Between the social imposition of childlessness upon lesbians and the cult of maternity enforced against Latinas, Cherríe Moraga asserts that the notions of motherhood and family are not given by nature, but are social constructs derived from patriarchal traditions that dominate Mexican-American communities. Waiting in the Wings narrates how Moraga has managed to reconcile her homosexual identity and her Mexican ancestry by means of her project of queer motherhood to conceive a familia of her own making. Blending emotional pain on account of her son’s precarious health before/during/after his birth together with her political intention to legitimize the sexual diversity existing among Chicanas, Moraga’s life-writing illustrates how she embraces certain elements of her proud Mexicanismo, which are presumably impediments to becoming a lesbian mother: the transmission of physical and cultural bloodlines from mother to child, including family values and roles. Paradoxically, Moraga’s homosexual maternity enhances the preservation of her Mexican origins, while strengthening a sisterhood among Chicanas and other women. Moreover, Moraga devises a new female spirituality of her own, whereby the cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Catholic rites harmonize with her queer motherhood to offer her solace and hope for her child’s ultimate survival.
Queering the Chicana familia in Cherríe Moraga's Waiting in the Wings
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