“You must plunge your fingers / into your navel, with your two hands / split open, / spill out the lizard and horned toads / the orchids and the sunflowers, / turn the maze inside out. / Shake it.” – Gloria Anzaldúa

As I begin to confront my demons, I begin to go into detox. The toxins in my body, mind, and soul have begun to surface and evaporate. As the fog drifts off into the open world, my life becomes clearer. My joints will hurt, muscles will ache; I will feel drained as an old me is shed and a new me is birthed into existence. As I speak, my soul is being freed of the diseases known as oppression, patriarchy, and homophobia.

Mi sangre es maya y mi sangre es española. Soy de las montañas y los muelles de Guatemala. Soy hijo de la tierra. I am the image of one who has seen, felt, and perpetuated oppression. I am a product of mestizaje and a representation of globalization. I am a student learning from books, art, professors and mistakes.

As mestiz@s, we are chameleons constantly in tune with our facultad, the seventh sense of knowing. It is swift thinking and adaptation. Like a gardener, I tend to myself, cultivating my soil. To survive, I must know myself, touch myself. I must know my location in the many worlds I reside in, visit, and fall upon. I have leaped into the wound, away from the bridges that connects my borders in search of my voice, my place. As a witness of oppression, I admire activism through writing and expression.

I am a new person. Not detached from the old but an evolved form that embraces a Latino name, a mixed heritage, and a queer identity. This is the birth of my activism.

“Nepantla is a stage that women and men, and whoever is willing to change into a new person and further grow and develop … it is all very chaotic … it is a little bit of an agony you experience.” – Gloria Anzaldúa

I plunged into my nepantla. I am neck deep in all my chaos but I will not drown. As students, we are fortunate to have the forum to discuss taboos.

I was raised around three sisters and a powerful mother. I am not shamed for knowing my mind is feminine. I am proud to at least be a glimmer of my mother’s reflection.

I must trudge through the nepantla of my identity and survive in this chaotic world through the interstitial space. I am a negotiator, an ambassador for the Queer, the silenced, the oppressed, and the “other.” I stand strong in all my flaws and imperfections. I am satisfied and content in knowing that no matter what, I have the support of my mother and family. For those who feel they are battling oppression and homophobia: YOU are not alone. I slither in between the spaces of dichotomies and dualities. I am a Joto Guatemalan Feminist living in the Interstitial Space.

Este es mi encuentro.

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