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Trans Latinx Migrant Geographies

Authors: Ale Romero*, Stanford University
Topics: Social Theory, Gender, Migration
Keywords: transgender, latinx, migration, death
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In her 2013 essay, “Plantation Futures,” Katherine McKittrick begins with a recounting of a cemetery in Lower Manhattan where throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, thousands of enslaved Africans were buried. McKittrick details the process of excavation, and memorializing the dead (1). While McKittrick’s work is specifically about anti-blackness and captivity, her work urges us to think about how life and death are manifest in spatial arrangements and specifically in the city scape. In this presentation, I think through how trans of color life and death constitute trans of color spatial arrangements. That is, how are trans life and trans death constitutive of a trans of color spatiality, and how, if at all, does this potential analysis help in “addressing race, space, and premature and preventable death”? (2). Moreover, how does doing this work highlight “a spatial continuity between the living and the dead, between science and storytelling, and between past and present”? (2). To do this work, I think with and through the positioning of an ancestor worship altar in the living room of an organization for and by trans Latina migrants. I suggest that in order to understand the spatiality of trans of color existence we must consider trans of color death simultaneously with life, and death as always already racialized and gendered. Moreover, I highlight the ways that trans Latina migrants’ practices of care extend beyond life.

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