Queer Latina Punk Artist Cristy C. Road: The Interview
Your website’s description of Spit and Passion describes it as a “graphic interpretation of a queer punk Latino (accidental) ‘It Gets Better’ campaign; in order to shed light on the painfully unwarranted and sometimes demonized experience of staying in the closet.” I think as people of color, when we are in the closet, we often face a very white homonormative insistence around what ‘coming out’ is supposed to look like, and without larger networks of support, many of us struggle to figure out what that process should be for ourselves in the context of our own cultures, families, communities. Does your work confront this specifically, and how?
C: My work has always documented that disconnect, and how the most distinct things like finding a punk scene, to healing from abuse, are all connected to the insecurities that came from holding on to a culture that was only mine; while holding onto a queer identity that I seemed to share with a whole community of mostly-white people. Spit and Passion feels like a solid culmination of not just this process, but also the healing and closure that I came to feel, around the time I turned 27, when I finished taking these steps towards balancing my identity (eating meat, growing out my hair, looking like a femme quinceañera, getting a lot of family tattoos— to name a few). The most important result of all this reconnection was coming out to my family; which was a long drawn out process that started at 25 and felt complete around 26/27. I came to see coming out as an adult as valid and real, as oppose to cowardly or internally homophobic, by connecting with other people who had a similar story, whether it was due to their ethnicity, or just fear itself. Spit and Passion accidentally became this homage to the closet; and I was really happy with that route the book took; because it really sheds light on this Latina experience (of holding onto culture) as oppose to just the experience of being queer and scared.