April 28, 2009

Writer urges queer progress

Cherrie Moraga, a feminist activist and writer, spoke on “chicana” queer consciousness at Ida Noyes’ Cloister Hall Friday.

English Professor Raul Coronado, an admirer of Moraga’s works, gave a short introductory address. Speaking of the social significance of her writing, he claimed that no one before her had put the words “lesbian” and “chicana” on the same page. Moraga’s Loving in the War Years, “Turned [his] life around,” he said.

Moraga was entertaining and humorous as she delivered her politically charged commentary. Moraga, herself a Latina lesbian, said that in a world that has succumbed to the “chilling embrace of institutionalized heterosexuality,” it is natural for her to search for the roots of deep-rooted injustices through her writing. She said that this search is the reason why her writing took on a political flavor, something she said is not prevalent among other writers.

Regarding California’s controversial Proposition 8, she said the problem lies in “the confluence of the church and state.” Moraga said she makes no distinction between gay and straight marriage and believes that everyone—married, single, in a relationship—should be protected in the same way.

Moraga was not optimistic about the increasing strength of the transgender movement. “Some of us want something more than the reconstruction of bodies...more than assimilation,” she said. “Keeping ‘queer’ queer is important.” She added that difference, in terms of individuality and family, should be accepted in mainstream America.

“We love family, too. We create family, too,” she said.

Over one hundred people attended the event, a collaboration between Queers and Associates and the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, including members of Moraga’s family, fans from different cities, students and faculty.