A late addition to the #PolyAnd series for Poly and Race week, Avie, hailing from the southwest, brings us a Chicana perspective on polyamory. Being queer, polyamorous and Chicana isn’t easy; but at least Chican@ heritage values having each other, beyond individual differences.
I am Chicana.
I am polyamorous.
I am queer.
Chicana is not race; not by certain political markers. Like queer, it’s also a political identity; you can be of Mexican heritage and not call yourself Chican@. You can be homosexual and not call yourself queer. You can be in an open relationship and not call yourself polyamorous. There are differences, nuances of declaration and intent that I need for you to distinguish, when I identify as a polyamorous queer Chicana. These are the words that describe me; I declare them quietly.
That is how I often regard these aspects of my identity; I pass quietly through my life, but never in denial. I live my identity; it is me. I don’t need to introduce myself so fully to everyone I meet, but I will never deny myself. It is a liminal space, and I am always having to recontextualize what it means to be myself. As Gloria Anzaldua said, to occupy this liminal ‘borderland’ space leaves you “caught in the crossfire between camps, while carrying all”; I carry a lot here, in my personage and in the check boxes on demographic surveys. I occupy a space of crossroads, refusing to be any less than the sum of myself.
Chicana is not usually a label you are born with, unless you have been informed by someone you can identify that way. On the demographics forms for school or employment, I could choose to be Latina or Hispanic or Mexican-American or leave it blank or else. But I have chosen to be Chicana, because I have the option to declare it, and because was lucky enough to be given this designation by learning from my mother.
[Note: Sometimes I write for other websites, and this was my feature article on Modern Poly. I just figured I’d link it here for posterity.]