Introducing . . . The �ueen
1 The term cisgender is a newer term that describes “nontransgender” people. The
term comes from the Latin prefix cis, which is the opposite of trans and means
“on the same side.” The cis- trans opposition is used in chemistry, molecular
biology, and genetics and was appropriated from this usage to name people
whose gender identities are aligned with the sexes they are assigned at birth
in order to avoid imposing a sense of normativity on nontransgender people.
Susan Stryker (2008, 22) provides a more detailed explanation of this and other
relevant terms in Transgender History.
2 Juana María Rodríguez defines queer latinidad in her book of the same title
(2003). By latinidad, I invoke the cultural forms that have emerged in the
Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) colonization of the Americas (sometimes
including the Philippines) and the subsequent national and imperial formations
that have shaped, displaced, and otherwise affected the diverse people and cul-
tures entangled in this encounter. Latinidad names a set of cultural and linguis-
tic similarities that index Latinas and Latinos in the United States as much as
Latin Americans, and is used as a term of hemispheric analysis that acknowl-
edges the colonial and imperial history and present of the Americas. Note that
some non- English words and uses of English words in non- English speech are
italicized throughout this text.
3 Travestista is actually the Colombian word used to describe transvestites or
cross- dressers. Other places use words like travestí.
4 In this book I will use the acronym lgbt, short for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender” to describe the terms of political currency for sexually diverse
communities in international organizing and civil society. As I argued in an
article titled “Perverse Citizenship” in 2008, these civil society categories are
often not inclusive of many forms of gender and sexuality in Venezuela, and in
Latin America more broadly. Amnesty uses these categories “because they are
the English terms most commonly used in the international human rights dis-
course” (Amnesty International USA 2001, vii). I use lgbt when I refer specifi-
cally to advocacy efforts within the realm of civil society and international social
movements. I avoid using these terms to identify communities or individuals
unless they adopt these terms themselves. Instead, I use the categories of gen-
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