Friday, July 20, 2012

La Virgen y El Put'illo

Every day, I make a prayer to La Virgen de Guadalupe, the matriarchal figure for many Latinos. I am, admittedly, not very religious in the similar ways of my grandparents, whom also left a linage of adulatory and unclaimed, beautiful children. However, I am superstitious where I lack strict and vigorous urges to pray rosaries. Superstitious because I feel a greater, super force in my soul which I cannot explain. Whether these are Orisha, souls of my descendant, the transformative auras of my beloved ones or La Virgen- I am always uncertain of the exactness of my superstition. I am certain about one super power, the feminine divine. Not the linage of Mary Magdalene or the lady version of Jesus, exactly, but rather the celestial power of the vagina.

Motherhood could easily be mistaken of what I believe, after all, vaginas have been used in my Latino culture for the sole purposes of recreation, but rather the symbolism of the flesh. A christian god has been made man, by men, and so a refusal of a male hierarchy would be a feminine divine- an extraordinary resistance. Feminism is a good name but on superstitious plane. Perhaps like how early 1900s' Anarchy was a capitalist resistance rather than it's own dissected theory. It is my religion that we can transform our bodies, use our bodies and our souls to create resistance and contradictions. Like some, my identity started transforming with my mental and physical genitalia; but, if we could claim our bodies and souls, we can a living and spiritual resistance.

Back to the terrestrial, I use my body to liberate my queer soul. This goes beyond getting fucked in opposition to the chains of gender conformity I was born into. I use my body as an expression of who I feel I am, who I want to be. I am lucky to be raised male, I feel male, yet I become more secure and comfortable in who I am in the way I treat my body and set the boundaries of how others may use my body. My soul is a blend of femininity/masculinity and balancing that with my flesh is something I do in defiance of being uniquely male. I also use other souls and auras to confirm my being.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by other souls with mixed body expressions. Most transgeneras in my Latina community identify very differently from one another, but most admit, to me, they had an evolution of their initial boy identities. Like me, most were raised with the gender indoctrination that either forced a boy gender, or most of us accepted it as a game of theater and improvisation. Many of my trans-familia began their journeys with and end in mind. Much like how manhood is modeled, womanhood or a female identity was something that had been modeled through their families, religion and sex.

My family is a narrative of women abused, beaten, cheated to; yet, my family's women were also strong, outspoken and leaders in their communities. There were also those that settled in passive leadership roles- a typical mother of my clan- and those that struggled for their own self-reclamation. These were the uncommon divorcees, community organizers and my queers like my sister. They didn't often used call themselves feminists, but independents. I also seek that model of independence through how I claim my body, voice and how I use my male privilege.

Catholicism has the ability to make men believe they are masters of the world and its inhabitants, yet slaves to their god. Now, I've never really bought into this theology that would've made me turn around and claim anything from my sisters- a chancla would've stopped this, regardless. Fortunately, I had La Guadalupe as the counterculture. Where tales of kings, masters and misogynists seemed farfetched, La Guadalupe seemed real and plausible. I had her ingrained as a spiritual symbol of resistance (historically against Spanish colonialism), compassion and acceptance. Virgin Mary was different form La Guadalupe; Guadalupe was a spirit that became the face of the oppressed. It was a transition before the eyes of mezitos and indigenous. She wasn't an European queen cloaked in a pancho, rather a fully transitioned indigenous spirit that didn't wear gold, she was cloaked with nature and the sky. In a sense, she wisely chose how to reclaim her celestial and earthly privileged.

La Virgen also embodies purity- I embody desire. In a safe space of queer Latina sex workers, I remember coming to the conclusion that passive sex was linked to my gender, it didn't make me a man, but it made me feel like the man I wanted to be. At that particular space, my trans'migas also connected to that sentiment in their affirmation of gender and identity. Like how my amiga had put it, Soy una mujer libre hasta que cobro mucho-I am a free woman even if I charge a high rate- meaning to me that we can use sexual boundaries and reclamation to define us or in spite of.

I, too, am a putillo, a bottom bitch, and who I am is with that claim and regardless off of it. I am fortunate to have been inspired by strong self-affirming women, transgeneras and feminists that kick the can of oppression and claim their beings against governments and oppressors. It is extraordinary and beyond earthly- it is the feminine divine.

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