“Locas al Rescate: The Transnational Hauntings of Queer Cubanidad” (originally published in Cuba Transnational) offers a significant contribution both to transnational American Studies and to gender studies. In telling the insider story of the alternative identity formation, practices, and forms of “rescue” initiated by the affective activism of the Cuban American society in drag in 1990s Miami/South Beach, Lima resuscitates the liberatory gestures of a subculture defined by its pursuit of its own acceptance, value, and freedom. With their aesthetic and political life on a raft, the gay micro-communities inside Cuban America asserted their own islandic space, Lima observes, performing “takeovers” in and of parks and bars and beaches—creating a post-Habermasian sphere of public activism focused on private parts, saving themselves from AIDS, from the disaffection and disaffiliation of the right-wing Cuban immigrant community, and from the failure of their own yearning to belong, to be wanted, to be embodied as the figure of their compelling Cubanidad. Against the hegemony of the invented collective politics of the sacrificing immigrants whose recognition of the queer side of being (of a being constituted by identity loss) is yet to come, Lima suggests a spectral return—a personal and transnational reckoning of those whose lives the dream of freedom drowned.
Copyright © 2011 UC Santa Barbara. This article first appeared in Journal of Transnational American Studies 3:2 (2011), 70-103.
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Lima, Lázaro. "Locas al Rescate: The Transnational Hauntings of Queer Cubanidad." Journal of Transnational American Studies 3, no. 2 (2011): 79-103.