/o activists. Comprising essays and oral history interviews that present the experiences of fourteen activists across the United States, including Puerto Rico, the book offers a new perspective on the history of LGBT mobilization and activism. The activists discuss subjects that shed light not only on the organizations they helped to create and operate, but also on their broad-ranging experiences of being racialized and discriminated against, fighting for access to healthcare during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and struggling for awareness.

 

The Guardian says, "While Queer Brown Voices is likely to become a seminal text in college and university queer studies programs, its conversational tone makes it compelling for a general reader as well." Bitch Media calls the book "filled with insights."

 

Letitia Gomez has been a Latina lesbian activist for over thirty years. She was a cofounder and executive director of LLEGÓ, the first national Latina/o LGBT organization.

 

Letitia Gomez will discuss Queer Brown Voices, answer questions, and sign books at this Left Bank Books event. This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Queer Brown Voices from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. Books for signing are available from Left Bank Books in advance or at the event. For more information, call 314.367.6731 or visit left-bank.com.

 

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