ada maria y gloria, presente!!!

ada maria y gloria, presente!!!

In my journey of faith and of reclaiming voice, the words, witness, and wisdom of Gloria Anzaldua and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz have been inspirational sources of wholeness and healing.  Gloria was a Chicana poet and Ada Maria was Cuban-American theologian who helped birth Mujerista Theology.  Both women were activists who lifted up everyday experience as a place for identity formation, as the spark for justice, and as sanctuary for divine revelation.  Their work has been influential in my thinking, writing, praying, ministering, being, and living.  Both Gloria and Ada Maria have challenged me to embrace fronteras and la lucha—inspiring a commitment to celebrate the interconnecting sacred identities within each of us as we struggle to come into our own and in the pursuit of justice.    I would like to honor them with these poems and prayers that weave together Gloria’s mestizaje and fronteriza approach to identity with Ada Maria’s celebration of la lucha and lived experience in the barrios as theological texts with my queerful approach to the borderlands within us and within G-d.

Ada Maria y Gloria, presente siempre!!!

“To live in the borderlands means you…”  by Gloria Anzaldua

To live in the borderlands means you
are neither hispana india negra espanola
ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed
caught in the cross-fire between camps
while carrying all five races on your back
not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the borderlands means knowing
that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,
is no lonfer speaking to you,
that mexicanas call you rajetas
that denying the anglo inside you
is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;

Cuado vives en la frontera
people walk through you, the wind steals your voice,
you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat,
forerunner of a new race,
half and half–both woman and man, neither–
a new gender.

To live in the borderlands means
to put chile in the borscht,
eat whole wheat tortillas,
speak tex-mex with a brooklyn accent;
be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;

To survive and thrive in the borderlands
you must live sin fronteras,
be a crossroads.

i am, yo soy … written by delfin bautista

i am, we are
yo soy, nosotros somos

we are la frontera,
we are the borderlands
we are a both/and people
we are selves within a body made of many parts
we are interconnected and we are messy

we are arroz con pollo and fish n’ chips
we are desi arnaz and lucille ball
we are celia cruz, selena, and santana
we are bob dylan, boy marley, and aretha franklin
we are gringos and ethnics
we are chalupas y burritos, we are peanut butter and jelly
we are tex-mex and we are blasian
we are chile-dominicuricans
we are borderlands, somos fronteras

we are hyphenated individuals,
claiming multiple identities even when they don’t claim us
we are Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans,
Jamaican-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Colombian-Americans …

we are boriqua, quisqueyanos, chicanos, latinas, hispanics,
herspanics, spanish, neuyoricans, mulattos …
we are a mestizaje of peoples, of fore-mothers and fore-fathers,
who have birthed into us identities that flourish in harmonious tension.

we are borderlands, somos fronteras
we are queer, straight, questioning, cisgendered, transgendered, polyamorous,
pansexual, and everything under the rainbow in between

we are la frontera
we are evangelical, catholic, Catholic, Santeros, Candemblistas,
fundamentalists, heretics, rebels …

we are y tambien somos
we are moya, ubunto, namaste, cumbayah
we are y tambien somos
we are interconnected, contradictory, harmonious, re-membered,
we are bordered and we are borderless
we are, nosotros somos
we are good and we are a sacred hot mess.

we are no longer made to feel ashamed for existing.
we will claim, rant, and rave our voices:
Indian, Spanish, white, black, yellow, American …

we will have our voices…a woman’s voice, a sexual voice, a tribal voice, a poet’s voice…
we will overcome the tradition of silence and
we will joyfully live into our both/andedness

bendicion para seguir en la lucha (a blessing to continue in the struggle) … adapted from Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz by delfin bautista

My sisters, brothers, friends, lovers, la vida es la lucha,  vivir es luchar y luchar es vivir. To struggle is to live. For us as people of faith there is no living that is not a living to struggle for justice, a struggling to live justice. My soul magnifies our God, a God for whom mercy and compassion are not possible without justice. My soul magnifies our God and is ever grateful to the God of Mary, of Jesus, of our foremothers, of our sisters, of you, and you, and you, for having called me and for calling you to la lucha, to the struggle, to the struggle for justice. Abracemos la lucha por la justicia. Entonces podremos ser la visión. May we go from here ready, open, and willing to embrace the struggle for justice. Then we will be able to be the vision. My sisters, my brothers, my friends, my lovers, my pueblo en y de la frontera, sí se puede; it can be done, it must be done.   Amen.


About delfinwaldemar

i am a native of miami, fl and i am of cuban and salvadoran heritage. i am a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around lgbtq issues. i have a master in divinity as well as a master of social work. as an activist scholar of faith, i am interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities. i enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). my approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. i hope this space will provide folks who feel isolated or disconnected from communities, especially religious one, an opportunity to wrestle and reconnect and re-member and simply be with the sacred. being raised roman catholic, i have felt marginalized and alone because of who i am within my church community--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog will be a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntos...a place where you, me, G-d will caminar juntos y juntas en la lucha. Amen.

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