For him, the explicit intimacies of the cross-racial patronage he observed in America did not signal greater personal freedom for black artists. No curve of hip or bosom, no hint of thigh betrays her; her lower legs are not only modestly covered by a skirt falling well below her knees but are further obscured by the large wicker suitcase she holds, only to conclude in pink fold-over ankle socks and sensible brown oxfords on rather large feet that distinctly toe out, but awkwardly, not ballet-dancer gracefully.
The impossibility of losing myself, of dissolving. Just in case we have been losing sight of the Cubaness of this representation, the lyrical—or the realistically unlikely—interpolation of the guava leaf for the dabbing of tears, immediately relocates this narrative as Cuban, which otherwise could have taken place anywhere that bullies and families collude to discipline and create queerness.
But in both extremes, the confusion about who might infect whom—and where—displaced the issue of who is responsible for ensuring that sex is conducted safely.
An identity is not merely a succession of strategic moves but a highly mobile cluster of claims to self that appear and transmogrify in and of place. Entramos en el comedor y ella salió por la puerta de la cocina. I pray for your happiness.
Sylvia Molloy provides another framework for reconsidering the constitution of subaltern identities.