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A Revolution Within a Revolution: Queering Sandinismo in Nicaragua

Brandon Springer

Introduction: Why Queer the Revolution?

Postcolonial theory has taken jabs from queer theorists in the past for a tendency toward the homophobic, or at least heteronormative. Conversely, queer theory is framed by postcolonial theorists as white, bourgeois and elitist.1 But not to acknowledge that the two are intricately connected, i.e. that queer experiences of colonialism and roles in decolonial action do not exist, is academically disingenuous. In Nicaragua, the Sandinista Revolution provides us an excellent opportunity to examine the convergences of the two. Revolutionary Nicaragua is a sphere little analyzed through a queer lens, yet the revolution overlapped with a time when international queer movements were massing their resources and beginning a struggle for the rights and inclusion of LGBT folk across the globe.2 It seems foolish to assume that there wasn’t a queer presence among the students of Sandinismo. Though it is perhaps problematic to claim Nicaragua has ever been truly “postcolonial” (given the immense influence of the United States on Nicaraguan politics), the Sandinista revolution was surely a struggle to move toward a postcolonial state. Thus, it is not surprising that the burgeoning gay and lesbian movement in 1980s Nicaragua was preoccupied both with the socialist Sandinista revolution and with pushing for greater rights and acceptance of queer individuals and communities. Maria Lugones has argued that heterosexism was the glue fusing race and gender in the framework of colonial power politics. Intersectionality and liminality being the root of the discussion, Lugones argues that the many intersections and fusions of identity across seeming chasms of race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. is essentially a construction of colonialism.3 Lugones’ analysis becomes essential both in understanding the purpose of “queering” the revolution, i.e. attempting to uncover the experiences of queer rebels, guerillas and supporters during the revolution, and in understanding the politics and queerness of Nicaraguan LGBT revolutionary ideology. If we adopt a model of intersectionality, one that assumes traditional understandings and attitudes of gender and sexuality are (at least in part) a colonial construction, the experiences of these revolutionaries (as a group who embraced being simultaneously Marxists and queer) provides an important point of departure for deconstructing hegemonic conceptions of gender and sexuality.

Furthermore, it gives credence to the unique nature of the Nicaraguan queer experience. LGBT internationalists, at times, assume a universality of queer experiences and queer struggle. Yet, as Florence Babb argues, “We cannot assume that men and women, specifically gay men and lesbians, experience the same “comforts” or the same injustices or that they will respond alike to the transnationalization of sexual identities.”4 In the globalization of queer movements, we must not forget the unique historical, cultural, geographical and social contexts in which LGBT individuals live. We must not engage in what Alyssa Cymene Howe calls “sexual colonialism.”5 In Nicaragua, queer lives and narratives have been indelibly altered and affected by the revolution. It opened spaces for queer community building and queer Nicaraguans had roles as activists, guerillas, supporters and leaders of the revolution.

If homophobia is such a bourgeois affectation, if it is merely a tool of the capitalist establishment to divide the working class as has been argued,6 then we would expect leftist, Marxist Sandinistas to be open to any individual committed to the revolution (as we will see later, this is not entirely the case). However, I am not merely interested in if queer Nicaraguans served among the Sandinistas en masse; that is undeniable. Rather, I am interested in how these individuals served and the level to which they were able to be openly identify as queer among their fellow revolutionaries. Furthermore, I am curious to what extent queer Sandinista revolutionaries, or even Sandinismo itself played a role in the development of queer movements during and after Sandinista control of Nicaragua.

Karen Kampwirth gives us a cursory glimpse at the Sandinista approach to personal politics:

The FSLN’s positions on private politics during the contra war contrasted with the record of the FSLN at its most radical. Funding for programs that could have helped democratize personal politics was cut, and female soldiers were sent home. Middle-aged women were mobilized as traditional suffering mothers, and controversial proposals, such as legal abortion, were shelved. Finally, the first attempts to organize a gay and lesbian rights movement were suppressed. 7

Kampwirth’s scholarship illustrates the nature of the collectivist social movement that was Sandinismo. Personal identity, more importantly identity politics, was expected to take a back seat to the goals and ambitions of the revolution. Sofia Montenegro writes that the revolution was a kind of “political puberty” for Nicaragua. She writes, “The Sandinista project demanded of its members total availability, subordination of private interest to public interest … heroism … and obedience.”8 The unfortunate reality here is that it was heterosexually identifying male leadership that was telling those in non-normative, oppressed identity groups (i.e. women, queers, etc.) to put their personal politics aside. The greater good became a heterosexual male greater good. Neither Nicaraguan feminists nor queer activists (many of whom overlapped) could abide by such a development.

Case Study: Dora Maria Tellez

In The Civil War in Nicaragua, Miranda and Ratliff writes, “Although most of the commandants were womanizers, before and after taking power… one matter that was not kept at all quiet… was lesbianism. The most persistent lesbian was Comandante Dora Maria Tellez… [who] led a group of ten to fifteen militant lesbians who became a serious irritant in the eyes of the Directorate.”9 The authors go on to say that later, after Tellez had a well publicized affair with Ligia Elizondo a vice minister and wife of the Central Bank’s chairman after which, President Daniel Ortega announced that he would no longer appoint lesbians to public office (though they would not be directly punished). However, the authors do not go on to talk more about Tellez, lesbian treatment from the government or this cadre of lesbians led by Tellez. Tellez is reduced to a sexual scandal and a cursory glance at her role as revolutionary guerilla.

What we do know is that Tellez was young, radical and militant. She was a medical student who joined the Sandinista guerilla. By 23, she was “Comandante Dos” of the FSLN force that stormed the National Palace in Managua taking Somoza’s legislature hostage in 1978. She was a hero of the revolution, arguably the most powerful woman in the country. Under the Sandinista regime, she would become minister of public health (this would later become integral in legitimizing bourgeoning gay and lesbian movements, especially those engaging in AIDS activism and advocacy).10 She was one of the top Sandinista party leaders, despite being denied access to an official seat on the FSLN national directorate. She caused a major rupture in the party when she left and became one of the founders of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), a separate political party. She made headlines in 2008 after she began a hunger strike protesting Daniel Ortega’s administration for alleged “authoritarian intentions,” Ortega stripped the MRS of its legal status as a political party.11 She is a legend. She is a lesbian. Tellez’s story leaves many questions unanswered. Was the affair with Ligia Elizondo the moment she was outed or had she been out to a certain degree since she had served as a guerilla? What was Tellez’s experience as a queer guerilla? Who were these “militant lesbians” led by Tellez? What was Tellez’s role in queer organization? Is she openly lesbian even now or is it just the worst kept secret in Nicaragua?

We would expect these questions to be answered in the pages of the few accounts focusing specifically on Tellez’s life and service as a guerilla and political leader or published interviews with Tellez. Particularly, we would expect to see discussion of her lesbian identity in the lengthy interview published in Margaret Randall’s Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, which also includes an interview with out lesbian Sandinista Rita Arauz. However, Randall only notes that “some say she is a lesbian.” Whereas Miranda and Ratliff identify Tellez as a lesbian but do not tell her story, Randall does not explicitly out Tellez when she gives us an otherwise richly detailed account of Tellez’s life and political career in the otherwise thorough interview. Until an interview is conducted with Tellez on her experience as a queer woman of the revolution, we will have to look elsewhere for data on the queer experience in revolutionary Nicaragua.

The Story of Rita Arauz

The struggle for queer revolutionaries was existential; they had few models. Rita Arauz was likely one of the first openly queer Sandinistas and the queer Sandinista who has given the most extensive interview on what it meant to be simultaneously lesbian, Nicaraguan and revolutionary. Arauz would later become one of the first and most important gay rights activists in Nicaragua. She was openly lesbian, Nicaraguan-born, and living in San Francisco in 1976, just two years before the assassination of Harvey Milk, when the Sandinistas approached her. She was recruited as an openly queer woman to fight for the revolution. Arauz remained headquartered in the United States forming Nicaraguan solidarity movements within American queer communities, organizations and spaces until 1984 when she returned home to Nicaragua for good.12 It had been five years since Samoza’s fall; it was time for Rita Arauz, along with a number of other prominent queer folk (mostly lesbians), to begin organizing. She explains: “These were young people who were connected in one way or another with the FSLN; it was a natural leap from one type of political consciousness to another.”13

Sandinismo provided the model, Arauz says, and queer revolutionaries fought for the larger Sandinista leadership to understand that queer movements and queer rights ought to be incorporated into the core structure of the revolution. Arauz sees this as differing fundamentally for the queer movements in the United States, which she sees as self-involved and unconcerned with broader social change. This was a natural extension of the revolution for Arauz and the queer Sandinistas. Somoza had been overthrown and it was time for the revolution to be carried from the collective to the individual, from the public to the private.14 It was simultaneously Sandinista and queer. They were not separate identities. They were not separate struggles. When Arauz says, “I feel strongly that our struggle needs to be about creating a healthy society … for more humane and egalitarian conditions,”15 she speaks as a Sandinista, as a revolutionary postulating that the revolution needs to be inclusive of rights for queer Nicaraguans.

Furthermore, Arauz denounces the cultural imperialism of the U.S. queer movements that attempted to influence organizing in Nicaragua, e.g. with Americancentric AIDS education materials. Arauz notes that the queer experience in Nicaragua is defined by a specific Nicaraguan and revolutionary history, culture and political reality. “We feel that in order to really want to prevent AIDS, or to keep ourselves healthy once we had the virus, we must first of all want to live—in the adverse conditions of poverty, misery, and depression that are so common in our country now. It doesn’t do any good to tell people to use a condom if we haven’t addressed the deeper issue of ‘“Why live?”’16

The Nicaraguan LGBT movement had developed (to use an admittedly antiquated term) a third world queer model for organizing. Moreover, it was an explicitly Sanidinismo socialist model of queer organizing. “Our movement is unique… We couldn’t afford to have people saying we were imports from another culture.”17 They were consistently preoccupied with both the revolution and the rights of queer Nicaraguans.

As an openly-lesbian revolutionary, it does not seem as though Arauz was treated with contempt or disdain. Rather she was treated as an exception rather than a rule. The idea being that she was accepted. She was different from “most homosexuals,” you know how they are. Arauz’s experience seems to mirror that of other queer Sandinistas (at least those whose narratives that have been documented) and is indicative of the greater revolutionary policy toward queers in the revolution. Babb writes that during the revolution, “As long as a certain ‘militance’ in defense of the nation was evident, sexual transgression might be overlooked.”18

But what does it mean to sexually transgress? Who are “most homosexuals”? Many among the Sandinistas saw homosexuality (not homophobia) as bourgeois, as indicative of Somoza-era decadence; it didn’t fit into revolutionary plans of constructing the “New Man” and the “New Society.”19 Arauz speaks to this: “They claimed that the revolution was to create ‘new men and women’ and, well, faggots and dykes just didn’t measure up.”20 Revolutionary and queer were not compatible identities to most of the Sandinista establishment, at least at first. Though queer revolutionaries, at least queer women (there is a debate over queerness as deviance in Nicaragua, as well as in most of the world, at large focused on male sexuality), may have been tolerated within the ranks of the Sandinistas, once they started organizing, all bets were off.

Among revolutionary leaders, too, it was queer male sexuality that posed a significant threat to the revolution, more so than queer female sexuality. The individuals most associated with “homosexuality” were (and remain in many spheres, globally) the passivos, male recipients of anal sex. This model of passivo connotes weakness, effeminacy, hardly the kind of men who fit into the revolutionary model of masculinity. Moreover, this conception of queer identity is based solely on sex. Male queer identity, being a faggot, a cochon, challenges the masculine script and threatens masculinity in a way that female sexuality did not. Chant and Graske write:

In comparison with gay men, lesbians are even less visible in Latin America. The conspicuous absence of public proclamations about lesbianism past and present are variously linked to assumptions surrounding female sexual passivity, to machista beliefs that only men really matter, and to the fact that female criminality (with which same-sex relations have often been forcefully linked) has been regarded as posing little threat. Moreover, in a context in which sexuality is centered around penile penetration, lesbians do not have meaningful sexuality, and are thus invisible and anomalous. 21

Perhaps hetero-identifying men in power among the revolutionaries simply felt that lesbians could be fixed through sexual experiences with strong, revolutionary Nicaraguan men, with the “New Men.”21 After all, let’s face it; straight men couldn’t possibly fuck the gay out of queer men. Though this does not stop many who would identify as “heterosexual” in Nicaragua from engaging in penetrative sexual activity with men who be called “homosexual,” sexuality is/was being determined by sexual role rather than sexual attraction. 22 I would argue, then, that gay men (cochones, passivos) pose a much more complicated problem to the logic of machismo. Where queer women were simply rendered invisible, queer men were consistently demonized and publicly derided as threats to Nicaraguan masculinity. Being invisible queer women were ignored. Queer men were publicly ostracized.23 Roger Lancaster writes, “Homosexual intercourse and homosexual stigma play a clear and major role in the construction of appropriate gender for men.”24 Assuming this and that female sexuality was essentially irrelevant to the construction of masculinity in revolutionary Nicaragua, is this why we see women as the leaders of gay and lesbian movements? Is this why the few catalogued narratives of queer revolutionary experiences are those of lesbian Sandinistas?

Women As the Base of Out Queer Leadership

Florence Babb notes regarding an interview with one of her informants, a male, bisexual owner of a gay bar, “whereas men have more access to social space, women control the organizations; he went so far as to characterize gay men as the subordinates and the lesbians as the machas (women viewed as strongly masculine).” 25 The unnamed bar owner seems to lament the subordinate place of men in queer organizing. Yet, somehow it was that female queer identity that was politicized in Nicaragua while male queer identity remained purely based on sex. Though men were certainly involved in the gay and lesbian movement, the bar owner is right, it was women who formed the first organizations. Women took charge.

The FSLN was recruiting thousands of youth into the movement from early on; this is how people like Dora Maria Tellez joined the movement. It gave many the opportunity, as Babb writes, to express their sexuality and desires. They were not “out and proud” as we might say today, but they were open with friends and acquaintances among their fellow revolutionaries. Babb relates the revolution to college life for American queers, both options took and take youth away from existing familial and community structures and provide a window for both unbridled experimentation and bold declarations of identity. “Interestingly,” Babb writes, “when young Nicaraguans left home to participate in the revolutionary movement in the late 1970s and, again, left behind families in the early 1980s to participate in health and literacy brigades, they found needed opportunities for independence and privacy.”26

Babb notes that like in Cuba, a number of queer individuals left for the United States (à la Rita Arauz) where they developed a more American conception of queer sexuality. “Those who returned, at least in the case of Nicaragua, formed part of the leadership in gay political organizing on the one hand, and part of the neoliberal impulse to embrace new economic opportunities on the other.”27 She also refers to the “Miami boys,” Nicaraguan gay men who lived as exiles in the U.S. before returning to Nicaragua after the neo-liberal electoral triumph over the Sandinistas provided them with economic opportunities. This perhaps also speaks to why it was women who formed much of queer movements’ leadership.

Of this lesbian leadership, in addition to Arauz, Randall published an interview with seven lesbian activists28. Randall engages with the women and the women engage with each other discussing the origins of the movement, their experiences as activists and as queer women, their successes and their challenges. Of the women, two stand out. None are identified beyond their first names, though these two (identified as Mary and Hazel in the interview) are likely Hazel Fonseca and Mary Bolt Gonzalez both guerilla militia women and the founders of the Nicaraguan gay and lesbian organization Xochiquetzal.29 The dialogue between the two women during the interview illustrates the complicated experiences of queer revolutionaries. “I didn’t know I was a lesbian. I began to understand that I was around 1981, but I didn’t come out right away. I didn’t even assume it fully,” Hazel remarks.30 She continues that she began to identify as bisexual. Even bisexuality was seen as “political deviation,” she says, which brought her trouble as an active Sandinista party member and former member of a militia battalion. She remarks that she was conflicted between being a queer woman and being a Sandinista. “They said that bisexuals and homosexuals could easily be bought by the enemy, utilized in ways that could hurt the revolution.”

Then Mary responds:

‘Inside the FSLN it hasn’t just been repression towards homosexuals. I’m a product of my own particular history, of course, but my experience hasn’t been anything like what you’ve been talking about here. I’m a longtime member of the FSLN. My comrades have always known I’m a lesbian. No one’s ever accused me of anything, and no one’s ever refused me positions of responsibility because of my sexuality. I’ve always had positions of responsibility.’31

There was disagreement between the women over the level of repression among the Sandinistas. Perhaps this speaks to the willingness among the top echelon to tolerate gays and lesbians in the ranks officially, but not to truly enforce such a policy, much less advocate for acceptance. Furthermore, while the leaders may have allowed it to a degree, they were certainly wary of attempts to organize as queers for queer rights.

“If you stayed in the closet, that was fine,” Hazel fires back. “But when you started a group, a movement, it was something else. Although I agree that the revolution opened up the space that made it possible for us to wage this struggle. And our struggle has helped other gays feel socially accepted.”32 Mary goes on to say that she “pushed aside” her identity in favor of the Sandinista cause. This seems like the real divide among queer revolutionaries: whether to prioritize the revolution over their queer identity, or to demand queer movements and queer rights be incorporated into the revolution itself Mary felt less oppression as a queer woman because she sublimated her queer self for her revolutionary self as was expected by the FSLN. Hazel, it seems, demanded that she be accepted as simultaneously queer and revolutionary, which caused more trouble in the established order. Hazel attempted to defy the model of subordinating the self tothe cause that Montenegro established, whereas Mary fits right into that model.

Conclusion Shortly after Rita Arauz returned to Nicaragua in 1987, she was arrested for organizing Nicaragua’s queer community into action. Prior to this, organizing had simply been in the form of small groups of friends coming together socially. People like Rita Arauz began to organize on a larger scale, and they began to organize politically. Babb writes, “Those who were called in and detained in March 1987 were active Sandinistas, but their organizing around gay rights was viewed as a deviation and not approved by the FSLN”33 (my emphasis). The officers who had arrested Arauz and her comrades wanted names: names of their fellow organizers, names of their lovers, and names of those who in the leadership who were queer or might be queer. Arauz told him “The revolution has to be for everyone, not just for heterosexuals… we were Sandinistas. The great majority of us supported the revolution.”34 It was a balancing act. After they were questioned, released and told that they must stop organizing, they did not talk about repression by FSLN because they wanted rights and inclusion as openly queer individuals, but they also did not want to hurt the revolution.

Though many queer activists went underground or back into the closet, Rita and the most dedicated among her fellow activists continued to organize, particularly around the issue of AIDS education and prevention. They gained the support of the ministry of health under Dora Maria Tellez who, a year after Arauz’s arrest, visited the officer who had initially organized the arrests. The officer realized upon Tellez’s visit that he had made an error and was, according to Arauz, “ashamed that he would go down in history as a bad guy.”35 Arauz and other queer revolutionaries began organizing within the ministry of health under Tellez. This marked the beginning of the queer movement in Nicaragua. It was an opportunity, Arauz said, for them to construct a “gay and lesbian political cadre.” She writes:

We saw our struggle as part of the overall revolutionary movement. We wanted to create a gay and lesbian movement of the Left, something that hadn’t existed before. We didn’t want to be separatist. We recognized the need for certain spaces, but we didn’t want to promote the visceral divisions that exist in the developed countries. We didn’t want the kind of separatism that tends to exist between gay men and lesbians; we felt we’d be going backward if we allowed that to happen here. What we really wanted was for our movement to be able to be a part of the FSLN, for the Party or to get to the point where it would be able to include our demands in its platform.36

“When it comes to sex and sexuality,” Babb writes, “some stories are told whereas others remain untold. Histories of sexuality everywhere are subject to revision and debate when local, national, or transnational conditions prompt caution on the one hand or allow more open discussion of sexual difference and transgression on the other.” The queer history of the Nicaraguan Revolution is still a work in progress. Millie Thayer provides us with an excellent comparative analysis of gay and lesbian organizing in Nicaragua and a partial history of the gay and lesbian movement’s origins in the revolution.37 However, Thayer’s history and analysis is focused more on comparative social movement organization than it is on individual experiences of gay and lesbian activists in Nicaragua. Ultimately, we need more research, more oral histories, more ethnographies, more interviews that focus on the queer experience of the revolution and the roles of queer individuals in the revolution, specifically those roles as armed combatants. Furthermore, what little we data we do have in this regard is almost entirely devoted to queer women’s involvement in the revolution. Despite the predominance of women in queer organizing, there is a paucity of information regarding queer male experiences of the revolution. As Rita Arauz demanded of queer activists, “Remind them we exist.”38

Endnotes

  1. John C. Hawley, “Introduction,” in Postcolonial Queer: Theoretical Intersections, ed. John C. Hawley (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001), 1-18.
  2. Peter Drucker, “‘In the Tropics There is No Sin’: Sexuality and Gay- Lesbian Movements in the Third World,” in New Left Review, July- August (1996) 75-101.
  3. Maria Lugones, “The Coloniality of Gender,” Worlds & Knowledge Otherwise, Spring (2008):1-17.
  4. Florence E. Babb, “Out in Nicaragua: Transnational Desires After the Revolution,” Cultural Anthropology, 18(3)(2003): 304-328.
  5. Alyssa Cymene Howe, “Undressing the Universal Queer Subject: Nicaraguan Activism and transnational Identity,” in City and Society xiv (2): 237-279.
  6. Here I am referring to Bob McCubbin who wrote “Anti-gay prejudice is an instrument of bourgeois class rule … the … capitalist class uses every means at its disposal to divide the international working class.” Quoted in Donald E. Morton, “Global (Sexual) Politics” in Postcolonial Queer: Theoretical Intersections, ed. John C. Hawley (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001), 232.
  7. Karen Kampwirth, “Legislating Personal Politics in Sandinista Nicaragua, 1979-1992,” in Women’s Studies International Forum, January- February (1998): 53-64.
  8. Sofia Montenegro, La cultura sexual en Nicaragua, (Managua, Nicaragua: Cento de Investigaciones de la Communicacion, 2000), 220. Translated via Google Translate.
  9. Roger Miranda and William Ratliff, The Civil War in Nicaragua: Inside the Sandinistas (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1993), 12.
  10. Margaret Randall, Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994).
  11. Tim Rogers, “Sandinista hero on hunger strike” El Reportero, June 11-17, 2008
  12. Randall, Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, 266-285.
  13. Ibid., 271-2.
  14. Here I am reminded of Mo Hume’s discussion of the public/private dichotomy in terms of gendered sexual violence and the dangers of creating a hierarchy of the public over the private in the allocation of rights and privileges. Mo Hume, The Politics of Violence: Gender, conflict and Community in El Salvador (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Further, I am reminded of Chant and Graske’s assertion that the rendering invisible lesbian identity and experience is a form of gendered violence. Sylvia Chant and Nikki Craske, “Gender and Sexuality,” in Gender in Latin America, by Sylvia Chant with Nikki Craske, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003), 128-160.
  15. Randall, Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, 277.
  16. Ibid., 282.
  17. Ibid., 279.
  18. Babb, “Out in Nicaragua,” 307.
  19. Roger Lancaster, “Subject Honor: Object Shame,” in Life is Hard: Machismo, Danger, and the Intimacy of Power in Nicaragua, Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
  20. Randall, Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, 273.
  21. Sylvia Chant and Nikki Craske, “Gender and Sexuality,” in Gender in Latin America, by Sylvia Chant with Nikki Craske, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003), 128-160.
  22. Here I am thinking primarily of the disturbing trend of “corrective rape” witnessed in South Africa toward especially black South African queer women. “Lesbians subjected to ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa,” The Telegraph, 13 March, 2009.
  23. Roger Lancaster, “Subject Honor: Object Shame,” in Life is Hard: Machismo, Danger, and the Intimacy of Power in Nicaragua, Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 235-264; 271-274. Barry Adam, “Homosexuality without a Gay World: Pasivos y Activos en Nicaragua.” Out/Look1.4(1989):74-82.
  24. See Roger Lancaster’s extensive ethnographic work on queer male identity in Nicaragua.
  25. Roger Lancaster, “‘That We Should All Turn Queer?’ Homosexual Stigma in the Making of Manhood and the Breaking of a Revolution in Nicaragua” in Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader 2nd Edition ed. Peter Aggleton (New York: Routledge, 2007).
  26. Babb, “Out in Nicaragua,” 310.
  27. Ibid., 307.
  28. Ibid., 322.
  29. Margaret Randall, “To Change Our Own Reality and the World – A Conversation with Lesbians in Nicaragua,” Signs, Summer (1993): 907-924.
  30. Given the familiar dialogue between the two women in the interview and Randall’s note in the acknowledgements for Sandino’s Daughters Revisited that she was unable to publish interviews with both Gonzalez and Fonseca, it is highly likely that this is the case.
  31. Randall, “To Change Our Own Reality,” 916.
  32. Ibid., 919.
  33. Ibid., 920.
  34. Babb, “Out in Nicaragua,” 308.
  35. Randall, Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, 272-76
  36. Ibid., 275.
  37. Ibid., 275.
  38. Thayer, Millie, “Identity, Revolution, and Democracy: Lesbian Movements in Central America,” Social Problems 44:3 (1997), 386-407
  39. Randall, Sandino’s Daughters

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