En el nombre de Nuestra Madre Tonantzin, nosotras sus hijas y nuestras almas. Comienzo este reflejo usando la lengua hibrída de mis antepasados, de mis contemporaneos y de la jotería que nos espera mañana. Hablando de un existencia en las fronteras de nuestros cuerpos, an existence on the edges of realities- at what cost do we exist on the borderlands? I recently spent a week recovering archives of a story about a woman whose body was found strangled and burned in a garage en la madrugada del día 12 de diciembre. Lo que descubri fue lo siguente:
Man found dead in fire was strangled
Tribune staff report
7:14 PM CST, December 13, 2007
An autopsy Thursday determined that a man found dead after a garage fire Wednesday morning in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood had been strangled, authorities said.
The man’s body was found badly burned about 7 a.m. after firefighters put out a fire near 21st Street and Homan Avenue, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Rich Rosado said.
The death of the unidentified man was ruled a homicide, according to a Cook County medical examiner’s office spokeswoman.
The body of the “man” was the body of a transgender Chicana and friend, Gangbanger Jackie. “I used to be a Latin King, now I’m a Latin mutha fuckin Queen!”
Jackie grew up in Little Village, the largest barrio mexicano in the Midwest. For years she mediated conflict between homophobic gang members and the transgendered women in the community, many of whom work, perform, and are in community at La Cueva, una cantina que queda por la 26 en La Villita. She was a warrior, a voice of the community, a sister, a brother, a daughter, a friend. Mi hermana, quien enfrentaba, borraba, y imaginaba a nuevas fronteras, dia tras dia, ésta es mi oración para ti.
Como te gustaba la botella, cabrona! Te acuerdas de esa vez que nos echamos unos traguitos at “Sylvia’s Bar” on 25th Street? You told me, “Don’t be scared, girl, these niggas ain’t gonna to do shit to you. You’re with me! Queen Jackie, and they LOVE it!!” You were right. I was scared. I tried to butch it up by wearing a fitted NY Yankees cap or timbaland boots, my effort to pass as straight.
In trying to pass for butch in the ‘hood, I set myself up and was approached by a ganguero with a: “Whatchu be about, dawg?” Ooh, homie was fine- if he only knew what I wanted to be about with him, then I really would have been trouble. I turned to you and you explained “He don’t be about shit, nigga. That’s my girl, leave her alone, she’s with me!”
To which he responded, “Aww, my bad, Jackie, you roll up in this bitch with mutha fuckas looking mad hard and shit, you can’t even tell who’s who anymore.” You turned to me and said, “ooh, papí, you’re giving “boy”doooown! They can’t even spook that you’re a faggot. I love it!”
The way you shouted for me is the way you stood up for the girls working on 26th Street. “Dejanlas en paz pendejos. Les parto la madre!!” Your politics said 26th Street was a big enough world for all kinds of Mexicanos, even the Jotas.
Jackie, mamas, you said “fuck you” with an authority and assurance that made everyone feel safe. You saw yourself in the mirror with the men who tried to harass us, and you said “Fuck you, nigga!” and resisted their violence; you, as Anzaldúa would put it, “put his–story through a sieve, winnowed out the lies, looked at the forces that we as a race, as women, have been a part of. Luego botastes lo que no vale, los desmientos, los descuentos, el embrutecimiento. Aguardastes el juicio, hondo y enraízado, de la gente Antigua” y dijistes “chingan a tus madres, cabrones!! Conmigo no chinguen!”
I would stand there in awe. You are amazing, Jackie. I admired your courage, your fearlessness. I admired your strength. To resist. To love yourself. To be yourself. To survive as the person you dreamed yourself to be. Como una mujer! “I’m a fucking drag queen, I don’t give a fuck!”
Ahora veo que te ha costado, que te han cobrado. Encontrada en un garaje, en tu barrio patria, La Villita, quemada, estrangulada, sacrificada. Esto no es La Villita cual tu imaginabas. Diosa te bendiga y guarda, manita. Ahora solo tenemos la memoria de ti, y esta historia, esta narración de ti, porque ni ese respeto nos lo han dado.
I sit here at the edge of a cliff of nepantla. I look over to you, to myself, and I am comforted by the embrace of Coatlicue. Has life ended or is life just beginning? You leave us in this world with a call to continue asking ourselves this question.
♫♪Desde el cielo una hermosa mañana, desde el cielo una hermosa mañana, La Guadalupana, La Guadalupana, La Guadalupana bajo al Tepeyac… ♪♫.
¿esa mañana de diciembre, mientras que nuestra estrella de la mañana se levantó a dar nos, sus hijas, vida, fuistes tu olvidada?
Te extrañare, hermana, Diosa. Mandame un postal desde el Tepeyac.