A Futurity of Jotería Studies and Higher Education Research: Epistemological and Theoretical Shifts

Roberto Orozco

Gloria Anzaldiia (1987) stated, “[Chicanos] need to acknowledge the political and artistic contributions of their queer. People, listen to what your Joteria is saying” (p. 85). With these words, Anzaldiia (1987) asserts the call to center the knowledge and experiences of queer Chicanx/a/o and Latinx/a/o2 people. In this chapter, I address Anzaldua’s call by asserting the need for higher education scholarship to engage with queer Latinx/a/o knowledge and experiences. I propose the examination of a Latinx/a/o and queer identity as a move toward a futurity3 of bridging Joteria Studies with the field of higher education. I examine several contemporary works of Joteria Studies and draw parallels between queer Latinx/a/o experiences outside of academia to explicitly describe the hypervisibility and invisibility of queer Latinx/a/o people in higher education. Although there is an increase in scholarship that brings forth the examination of queer Latinx/a/o people in higher education, primarily college students, there exists an opportunity to build a foundation for Joteria Studies in higher education research. Lastly, I offer theoretical and epistemological shifts that elucidate the operation of Joteria Studies in and with higher education research.

This chapter’s intention is to continue the conversation on Joteria as central to the broader liberation movement of the Latinx/a/o community. It engages with the disposition of race, ethnicity, and sexuality within a historical hegemonic understanding of Latinx/a/o college students in higher education. Specifically, my focus in this chapter is to expand on the limitations pervading higher education scholarship on queer Latinx/a/o college students. Therefore, through this chapter, I hope to cultivate conversations and facilitate new directions of inquiry and practice through an offering of Joteria Studies in higher education.

Tracing the History of Joteria and Joteria Studies

In some Latinx/a/o cultures, words such as joto and jota are targeted derogatory terms primarily for gay or effeminate men (Madrid, 2018). Other terms like mar-icon (Gúzman, 2006; Vidal-Ortiz, 2011), mariposa (Pérez, 2014a), tortillera (Gaspar de Alba, 1993), pájaro (Peña, 2004), and marimacho (Molina, 1994) are words used in different Latinx/a/o cultures that imply sexualities that deviate from heterosexuality. And, while many of these words are derogatory in their history, many queer Latinx/a/o people have reclaimed the power in these words. For example, Alvarez and Estrada (2019) provide an etymology of the word joto, as it relates to the larger theoretical and epistemological conceptualization of Joteria. Joto in the Spanish-language means “sissy” or “faggot,” and Joteria comes from a historical understanding of how effeminate men were ostracized in the prison system of Mexico City (Alvarez Jr. & Estrada, 2019). Furthermore, the suffix -eria implies the act of a place where something is “made or bought” (La Dragonaria, 2013, para. 2). For example, la taquería is a place where people engage in the act of making or buying tacos (La Dragonaria, 2013). Given the etymological history, the word Joteria is understood as a space where individuals act on a jotx, jota, or joto identity. For this reason, Joteria is a way to reclaim the power in these words for queer Latinx/a/o individuals. Furthermore, the examination of Joteria contributes to the interdisciplinary field known as Joteria Studies.

Joteria Studies genealogy positions itself in early works of Queer of Color and queer Latinx/a/o scholars, activists, and artists. The field of Joteria Studies is explicit in its borrowing from Black and Chicana lesbian writers such as Audre Lorde, Cherrie Moraga, and Gloria Anzaldúa (Hames-Garcia, 2014) to provide intentional methods for examining queer Latinx/a/o realities. The history and institutionalization of Joteria Studies is rooted in the resistance of patriarchy, heteronormativity, queerantagonism, and transantagonism by queer Latinx/a/o scholars and activists (Alvarez Jr. & Estrada, 2019). The call to build a formal organization around Joteria Studies came to fruition at the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) conference. Many of its queer members demanded the organization to provide a space where queer Latinx/a/o individuals could build community (Tijerina Revilla, 2014). The development of a consortium of individuals committed to Joteria Studies brought together scholars, activists, artists, and community members committed to intersectional liberation. Two years later, the inaugural Association for Joteria Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS) Conference took place at the University of New Mexico in 2012. Following this conference, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies published a dossier focused on Joteria Studies. In this dossier, scholars and activists interweaved their own experiences and the concept of Joteria to raise theoretical, epistemological, and analytical considerations for research and practice (Hames-Garcia, 2014). Since then, scholars, activists, and artists have been intentional in centering Joteria subjectivity and Joteria Studies in their work.

Jotería ... More Than Sexual Desires

Joteria is much more than an equivalence to social identities of queerness. Banales (2014) asserts Joteria as a form of resistance rooted in “a conscious, collective, self-affirming identity that seeks to challenge Western hegemony” (p. 159) and “honors personal experiences and recognizes that they can be a basis for speaking from and theorizing one’s subjectivity in the process of undertaking scholarship, creating knowledge, and participating in cultural production and social change” (p. 162). Several scholars of Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Performance Studies frame queer Latinx/a/o individuals as propelling the imaginative toward the visceral journey of Joteria (Anzaldúa, 1987; Decena, 2011; Muñoz, 2009; Rodríguez, 2003). For example, Muñoz (2009) conceptualizes queemess as “a structuring and educated mode of desiring, allowing us to see and feel beyond the quagmire of the present” (p. 1). In line with Joteria’s grounding, queerness is a reality about a future and hope yet to be seen and felt. Furthermore, queer Latinx/a/o scholars articulate Joteria as a perfonnativity of the amalgamation of being and doing Joteria, beyond the ascribed limitations of sexual desire (Anzaldúa, 1987; Muñoz, 2009). As such, Joteria is a “concrete possibility for another world” (Muñoz, 2009, p. 1) and what Anzaldúa (1987) vividly describes as being in Nepantla, a third space of possibility. Although Nepantla derives from Anzaldúa’s personal narrative as a lesbian Chicana living on the U.S.-Mexico border, it transcends beyond her translation. Nepantla is a place where tensions arise, dismemberment of the psyche takes place, messiness and contradictions exist, and where transformation and healing manifest (Anzaldúa, 2015).

Moving beyond the sexual desires as a connotation of queerness, Joteria is an “embodiment and spatiality” of the self (Rodríguez, 2003, p. 5). It is not merely about being a joto, jota, or jotx. It is also about acting on an identity predicated on queerness. A queer identity is not always explicit, but can be implied by the queer ascription others place on queer individuals. Decena (2011) calls this the tacit subject, defined as “the subject not spoken but can be ascertained through the conjugation of the verb used in a sentence, what is tacit is neither secret nor silent” (p. 19). In the Latinx/a/o community, the tacit subject’s sexuality is simultaneously invisible and hypervisible at the assertion of patriarchal heteronormativite standards. For example, in the infamous Primer Impacto interview5 with Mexican singer Juan Gabriel,6 who was described as a feminine and flamboyant personality assumed to be gay or queer, the reporter persistently inquires about Juan Gabriel’s sexuality. Juan Gabriel’s sexuality was always a topic of conversation in many of his interviews and within the Latinx/a/o community fanbase. At the same time, his sexuality became a backdrop to his artistic talent and hrs mujeriego ways; although, this did not dissuade individuals from ascribing what they read as a queer individual.

In the context of engaging with Joteria Studies, Joteria becomes more than an identity predicated on sexual desires signifying a “cultural, linguistic, and political” analysis moving beyond a queer identity (Alvarez Jr. & Estrada, 2019, p. 863). It is important that scholars, researchers, and practitioners do not minimize Joteria to solely another way of identifying queer Latinx/a/o individuals and to merely a sexual identity. Utilizing Joteria requires the intentional engagement with what it means to live on the borders of queerness and a Latinx/a/o identity. It requires that researchers, scholars, and practitioners ask questions, such as, “What does it mean to identify as Joteria?” “How does one act on a Joteria identity?” and “In what ways can Joteria elicit possibilities by bridging the production of knowledge through the mind and body?”

Emergent Themes in Queer Latinx/a/o College Students in Higher Education Research

Over the last 20 years, there has been an increase in scholarship illuminating narratives of queer Latinx/a/o college students. Scholars from the fields of Education, Higher Education, and Ethnic, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Cisneros, 2019; Duran & Pérez, 2017; Orozco & Perez-Felkner, 2018; Tijerina Revilla, 2009, 2010; Valenzuela, 2018); Psychology (Eaton & Rios, 2017; Rios and Eaton, 2016); and Sociology (Peña-Talamantes, 2013a, 2013b) have contributed to this growing body of literature, examining queer Latinx/a/o college students. Despite this growth of narratives, there still exists an opportunity to bring to the forefront the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality for queer Latinx/a/o people in higher education. This work primarily centers on issues of coming out, perceived support from family, peers, faculty and staff, sense of belonging on campus, navigating multiple marginalized identities, both on- and off-campus, and building queer Latinx/a/o kinships. Therefore, when examining the literature through a Joteria Studies perspective, I generate four central themes that have permeated the interdisciplinary literature on queer Latinx/a/o college students. Using a Joteria Studies perspective requires that I unpack the scholarship to address the way scholars conceptualize queer Latinx/a/o identities, how scholarship positions queemess beyond an identity transcending into a way of knowing, and how scholars assert the agency of queer Latinx/a/o individuals to create worlds that honor their queerness and Latinx/a/o identities. Therefore, the themes that I have generated include, but are not limited to: 1) Joteria as an explicit and implicit identity; 2) living multiple and contradicting truths as Joteria; 3) developing a Joteria identity and consciousness (Tijerina Revilla & Santillana, 2014); and 4) building a Joteria kinship. My demonstration of unpacking the literature is one of the ways scholars can begin to utilize Joteria Studies as they develop research around queer Latinx/a/o students.

Joteria as Both an Explicit and Implicit Identity

Joteria identities have political and historical implications for queer Latinx/a/o individuals. Consequently, Joteria is an embodiment of a marginalized identity and a reclamation of spatiality in normalized heteronormative spaces. For this reason, most literature on queer Latinx/a/o students has focused particularly on coming out and how these students navigate the process and aftermath of this experience in higher education (Cisneros, 2019; Duran & Pérez, 2017; Eaton & Rios, 2017; Peña-Talamantes, 2013a). Moreover, “coming out” has been central to the narrative of white queers in the U.S. context; therefore, coming out is an individualistic notion not accounting for the communal practice and decision making in the Latinx/a/o community. As a result, claiming a Joteria identity comes with both negative and positive reinforcement from family, peers, community, faculty, and staff. Additionally, identifying and disidentifying their queemess becomes a process of consumption for the self and others. Queer Latinx/a/o students’ sexual identity is not always explicit because of the context in which they choose to disclose this part of themselves (Peña-Talamantes, 2013a).

For many queer Latinx/a/o students, support from family is at the center of choosing to disclose or not disclose their sexual identity. Familismo, a value of Latinx/a/o individuals, means having strong ties to immediate and extended families and includes a sense of responsibility to care for one another (Rodríguez, 2017). For example, Duran and Pérez II (2017) found that gay Latino college men who were out to their families expressed feelings of familial support while simultaneously having to navigate microaggressions from family and constantly having to educate them. Similarly, Eaton and Rios (2016) concluded gay Latino college men experienced support in multiple forms from family, community, and peers. Despite the archetype of ingrained heteronormativity and queer-antagonistic construction of the Latinx/a/o family politics, “struggles have been waged by queers (particularly gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals) to gain acceptance by families into which they were born and those relationships extending beyond biological ties” (Rodríguez, 2017, p. 62). Although queer Latinx/a/o college students may experience microaggressions and labor in educating their family and peers about their sexuality, the tie to familial relationships with immediate and extended family still plays a significant role.

Living Multiple and Contradicting Truths

Queer Latinx/a/o students navigate their sexual identity as both an interpersonal and intrapersonal experience. Living in this space of contradicting truths, described earlier as Nepantla (Anzaldúa, 1987), a third space of possibility, is a constant reality faced by queer Latinx/a/o students. Peña-Talamantes (2013a) found that gay and lesbian Latino/a students negotiate their sexual identity differently based on their hometown and college environments. Familial influence on students’ ability to identify publicly as queer in their home communities is mitigated with the ability to identify more freely as queer in college environments. While several scholars have noted the college environment being a space where identity exploration occurs (Orozco & Perez-Felkner, 2018; Rhoads, 1997), the constant negotiation of identities can have negative consequences for queer Latinx/a/o students.

Living multiple and contradicting truths is at the intersection of queer Latinx/a/o students’ commitment to their ethnicity and sexuality. Valenzuela (2018) noted that Latino gay/queer students received conflicting messages of not being Latinx/a/o enough in spaces where their ethnic identity was at the center of a student organization, and at the same time feeling too Latinx/a/o to be in queer spaces often ingrained with whiteness. Similarly, Tijerina Revilla (2009) found that Latinas and Chicanas faced conflicting realities in stepping into a queer identity despite the support they received from peers. Peña-Talamantes (2013b) also found that gay Latino college men engaged in a macho-flexible identity allowing them to leverage and downplay their sexual identities by subscribing to what they conceived as heterononnative masculinities (Peña-Talamantes, 2013b). This flexibility comes with taking up a heterononnative performance leveraging one’s sexuality and challenging the implicit and explicit notion of Joteria, which places them in a space of contradicting truths. This highlights how queer Latinx/a/o individuals may engage in acts they find contradictory to their beliefs but are needed as a form of survival (Cisneros, 2019).

Developing a Joteria Identity and Consciousness

Borrowing from Tijerina Revilla and Santillana (2014), queer Latinx/a/o college students often engage with a process of developing a Joteria identity and consciousness. While extant literature on queer Latinx/a/o college students focuses on coming out as a way of identifying a queer identity, Tijerina Revilla (2009) examined how Chicanas and Latinas explored a queer identity through the peer support process of a university-based student organization. Peer support served as a way to mitigate often hostile campus environments, as queer Latinx/a/o students sought and explored a queer Latinx/a/o identity (Tijerina Revilla, 2010).

As such, there exists a connection between exploring and living out a Joteria identity. Orozco and Perez-Felkner (2018) conceptualized a culturally congruent self-authorship framework examining the development of gay Latino college men. For queer Latinx individuals to take up a Joteria identity, they must have a level of critical consciousness. Similar to the space of Nepantla, queer Latinx individuals must work toward a consciousness and position of a “third world.” Peña-Talamantes (2013a) found that gay and lesbian Latino/a students developed an identity buffer where their ethnicity and sexuality could coexist. This “identity configuration” contributed to a heightened sense of awareness of the self (Peña-Talamantes, 2013a, p. 279) and how queer Latinx students negotiate the continuous exploration of the intersection of racial, ethnic, and sexual identities (Orozco & Perez-Felkner, 2018; Tijerina Revilla, 2009, 2010; Valenzuela, 2018).

Building a Joteria Kinship

Despite the negative reinforcements and policing queer Latinx/a/o students face at the intersection of their marginalized racial, ethnic, and sexual identities, finding community with others who share similar identities and experiences often serves as a form of support. Tijerina Revilla (2009) offers insight into how students find support among peers who may also be exploring and making meaning of their race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. A continued discourse within students can shift the way race, ethnicity, and gender are conceptualized (Tijerina Revilla, 2009). Queer Latinx/a/o college students navigate this by building Joteria kinships with other queers who align with their core traditional familial values. Joteria kinships become important in the process of identifying and claiming a sexuality that deviates from heteronormativity.

Additionally, Duran and Pérez II (2017) described how student success resulted from building family-like systems of support with peers, faculty, and Staff on campus. Social support was an integral part of community building for queer Latinx/a/o students. In their research on gay Latino college men, Rios and Eaton (2016) provide an analysis of how these men encountered social support with others who shared similar experiences of navigating their ethnic and sexual identities. Identifying individuals who shared experiences of being gay or bisexual provided an opportunity to build queer role models and mentors (Rios & Eaton, 2016). Hence, queer Latinx/a/o kinships represent a process of remembering and healing as part of the larger structure of Joteria.

Limitations of the Current Published Literature on Queer Latinx/a/o Students

Scholarship examining queer Latinx/a/o college students’ identity and experiences is scant, but offers a contribution of knowledge to the field of Joteria Studies. Despite this contribution, several limitations exist. First, most scholarship on queer Latinx/a/o students focuses exclusively on gay Latino men, although limited studies focus on lesbian and bisexual Latinx/a/o students. Second, several studies (Eaton & Rios, 2017; Peña-Talamantes, 2013a, 2013b; Rios & Eaton, 2016) on queer Latinx/a/o students do not explicitly name culturally congruent epistemological and theoretical underpinnings throughout the full research design process that allows for the analysis of multiple marginalized identities. And third, few research studies examine how queer Latinx/a/o students develop or make meaning of their race, ethnicity, and sexuality' across time and contexts (Orozco & Perez-Felkner, 2018; Tijerina Revilla, 2009). Therefore, integrating epistemological, theoretical, and methodological designs centering ethnicity and sexuality can elucidate the creation of knowledge historically limited by traditional research paradigms.

Epistemological and Theoretical Shifts for Using Joteria Studies in Higher Education

Throughout this chapter, I framed the importance of scholars knowing about and utilizing Joteria Studies in designing research that centers queer Latinx/a/o college students. While Joteria Studies is a new development in the field of higher education, its history continues to shed light on the ways queer Latinx/a/o people endure systems of oppression like racism, heteronormativity, queerantagonism, and transantagonism. Therefore, in the following section I offer two distinct epistemological and theoretical shifts toward an assertion of Joteria Studies in higher education research. This assertion relies on my own research and the ways that I have come to understand Joteria Studies and its utility in higher education scholarship. I offer these shifts for researchers and scholars who have an interest in utilizing Joteria Studies to study Latinx/a/o populations.

Epistemological Shifts

Epistemologies offer us ways of knowing that help to shape the world around us and the ways we interact within multiple spaces (Bhattacharya, 2017; Jones et al., 2014). Joteria Studies scholars offer multiple ways of examining queer Latinx/a/o narratives and experiences. When embodied narratives ofjoteria are at the center, the conversation shifts to acknowledge queer Latinx students testimonios that shift and shape the history of the Latinx/a/o community. This creates a process of recovering and remembering, both in the past and present, the knowledge and embodied experiences of queer Latinx/a/o students. The resistance and knowledge production that occurs for queer Latinx/a/o individuals becomes central to Joteria Studies (Pérez, 2014b), Like Chicana feminism, Joteria Studies asserts knowledge production through the mind and body.

Similar to Moraga and Anzaldúa’s (1981) theory in the flesh, Joteria epistemologies encapsulate the necessity to theorize from lived experiences and to assert theoretical understandings of queer Latinx/a/o politicized realities. For example, Alvarez Jr. (2014) described Joteria pedagogy within the classroom context as a way to center “critical spaces of learning” through embodied narratives of survival and a process of decolonizing the mind, body, and spirit (p. 218). Additionally, Tijerina and Santillana (2014) offer a Joteria identity and consciousness as a way to honor the internal and external actions that contribute to the larger discourse on queer Latinx/a/o survival and liberation. Similarly, Pérez (2014a) offered a mariposa consciousness, a “decolonial site grounded in an awareness of the social location, social relations, and history” of queer Chicano and Latino individuals (p. 95). Mariposa consciousness opposes the negative stereotypes and the tragic trope of the negative use of mariposa as a derogatory term for queer Latinx individuals. Furthermore, these multiple examples of epistemological groundings denote a focus on thriving within as queer Latinx individuals rather than the sole focus on surviving structures of oppression. When embodied narratives of Joteria are at the center, the conversation shifts to acknowledge queer Latinx/a/o students’ testimonios that shift and shape the history of the Latinx/a/o community. This creates a process of recovering and remembering, both in the past and present, the knowledge and embodied experiences of queer Latinx students.

In my own work, I utilize Chicana and Latina feminist epistemology, which aligns with the history of Joteria Studies and honors the work of Black, Chicana, and Latina feminist ways of knowing (Hames-Garcia, 2014). For Chicana feminists, like other Women of Color feminists, building within and across community is instrumental in developing spaces and initiatives that target the oppression faced from the intersectional struggles of race, class, gender, and sexuality, among other forms of marginalization. Additionally, knowledge production is thought of not only through how we know, but also how our bodies feel. For queer Latinx/a/o individuals, the Body of Color becomes the center for “an ongoing practice of negotiation in which multiple, often opposing, ideas and ways of being are addressed, appropriated, and negotiated” (Cruz, 2001, p. 657). The body, as a form of corporeal knowledge, then becomes a resistance to objectivity and traditional understandings of research.

Chicana feminism elicits questions that require in-depth analysis of how intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are done through the mind and body. Furthermore, this eradicates the assumption that meaning making is only done through the process of knowing and brings forward the idea of what it means to be and act on a marginalized identity. For researchers who intend to center their epistemologies using Joteria Studies, it is important to note the way knowledge production is defined and how Joteria Studies may assist in that naming. Ultimately, epistemologies assert an intentional line of thought that informs how researchers think through and within their research studies.

Theoretical Shifts

Theoretical frameworks help researchers “link the unsettled questionjs] to larger theoretical constructs” (Jones et al., 2014, p. 22). In my own research, I posit the use of Anzaldúa’s (2002) theory of conocimiento as a theoretical framework that captures the identity development of queer Latinx/a/o student activists. Conocimiento as a theoretical framework provides a distinct mode of analysis to engage the multitude of marginality experienced by queer Latinx/a/o students because of their ethnicity and sexuality (Anzaldúa, 2002). Anzaldúa (2002) posits seven stages of conocimiento where questions such as, “Who am I?” “What are my contradictions and tensions?,” and “How do I move forward in my own healing journey?” arise in the process. I position conocimiento as a theoretical framework encapsulating the meaning making of queer Latinx/a/o students, particularly within the context of student activism in higher education.

The theory of conocimiento primarily leans on the conceptual questions Anzaldúa (2002) poses as she speaks to the tensions that arise for her on the path of consciousness, more specifically as a Chicana lesbian growing up on the U.S.—Mexico border. Additionally, conocimiento is positioned as a path grounded in both Chicana feminism and Joteria as new ways of knowing and being that arise at the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and physical space (Anzaldúa, 2002, 2015). While scholars examining the experiences of queer Latinx/a/o students have primarily focused on the coming out process as a mechanism for societal consumption and acceptability, this often takes away the agency of Joteria subjects. Conocimiento on the other hand offers a theoretical shift in how queer Latinx/a/o students can come to understand themselves in the process of negotiating and claiming their Joteria identity and consciousness.

Conocimiento provides a path for continual questioning of oneself and working through and with the contradictions that arise through the process. Orozco and Perez-Felkner (2018) offer the conceptual framework of Conociéndose y Escribiéndose, which derives from the use of Baxter Magolda’s (2001) theory of selfauthorship and Anzaldúa’s (2002) theory of conocimiento. Conociéndose y escribiéndose “allows gay Latino men to self-author their own life through the intersection of their cultural, gender, and sexual identities” (Orozco & Perez-Felkner, 2018, p. 390). This framework helps to conceptualize how gay Latino students’ development can be both a disordered and continuous path toward claiming the interconnection of multiple marginalized identities.

Consequently, the theory of conocimiento is part of the larger discourse of Joteria Studies because of its explicit focus on the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Researchers who intend to apply conocimiento as a theoretical framework throughout their research design must be intentional in their methods of data collection and analysis. This propels the use of conocimiento as a simple prescriptive framework and requires that researchers and scholars be open to engaging their own contradictions and tensions within the research process.


In this chapter, I argued that moving toward a futurity of Joteria Studies in higher education is a political act of resistance that dispels normative conceptualizations of the Latinx/a/o student. I assert the need to understand, theorize, and analyze the narratives and experiences of queer Latinx/a/o people. A futurity of Joteria Studies encompasses both imagined and tangible constructions of possibilities. As such, Joteria scholars offer imaginings of possibilities outside of the engrained heteronormative and patriarchal ways of knowing and being. Joteria Studies takes on a new level of criticality, which situates the lived realities of queer Latinx/a/o individuals in a social position challenging the dichotomy of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Most importantly, Joteria Studies is an offering for queer Latinx/a/o individuals to make meaning of their identities and experiences.

Although the study of Joteria emerged from the social science fields of gender and sexuality studies, women’s studies, and Chicanx/a/o and Latinx/a/o studies, its transferability to the field of higher education is something yet to be explored. Therefore, positioning Joteria as an epistemological and theoretical shift in queer Latinx/a/o research provides a critical avenue for scholarship on queer Latinx/a/o students. Joteria Studies contributes to the growing body of literature and the increase in institutional practices that account for the intersections of multiple marginalized identities, specifically for queer Latinx/a/o students.


  • 1 Joteria denotes a critical consciousness of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality that moves beyond an ascription to queer Latinx/a/o people as a I explain throughout the chapter.
  • 2 Latinx/a/o refers to the entire racial/ethnic community and disrupts normative notions of gender (see Salinas & Lozano, 2019). I use Latinx/a/o and Jotx/a/o throughout this chapter as an acknowledgement of multiple gender identities. I only use Latina, Latino, and Latin@ when I am citing an author’s work who did not use Latinx/a/o.
  • 3 I embrace Munoz’s (2009) analysis of queer futurity. I posit Joteria as a form of queer futurity, “letting us feel this world is not enough, that there is something missing” and a critique of both the past and the present towards a future which entails a “potentiality or concrete possibility for another world” (p. 1).
  • 4 This example is in no way comparing or minimizing the impact of the word joteria. It is used as an example to further understand the suffix -eria.
  • 5 Univision. (2016, August). Juan Gabriel sobre su sexualidad: “Lo que se ve no se pregunta” [Video], Primer Impacto. https://www.univision.com/shows/aqui-y-ahora/juan-gabriel-sobrc-su-sexualidad-lo-que-se-ve-no-se-pregunta-vidco
  • 6 Juan Gabriel was a prominent balada and pop Mexican singer and songwriter whose style of performance is described as “dramatic and mannered gestures, posing an emblematic vocality, and an unrestrained character of performance” (Madrid, 2018, p. 86). His career expanded almost five decades as an international artist.


Alvarez Jr., E. F. (2014). Joteria pedagogy, SWAPA, and Sandovalian approaches to liberation. Aztldn: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 215-227.

Alvarez Jr., E. F., & Estrada, J. (2019). Joteria studies. In Global encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) history (pp. 863-867). Global Encyclopedia.

Anzaldtia, G. E. (1987). Borderlands/La frontera: The new mestizo. Aunt Lute Books.

Anzaldtia, G. E. (2002). Now let us shift...the path of conocimiento...inner work, public acts. In G. E. Anzaldtia & A. Keating (Eds.), This bridge we call home: Radical visions for transformation (pp.540-578). Routledge.

Anzaldtia, G. E. (2015). Light in the dark/Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting identity, spirituality, reality, A. Keating (Ed.). Duke University Press.

Banales, X. (2014). Joteria: A decolonizing political project. Aztldn: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 155—165.

Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2001). Making their own way: Narratives for transforming higher education to promote self-development. Stylus.

Bhattacharya, K. (2017). Fundamentals of qualitative research: A practical guide. Routledge.

Cisneros, J. (2019). College as the great liberator: Undocuqueer students’ meaning-making experiences in and out of higher education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 12(1), 74-84.

Cruz, C. (2001). Toward an epistemology of a brown body. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 14(5), 657—669.

Decena, C. U. (2011). Tacit subjects: Belonging and same-sex desire among Dominican immigrant men. Duke University Press.

Duran, A., & Pérez, D., II. (2017). Queering la familia: A phenomenological study reconceptualizing familial capital for queer Latino men. Journal of College Student Development, 58(8), 1149-1165.

Eaton, A. A., & Rios, D. (2017). Social challenges faced by queer Latino college men: Navigating negative responses to coming out in a double minority sample of emerging adults. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23(4), 457—467.

Gaspar de Alba, A. (1993). “Tortillerismo”: Work by Chicana Lesbians. Signs, 18(4), 956-963.

Gúzman, M. (2006). G«y hegemony/Latino homosexualities. Routledge.

Hames-Garcia, M. (2014). Joteria studies, or the political is personal. Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 135—141.

Jones, S. R., Torres, V., & Arminio, J. (2014). Negotiating the complexities of qualitative research in higher education: Fundamental elements and issues (2nd ed.). Routledge.

La Dragonaria. (2013). Spanish suflix-eria. https://spanishskulduggery.tumblr.com/post/ 65865408298/spanish-suflix-er%C3%ADa

Madrid, A. L. (2018). Secreto a voces: Excess, performance, and Joteria in Juan Gabriel’s vocality. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 24(1), 85—111.

Molina, M. L. P. (1994). Fragmentations: Meditations on separatism. Signs, 19(2), 449-457.

Moraga, C. (2011). A Xicana codex of changing consciousness. Duke University Press.

Moraga, C., & Anzaldúa, G. (1981). This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color. Aunt Lute Press.

Muñoz, J. E. (2009). Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. NYU Press.

Orozco, R.C., & Perez-Fclkncr, L. (2018). Ni de aquí, ni de allá: Conceptualizing the selfauthorship of gay Latino college men using conocimiento. Journal of Latinos in Education, 17(4), 386-394.

Peña, S. (2004). Pajaration and transculturation: Language and meaning in Miami's Cuban American gay worlds. In B. Leap & T. Boellstorff (Eds.), Speaking in queer tongues: Globalization and gay language (pp. 231—250). University of Illinois Press.

Peña-Talamantes, A. E. (2013a). Empowering the self, creating worlds: Lesbian and gay Latina/o college students’ identity negotiation in figured worlds. Journal of College Student Development, 54(3), 267—282.

Peña-Talamantes, A. E. (2013b). “Defining machismo, no es siempre lo mismo”: Latino sexual minorities machoflexible identities in higher education. Culture, Society & Masculinities, 5(2), 166-178.

Pérez, D. E. (2014a). Toward a mariposa consciousness: Reimagining Queer Chicano and Latino identities. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 95-127.

Pérez, D. (2014b). Joteria epistemologies: Mapping a research agenda, unearthing a lost heritage, and building. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(2), 143-154.

Rhoads, R. A. (1997). Implications of the growing visibility of gay and bisexual male students on campus. №1SP/1 Journal, 34, 275-286.

Rios, D., & Eaton, A. (2016). Perceived social support in the lives of gay, bisexual and queer Hispanic college men. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 18(10), 1093-1106.

Rodríguez, J. M. (2003). Queer Latinidad: Identity practices, discursive spaces. New York University Press.

Rodríguez, R.T. (2017). Family. In D. R. Vargas, N. R. Mirabal, & L. La Fountain Stokes, Keywords for Latina/o studies (pp. 61-64). New York University Press.

Salinas Jr., C., & Lozano, A. (2019). Mapping and recontextualizing the evolution of the term Latinx: An environmental scanning in higher education. Journal of Latinos in Education, 18(4), 302-315.

Tijerina Revilla, A. (2009). Are all raza womyn queer? An exploration of sexual identities in a Chicana/Latina Student organization. NFKSH Journal, 21, 46-62.

Tijerina Revilla, A. (2010). Raza womyn—making it safe to be queer: student organizations as retention tools in higher education. Black Women, Gender, + Families, 4(1), 37-61.

Tijerina Revilla, A. (2014). The Association for Joteria Arts, Activism, and Scholarship: A movimiento for Queer Chicana/os and Latina/os. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 253-259.

Tijerina Revilla, A., & Santillana, J.M. (2014). Joteria identity and consciousness. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 39(1), 167—179.

Valenzuela, M.A. (2018). Finding comunidad: Latino Gay/Queer students’ co-curricular experiences of empowerment and marginality at a public university (Doctoral dissertation). UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

Vidal-Ortiz, S. (2011). “Maricón,” “Pájaro," and “Loca”: Cuban and Puerto Rican linguistic practices and sexual minority participation in U.S. Santería. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(6—7), 901—918.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source