Ale Gonzalez is a DJ, stylist, photographer and student working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies in Vancouver, B.C. She is a queer, non-binary trans womxn of Honduran (Mestiza and Asian) descent who’s work explores themes of sexuality, gender, diaspora and Honduran and Central American identity. When she is not creating, she is most likely perreando to old school reggaeton, comiendo baleadas o platanos verdes/maduros y dandole besitos a sus sobrinxs, Luna y Lucas. Follow Ale on Instagram @angelitacatracha and Twitter @angelitacatrach
Keywords: Honduran, Central American, Non-binary, Transgender, Womanhood, Queer
This piece illustrates the complexities of growing up as an individual who was assigned male at birth and feeling a disconnect from their family and culture because they are unable to experience specific cultural traditions because of their assigned gender at birth. In spite of this, this piece focuses on the normalization of trans Honduran womanhood as something to be loved, protected, cherished and celebrated. In latinx communities, quinceañeras are a cultural tradition and celebration where teenage women are celebrated for transitioning from being a teenager to then becoming a womxn. This event is known to be extravagant with family, friends and community members involved.
You know what I just don’t understand? Just because I was assigned male at birth, does not mean I shouldn’t have a quinceañera. Like, I’ve always dreamed of having a quinceañera. Just you know wearing a huge dress with all my friends and family at a big party celebrating me becoming a woman. I just want that. It’s always been a dream of mine.
Tonight, was so successful. My quinceañera finally happened. My dream came true. I got my first kiss and I made my parents proud. Gracias a todos por venir (Thanks to those who attended).
I just had the craziest dream.
Discovering my queer and trans identity with no emotional support was extremely difficult and isolating. I sought comfort, guidance and community from other queer and trans people on online platforms likes YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. As a queer and trans Honduran, I searched for a sense of community on online spaces where I could meet other queer and trans black, indigenous, people of color. On Twitter, I’ve made connections with a black, queer, South African, become friends with a bisexual Garifuna-Honduran womxn (which turned into an IRL friendship) and have made community with other queer and trans Central Americans through the hashtags #QueerCentralAmericanTwitter and #TransCentralAmericanTwitter. The greater Central American community can feel extremely unwelcoming to queer and trans individuals as our community is rampant with machismo, homophobia and transphobia as a result of colonization. Therefore, creating community with other queer and trans Central Americans on Twitter and Instagram is subverting the heteronormativity embedded in Central American identity. Queer and trans Central Americans have existed for centuries and there is anthropological evidence of ancient civilizations in Central America displaying gender variant individuals and same-sex relations like the late classic Maya cave painting found in Naj Tunich, Guatemala. Despite colonization, murder and constant erasure, queer and trans Central Americans continue to exist, thrive and create family online and IRL.