My name is Kareli Lizarraga and I am a Senior studying Political Science and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. I heard about this class through a friend and was very excited to take a class about queer studies since I have never fully addressed this topic. For me taking this class is especially important because my little sister came out to me and I want to learn as much as I can about how to create a healthy and open dialogue with her. Although I come from a very loving family, my parents are conservative in their ideas regarding sexuality and gender norms and as of right now I am the only person at home to whom my little sister can talk to regarding her sexuality. I want to be able to support my sister as much as I can when she chooses to come out to our parents. The feminism aspect of this class is also very important to me. I spent all of winter break listening to my otherwise extremely sweet and gracious grandmother make statements about how a woman cannot say she is a woman until she has a child.
I lived in California until I was 14 and then moved to Mesa, Arizona. Moving to a state as conservative as Arizona ironically helped me identify as a liberal. I decided to major in Political Science because I am very interested in learning how groups of people-African Americans, women, Latinos- can be disenfranchised in the political system especially considering the history of racism and intolerance that plagues the United States. I took a course on Race and Ethnic Politics that have made me realize how far we really are from attaining equality in this country.
This past semester I took a course on Mexican American/Chicano/a Literature and Cinema and we discussed the largely heteronormative portrayal of Chicano voices. Mexican American culture is still largely like this. Especially in the 1960’s protest movement where Black and Latino men used the campaign of “I am a man”, the voices of homosexual individuals and women have been largely ignored. I wrote a paper about Richard Rodriguez, a gay right-wing Mexican American writer where I discussed the feminine ways in which he portrayed Mexican and indigenous men. However, I feel like I have had little to no exposure to queer subjects in film and would like to learn more about this.
I really look forward to this course and seeing all of you next week!