Current Institutional Affiliation
Center for Humanistic Inquiry Fellow and Visiting Lecturer, Black Studies & Latin American Studies, Amherst College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Africana Studies, Brown University
Finding Space for the “Bicha Preta”: Black LGBTQ Activism in Brazil and the United States

"Respeita as Bichas Pretas" (Respect Black Sissies) was a rallying call created by Black queer and trans activists in Brazil following a 2016 hate crime resulting in the death of Black gay student activist Diego Viera Machado. These activists collectively organized a response utilizing self-defining colloquialisms rooted in their community to respond simultaneously to the racial, sexual, and class violence that led to Machado's death. Drawing from these moments of community making, my project focuses on Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer activism in Brazil and the United States. I will investigate Black LGBTQ resistance through a comparative study of three particular groups: (1) Black movements, (2) LGBTQ movements, and (3) intersectional Black LGBTQ movements. Spending twelve months of ethnographic research funded by the SSRC split between Salvador, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, I will attempt to understand how the intersections of multiple axes of oppression affects the organizing tactics of Black LGBTQ activists. How do Black queer and trans organizers envision and attempt to manifest a freer world for themselves? Utilizing a transnational lens through the comparative study of the United States and Brazil, I will analyze the interconnectedness of the global white supremacy and heterosexism that affect the lives of Black LGBTQ people in both countries, and how these intertwined relations between systems of oppression necessitate a correlated diasporic understanding of Black queer and trans resistance in the Americas.