According to former members, the meetings were intense, bilingual and chaotic and often lasted four hours or more. It also looks at the coalition-building politics that these groups established with other Latino and queer communities in Chicago. I think that Llena sought to bring together all these women with a range of needs and interests, but failed to address the different needs of its membership. Emily has professional experience in social work, teaching, and youth-programming management. Accounts of Latina lesbian organizing, and organizing by other people of color around the country, are sorely needed to expand the gay and lesbian historiography that exists by specifically articulating how race and ethnicity shape this vibrant history. Amigas Latinas Background As Tracy Baim documents in Out and Proud in Chicago, Chicago in the mid s experienced a proliferation of organizing by queer people of color. Amigas recognized that Latinas are not a monolithic group and has provided ongoing, targeted programming for Latinas with diverse interestsAmigas offers specific programs for youth, older women, families, etc. Her research interests include:
Unfortunately, LLENA was not successful at mediating all the differences within the group and at dealing with internal group dynamics but if offered an inspiring early example of Latina lesbian organizing. One former leader remembers coming up with the name after a few meetings. It continues to meet the challenges posed by differing agendas and shifting identifications. Women who participated in both Llena and Amigas Latinas share a sense that some lessons that were learned from this earlier attempt at Latina lesbian organizing in Chicago may have prevented similar issues from disrupting Amigas Latinas. Amigas recognized that Latinas are not a monolithic group and has provided ongoing, targeted programming for Latinas with diverse interestsAmigas offers specific programs for youth, older women, families, etc. The meetings, social and cultural activities, and parties attracted scores of women of many Latin American national backgrounds, lesbians of all ages from their early 20s to their 60s, married, closeted women, some who were just coming out, veteran dykes, professionals, undocumented women and lesbians from all social classes. Key goals of project: Her research interests include: Amigas has expanded its focus as a support group to also serve as a leading educator and advocate for the issues of bisexual, queer, and transgender people in the Latino community, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, and in Chicago as a whole. They complained of rude behavior by the men who ran the Center. While Llena disbanded, it clearly made its mark and paved the way for the emergence of Amigas Latinas in the mid s. The following website, including all webpages, links, images and videos, displays sexually explicit material. They offered and Amigas Latinas continues to offer a space for queer Latinas to meet other queer Latinas and to discuss issues that were central to our lives. LLENA was the first organization to offer Latina lesbians a space outside of a few bars where Latina lesbians felt welcome to call their own. Amigas has been successful at sustaining its organization through a strategy of offering a wide range of programs for the diverse constituents of the Chicago Latina queer community while it has also worked to bridge national and international issues through its work around immigrant rights. After a while, Llena members decided to find a place in one of their Latino neighborhoods so that the meeting would be more accessible to Latinas. Methodology Research methods include conducting oral interviews with leaders and members of both groups as well as studying the archival records of Amigas Latinas and Llena; Dr. Publications and Research I. According to former members, the meetings were intense, bilingual and chaotic and often lasted four hours or more. Document the collective efforts of Latina lesbians to represent, define and defend their identities and to create and occupy public spaces in Chicago Address gap in LGBTQ studies regarding queer Latina contributions to activism II. In Amigas Latinas achieved not-for-profit organizational status and has grown to over members. Some suggest that class, political and language issues ultimately were the reasons. In the summer of , several years after the demise of LLENA, Evette Cardona and a small group of Latina lesbians decided it was time again to bring together Latina lesbians. Amigas Latinas Background As Tracy Baim documents in Out and Proud in Chicago, Chicago in the mid s experienced a proliferation of organizing by queer people of color. She obtained her B.
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